Intro to ad design

If you've never designed an ad before it can be difficult to know where to start. In this post we introduce you to the concept of ad design.
Feb 28, 2020 • 3 minute read
Zohaab Ishrat @zohaab85
Technical Co-pilot
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Never designed an ad before? Start here

A good advertisement is not an annoying disruption. It intrigues you and compels you to learn more about the product or service. In this post we will walk you through the process of designing an effective ad.

Step 1: Know your product and audience

Before you start designing, you need to know the product you are designing for inside out.

Learn the strengths & the weaknesses of the product understand the tone of the brand. The type of analysis is called SWOT analysis, it makes it easy to understand and carry out with your work. 

Also consider the audience you are going to target. For example, if you are designing an ad for a gaming company then your target audience will be gamers that are typically of a younger demographic. How well you know your audience determines the success of failure of your ad campaign. Just imagine if Mark Zuckerberg initially targeted the elderly to join Facebook, it probably would not be in existence today. 

Step 2: Know your competitors

You must know your opponents and study their tactics so that you can come up with an even better ad campaign. 

Make a list of your top 10 competitors and save screenshots of all of their ads you find online. Make sure you also take a look at their social media pages for any sponsored posts.

Try to identify a common pattern in their advertising style, it may indicate that they have found an advertising formula that works best for your audience

Step 3: Choose your marketing channels

Not all marketing channels are fit for every advertising campaign. If your ads require deeper explanation then perhaps the short form social media ads will not work well for you. Once you have chosen your platform, you can start designing ad content that's specifically optimized for that channel

Step 4: Design your ad

Now comes the most difficult yet lengthy step. This is the step where you start designing the ad. 

When writing content for your ad fewer words are best. The aim is to intrigue your audience just enough to compel then to click through to your landing page

Give them half of what the product has to offer and then prompt them to click the "read more button" to continue reading. Once clicked they will be directed to your landing page

If you're posting a banner ad use a white background because white is easy on the eyes and it gets the attention of the viewers. For this reason Toyota always uses a white color car in its commercials because it subconsciously grabs attention.  

The next thing to keep in mind is the importance of design elements. In fact a majority of your ad real estate should be dedicated to beautiful design elements with text occupying the least amount of space.

Step 5: Be memorable 

When designing an ad, try to add some abstract elements tol make the audience remember it. The human memory preferences odd things. When you have an abstract dream and you wake up the next day, the only thing you are most likely to remember is the odd thing about your dream and you will forget the rest. Similarly, this rule applies here too.

Step 6: Use beautiful pictures 

Like any other presentation, you can always attract more audience when you add great pictures. So, pick your pictures carefully and pick content that is simple and easy to understand. Although the idea of using big & bold words seems appealing, in reality, it is a very bad idea. People lose interest in things they can’t process. 

Final thoughts

Designing a compelling ad is hard, so don't expect to get it right the first time. Track the progress of all of your ads and design variations  so that you can slowly iterate towards a winning ad. No one is born a great designer, they learn it with time. So, be patient and practice. Good luck!

 

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