Last updated on May 21st, 2018
In the world of advertising, there’s nothing new under the sun. Still, we come across creative ads every day that grabs our attention. Are all these effective banner ads coming out of pure creativity of the designers? Not always.
Under the hood of creativity, there are some basic principles that the designers follow to craft those perfect ads. In this article, we’ll present 6 effective tips for designing better digital ads even when your creativity is not at its peak.
Before we begin, keep in mind that even well-designed ads may fail to grab viewers’ attention if you are targeting the wrong audience. Also, apart from the basics, the design principles largely depend on your business type and the level of personalisation you can apply to your ads.
Here Are 6 Effective Design Tips To Create Banner Ads
01. Prioritize And Structure The Elements Of Your Banner Ads Properly:
Most of the online ads are made of banners. To get the best out of them, you should follow a proper design structure and prioritize the elements in the right order. Each banner ad design should have four parts:
a. Your company name/logo
b. The value proposition
c. A visual representation of your service/image
d. A call to action button
The most visually distinguishable part of the ad should be the value proposition and the call to action button. Place the company logo around one of the edges of the banner – preferably at the top-left corner. The image must be relevant and attractive but it shouldn’t obscure other elements of the ad.
The size of your banner ads also matters. The following table shows the standard dimensions of different banner ads:
You can also check the Google’s Guide to ad sizes here.
2. Use A Bold Call To Action Button:
A relevant call to action button does two important things:
a. Reduces friction for the customers
b. Increases click through rate of your ad
The best position for a call to action button is the lower right side of your ad. Like we mentioned before, it should visually contrast with rest of the ad elements.
For online ads, it’s better to have a clear and direct call. Familiar examples are: Sign up, Buy now, Subscribe etc. Though the subtle or clever call to actions are often used in other forms of advertisements, it’s better to avoid those techniques here.
Here are some more practical tips on designing call to action buttons:
- Make the call to action button distinct and easily recognisable. It should be shaped as a rectangle (maybe with rounded edges).
- Don’t make the call to action button too small to notice. But neither make it too big compared to the other parts of the ad.
- Along with the button size, also keep an eye on the font. The call to action text should be easily readable. Otherwise, the viewers may ignore it.
- It’s better if the text of the call to action can create a sense of urgency. Some of the words that you can add are – Today, Now etc.
- Using terms like “Show me”, “Sign me up” sometimes works better than “Click here” or “Sign up”. Though this is not a concrete rule, usually the pronouns You, Me etc. grab people’s attention easily.
03. Chose Your Images Wisely:
You certainly know the image of your ad needs to attract the viewers. But it should also be kept relevant to the ad.
Here are some tips on choosing the perfect image –
a. Don’t use photos if you don’t need:
Custom graphics are quite popular nowadays. So, if you think a graphical imagery will work better for you ad instead of a photograph, just go for it.
Using typography is another trend in ad design. Example:
Custom typography can help your ads stand out.
b. Apply filters and graphics to photographs:
Filtering (i.e. tastefully altering the colour balance and contrast) a photo can make it stand out and become more eye-catching. You may also like to combine graphical design with photographs to create even more eye-catching visuals.
c. Use location specific images if possible:
For many online ads, (especially the ones in social media) it’s possible to know the location of the viewers. You can target specific ads to specific locations and use images accordingly. For example: if your company has an office in Melbourne and another in New York, you may have two versions of ads featuring different location specific images. This way, the viewers will find your ads more relevant.
d. Photographs of happy face work:
In multiple research, it has been found that our minds are easily drawn to other human faces, especially the happy ones. So, if you’re using human photographs in your ad, make sure they are smiling and looking right at the viewers.
04. Use The Right Combination Of Colors:
The choice of color is a crucial point for designing banner ads. Each color represents a specific type of emotion. It’s actually quite difficult to select the perfect color combination because it depends on your brand, target audience and advertisement type.
Still, it’s possible to figure out some general rules regarding color choice in online ads. Usually, the younger people are attracted to colors with long wavelengths (lighter colors). Older people prefer darker colors.
More often than not, the color used in your ads should be related to your products. For example: green is a great choice for natural products. Purple is good for high-end items. The background color of the ad significantly influences how the text and buttons appear to the viewers.
The following chart may give you a rough guideline on the moods of different colors. But representations like these aren’t always accurate.
05. Feature Metaphoric Or Surreal Visuals:
Though online ads should aim to make their main messages quickly understandable, using metaphoric or surreal visuals often prove to be effective.
Here are two examples:
These type of ads never fail to grab attention. But you should be careful so that the main message doesn’t get lost and viewers easily get what your ad is trying to express. The rule of thumb is – If you can show, don’t tell. But otherwise, use text.
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06. Create A Sense Of Movement:
Though ads can contain animation, adding a subtle sense of movement to a static image adds elegance to it. Movements make your design dynamic though the frame is static. And this grabs the attention of the viewers very easily.
Also, try to include leading lines in the design. Leading lines point the viewer’s eyes to a certain direction and makes sure they notice all the important parts of your ad.
Here’s an example:
As advertisements are one of the core elements of your marketing process, you should give every effort to design better ads. The tips we mentioned above are certainly not comprehensive. What works best for your brand and audience can only be found by you.
One of the important things to remember while designing online ads is the relevancy. Your ad and your landing page must have a similar pattern so that the ad doesn’t look completely different from the design of your website. When a customer clicks on the ad they shouldn’t reach to something totally different from the visual style of the ad itself.
The main challenge of ad design is to blend creativity and marketing messages in a proper way. Despite having similar products, ads can create as much difference as between success and failure for businesses of all types. We hope you’ll find the above tips to be useful for generating design ideas. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.