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Tips To Create an Effective Display Ad

Here are 6 tips to help you create better display ads and integrate them in your digital marketing strategy.

1. Be consistent

Do you already have an album cover? Use it in a form or another.

Does your ensemble/organization have branding guidelines? Use them: Typography, logo, palette, etc.

In the end, you will want to limit the disconnect between your display ad and what you are promoting. Unless this is part of your campaign, it is good practice to avoid any surprises from an ad to a landing page.

2. Limit your copy

There is only so much text you can fit in an ad—even a leaderboard or a half page.

But then, should you even have so much copy? Try to boil down your unique value proposition into a few words. The competition for eyeballs is fierce, and you have less time than you think to share your message.

3. Use a call-to-action

Pretty ads are great, but you don’t want people to just look at them. Make sure to insert a call to action.

Think of your call-to-action as an answer to: “Cool story. What should I do now?”

Are you selling tickets? Invite people to buy one. Is your latest album out: Invite people to listen to it or buy it.

And never, ever, ever use click here.

4. Test what works

The best way to learn what works is to A/B test your ads. Note that you’ll need a lot of traffic to get significant results.

5. Think about your funnel

This is something that we often see: An album display ad that sends a user directly to Apple Music, Bandcamp, CD Baby, etc.

If you send people to a landing page not on the client's website:

  • The moment you send a visitor to Apple Music, etc. you are not in control of the narrative anymore. Visitors land on an album page that looks awfully like somebody else’s album page except for the (tiny) cover and some copy.

  • By sending visitors to a property you don’t own, if they are not interested, they are more likely to leave. You’ve lost them.

If you send people to  a landing page on your client's website:

  • You are in control of the narrative: layout, branding, press quotes, etc.

  • Visitors are a click away from following you on social, subscribing to your newsletter, finding a concert near them, etc.

6. Tag your URLs

This is particularly important if you are sending traffic to your own website and use Google Analytics.

By (UTM) tagging your URLs, you’ll know how much traffic your ads bring to the website and what people are doing on your site once they’ve clicked on it.