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How to Create Most Compelling Digital Marketing Ads?

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“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”
     -Howard Luck Gossage

Digital Marketing Ads

Traditional form of Marketing

The above quote from Advertising Innovator Howard Luck Gossage beautifully captures the dilemma of a marketer. Customers are not looking for ads, they are looking for interesting stuff like movies, sports, daily serials, news, information about friends or relatives etc. A marketer job is to be present at the right time & place with a communication which is original, relevant, eye-catching & prompts a user action.

Traditionally, marketers had mass advertising option like newspapers, magazines, radio & TV. The biggest challenge with mass media channels was inability to target specific consumers hence a lot of money spent on advertising went down the drain. Digital Marketing has solved for this & provides ample opportunities for reaching out to relevant audience online.

Digital Marketing or Digital Advertising provides razor-sharp targeting techniques but the effectiveness of any campaign is determined by how the user reacts to Digital Marketing Ads. With the evolution of Digital Marketing over last decade the formats of Digital Marketing Ads have also evolved.

Types of Digital Marketing Ads

Digital Marketing Ads can be broadly classified into following three buckets:

  • Text Ads
  • Banners Ads
  • Video Ads

Following is a quick overview of each type of Digital Ads:

  • Text Ads

As the name suggests ‘text ads’ are simple text copy served mostly on search engines like Google, Bing etc. Text ads are simplest form of Digital Marketing Ads which require basic knowledge of factors like word limit, keyword matches etc. At an advance level one should be aware about factors like relevance score, trademark policies etc. Text Ads are descriptive in nature & they run on search engines, websites etc. Following are few examples of text ads on Google search:

Digital Marketing Ads

A Text Ad when a user is searching for ‘hotels in Delhi

Digital Marketing Ads

A Text Ad when a user is searching for ’flights to Bangalore’

  • Banners Ads

Ads having visual elements with which the user interacts are known as banner ads. Unlike text ads which have very poor visual appeal, banner ads make Digital Marketing Ads looks appealing, glamorous & interactive. Banner ads run mostly on websites, social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter etc. Search engines like Google also allow usage on product mages on certain types of search ads known as ‘Product Listing ads’. Banner Ads require high level of creativity quotient & typically it takes a team of designers & copywriters to produce appealing Digital Marketing Banner Ads, though nowadays there are multiple free online tools which allow banner ads creation in a given template.

Banner ads are of various types i.e. static & dynamic. A static banner ad is a single frame with visual, copy & a call to action whereas dynamic banner ad will have multiple frames which rotate with unique visual, copy & call to action. Different formats allow different types of banner ads & the difference is primary in dimensions & types of banner ads. For example, Facebook allows static banner ads & banner ads in carousel format.

Digital Marketing Ads

Digital Vidya Banner ad running on Hindustimes

Digital Marketing Ads

Digital Vidya Product Listing Ads on Google Search

Following are few standard dimensions of banner ads:

  • Vertical rectangle: 240 x 400
  • Mobile leaderboard: 320 x 50
  • Banner: 468 x 60
  • Leaderboard: 728 x 90
  • Square: 250 x 250
  • Small square: 200 x 200
  • Large rectangle: 336 x 280
  • Inline rectangle: 300 x 250
  • Skyscraper: 120 x 600
  • Wide skyscraper: 160 x 600
  • Half-page: 300 x 600
  • Large leaderboard: 970×90
  • Large mobile banner: 320 x 100
  • Billboard: 970 x 250
  • Portrait: 300 x 1050

With mobile becoming the preferred device for browsing through internet Digital Marketers need to be extra careful about rendition of search & banner ads on mobile devices. As the resolution of mobile devices differs from those of desktops & laptops hence the ads are also customised for mobile platforms. Digital Marketing Ads being served on mobile differ in terms on dimensions, ad size & call to action. Since users can directly call from mobile devices hence  Google allows presence of ‘Call Extension’ on mobile devices using which users can directly call the business they are looking for. Following are few snapshots of mobile v/s desktop search ads:

Digital Marketing Ads

Mobile vs Desktop search ads

Digital Marketing Ads

Banner Ad on Mobile Device

  • Video Ads

These are latest ads on the block & are being used widely across social media platforms, websites etc. Video ads comprises of animated ads, adaptation of TV ads etc. YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing website which accounts for maximum Video Ads. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram & LinkedIn are also promoting use of video ads on their respective platforms. Videos ads are inherently interactive in nature but they require relatively larger investments as compared to banner ads. Though platforms like YouTube offer free apps for creating video ads for free.

