6 Questions You Should Ask Before You Sign Off on a Digital Display Ad

digital_display_advertisingMany times there’s only a razor-thin line between a successful campaign and one that turns out to be a total flop. To help avoid a dismal ROI on your digital display campaign, below are six questions you should ask before you sign off on any creative.

1. Will the ad achieve my intended objective?

Every element of an ad’s design should be influenced by its intended objective (that’s assuming you have a clear objective in mind). For example, if the goal of your digital display ad is to sell a product, the ad will need to display an image of the product, along with a clear call to action. If you’re more interested in brand-building with your ad, you’ll need to make sure you have the essential elements covered such as your company’s name and logo.

The bottom line: If you can’t take one look at your ad and know immediately whether or not it accomplishes your intentions, then your potential customer won’t either.

2. Have I made my value proposition clear?

Similar to the first question, you shouldn’t leave it up to your customer to guess what you’re trying to offer. Make sure that your ad design and content delivers a clear and evident value proposition that doesn’t beat around the bush.

3. Does the look, feel and design of the ad match my overall brand and marketing campaign?

The importance of branding should never be neglected or underestimated when it comes to which ads you choose for your campaign. Some of the most successful companies in the world are extremely vigilant about making sure that every piece of creative expresses the essence of their brand. If you notice that the look and feel of your ad is falling short of your brand or marketing campaign aesthetic, you might want to send it back for revisions.

4. Does the ad focus on the features or the benefits of my product/service?

Don’t fall victim to explanation overload. Of course you’re proud of your product, and you want people to know all the reasons why they should be proud of it, too. The only problem with this approach is that these reasons rarely focus on how it can actually benefit the customer.

Before signing off on any ad, put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes and judge whether or not the ad is conveying how your product will solve their problem or improve their life. One of the best examples of this is the advertising techniques used by cruise lines and other vacation or travel service companies. Notice how they paint a picture of all the great times you’re going to have while you’re sailing the Caribbean; they’re not telling you how great their online reservation system is. The takeaway: Make sure your ad emphasizes the benefits of using your product or service, instead of just explaining its features.

5. Is the ad sizing and file format correct?

If you need a 300×250 JPEG image for a particular media placement, make sure that’s exactly what you’re getting before you sign off on it. Double-checking your ad sizes and formats will save you a lot of headaches and unnecessary delays during a campaign.

6. Have I double-checked the ad copy for proofing errors?

This one should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many spelling and grammar errors can make it past an entire marketing team. Proofing errors detract from the credibility of your organization, and can make the difference between presenting a professional image versus one that screams “Rookie!”

Be sure you have several sets of eyes examining your digital display ads, and never operate under any assumptions regarding the correct spelling of words, correct usage of terms, etc. Check the accuracy of your ad copy using authoritative spelling, style and grammar reference sources. In addition, any campaign-specific information regarding promotion dates, percentage-off sales, etc., should be double-checked for accuracy.

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