New Book: Roadmap For Starting a Business

Easy Guide to Ads That Really Work

business creative marketing Aug 21, 2020

Think about the last ad that positively grabbed your attention. Maybe it was a sponsored post or story on Instagram, a video that played on YouTube, or even a pop-up on a website asking you to sign up for a newsletter. 

Was it funny? Loud with large fonts? Busy with loads of colors and graphics?

Whatever the defining factors were, it did its job. Out of the 5,000 ads you saw that day, that was the one that stuck with you.

Now think about your business. Are you producing the types of ads that jump out to people or do they forget them as soon as they evaporate?

The Fix: Quality Ads

Let’s establish something first. As a small business, you do not need a huge budget to produce memorable ads. They aren’t the result of grand and flashy production, but rather they’re created from smart insights and a focus on the potential customer’s needs.

What makes an ad great?

A quality, memorable ad should aim to engage viewers. Its goal is to make potential customers stop and perform some kind of action, whether it’s following a link or entering a store. Various methods can be used to achieve the desired result, including creating a sense of urgency, showcasing testimonials, using data points, or by telling a captivating story.

6 Components of a Quality Ad

  1. Search Engine Compatibility - If you are looking to place an ad with Google search results, it will be ineffective without the use of keywords. Use language that clearly shows what you are selling so the customer isn’t confused. For small businesses, it’s smart to use the name of their industry or type of product as keywords, especially within niche markets. 

    For example, Taylor owns a brand of natural makeup products. When creating her ads, she must think about what the end user will search for (organic makeup, natural foundation, cruelty-free beauty, etc.) and include those terms in her ad. 

  2. Solve a Problem. Your product or service exists because it solves the problem or need of a target audience. Effective advertising subtly lets potential customers know that this is the solution to their problems.

    In Taylor’s case, her target audience consists of women 18-35 who are looking for affordable, natural makeup products offered in sets so they don’t have to shop around for every product individually. In order to show that her brand solves this customer need, Taylor’s Instagram feed ad features a minimalistic display of her products sets with prices and keywords such as organic, natural, and cruelty-free. The customer can see without a doubt that these products have the features she is looking for at a price point she can afford. 

  3. Ask questions or make bold statements. Posing a question or making a jarring revelation that intrigues your customer will grab their attention enough to make them stop and view the entirety of the ad. Start by recognizing a pain point your target audience has and present it through a question or statement. 

    Taylor’s target customers are generally concerned about the amount of harsh chemicals present in beauty products. In one of her ads, she opens with the statement, “Do you know what’s on your skin?” Then goes on to say, “Your favorite foundation contains over 10 potentially harmful chemicals.” This copy draws the reader in by peaking their curiosity and making them slightly worried.

  4. Highlight testimonials. Using customer experience as the basis of an ad makes your product or service more reputable by showing that there are actually people who use it. Your potential customers are also more likely to be able to relate to your offering when they see that people “like them” have seen results.

    To capitalize on this factor, Taylor can create an ad showing the before and after photos of a customer who has seen notable results from her products.

  5. Create urgency with a clear call-to-action. People are generally procrastinators and when they think they can come back to something later, they probably will put it off. Even if your ad resonates with a customer on all fronts they might not act upon it if there isn’t a sense of limited time or they aren’t clear on what the next step should be. 

    Taylor created an ad focusing on a one-day sale. In her ad copy, she made sure to highlight that the offer was only “valid today” and that the viewer should click “purchase now” in order to secure the great deal.

  6. Include data points. Numbers, statistics, and other data can help your ad seem more reliable and product high-quality. The numbers don’t have to be complex or intensely researched, but they should tell the story you are representing.

    Taylor decides to promote a blog post on Twitter that lists out the top skin irritants found in common skin care and makeup products. In the ad copy, she says, “48% of products contain these 10 skin irritants. Click on the link for our list of what not to buy.”

Our last bit of advice? When creating an ad, ask yourself if what you’re putting out there would engage you enough to stop your scrolling.

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