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6 tips to create great digital ads

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Traditional advertising had us creating huge ad campaigns at really expensive prices. Today, with social media marketing, programmatic ad marketing and search engine marketing, running digital ad campaigns is significantly cheaper but arguably more difficult.

In the digital space, your ads are placed among massive amounts of content. That means that your ads will be competing content shared by family, friends and other brands. It's a competition for your audience's time and attention. Your ad there needs to stop your target audience hot on their scrolling tracks and be engaging enough to divert their attention.

Creating great ads requires you to understand the basic workings of the digital spaces you will be advertising in coupled with deeply knowing your target consumer and some consumer psychology.

1. Speak to humans

As business people, our goal is to push conversions. On the flip side, a consumer's goal is to get the best value possible, or even get something for free. That is to say that, at our core, humans are selfish. Consumers want a no risk win. They want to know what you can do for them and not so much about you. Succeeding in a conversion will mean striking a balance between the two. Your ability to connect with your audience and speak to them stems from a strong understanding of who they are and what makes up their attitudes and behaviours.

Learn more about Digital Consumer Intelligence

2. Segment your audience

Not everyone is your target consumer; not everyone will buy what you are offering. Your target audience or target consumers are a group of people that are more likely to purchase your product or service. These group usually have similar traits. Take time to segment your audience and build a customer/audience persona.

Download a guide to building your buyer persona

This will help you better understand them and consequently communicate better to them. You may need to create multiple ads for different segments rather than a single one for multiple segments.

3. Write to an individual

It might be tempting to write to a general population, however, this is not ideal. On the other side of your ad is a single human. When you write your ad copy, it should speak to a single person on the other side and should match your visuals contextually. It will be more personalised and increase the likelihood of conversion.

4. Think mobile first

When it comes to digital ads, you need to think about how and where people are viewing your ads. Most content is consumed on mobile devices.

This means that you need pay close attention to how your ad will appear in terms of size, orientation, the sizes of your buttons etc.

5. Be bold

Sometimes your brand guidelines and toolkits may seem restrictive. However, it is all about understanding colour psychology, which fonts to use, which images to use and which words to make bold. Do your keyword research and ad copy optimisation.

6. Test

Don't waste money. Consider testing your ads before running them. Create multiple ads and test them to see which ads resonate more with your target audience.


Remember, with ads, sometimes less is more. Keep your ads simple and significant. Stick to a single call-to-action per ad and always lead with value.

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