Even if you’re not starting an advertising agency, odds are you or someone at your business is responsible for the company’s ads and marketing. It’s important to regularly brainstorm creative ideas for such content, but sometimes you need a little extra help. That’s when turning to some of the top advertising blogs is a worthwhile endeavor.
Understanding current trends in the ad world can give you a competitive edge, whether in marketing, customer experience, public relations or social media. Staying up to date can also help you avoid a costly advertising fail. If you’re not sure where to start or you need a few more quality resources, we’ve compiled the best blogs to help you succeed with your next ad campaign.
Top 12 ad blogs to follow
When you consider that the average person may see up to 10,000 ads a day, according to PPC Protect, it’s essential that your business stands out. If you need inspiration, want to learn the latest ad tools or are curious about what the pros recommend, spend some time browsing the below advertising blogs.
Adland, the respected elder in the room, has been editorializing and curating the ad game since 1996, an eternity in the land of the skinny tie and martini lunch. That’s all the more remarkable when you consider the site is powered by donations and its contributors aren’t paid. The outlet boasts it has the “world’s largest Super Bowl commercial collection,” but the real reason to surf Adland’s decades’ worth of content is for its mix of advertising news; its database of print, radio and TV ads; and the spotlight it puts on some of the strangest marketing efforts you’ll ever see.
2. Ads of the World
Visiting the Ads of the World website is like perusing a virtual advertising museum, with quite possibly the most comprehensive archive of ads anywhere. The site, which calls itself the “largest creative advertising community on the internet,” recently got a makeover and now offers users the opportunity to create their own personal landing page, where they can make a “watchlist” of ads they want to view. With categories like “Creative Typography in Advertising” and “Great Minimalist Ads,” it’s impossible to walk away uninspired.
Adweek is a must-read for any professional in the advertising industry. The print publication was founded in 1979, and the brand launched its own blog network in 2015. Its offerings include AgencySpy, which promises to illuminate the “ad agency world from the inside.” In addition to its articles, Adweek regularly hosts events, such as its annual Brandweek Summit, but also provides webinars on B2B and B2C topics so business owners can learn advertising tips and tricks from the comfort of their own homes.
FYI: Short on time? Adweek has an “Ad of the Day” section that you can sort by most recent or most popular.
You most likely think of Amazon as a destination for online shopping rather than a place to get advice. But its ads blog is all about “empowering and inspiring advertisers both on and off Amazon with advertising insights, industry trends, and analysis from marketing leaders.” You can learn how to use Amazon’s own services, like Amazon Marketing Cloud, or get platform-agnostic advice, such as “2022 ad buying tips for marketers.” [Related article: Amazon Business Features Your Small Business Can Use]
IDEO is a global design agency with a history dotted with recognizable innovations – from designing the first manufacturable mouse for Apple in 1980 to creating an entire school system in Peru from the ground up. Their blog, playfully named “The Octopus,” helps you navigate society, technology and education all from a designer’s perspective. Its “Creative Tips + Tools” section promises “practical resources for bringing creativity into your life and putting it to work.” You can learn about visual storytelling (a key component of advertising), prototyping and more.
Are you thinking about spending four years of your life and $200K on a marketing degree? If it’s proficiency and not the piece of paper you’re after, bookmark MarketingProfs instead. It is a fantastic resource designed to teach just about every content and digital marketing facet while following emerging trends. All contributors are industry influencers vetted for expertise, and adding your name to the list of more than 600,000 current members is free.
Regardless of whether you’re a Mac or Windows user, Microsoft’s advertising blog has something for you. Scour the top “native advertising creative ideas,” or learn how to pull off holiday-themed campaigns. Sure, some of the content is tied to Microsoft’s own advertising solutions and products, but there are plenty of helpful insights shared each week – even an Apple fanatic will find them valuable.
Moz is an industry leader in SEO, but its blog content runs the gamut with one goal in mind: improving readers’ online marketing skills so that they can increase sales. The blog covers nearly 40 topics, from marketing psychology to e-commerce. Find out how to design inclusive content for your advertising pictorials or how to take advantage of social media trends. The site’s co-founder, Rand Fishkin, used to do a video blog post every Friday that was a favorite of digital marketers and prominent ad agencies. Moz continues in that vein today with its “Whiteboard Friday” series.
