3 Effective Ad Variations You Should Try

 In Digital Marketing, Social Media

One of our favorite things about working in digital marketing is being able to test and play around with new tools so we can later use them to help our clients reach their diverse goals!

We’ve recently had opportunities to get creative with different types of ads. Here are three of our favorite and most effective ad variations that we think you should try, too:

1) FACEBOOK CANVAS ADS

Although we’ve created Facebook canvas ads before, we didn’t get a chance to fully utilize all their available features or really analyze them until a few months ago. We learned that they’re not only cool to explore, but they’re also fun to make and an extremely effective way to engage with your audience! (For a basic overview of canvas ads, check out this blog post).

The challenge we faced with canvas ads was that a lot of people aren’t familiar with themwe often had to direct viewers how to open the ad in the post text to make sure they didn’t just scroll past. And since canvas ads are a Facebook product and only available on mobile, your audience is limited to people with the Facebook app installed on their phones.

The big advantage of canvas ads, though, is that viewers can actually interact with the key content inside the ad without any on-screen distractions because canvas ads expand to fit an entire mobile screen when opened. They also allow for interactive options like videos, carousels, and creative call-to-actions to keep viewers engaged: giving you more time and tools to persuade your audience, no matter what the message is. We found that viewers who opened our canvas ads interacted with the content uninterrupted for an average of 44 secondsmuch longer than viewers usually engage with static image ads!

2) ANIMATED DISPLAY ADS

With all of the images, ads, articles, and everything else vying for viewers’ attention online, we’ve found in the past that animated display ads are much more effective at grabbing attention and encouraging click-throughs than static ads. So, we decided to run more animated display ads in 2016 in order to make our clients’ messages more prominent and successful.

Because of our limited capacity and time during our busy season, we decided to look for tools to create HTML5 animated ads online. We often used Bannerflow: an online animated display ad tool that’s easy and intuitive to use, even for non-designers.

Our testing and exploration of animated ads really paid off. Throughout our work this past year, we found the average animated display ad’s click through rate (CTR) was more than double that of the average static display ad.

3) VIDEO ADSThis one may seem overly simple, and it’s definitely more commonplace than canvas or animated ads, but video ads are consistently effective. In our own work, we’ve found that the average CTR for video ads is over 4x higher than for static ads.

Videos, like animated ads, catch viewers’ attention more easily and consistently than static ads, especially now that autoplay is the norm on social media sites and across the web. Video ads’ movement, sound, and ability to tell a narrative with minimal viewer effort makes them likely to garner greater engagement and undivided attention.

What ads tactics have you tested in 2016 or found to work particularly well for achieving your objectives? Drop us a comment below and let’s talk advertising!


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As CMG’s Crafter of Strategic Communication, Amy Libka combines strategy and creativity to help clients communicate as effectively as possible. She is passionate about clear, effective communication, and enjoys crafting messages that help individuals and groups achieve their goals. She specializes in creating content and managing digital advertising campaigns for a diverse group of clients.

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