Your advertising sucks: 7 tips for effective online advertising

Look, we’re not saying your ad sucks. Maybe it’s really good. It is perhaps advertising that trumps all advertising – engaging and effective advertising to convert viewers and visitors into paying customers.

What we’re saying is this: Judging from what we’ve seen on the internet, there’s a chance your ad sucks. It may not be very effective at persuading or converting, and that means it’s not an ad worth having.

Never scared; We are here to help you. Here are seven (seven!) helpful tips you can use to turn your online ad from dud to dynamite.

The solution is your middle name

Want a killer ad? It’s simple – offer a solution.

Solutions are the alpha and omega of good advertising. Every ad you post should offer a tangible, concrete solution to your prospects. It can be knowledge; it can be a service; it can be an awesome product that solves a million problems. Whatever your solution, present it prominently from the start, so people can say, “You know what, this is exactly what I need!”

Call Me Mr. (or Mrs.) Interactive

What do people like to do on the Internet? If you said “Watch cat videos” you would be right. If you also said “Interact”, you would be doubly right.

An interactive ad, which encourages a certain level of user engagement and activity, is a strong ad. We have seen them all; ads that ask us to enter a zip code, click a button, or enter a word. These ads resonate because they actively involve us in the process (and, honestly, give us something to click on. We’re like monkeys with shiny objects. We click on anything.)
If you can make your ad interactive, you’re already halfway to click town.

Call your customers to action

Another great tip (we’ve got plenty of that today) is: include calls to action in your ads.

We all know what an effective call to action can do. But sometimes we forget (!) to include them in our copy. Evil. Shame on us.

Be sure to include a strong call-to-action that tells your ad viewer exactly what you want them to do. Be clear and unequivocal. Most of the time you want them to click. But, you have to explain why they click. If you want an email address or any other information, you must also specify it. Just saying “Click here” is not enough. You have to say why – and do it very directly.

Be specifically specific

What’s one of the worst things you can do to cause your ad to suck? Be vague and general.

The devil is in the (specific) details. Describe exactly who you are and what you offer. Detail, to the letter, the benefit you offer. Specificity is what helps turn a good ad into a great one because people want specifics. They don’t want to guess what an advertisement or business is. If people start guessing, they start walking – walking away from you with their wallets in tow.

Stand out from the crowd and be different

The market is so incredibly saturated that every industry has a million and one companies all competing for the same pool of customers. From the customer’s perspective, the market is flooded; every option and offer looks exactly alike.

With such an environment, how can anyone be expected to know how awesome you are?

That’s why we differentiate. You need to do something that helps you stand out from the crowd. What makes you unique? What do you offer that no one else offers? Think carefully – if you can figure that out and put it in an ad, you’re already on your way to victory. And victory, my friends, is sweet.

“I can get what for what?”

One of the reasons people find ads useful is that they are looking for something and the ads have the potential to deliver them.

You know what people are really looking for? Discounts. Offers. Coupons. Something that gives them a lot – something that makes them (metaphorically) slap themselves in amazement. Presenting a good deal is one of the best ways to create a winning ad. It doesn’t have to be a discount either; you can offer something useful in return, like a white paper or video. You want them to think there’s an incentive to click on your ad – or even pay attention to it in the first place.

power to the people

Finally, if you really want awesome advertising, try a trick that many advertisers have found: use people.

Pictures are good, but people, that’s where it’s at. Ads with human faces are on average more engaging than those without. The more interesting the face, the more people will pay attention to it.

If you want extra credit bonus points, pair a customer’s photo with a brief quote from a testimonial. The one-two punch of one visual image Plus, a credible citation is a golden recipe for instant authority – which translates into clicks.

Your ads may not suck. But with this advice, they can be much better. Focus only on the customer and what you want them to do. Remember: if you build it, they will click.

How to create effective online advertising? Comment below or tweet us!

Marilyn J. Hernandez