7 Tips For Designing The Best Digital Ad

In a digital world oversaturated with a seemingly infinite amount of content to be consumed, it is easy for the content that you post to be washed away with the vast majority in the flowing river of the internet. New information is being uploaded by users all over the world every day, and this information commonly passes us by as we aimlessly scroll through our news feeds looking for that one post that makes us stop for a moment. Our goal is to provide you with a few easy steps on how to be that post, and how to master the art of ad design that will ensure each time you upload, you will be noticed. 

Tip #1: Determine Your Message

First things first, let’s think about the message. What is the purpose of your ad? What are you trying to achieve? The most important part in designing a successful ad is to make sure the ad accurately represents your intention. Whether it be to sell a product, make an announcement, or increase brand awareness, you should determine a single goal for your ad so you can focus on making it happen!  

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It is also important to recognize the success of simplicity in digital marketing. Avoid creating ads with too much information, even if it means sacrificing a tagline or a logo, so you don’t overwhelm your message or your audience. 

Tip #2 : Create a Call to Action 

To optimize the value of your ad, it is often beneficial to make sure that the message your audience receives encourages an action. A call to action feature on an advertisement offers an avenue for immediate results as your audience can be linked to a destination of your choice, such as your brand’s website. 

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Call to action features create an avenue of simplicity that is well received by users as it makes their decision easier. You can even improve the success of your call to action by adding extra information to the function to tell the user more about the decision they are making. For example, rather than saying “click here”, it would be more effective to say “Click to save 50%”. “Learn more about us”, “Sign up for our newsletter”,or “Start your trial now!”. Variations like these contain more clear information for the audience to receive and helps to encourage action as it further describes the incentive.  

 

Tip #3: Colour, Contrast, and White Space

The conversation of colour choice and the use of white space is extremely important in designing a digital ad. With the limited time you have to grab your audience’s attention, the proper balance of colour, contrast, and white space can make all the difference. Understanding the influence that each of these factors have, and how they relate to each other will help you in making your ad design choices.  

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The use of colour and white space in digital advertisements is all based on contrast. Your goal is to stand out, and contrast is the best way to do it. You should consider the platform that your ad will be presented on, and design an ad that contrasts well with this platform. For example, on a more cluttered platform such as instagram, it may be better to use more white space in your ad in order to stand out among the crowd. Users will identify a more simplistic post in a world of cluttered colours and amature photos/videos. Contrarily, on a desktop platform with more white space such as Facebook, it may be better to make use of colours that contrast highly with those of the platform itself and the posts around it. This can also be done with black and white options as the use of shades in a sea of colour will really stand out among the crowd. 

Tip #4: The 20% Rule 

A common rule in ad design for platforms such as Facebook is that no text should cover more than 20% of any image. Although this may seem like an unnecessary constraint, it encourages designers to take advantage of the visual environment that digital platforms are. 

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Making an effort to use visual tools in your ad versus text will improve the response from your audience as it makes it more accessible to those who are watching. The internet is a visual medium, make ads your visual tool to interact with your audience. 

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Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different 

It’s important to remember the value in fearlessness when creating an ad, sometimes the best way to make an impression is to step outside the box. Take Old Spice for example, with their hectic and fast paced yet cohesive series of ads, or Telus with their ability to turn a white-walled shot of a cute animal into their entire brand image. These brands took a chance on a unique idea and saw incredible results. 

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Being able to be different is another way to separate you from the crowded digital world and make your brand stand out.

Tip #6: Provide Incentives 

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Reward your audience! This can be just as effective as a call to action. Offering incentives or rewards such as discounts, contest entries, ideas or emails are all great ways to help encourage interaction between you and your audience. 

Tip #7: Keep It Simple 

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You should strive to make every facet of your advertisement as simple and efficient as possible. The digital world seems to speed up every day, decreasing attention span and demanding more streamlined content. Each piece of your ad from the typography to the colour palate should be simple and clear in order to translate the entirety of your ads message to your audience before they keep scrolling. Although we don’t want to sacrifice any key pieces of the message, it is important to take a critical approach to evaluating the design of your ad, and make any necessary changes in order to ensure that it is the most efficient and effective design possible. 


By following these steps you’ll be on your way to consistently creating effective ads that capture your audience and get results!

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