When was the last time you looked at an ad and said, “Wow, that’s really clever”?

Maybe on a TV or radio ad, but what about something with a headline and design? Digital advertising is changing our industry.

US Media Spend by CategoryAccording to a March 2017 report from eMarketer:

  • Digital spending will see double-digit growth each year through 2021.
  • Digital ad expenditures surpassed TV for the first time in 2016.
  • Display ads topped Search in 2016 and will continue to be the most popular digital format.
  • Mobile will be the main driver of digital’s growth.

I’m not sure if it’s because of the generations or because of the actual media, but advertising seems to be transitioning to a no B.S., less entertaining style.

Take, for example, what makes messaging work in print vs digital

Print: Provides a reader with more info. The audience takes longer with the ad. They can read into the story. Your call to action is often to get them to take a physical action like call or come in.

Digital: You must get someone’s attention quickly, and get them to click with limited information. Your first and last thoughts in a digital ad should be to get the most impact from your well-defined target in three seconds or less.

I’m sorry, copywriters … I love you all, but in digital, the image needs to tell the story.

If you’re ol’ school, digital ads need to be treated more like billboards … billboards with immediate, trackable clicks that are ONLY where your target drives.

Good digital ads are simple. Forget the headline; subhead; body copy; call to action format. The ad itself is the call to action, so there’s no need for phone number, address or URL. In fact, these elements add too much information and detract from the message.

While we’re talking about call to action, “Click here” is not always your best option. If you feel you MUST tell them to click on an ad, try something more specific like, “Get yours here,” “See what we mean,” or “Tell me more.”

With digital’s limited space and limited time, is true creativity dead?

As an ad-man with more than 22-years of experience, I would argue that it takes MORE creativity get a message across with fewer words.

I even lead into my book with the quote, “Writing genius lies in brevity.”

You don’t necessarily need to be entertaining … heck, even the Super Bowl ads aren’t entertaining anymore. When you sit down to write to today’s target audience you need to:

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it short – get to the point quickly
  • Be honest and authentic
  • Be unique, show your individuality
  • Generate emotion

People may not say, “Wow, that’s really clever,” but you’ll connect with your audience and see results.

Find more articles about Millennials and iGen here

Love this financial marketing blog?
Get the book! Click here to download “Aha Moments,” our
FREE ebook, chock-full of 80 short articles just like this.

In addition to being a strategic consultant for community banks and credit unions, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

email me directly (click)
Follow us on Twitter @MarketMatch