Designing a Knockout Ad: 4 Ways to Make Yours More Eye-Catching

Whether used in print or online, designing an ad is all about one thing: delivering a message that drives a prospect to become a customer.

Most companies change their ad designs over time to reach new and changing audiences. As your company's profile changes, your market matures, and your product offerings grow, your advertising and marketing efforts should evolve to suit your needs.

You know that your audience has a finite amount of attention, so you want to make it worth their while to give you some of it. To that end, it's important that your message be succinct and simple.

Here are four tips for keeping your ad on-target:

  • Is it big enough? Keep in mind the size of your ad. The message you can communicate in a full-page ad is somewhat different from the message you communicate in a one-column filler ad. And determining content for that 100x160 pixel web ad calls for a different approach than designing a popup window with animation. Small ads can work well, so talk to your agency about ways to make less look like more.
  • What do you want it to do? What business problem are you trying to solve with this ad? Answering that question drives the content for your design. If you're looking for more visits to your store, invite people to it. If you want people to remember the name of your new product, make it look and sound appealing. If you want to announce a new service you're offering, say that.
  • How important is it? Not everything in your ad will be equally important, so keep that in mind when creating your ad. Think about what will sell your message and focus on that, then prioritize the rest of your info and plan accordingly. If you're selling web design services, you probably want to direct prospects to your own website, so make that part of your ad prominent.
  • Does it look right? Keeping in mind the business problem you've just identified and the audience you want to reach, be sure your design concept demonstrates the right message. The point of advertising is to communicate a message, so don't fall in love with form over function. It's important to communicate both verbally and visually, so if you're talking about how your organizing system minimizes the chaos in a customer's life, don't use an image of a person with a messy house.

Work closely with your agency to learn more about how to create an ad that is appropriate to your audience and that causes your prospects to become customers.

Next month, we'll discuss ways to get the most from your radio and TV marketing.