Marketing 101: Design an Advertisement That Wows

Marketing is one area that can often be overlooked or undervalued among business owners. Especially for small business owners as it can be hard to justify the perceived time and cost around advertising when caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day management. While the initial return of efforts around brand awareness and lead generation may not always seem worth the resources upfront, it’s something worth investing in for the long term.

As you test the waters of the advertising world, effective design will go a long way in attracting the types of customers most relevant to your small business. Keep these five tips in mind when creating an advertisement that’s sure to wow.

The Simpler, The Better

You’re only going to be given so much space to work with from a design perspective based on the advertising platform you’re working with. With a blank canvas in front of you, resist the urge to fill up every bit of open space.

Often referred to as negative space in the design world, it’s important to keep in place for the sake of readability and user experience. You’re working against short attention spans and competing ads — make it easy for people to understand what you’re advertising as quickly as possible.

Make Your Business Name Prominent

When first starting out as a small business, you don’t have the luxury of big brand name recognition. Unlike the Nikes of the world, you can’t simply position a logo on a page and instantly connect with your customer base.

Because of this, you’ll want to begin the process of establishing trust in your business by making the business known. Give your business name and/or logo prominence on the page. This can be done by experimenting with positioning, size, and contrasting colors.

Be Conscious of Color

Color is much more than it appears. Research has shown that it can have an immediate impact on consumer purchasing behaviors.

This isn’t to say that there are only a certain handful of colors that will lead people to buy things, but they can evoke a sort of emotional draw based on elements like tone, brightness, and contrast. Choose colors that you feel are most reflective of your brand’s personality and don’t hesitate to test out different combinations as you’re getting a feel for what resonates with your audience.

Choose the Right Font

There’s no one right font out there, but for the sake of an advertisement, you’ll want to veer towards clean, readable lines. As enticing as a typeface of fancy, curly cursive may be, you should be developing an ad around your audience’s needs, not necessarily your wants. Again, keep it simple and make sure the message you’re trying to get across is easy to read and register visually.

Define a Clear Call to Action

With any advertisement, you’re trying to evoke a certain type of response. For digital ads, you’re likely trying to get someone to click and visit a particular webpage. If this is the case, it doesn’t hurt to define that call to action (CTA) in the body of the ad itself.

Remember, the clearer the ad, the less time an audience will have to spend trying to figure it out. And the less time spent deciphering the message, the less likely someone is to pass it by without a second thought.

The Elements of Ad Design

The above are only a handful of elements worth taking into consideration as you design print or digital marketing collateral. Use them as starting points when creating advertisements for your small business, continuously learning and experimenting along the way.

By Andrew Patricio

February 18, 2019