You have done your research, you now have your digital marketing plan, have set your budget, have carefully chosen the most relevant platforms and you know who you want to target with your digital campaign. Now it’s time for the really hard work! This isn’t us being flippant but did you know that, according to marketing research company Yankelovich, Inc the average person gets exposed to in excess of 5,000 advertisements each day? With such heavy competition, to get your brand and your message noticed and acted upon to deliver the best return on investment, it is essential that your digital advertisement creative sets you head and shoulders above your competitors. Think of your marketing plan as if you are attending a sales exhibition and you are one of 5,000 traders. What do you need to do to make sure your business gets noticed first, and gets that introduction, handshake, and opportunity to sell. Our creative guide below covers some of the key areas to consider that we have learned from our careers in delivering effective digital marketing campaigns.

1) Plan your creative set for the specific platform: What we mean by this is not running the same ad format and message if you are running across a multitude of platforms such as facebook, Instagram, snapchat, google search etc. Each of these platforms have different character limits on headlines, body copy, calls to action and imagery. They also have different algorithms that will determine whether your message gets seen due to how it is written in accordance to what the platforms know deliver the best end user response, and other considerations such as whether your target audience prefers to engage with video rather than still or animated imagery. Doing the hard work up front and developing creatives to fit each platforms’ requirements is a key area in getting best value from your budget. If this sounds too much work for a campaign that is set to run across many platforms then prioritise doing the detail on those platforms that according to the target audience are most likely or proven to deliver your ROI.
2) Plan your creative set for the specific devices: Further to the point above most platforms will produce different advertisement styles and layouts on mobile than they will on desktops or other devices. If your analytics tell you that the majority of your converting customers are on mobile then your mobile creatives need the most love and attention.
3) Make your brand stand out: Considering that, in general, around 2% to 5% of people will go on to buy or make an enquiry from that initial website visit then there is significant potential wastage in your digital marketing budget spend. Obviously people may not immediately enquire as they are taking time to research etc so it is essential that your brand is remembered and consistent across your campaign, website and other marketing. It is estimated that around 90% of people searching don’t have a brand in mind when starting their buying process so make sure that you are one of the 20% that is known. This means your core brand image, and message being delivered dominantly and consistently in all creatives and that your social and review footprint supports this. In my career the customers who had the most success were the ones that were most passionate and demanding about how their brand was delivered. A simple but effective test is to show your creatives to friends or colleagues and ask them to recall the core key elements of the advertisement and check whether their recall matches your messages intent. Most notably what’s for sale? why should I buy it? who do I get it from? Why should I buy it from them? how do I get it?
4) Try not to be too cute or cryptic; make your creative relevant to the audience you are targeting: If your online campaign is working in conjunction with a less targeted campaign (radio, local press etc) then we would recommend keeping the core imagery, colour scheme, and brand treatments consistent with those, but take the message to the next step. After all you are targeting them based on their interests and recent online behaviours so you can begin to address some of the reasons why you and your offer best suits them rather than just introducing yourself to them. Vague or cutesy and cryptic messaging with a targeted campaign will still be of value but it will burn through your budget and leads where it could be more effective. Focus on your unique selling points and driving home who you are and why they should buy your product from you. If your campaign has several different target audiences with different needs and products to buy then address these with a relevant creative set too.
5) Sell the experience don’t just show the product: Developing on the point above we have found that the best campaigns showcase the end customer experience rather than just the product the business wants to sell to them. Think of a major car maker. Their advertisements might talk through some of the technical elements but the focus is always on the experience and the visuals support this. So make an effort to show the product in action, tell the end user how it is going to resolve their problems and improve their lives, and don’t forget to tell them why you are best suited to help them.
6) It’s not where you’re at, it’s where you are: If you are a local business targeting people in the local area then don’t assume that they know who and where you are. Unless you are saturating, or have historically been across every conceivable media, then don’t assume that people will know that you’re on their doorstep. The internet is a global marketplace for advertisers and whilst many may be able to beat you on price or delivery the one thing that you may have is convenience, a physical place they can visit, and peace of mind should they ever need your help. This is a fundamental selling point that many smaller organisations ignore so make sure that you don’t.
7) Click here for… Your call to action on your creatives is the final key step. Do you want them to call, visit your store, buy online, sign up for an offer? Whatever it is then make sure that the end user can do that easily and that your landing page of your advertisement allows them to do the thing or get the information that you’ve promised. You don’t just want to run a great digital adverting campaign that gets website visitors, you want to run a great digital marketing campaign that fills your sales pipeline.
8) Don’t neglect advertisement exhaustion: Have you ever been hit with the same advertisements long after you have lost interest in the business or product – almost to the point of annoyance and damage to the brand? This is a key area where businesses lose leads and waste budget. It is not just the potential customers that will get tired of the same advertisements being shown time and time again, the platforms will too. A lot of the major advertisement server algorithms focus on delivering campaigns when people continue to engage with them. So if your campaign creatives are not kept fresh and begin to lose engagement then your message will soon melt into the crowd. Your budget will still be used but it will be used in trying to find any customer rather than the right customer.

All of this may seem like a lot to consider but in the right experienced hands they are a given. So if you are starting out on your digital marketing plan make sure that you give your digital creatives the right love and attention that they deserve if you want to squeeze every last bit of sweat from your investment. Anyone can create an account and access most of the major digital marketing platforms these days and it’s the targeting and creative execution that will help you to get the best value, and best customer introductions ahead of your competitors. The following takeaways are where you can stand out:

  1. Design creatives specifically for the ad platform
  2. Design creatives specifically for devices
  3. Make sure your brand identity is prominent in all environments
  4. Address the targeted audiences needs
  5. Use of visuals that showcase the customer experience and benefits
  6. Tell them where you are and how to find you
  7. Make sure they can get what they need on the ad click
  8. Make sure your keep your messages up to date and refreshed

If you follow the above tips and points of consideration then we are confident that, in the virtual sales expo that is the digital marketing landscape, your business will begin to stand out more amongst the 5,000 other sales opportunities presented to each potential customer every day.

For more advice on creative services in the digital marketing world please feel free to get in touch today


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