November 9 2020

4 minutes of reading

10 tips for great performance graphics


Anna Dobrowolska

The art of preparing performance banners might seem strictly artistic, and after all, we want to prepare a graphic that will be attractive enough to draw our attention, encourage us to visit the website and make concrete actions. Based on that, we could assume that the best artist will prepare the best graphic. Is that true?

Our experience shows that work with performance ads has more to do with maths than creative “flow”. Not everything that is beautiful will lead to clicks, and not everything that will “click” will lead to sale. This is why, while preparing graphics that should convert, we must think about some ground rules. If we stick to them, our chances of marketing success will significantly grow. 

1. Call To Action is a must-have

We need to strongly enhance the Call To Action button. It can be “Check now”, “See more”, “Buy now” or different, but it must be visible right away. CTA helps our customers to navigate through the ad and answer the question, what do we realy want from them. It’s not always so obvious which part of the graphic is an ad and which belongs to the website. Another very important issue is the place where we put the button. Tests show that the right bottom corner is the best place – people read banners as they read books – from top left to bottom right.

2. Precise message

With the Millennials super-short attention span we wouldn’t recommend to rely on long, poetic copy. In this part of the sales funnel it’s better to be straightforward and just tell people what we mean – “All furnitures -10%” instead of “Turn your house into beautiful space”.

3. Avoid communication clutter

Too much content will only confuse your audience. In result, rather than buing anything, he/she will just scroll the page. On the smaller banners you just need one main message. On bigger premium formats we can add another section with text.

4. Pick the right colors

Some colors draw our attention more than others. The most energetic color is red, but you can also consider intense yellow and green. Beige or subtle blue might be great to describe your brand identity, but if you want to increase your CTR, pick more visible color. Remember, that clients don’t always buy what they see on the ad  – beige dresses might still be sold. Also, it’s not about making all the graphic red. Enhance the most important part of it. Tests show that white background sells more than dark.

5. Well exposed product

Performance graphics should show our product – customers must know right away what we are selling. Don’t be afraid of packshots! If you place a photo of a lady on the beach on the banner, it won’t be obvious if you’re selling trips, sunscreen or bikinis. But if you add a bikini’s packshot to the ad, your chances are rising. With the current constant fight of the customer’s attention, you don’t want to waste time on unclear messages. 

6. Zoom on emotions

If we’re using photos of people on our ad, it would be good to zoom it on their faces (preferable smiling faces!). Zoom & emotions will help you to draw people’s attention. Anger and other negative emotions could also boost our CTR but it’s not always good for the brand. To enhance the performance effect even more, you should make sure, that models on your add are looking/pointing at your CTA. We tested it – it works!:)

7. Sale!

Nothing makes the product more attractive like the possibility of paying less for it. If we’re planning discounts, we must communicate about it! If we don’t have one, let’s think about other benefits worth mentioning – free shipping, free 1st session, longer warranty.

8. Show them your numbers

Performance copy can be boosted with numbers. Numbers are clear information, what our customer doesn’t need to analyse for a long time. It’s not about “bragging” about huge discounts, but all the ways of using numbers: TOP 10 purses for Summer, Call Center 24/7, Delivery 48h. Don’t write “Wide range of products”, write “More than 2000 products in one place”.

9. Facebook has its rights

First of all, your limit with text on the graphic is 20%. But even without this we should consider putting any copy on our FB/IG banner. Tests show that sometimes it’s better to leave just the picture or a set of 2-3 photos. Instead of typing the button on the photo, use the system option available in Facebook Ads panel.

10. Last but not least – TEST!

The worst trap marketer might get into is thinking that if something works for other people, it will work for him/she. Another thing is assuming that we are always reasonable – for example, if I don’t like intense colors, I won’t click on the ad with a bright pink dress. That’s not true. When preparing a test, we always start with a hypothesis based on our intuition. But to be sure if something works or not, we need to test it! We must remember that A/B test must fulfill some conditions. There has to be just one difference between two tested ads and the results should be statistically significant. We must think about this while planning our budget – clicks/conversions generate costs, as well as the production of the graphic itself. If those costs are bigger than our whole media budget, we probably wanted to test more elements at once. The statistic significance can be measured with one of the online calculators:

We need to remember that the contact of the audience with our banner happens at the end of their customer journey. They probably already know our brand, value and some of our products or services. This is the moment when we already see the finish line – it takes just a few tricks to reach it safely.

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