Throwing together a quick static image or an animated visual for a campaign is easier than ever in today’s advertising world. But a not-so-well-thought-out design can tank an ad’s performance and leave you further from your goal. The finished design is only part of the process. Thinking of who you are marketing to, the design style you want to go for, and the journey the user has after they click on the ad are all things you should be considering when creating your next design for advertising.
Less is more
While big effects and flashy graphics are appealing, they might actually stray your user away from the purpose or goal of your ad. Sometimes minimalism done right can minimize distraction and catch your audience’s attention while driving them to take the desired action.
Don’t be afraid of stock
While original imagery, graphics, and videography is likely your best bet, it’s expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes impossible. Don’t be afraid to use stock; it’s there for you to use (legally, of course), and what really makes a difference is how you can refine it & make it your own. Stock imagery and iconography might be your best bet to create something thumb-stopping for your campaigns.
Constancy > Creativity
Just like the voice and tone of your brand should be kept consistent, so should your creative. Hold your brand guidelines close to your mouse as you design graphics for upcoming campaigns. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with design elements and push the boundaries, but don’t break the brand to where it’s unrecognizable.
When creating graphics for ads, match your creative to the landing page to ensure consistency, so the user journey is seamless.
Get weird with it
While being consistent is important, it’s okay to push boundaries while staying within the brand guidelines. Don’t let the monotony of repetitiveness hold you back from doing something that will make an impact.
Remember visually hierarchy
Use your design to your advantage. Don’t just catch a user’s attention with fonts, colors, and visuals; leverage their attention and bring them where you want them to go. Use your elements to point them in the direction of a button, the CTA, text, or the element that will help you reach your goal.
If it’s a popular style, it’s already outdated
Imagine a black square. Inside that square is a modern-esque font with the tracking spaced out with the sale name. Underneath it in smaller letters is the discount of the sale. Two lines flank the smaller line, so it matches the width with the top line. On the bottom of the page is the logo, not too big, but not too small. Could you imagine that? It’s because it’s overdone. While not a bad design, if your goal is to stand out, stray away from traditional design tropes.
Good quality photos make all the difference
Not all of us have access to professional photographers or a stockpile of amazing product shots. And that’s okay. Just ensure the stock photography you are using matches the rest of your design.
When creating ads for campaigns, keep the timeline in mind. Avoid ad fatigue on long-running campaigns by swapping out the creative or even AB design testing. The variance helps keep the ad relevant and interesting to a user.
Design to your audience
Your 90-year-old grandma will probably not have the same interests as your 10-year-old kid, right? So why would you design those types of things similarly? Language & visuals can alter with any number of socio-economic factors.
Remember the visual journey
Designing for ads goes outside the ads, especially if they lead to a website or landing page. If you have control over it, you should ensure that whatever precedent you set for one element of the user journey should be carried through to the best of your ability.
Designing for your audience takes time and strategy. Consider applying these tips to your next campaign to help better reach your marketing goals.