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Pathmatics Blog
Ad Intelligence 101 |


Best Digital Ads: 5 Tips for Successful Ad Campaigns

March 30 2018 by Ken Roberts
best ads in digital advertising
best ads in digital advertising

Low-cost digital ad creatives that produce impressions are key to creating the best digital ad campaigns.

In 2017, Comcast generated the most impressions of any advertiser (25,224,571,900). And here’s the kicker: Comcast spent $168 million less than the highest spender (Apple).

best ads in digital advertising


So, what’s their secret?

Thanks to data available in Pathmatics, we were able to unpack Comcast’s approach to advertising. It seems like their strategy is centered around concise, impactful creatives that communicate informative messages to a well-targeted audience. For example: Comcast’s top ad creative featured a straightforward Internet offer, showcasing the benefits of switching to XFINITY.

best ads in digital advertising

While every brand has its own unique voice and style, we’ve uncovered several universal steps you can take to create more memorable campaign. Read on for five tips to apply to your next campaign, and make your current one even better.

1. Understand Your Audience

Why advertise to an audience that has no interest in your message?

Ad creatives are effective when they target consumers who find your offer meaningful. If you sell car insurance, target car owners on sites like Autotrader. If you sell pet food, advertise on Chewy. The Comcast creative from earlier in this post appeared on an Amazon customer review page for a Samsung television. Comcast doesn’t sell consumer electronics; however, Comcast targets new television owners, knowing there’s a potential need for internet or cable service.

best ads in digital advertising

You’re bound to generate impressions when you target an audience already interested in your brand. Know your market, understand who you’re targeting, and ultimately add more value to your ad creatives.

2. Differentiate in the Details

In a sea of ads, the best creatives are the ones that stand out. You want your creative to captivate your audience and demand attention. When designing an effective creative, be intentional with every detail, including:

  • Headline: The best headlines are direct, clever, and generate powerful emotions. Entice your customers and encourage them to click on your offer.
  • Ad Copy: The ad copy should deliver on your headline. Make it clear and concise so the reader has a better understanding of what they are clicking on.
  • Images: Sometimes an image can be the best way to captivate your audience. Just don’t overcrowd your message.
  • Colors: Increase your ads visibility. Consider colors that stand out and really capture your consumer’s attention.
  • Call-to-action (CTA): This is the most important part of the display. Your main goal is to get the audience to click on your offer. Consider incorporating a CTA that looks like a button.

You may even want to strategically imitate your competitors here, borrowing the best of their headlines, copy, images, colors and CTAs.

3. Send a Clear Message

Sometimes less is more.

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A pair of headphones, half an iPhone screen, a logo, product title and a four-word CTA were all that Apple's most effective creative consisted of last year.

Now take a look at Samsung’s top creative from 2017. Looks somewhat similar, right?

pasted image 0 (6)

These multi-billion dollar corporations use basic design techniques to increase site traffic. Effective creatives communicate an offer in a brief, clear message.

The best digital ads are simple. Viewers are only going to glance at your ad for a second. Keep in mind the size, placement and hierarchy of your ad when design an effective creative. Successful creatives use the headline to tell the story and the copy to reinforce value.

4. Be Relatable

Relating back to the first tip in this post (re: Understand Your Audience), strive to create content that speaks directly to your buyer’s behavior, pain points or experiences. After all, the most effective ads are also the most accessible.

Consider the #JustAsk campaign from Amazon.

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Amazon incorporated common questions that relate to their consumers. This top creative is simple, but relatable at the same time. Consumers know what Amazon is advertising and understand the offer. Your creative doesn't have to be some extravagant production.

5. Monitor Your Results

Once you’ve designed and published your creative, it’s time to track your results. Consider using an ad intelligence platform, like Pathmatics, to follow key metrics. Record views, clicks, and impressions. Then, analyze the results and compare them with previous creatives. This will help you improve future creatives and strategies.

You can also watch your competitor's creatives. Insight into successful ad creatives will give you the information you need to build your next winning campaign. 

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About Author
Ken Roberts

Ken Roberts has been immersed in marketing and technology for over a decade, merging creative strategies with the latest technology, to bring products together with the people who need them. With degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and an MBA, Ken’s background in product management, marketing, sales, analytics and technology lends to his ability to attack product challenges on multiple levels. Ken began his career developing software solutions for medical records before transitioning to marketing. Ken focused on building marketing departments and operating in-house agencies. Ken’s experience with digital platforms, internet based marketing, lead scoring and business intelligence, and reporting, as well as a keen market understanding, are a welcome addition to Pathmatics, only matched by a leadership philosophy that encourages high creativity and ownership from his team.

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