How to Make Digital Ads that Actually Work


With more and more people turning to online shopping for good finds and discounts have been flooding the Web, especially during holidays and special occasions. These are the peak selling seasons for retailers, both in stores and online. The problem is, your brand is competing against a barrage of other themed promos and packages, and you don’t want yours to get lost in the shuffle.



Here are some tips to craft ad copy that will stand out so that your business can take advantage of seasonal online buying sprees:

Have a solid unique selling proposition

Aaron James San Pedro, managing director at Binary Digital Communications, says an effective ad copy should be anchored on a unique selling proposition. Without a good offer to catch the attention of your customers, the ad copy will be futile. “The key here is creating a unique selling proposition that will help differentiate the brand from other competing brands,” says San Pedro. Once you are able to establish your proposition, the composition of the copy will follow.


Use the most “searchable” keywords for your product

Begin by doing a research on the search terms related to your product.  Find out which keywords your target customers respond, to then incorporate these keywords in the text of your ad copy. Incorporating the occasion and making your ad more specific may make you more “searchable”. For example, use keywords like “Christmas gift basket” rather than a more generic “holiday gift pack.”


Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

As your write your copy, keep in mind that the reasons for buying products and services during special occasions differ from person to person, depending on the occasion. Whether one intends to give the product as a gift or keep for personal consumption, the ad copy should present the product or service as something worth your customer’s money.  Brad Geiser, creative director and president of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, says that ad copy which aim to sell a product as a gift should invest in beautiful product shots. “If you intend to ‘gift-ify’ what you are selling, make it simple with high-perceived value for a very reasonable price. The best way to do this is to offer beautiful gift packaging for entry- or medium-priced items,” he says.


The product or service itself will more or less serve as guide for ad copywriters how to present the product in such a way that it appeals to the need of a customer during a particular occasion or season. San Pedro says, “It all boils down to what occasion you are riding onto. Food brands are a good example for companies that present themselves as ideal gifts during holiday seasons; for example, chocolates that you purchase as a gift for your significant other on Valentine’s Day.” Fashion items on the other hand should appeal to the need to buy for self whatever the occasion may be. “You are most of the time enticed to purchase clothes for yourself versus purchasing it for someone else due to variables such as sizes, color and design that are very personal to a person you are buying them for,” he explains.


Change up your ad’s format to keep it fresh

The ad format to be used for your copy would also largely depend on your type of business. “There are a lot of ad formats that can be used, and it's always a case-to-case basis which one would be more effective, depending on the industry,” says San Pedro. Explore different formats so as not to tire your target market. “No matter how appealing your ad or content is, if it's something that they have seen already or feel that is already predictable, you reduce the engagement rate. If does not work, you can always tweak or replace it,” says San Pedro.