How To Run Engaging Ads in the Digital Space

CATEGORY: Communication | Digital Marketing

If you do not live under a rock, you are no doubt being bombarded by hundreds of ads daily. As far back as 2007, research showed that a person living in the city saw an average of 5,000 traditional ads daily and this number has only increased over the years with the popularity of digital advertising channels.

It’s interesting to note that digital advertising has begun to receive the most spend, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital advertising refers to all advertising efforts published through any online platform such as websites, mobile apps, social media, etc.

This type of advertising is mainly through the internet and is more targeted and data-driven than its counterpart, traditional advertising. With digital ads, marketers and advertisers can reach their target audience where they spend time the most – online.

An important part of a brand’s strategy should be digital advertising, to grow the brand’s visibility and increase conversions. Running successful ads in the digital space requires that every aspect of the campaign be taken into consideration. We talked to our ads experts here in Anakle as well others in the industry and found that these tips make for a successful digital ad campaign.

Identify Your Audience

It is important to identify your target audience before kicking off an online campaign. No matter how generic a business is, it simply cannot target everyone. With proper research, brands should find out what the needs and interests of their audience are, what platforms they spend the most time on, and even their social status. Identifying all these will help the ad reach the right audience, alongside content that will appeal to them, and with an offer that suits them.

For example, if your brand offers B2B services, targeting Pinterest users will not be as effective as targeting LinkedIn users because LinkedIn allows you to build thought leadership in your field and specifically target business owners, based on their titles e.g CEO, Director etc. Pinterest on the other hand offers mainly visual content, which may not be enough to convince the target audience.

Determine the Ad’s Objective

An ad is a means to an end. The first step in running a successful digital campaign is first understanding the reason for the ad, in other words, determine the ad’s objective. It’s important to ask what the brand wants to achieve with the ad as this affects every other process such as which placements to use, who to target, and the call to action to include.

Think of this, if a brand makes an ad just to get their audience’s attention and gain trust, there may be no specific call to action. However, if it launches an app, a call to action like “Download Now” will be appropriate to drive downloads.

For example, in the wake of a successful merger, this Access Bank ad did not have a specific call to action because the objective was simply to create awareness and inspire trust. However, this OneBank ad, also executed by the Anakle team, had a “Download Now” call to action because the objective was to drive downloads with the end goal of acquiring new customers.

Budget Effectively

A budget influences the outcome of an ad campaign, from the creative elements to the platforms it runs on. An advertising budget is tied directly to the campaign objectives and affects its reach.

If the ad objective is to create brand awareness, the budget may not be as high as a conversion objective. For online campaigns, these platforms charge advertisers using different average cost models – CPC (cost per click) for clicks campaign, CPM (cost per a thousand impressions) for brand awareness campaigns, CPE (cost per engagement) for engagements like shares and comments, CPL (cost per leads) for signup campaign, etc.

Having a budget lets you evaluate each platform objectively so that you can know which platforms to invest the most resources to yield the most results.

Use Your Brand’s Creative Elements

Incorporate your brand’s visual elements in the ad. These visual elements could be your logo and colours to set it apart and make the ad easily recognizable and achieve top of mind awareness for the brand. It is also essential to ensure that the campaign creatives to be used fit the intended platform because the dimensions for a platform may be entirely different from other platforms and placements on the same platform can differ too.

For example, the recommended video dimensions for Facebook feed is different from the dimension for Facebook stories. Also, clean creatives should be a constant. You don’t want your brand to come off as shabby and of a low standard.

It is also best practice to have different versions of campaign assets to give room for A/B testing i.e if creative A doesn’t do well, creative B can also be promoted and results from both ads can be compared after a while to determine the best asset for the campaign.

Another hack is to ensure that campaign creatives do not have too many elements – images and texts – as this can be overkill. You want to grab the audience’s attention not distract them from your message. Lastly, ad copies should be as short, concise and attention-grabbing as possible.

Don’t Neglect Storytelling

A good story always sells because humans crave stories that resonate with their emotions. Ads shouldn’t just be beautiful pictures or videos, they should convey specific stories that are relatable, create an emotional connection, and lead the audience to take action. The story you tell should be relevant to your brand and appeal to the target audience of the ad.

The Going the Extra Mile for You ad by Access Bank did well because it told a relatable story, created an emotional connection with the choice of characters, had the right target audience, and was relevant to the brand. It’s also noteworthy that an ad that generates engagement and relatability will have more visibility and this will invariably lead to reduced cost/spend.

Set a Clear Call to Action(CTA)

A clear call to action needs to be included in your ad. As you make them an offer in the copy of your ad, be sure to include a call to action too. When people see your ad, a clear call to action may be what separates them from the desire stage to the conversion stage of their journey. A CTA may be as simple as “Learn More”, “Download Now”, “Sign Up”, etc. Whichever is the case, it should be easily recognizable to the viewer.

Keep an Eye on Your KPIs and ROI

Once your key performance indicators (KPIs) are set, you’ll need to monitor the ad to know what works and doesn’t. Keep track of your campaigns to ensure that you are getting the actual return on investment you want.

If you run an ad to generate leads for your business and all you get are likes, comments, and shares, the ad may do well but your ROI will not be met. As you track your metrics, you can see from where you get the most ROI and note what needs to change or improve.

One of the key benefits of digital advertising is that it is more cost-effective and allows for real-time monitoring, this way you know what works and what doesn’t so as to effectively optimise for better results. You can then implement necessary changes to meet the overall brand objectives.

Digital advertising demands constant learning and updates on trends and platform upgrades. Implementing these tips will certainly enhance your digital advertising strategy and help you beat the competition.

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