Oracle offers a suite of blogs on different subjects, including customer experience, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and, yes, advertising. There are more than a dozen in all, a reflection of the breadth of Oracle’s services. Its advertising blog is further broken down into sub-topics: audiences, campaign optimization, campaign planning, context, CPG (consumer packaged goods), culture, DMP (data management platform), industry insights, measurement and retail. The content is a mix of case studies, practical advice and explainers, with helpful information for entrepreneurs just starting out, business owners looking to scale and longtime executives who want to stay on top of innovations in the advertising space.
10. Seth Godin
In marketing circles, Seth Godin is so well-known that most people refer to him as simply Seth. But, if brevity is the soul of wit, then Godin, an author of nearly two dozen books, is one seriously witty guy. Most of his blog posts about publishing, entrepreneurship, marketing trends or digital marketing are only about 300 words – but that doesn’t stop Godin’s posts from being thought-provoking and poignant for marketers and everyday people alike. No wonder the blog receives 600,000 visitors every month. [See the best business blogs to emulate – like Godin’s.]
11. The Drum
The Drum has a global beat, with offices in Glasgow, London, New York and Singapore. It touts itself as the “third-biggest marketing website in the world.” Working with brands like Twitter, Apple and Facebook, The Drum believes that marketing can change the world. Its writing on the “latest & trending” is best for companies that do business internationally. The site makes it easy to change geographic locations by using a separate URL (e.g., thedrum.com/us) so that you can get curated content that suits the area of your business or client.
Unbounce is singularly focused on and passionate about landing pages. But even if you don’t want to spring for one of its marketing platforms, the company’s blog provides “expert advice to help you crush your next online marketing campaign.” That includes “The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Marketing” and “5 Ways to Build an Authentic Brand in 2022,” for example. There is also an “Unbounce Community” that business owners can join to take part in online forums.
Why you should follow top ad blogs
There are several benefits to frequently viewing top ad blogs. While some blogs focus on ad design or click-through rates, you can also find helpful information on advertising best practices, SEO and marketing management.
Keep up with trends.
As a business professional, you need to be a lifelong learner. Marketing is constantly evolving, and advertising blogs are one way you can keep current with trends and apply them to your company’s advertising efforts. The advertising industry continues to change, so you have to meet consumers where they are. The best advertising channels may be different for every company or niche, but trends can point you in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Spend time doing A/B testing on ads to determine which ad mediums and markets work best for you.
If you have pressure to go viral with your next marketing campaign, following successful ad blogs can help give you the inspiration and insight you need to go for ad gold. If you can make your social media content go viral, you can raise brand awareness, increase customer loyalty and show the human side of your business. There’s no better way to learn about viral advertising than through expert bloggers, many of whom have been there and done that.
Tip: If you’re interested in creating a blog for your company, make sure you’re writing meaningful, high-quality posts, much like the above blogs do.
Stay on budget.
Completing a successful marketing campaign is worth celebrating but can cause financial setbacks if the costs outweigh your overall reach. Well-rounded advertising blogs contain posts about the financial side of advertising, including how to budget and maximize profits for the campaign’s duration. However, even with such advice, you may also want to consider free ways to advertise.
Gain a competitive edge.
Business competition within your niche and even outside of it is one of the primary factors in your company’s success. Knowing how to use your ad dollars wisely, understanding how to connect to your audience and efficiently raising the ad bar can take your business to the top of the list. The blogs highlighted above can teach you how to do all three so your advertising and marketing efforts stand out in crowded landscapes.
Being responsible for all of a business’s advertising ideas can be mentally exhausting and quickly lead to burnout in the workplace. Recharge your creative spirit with quick snippets from your favorite ad blogs daily or weekly. Seeing the advertising world from different perspectives might spark an idea that can reignite your creative passion. If you or your team is lacking motivation, the ad collections hosted by these blogs are sure to inspire.
Timothy Schmidt contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.