Person looking through an opening at something that has captured their attention.

Tips for designing attention-getting ads

october 24, 2023

If you don't have deep pockets, you likely don't have the funds to pay a high-priced agency to design your advertisements. Thankfully, it's easier than ever to design ads for any platform—print or digital—on your own. Creating attention-grabbing advertisements can promote your goods or services while expanding your consumer base.

Why it's important to create a stunning ad design

Anything that requires promotion needs an advertising plan. You can use brand advertising to create connections and build rapport with your target audience over time; you can advertise specific products or services to expand your base of paying customers. If your ad design is effective, users will engage with it. A successful advertisement will encourage the viewer to take the desired action and can potentially make your small business more money.

How to make advertisements that stand out

You can create attention-grabbing advertisements by incorporating relevant and intriguing images, well-chosen colors, and direct calls to action (CTAs).

If you need some help getting started, pop your idea into Microsoft Designer to create stunning AI-generated images in seconds. Alternatively, browse through our Facebook templates, Pinterest templates, and other social media templates for professional-quality, ready-to-go options.

Convey one message

Before focusing on the esthetics of the ad, decide what you want to communicate. Focus on one message per ad so you don't confuse the audience. If you try to discuss too much, your message will be muddled (and chances are your design will be too). Pick a message that best represents what you're promoting and what you want your audience to do once they see your ad.

Incorporate visuals

After you choose the message that you want your small business to convey, you can decide what visuals you want to include in the ad design. You can incorporate photos or videos in your ad. The photos should reflect the ad's message while promoting your business's goods or services. Symbols, optical illusions, and quick video skits are also entertaining ways to emphasize the ad's message.

Include a call to action

The ad's call to action should tell your audience what to do, how to do it (if the ad doesn't have a button or hyperlink—don't tell people to click, they know to click), and when you want them to take the action.

Examples of CTAs that you might include in an ad are:

  • Download now
  • Schedule an appointment today
  • Buy now
  • Watch video
  • Register now

Use short but intriguing copy

Outside of the ad's visual components and CTA, include copy that codifies your message. The ad copy should be short and sweet. In the age of technology, your business won't have a lot of time to grab and keep someone's attention—you'll want the audience to be able to see the entire ad and take the desired action in a quick amount of time. Use minimal copy that's intriguing and relevant to the ad's overall goal and message.

If you plan on experimenting with colors in your ad design, it's important that you choose the colors wisely. Colors can evoke emotions in your target audience and influence how they feel about your small business. Some colors you can implement to make your ad more appealing are:

RedInclude this color when you want to draw attention to a specific object or section in your ad.
OrangeThis color can evoke action in your target audience when they see your business's ad.
BlackWhile black should be used sparingly in your ad, it can encourage a sense of luxury and mysteriousness.
WhiteUse white to balance and blend the other colors in your ad so that all its components work together seamlessly.

Pro tip:

For more information about using color effectively, check out Fundamentals of color by artist and creative director Alberto Cerriteno.

After you've selected all the above components for your small business's next ad, organize each part so that your ad design flows well. Review the ad to ensure that it's only conveying one main message. Make sure the color scheme is evoking the right emotions that you want to encourage in the viewers. Analyze the ad's visual assets so that they're clear and fitting to your brand. Double check the ad design one last time and publish it to catch your target audience's attention.

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