Creating Compelling Content for Your Ads

Man scootering at high speed.

Just like unconventional PR and search engine marketing, social and display ads are one of the 19 traction channels recognized by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares in their book Traction. Basically, these are any advertisements you see on social media or around your computer screen as you surf the internet. Chances are, you have already seen multiple social and display ads today. Do you remember any of them? Better yet, did you click on any of them?  

As you are deciding to run social and display ads for your own business you want to make sure your ads have the ability to cut through the noise and be remembered (and clicked on) by your potential customers. There are many ways to create an effective ad, but sometimes it can be really challenging to know where to start, and once the ad is created, it can be difficult to know where to go from there. Here are some of the tricks we use to create effective digital advertisements that lead to effective landing pages.

Special Deal Creative

Ad Assets

An effective ad starts with a design that catches the viewer’s attention. Many attractive ads include three main pieces of information: the company’s logo, its value proposition, and a call to action. These three pieces of information help the viewer understand who the ad is from, why it is important to them, and what steps they should take next if they want to participate with the brand. Once you have your logo, value, and call to action figured out it is time to design what the ad will look like to the viewer. If you do not have design skills, we would recommend outsourcing this small project to a graphic designer. While this might be more expensive, in many cases, having an effective and attention-grabbing ad will be worth your spend. Regardless of whether you design the ad or pay a designer to do it, make sure it is the correct dimensions and easy to read right away.

Graphic Design 

Ad Assets Quick Tips: 

    • Include a logo, value proposition, and a call to action
    • Work with a designer to create an eye-grabbing ad
    • Keep it easy to read and nice to look at
    • Remember to use the correct dimensions when designing your ad
Landing Pages

Once you create an attractive ad that people want to click on you need somewhere to take them, and a landing page is one great option. The point of your landing page is to supply relevant and desired information to the viewer so they either visit another page of your site, sign up for your email list, make a purchase, or complete whatever your goal may be. In order for your landing page to complete your desired goal, you need to understand your audience and what they are looking for when they visit this page. Try to understand their current emotions, needs and frustrations and play to those within the landing page copy and design. An effective landing page is straight forward, attractive, easy to look at and mobile-friendly. Make sure your landing page supplies the offer or content that the ad that brought them there promised.

Mobile Friendly

Ad Landing Page Tips: 

    • Really understand your audience
    • Keep it straightforward, attractive, and easy to read
    • Make it mobile friendly
    • Supply relevant and desired information or offers
    • Use a low-barrier, relevant call to action

For more information on social and display ads and the other 18 traction channels, check out Pintler Group’s new podcast, Cutting Through The Noise, our YouTube channel and this video.

Search Engine Marketing: Using Google Trends

Screenshot of Google Trends.

Search engine marketing, or paid search, is a powerful, and heavily invested in, traction channel. But looking at a blank campaign and wondering where to start is equivalent to watching a blinking cursor on the blank first page of the next great American novel. Where to begin!

Luckily there are a lot of tools out there to get you out of the gate and headed towards the finish line. One that we love is Google Trends. After all, who knows more about Google than Google!

After identifying your goals and KPIs it’s time for the keyword research portion of your campaign. And Google Trends is a great place to start. The platform is to SEM what Google Search Console is to SEO. It allows you to identify keywords that are trending, research volume of searches over time or even just browse for new keywords.

While it’s understood that keywords with higher search volume are going to cost more on average, you also don’t want to invest in keywords that aren’t being searched for at all. Or ones that are sharply declining. Or invest in regions with very little activity.

So let’s run through an example. Say you’re a clothing company releasing a new line of tank tops and are looking to support with a paid search campaign. Here are three simple ways you would use Google Trends.

Identify Search Volume By Time of the Year

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that search volume for “tank top” is going to ebb and flow with changes in the weather. But the beauty of Google Trends is that you can get even more specific than just spring, summer, fall or winter. The following chart illustrates search volume over the past 12 months.

Search Trends Over Time

It, of course, confirms our hypothesis. But it also shows that search volume starts to drop off earlier than you might expect and identifies the peak towards the end of June. That makes sense given Independence Day. Using this data you can schedule your campaigns appropriately but also consider increasing or decreasing your max CPC bids accordingly.

A by-product of gathering this data for your ad campaigns is that it can inform business decisions. Knowing when the search volume starts to increase for tank tops could be a factor in your new product release schedule. It can also inform when you run promotions or incorporate other traction channels into your overall marketing strategy.

Geographical Relevance

As with any ad campaign, you only want to pay to surface messaging to people who are most likely to convert. Again using “tank top” we ran a geographical analysis to determine what states are producing the most searches.

Given the company has a limited budget we wanted to drill down as far as possible to really optimize our spend. So we filtered by cities rather than states.

Searches By City

As with the timeframe chart, the numbers on the right are indexes, not the total volume. The number 100 means that location, New York in this example, is the location with the highest frequency of searches as a percentage of its overall search usage. That’s important to note has it pertains to the overall population. A smaller city or state that has an above-average amount of searches for “tank top” is going to rank higher than a bigger city with an average amount of searches. But that doesn’t mean the volume is higher.

While the timeframe analysis tells us when this tells us where for our ad groups. We can either target cities and states specifically, or flip the list and exclude areas that aren’t going to net the results we are looking for.

The Keywords You Didn’t Think About

Google Trends is not only a good resource for researching and testing out keywords you have identified but also discovering ones you may not have thought of thanks to the “related queries” feature.

Related Searchs

Once again using “tank top” the tool was able to tell us whether more people as a fraction of overall searches are looking for women’s versus men’s, or which color people most frequently search for.

There are a lot of powerful keyword research tools, including SEMRush and Google Ads Keyword Planner, that you will want to employ in your campaign planning, but starting with Google Trends is never a bad thing.

While these are three high-level uses, there are a ton more ways to use the platform. And it’s not just limited to standard searches. You can filter by images, video and more. We encourage you to spend some time there experimenting. Just be forewarned, it can be quite the rabbit hole!

To learn more about search engine marketing check out our podcast and this video.