Sane Lebrun
Sane Lebrun 24 June 2016

Online Advertising: 5 Golden Rules to Select the Best Visuals

How can you give your advertising campaign the best performance? Check out our golden rules to choose your most important creative asset: the visual you use. This could literally decrease the cost of your campaign by 5...

(This article was originally published on the EyeEm blog)

Putting a display advertising campaign together and not sure where to start? The visual is your most important creative asset – and testing a variety of visual options is an absolute must.

After all, more and more advertising platforms are now allowing marketers to test numerous banners alongside each other, Facebook and Twitter included.

And while your choice of visuals could send the final cost of your campaign soaring, it could also help you get even more clicks for your budget.

The visual should be the very first asset you A/B test. But even then you could test 6 of them without having a clear winner. So how do you find the perfect visual?

1- Choose the right colors

To get noticed, your banner needs to stand out from its surrounding content.

If you know where your ad is going to be displayed, start by determining thedominant color of the site. Then, choose the corresponding complementary color for your ad. Check the spectrum below to see what that should be!

Graphic courtesy of Adespresso / Buffer

Example: If you’re advertising on Facebook, with its blue dominant color, orange is the complementary color that’ll help your visual grab attention. Procter & Gamble wouldn’t say otherwise.

Ad by EyeEm on Facebook

2- Show Humans

A user will be more likely to click on your ad if it shows a human, the reason being that he or she identifies with the person represented.

Ads by Paypal on Facebook

You might want to select a model who corresponds to the local targeted market. But what if your campaign is worldwide? Then, try two or three different visuals, each of them featuring a different demographic.

Make sure that the model has given the photographer permission to license the photo. To be safe, choose platforms like EyeEm Market, in which photos for sale already have their releases confirmed.

3- Convey positive vibes

Photo by Steven Ritzer

The third golden rule is to always communicate positive emotions. A recent study confirmed that ads evoking pleasant feelings resonated more consistently with consumers.

Moreover, if you want to reassure users and position your product or service as trustworthy, then choose an image with a human looking forward and into the camera, as eye contact conveys trust and serenity.

4- Give context to your product or service

We’d like to tell you that a visitor will look carefully through your ad, check the brand and read all the text, but this is unlikely.

That’s why it’s important that the value of your product should be able to be understood by the viewer within one second — and there is no better way to achieve that than to show your product being concretely used.

For instance, if your product is an app, then make sure to feature a visual of the app displayed on a smartphone that is held in a person’s hand. People will immediately understand your service is not a website but a mobile app to download.

Ad by The Roll on Instagram

5- Renew your visuals regularly

Once you have found a winning visual, feel free to use it again and again. But keep in mind that even the best performing visual won’t be able to maintain its performance forever.

In the long term, you will eventually need a refresh. The reason is ad fatigue – when consumers are shown the same advertisement frequently, they get bored of it.

There is no set ideal rotation time, so change the visual when the click-through rate drops.

Photo by Victoria Nikitina

To sum-up, remember to use the right dominant color, show the right people, convey the right feeling, bring context and renew the ad regularly. You will be surprised by the improvement in performance!

If you are still unsure of the best visuals for your campaign, EyeEm Market has free creative services that will find the best photos according to your needs!

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