Best Practices for Creatives

aka How to Make Sure Your Ad Gets Some Clicks

While these guidelines will not guarantee that your ad will be one of the top performers, they will definitely improve your odds.

1. Get to the point. Right away. Most users have the attention span of a hamster with ADD. You can’t take 10 seconds before you get to the message because no one is focusing on just your ad. So whatever the message and call to action are, make sure you get them up early.

2. Make sure there is movement–for all 15 seconds. Ads can animate for up to 15 seconds. Take advantage of each one of them. Ads with some type of movement or animation get noticed more often than static ads. It can be as subtle as a glowing effect.

3. There should be a clear call to action visible 100% of the time. The vast majority of the time it should be on the button.

4. Make the button irresistible to click. No one wants to click a flat gray button.

5. The last frame needs to make sense and be clear. By the time a page loads, the animation on your site may already be finished. So make sure that whatever is the last frame on your ad works completely by itself.

5. Interaction– use it whenever possible. Think of all the cool things you can do on an ad banner that you can’t do on a TV commercial. A scratch off game, a fun surprise when you mouse over a section, almost anything short of scratch and sniff. There are some great examples in Great Flash Ads.

6. Learn from the past. What have you (or others) done that worked really well before? Take a look at what made the ad so effective. Use that as inspiration (not copying) to help you come up other ideas.

7. Take a good look at the landing page (or website if that’s where the ad is clicking to). Does your banner look like it’s at least a second cousin once removed to the landing page? If it looks too different, users are going to assume that they clicked on the wrong ad. Make sure your banner has a nice flow into the landing page.

8. What gets people’s attention? Often times it’s a question. When thinking of headlines, think asking it as a question. Instead of “This is great for bad breath” how about, “Do you have bad breath?”

9. Eyes like eyes. Whether it’s a woman, a baby, or a cute puppy people’s eyes are drawn to other eyes. So think if you’re using a photo of someone, using a shot where the eyes are the focus.

10. Would you click/mouse over the ad if you didn’t create it? Imagine you are seeing this on a busy webpage and you are in a hurry. Are you noticing this? Interacting with it?

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