Ads are everywhere—on newspapers, magazines, TV, websites, mobile apps, billboards, and more.
As a business, this makes it challenging for you to stand out, and the last thing you want to do is spend money on bad ads that won’t generate any leads or sales.
This is why it’s important to learn what makes for an effective ad. Only then can you expect to gain new leads and customers.
So here are the top 8 ingredients of an effective ad:
A powerful headline (and subheadline)
Every ad starts with a headline. This is the line at the top that catches readers’ attention first, and it’s the most important part of the ad.
Why? Because if the headline isn’t good, readers won’t bother reading the rest of the ad. They’ll ignore it.
A good headline needs to be direct and to the point. It should tell readers exactly what your offer is.
But don’t write clickbait. Your headline needs to deliver on any promises it makes when someone chooses to click on it.
The same goes for the subheadline. It appears underneath the headline and is typically smaller. It gives more detail on your product or service for those that want to learn more.
Humans are visual creatures. 90% of the information we absorb is visual, and we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
Use this to your advantage by including stunning graphics in your ads. These will help attract attention and draw people into the ad copy.
Show a photo of your product in action. If you sell soccer balls, for example, show someone kicking one into a goal.
Next, your ad needs to focus on benefits. People don’t care about you or your product’s features. They want to know what’s in it for them.
Another way to put this is people only care about gaining pleasure or avoiding pain. So your ad should cater to at least one of these two incentives.
Targeted ad placement
Choose an ad platform like Google Ads or Facebook Ads to publish your ad. The right platform will depend on your audience. Where are they most likely to be online?
Whichever platform you choose, be sure to follow their ad rules like character count limits. Violations could get your account suspended and require you to go through a lengthy process to reverse the suspension.
An assurance of low risk
Most people are risk-averse, especially when it comes to their money. We don’t like taking chances with our hard-earned dollars.
To help appease this fear, make your offer as risk-free as possible. In fact, try to show that not taking you up on your offer is actually more risky (aka risk-reversal).
For example, you could offer a free trial on your software for a limited-time only. The implication is those who don’t act now will lose out on a potential benefit.
In short, you want to make an irresistibleirresistable offer that readers can’t refuse.
An appeal to urgency
Your ad should include an appeal to urgency to help entice readers to act now. This could be a limited-time offer or discount, something with a deadline.
That way, your ad will inject a feeling of scarcity, which tells people that now is the time to make a move.
Strong testimonials from past clients help build trust with new prospects. They show that customers are satisfied with your business and that others should be, too. So leverage social proof in your ads when possible.
A call to action (CTA)
Lastly, every ad needs a strong call to action (CTA). This could be a phone number to call, a website link to click, or an address to visit.
The CTA usually appears at the end of the ad and shows readers what the next step is. Make it explicit. Otherwise, you’ll leave readers hanging and won’t win them as customers.
Putting it all together
At the end of the day, an effective ad is a result of trial and error. Combine as many of the above elements as you can and see what works.
Crafting a killer ad takes time and practice. But once you do, it will turn prospects into customers and help you generate more revenue for your business. So start practicing today!
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