YouTube is by far the largest video sharing platforms & hence gets lion’s share of video ads. It has over a billion users which is 1/3rd of all people on internet. Hence it becomes an obvious choice for marketers when it comes to reaching out to their target audience.  Initially brands uploaded TV commercial (TVC) videos on YouTube but gradually brands have started creating custom campaigns for YouTube viewing. Most TVC’s are sub 30 second videos as media cost on TV advertising is very high. On YouTube brands can afford to create relatively longer videos with a different theme. YouTube also provides multiple ad formats to suit a rand needs.

Types of YouTube Ad Formats

Following are most prominent types of YouTube Ad formats:

Display Ads

Digital Marketing Ads

YouTube Display Ads

Appears to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list. For larger players, this ad may appear below the player.

Overlay Ads

Digital Marketing Ads

YouTube Overlay Ads

Semi-transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower 20% portion of your video.

Skippable Video Ads

Digital Marketing Ads

YouTube Skippable Video Ads

Skippable video ads allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds if they choose. Inserted before, during, or after the main video.

Non-Skippable Video Ads

Digital Marketing Ads

YouTube Non-Skippable Video Ads

Non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed.Long non-skippable video ads may be up to 30 seconds long.  These ads can appear before, during, or after the main video.

Bumper Ads

Digital Marketing Ads

YouTube Bumper Ads

Non-skippable video ads of up to 6 seconds that must be watched before your video can be viewed.

(Source of YouTube Ad formats: support.google.com/youtube/answer/2467968)

Following is a summary of various ad formats:

Ad Type

Works On

Engagement

Budget

Text Ads Search, Websites, Facebook, LinkedIn Low Low
Banner Ads Websites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter Medium Medium
Video Ads YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter High High

Dos & Don’ts for Digital Marketing Ads

Following are key ingredients of a successful digital marketing ad:

  1. Relevance: Digital marketing platforms enable razor sharp targeting. Hence it’s important that the creative/ copy should be relevant to the website or search query or social media platform where the ad is being served. If a user is searching for ‘Hotels in Delhi’ then the ad should contain term ‘hotel In Delhi’ for high relevance. Similar banners & video ads should have relevant content.
  2. Easily consumable: Digital Advertising should be easy to comprehend as the user attention span is gradually decreasing. Hence the user should be able to quickly understand USP of the product or services being promoted. Also the ads should be interactive in nature.
  3. Clear ‘Call to Action’: Unlike traditional media a user can be directed to take a specific action while interacting with Digital Advertising. For example a user can be directed to leave their contact details or can be asked to call at given number. These ‘Call to Actions’ should be clearly displayed & should grab user’s attention.
  4. Adherence to policies: All major Digital Marketing platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have clearly defined Do’s & Don’ts for ads to be run on these platforms. Advertiser should create Digital Ads which adhere to these policies else these ads will get disapproved.

Following is a table which given broad level do have & don’ts for Google Ads:

Google

Ad Type

Do’s

Don’ts

Text Ads Relevant keywords, Adhere to character limit, Have call to action, Use extensions  No adult content, No trademarks violation
Banner Ads Clean Animation, relevant images & copy, Clear call to action Poor image quality, No adult content, no trademark violation
Video Ads Use acceptable format, Video should be public, clear content & call to action No data collection, No adult content, No copyright infringement

Similar to above do’s & Don’ts there are published guidelines for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram & LinkedIn.

Resources for creation of Text, Banner & Video Ads

All major Digital Marketing platforms offer free resources for creation & review of Digital Marketing Ads:

Google

  • Adwords Ad preview tool: https://goo.gl/2E2e6y
  • Display Ad Builder: https://goo.gl/THFQQA
  • YouTube Ad Builder: https://goo.gl/dxMth1

Facebook

  • Facebook ad builder & review tools: https://goo.gl/j3ZLwn

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn: https://goo.gl/ogv2qk

The above resources are really helpful while Digital Marketing Ads are being created. Digital Marketing Ads are providing a never before opportunity to advertisers of reaching out to relevant audience & providing engaging content. Curious to know how to make eye-catching ads, learn about different types of online ads.

Do share with us which type of digital marketing ads helped you attract your target audience. We’d love to hear your experience!

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