Most internet users have had the experience of having an ad from a site they were previously browsing pop up on the next site they visit. It’s kind of impressive, right?
This technique is called remarketing, and it's valuable because it allows a business to continue the conversation with a potential consumer in the target audience. If a customer visited a website once, odds are they were at least contemplating purchasing from the site at one point. Through remarketing, the brand is able to maintain a presence in front of prospective buyers, which leads to higher conversions and sales.
Remarketing only works well if you have well-designed ads. After all, if you follow someone around the internet constantly bringing an ugly ad to their attention, you may end up with the opposite of your intended result: someone who is turned off your brand instead of drawn back.
To help you design the perfect ad, I’ve compiled a list of 10 must-know tips for effective remarketing campaigns.
1. Include your logo
You’d be surprised how many ads do not keep the logo in mind when designing. Your logo must be included, and you must keep this in mind throughout the entire design process. You don’t want to just add your logo as an afterthought and realize that it doesn’t match the color spectrum or throws off the design in some way. Include the logo in your design sketch or wireframe and be aware how it fits in with the other ad components as you add them.
2. Present a call to action
A strong call to action is vital in getting the click. In my experience, it is better to make the call to action an actual button or block on the ad. The color should be bright or in contrast to the backing colors so that it pops and is obvious to the eye. The text should be bold and in a large font. Test that the call to action copy, e.g., Shop Now! or Buy Here!, is large enough to be visible on any size ad.
3. Focus on product
Product-focused ads using product images are more successful, in my experience, than lifestyle images of people simply using the product. For the most part, especially when it comes to tech products, the product should remain the focus of the ad. A possible exception to this rule is fashion, where lifestyle shots are effective.
4. Write promo copy
Make sure to include copy for any promotions that are currently being offered. This includes any discounts or sales, etc. Also, if you offer “Free 2-Day Shipping” or any other benefits, include them.
5. Consider price
This can be a little tricky if you are offering a premium product at the upper end of the price spectrum. In that case, you may consider not including the price on the ad. But if your brand is price-driven rather than quality-driven, absolutely include the price on your ad. If there is more than one price being offered for a product niche, use the lowest, e.g., "Sweaters starting at $39.99." Also, if a significant discount or sale is underway, it’s useful to list the original price with a slash through it to display the savings.
6. Make it eye-catching
This is probably the most important aspect to consider and the most difficult to give clear direction. This facet of ad creation is very much context driven. To succeed at creating something eye-catching requires an in depth knowledge of your customer base and demographics. What else are they interested in? What do they do for fun? What kind of music do they listen to? What kind of fashion styles are big right now? Basically you want to get your finger on the pulse of the current moment’s hip aesthetic and innovate upon that to appeal to an ever-evolving consumer base.
7. A/B test your ad
I recommend designing 3 to 4 different banner ad sets to start. Then do some A/B testing, loading two at a time and analyzing the results. A specified number of impressions and clicks is key to determining which ad served best.
Once you determine which ad proved most successful, pause the other set and load a new set to test using the same strategy as the previous test. After 3 to 5 tests are finished, you’ll have a clear idea about which kinds of ads work best for your audience. Use the template or formula from the successful ads for future ad design.
8. Design for size (and for Google)
There are a few standard ad sizes that most ads take, e.g., boxes, skyscrapers, banner ads, etc. Many of these ad sizes, to the unfamiliar, may appear to be obscurely shaped. It’s important to read up on the different sizes of ads before you start designing. This will save you a load of headaches when working with various ad platforms.
If you're using Google Remarketing through Adwords for your campaigns, keep in mind that Google has very strict guidelines on the size (pixels) of ads.
9. Analyze your competitors
Before you even contemplate designing, it is imperative that you analyze the industry leaders in your niche and take note of the types of ads they are using. It is likely that companies with much larger budgets have already done numerous rounds of A/B testing and research. Learn from them and innovate upon them. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
10. Keep your branding cohesive
Lastly, you want to keep in mind the general aesthetic and tone of your brand when creating any new ad. Use consistent fonts, colors and overall design aesthetic so that your consumer base immediately recognizes your brand when an ad presents itself.
Now that you’ve got the basics of ad remarketing design under your belt, it’s time to start doing some research, designing and A/B testing! Good luck!
Photo credit: designer491/Shutterstock