Prospecting 5 Min Read

How to Create an Engaging Prospecting Ad: Part 2

Written by Tim Edmundson

Of course it’s important for any ad to be visually appealing, but in a prospecting ad it’s especially essential. Your ideal customer may be unfamiliar with your brand, so the goal of any prospecting ad is to quickly convey your brand identity and value. If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. By following the steps we’ve outlined below, you’ll be well on your way to getting that ad in front of potential customers, starting them off on the sales journey, and hopefully leading them to convert!

Visualize Your Value Proposition

Your value proposition is the specific benefit that your product can provide for a potential customer. We discussed how to define an effective value proposition in our previous blog post of the series, which you can read here. When deciding on the layout and design of your ad, it’s a good idea to have your value prop addressed in both your headline and body copy. These two elements should be the most prominent and space-filling, as they convey your message and hopefully are the incentive that cause your prospect to convert.

For example, take a look at this Chico’s ad. You can see the idea of feeling great, dressing well, and letting the two complement one another is conveyed in the text. Combine that with an image showing off their latest styles, and you’ve got an effective prospecting ad.

Stay True to Your Brand

Your branding is the most important part of any prospecting ad. New customers should immediately be able to see that your brand has its own aesthetic — something that makes you stand out from the rest. Here are a few tips to help your ad stand out and be easy to identify.

> Logo | Your logo or visual identity should be easily viewable within an ad. Even if viewers don’t pay attention to the details of your ad, there is some research that suggests prospects may internalize the message anyways. Having a prominently featured logo will ensure your audience will remember, at the very least, which brand’s ad they just saw. This usually means putting that logo in the upper right hand corner so it will become the first thing the viewer looks at within the ad.

Check out the Sur La Table ad to get an idea of a prominent logo. We’re willing to bet it’s the first thing you saw when you looked at the ad.

> Use your branded colors | Keep the page your ad links to in mind when creating your ad. Any potential customer who clicks through will be expecting the resulting page to be visually similar to that ad in colors, font, and style. Create a smooth and uniform experience for your customer, and they’re more likely to convert.

Have a Prominent CTA

In our previous blog post on the subject, we touched on how a CTA, or Call-to-Action, is essential to any strong prospecting ad. By making your CTA visually arresting, it will make it more likely that your prospects will click on the ad. Bright colors and bold text are some of the commonly used ways to call the user’s attention to your CTA. This CTA can either live within in a button or just exist as text. However, something to keep in mind is that the button form CTAs have been proven to have greater click-through-rates.

This ad for Getty has an extremely strong example of a CTA. The button’s message is clear, and they make use of a bright, contrasting color to catch your eye. The font is also legible  and the message prompts the user to take action.

Use Arresting Visuals

This may seem like an obvious point, but make sure your graphics are relevant to your message and of a high quality.

> Images | Using low-quality images can reduce your chances of converting a potential customer, as studies have found that 54% of prospects don’t trust them. There are plenty of free creative commons sources out there if you can’t afford an expensive professional photographer or stock subscription. Two of our favorites are Pexels and Unsplash.

You also have the option of using an advertising platform that has high quality stock imagery available to use, free of charge. One of the benefits of the SteelHouse Advertising Suite is using the included Ad Builder, which features the Getty Images library. All you have to do is search for what kind of image you’d like, and then select from Getty’s massive library to give your ad the right look and feel.

If it’s brand appropriate, it’s always a good idea to use bright, engaging colors that align with your brand style. This can help your ad stand out on any site they’re being served, and also give off a sense of urgency that may entice a viewer to click.

> Font | The font you select for your prospecting ad can have an influence on its performance. And considering the many font options out there, it can be hard to even know where to start. Luckily, the best thing you can do for your ad is keep it as simple and legible as possible. If you have a brand-specific typeface, this can be used for the headline, and a more simple and legible font can be used in the body text. Avoid using overly elaborate fonts because if your prospect has to spend any extra time reading, they will usually choose not to.

It’s also essential that you follow the rules of hierarchy when making decisions about font sizes. Your headline should be the largest font size and the most visual, and your body text should include short, readable sentences that quickly convey your message.

> Animation | One way you can make sure your ad stands out to a potential new customer is to catch their eye with an animated or video ad. If used correctly, visually arresting movement can lead to better performance than a static ad. Make sure to carefully consider the length of the animation, as ads with 6 to 9 seconds of video have been known to perform well.

Consider Effective Ad Sizes

There are many ad sizes that you can consider when designing your digital ad. IAB keeps track of all dimensions, and you can find information on their standard ad sizes here. You should design your ad to fit a variety of dimensions and setting, which is why having simplified visuals and font can be especially important. Trying to adjust a complicated ad into multiple sizes can be more than frustrating, and having to design it in enough ad sizes to generate reach for your campaign can be extremely time consuming.

Thankfully, SteelHouse technology has you covered on this front as well. The SteelHouse Advertising Suite automatically creates dozens of ad sizes for you — all you need to do is design one ad, and the system takes care of the rest. Your campaign is instantly ready to serve ads for dozens of placements, ensuring your ads are ready to be wherever your audience is.

Start Building Your Prospecting Ads

Now that we’ve covered both the design and messaging elements of a prospecting ad, you should be able to start tackling these yourself. Keep these tips in mind going forward, and your prospecting campaigns will be set up for great performance.