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How to Build Successful Digital Ads for Small Businesses

Owners crafting ads for small business
  • December 13, 2023

Your product is excellent, and you have a fantastic offer. While your product should sell itself at that point, every product needs a great advertising campaign to propel itself into success. That campaign also needs exceptional creativity to drive results!

Digital ads are a phenomenal tool for small businesses, as these ads are often the first interaction a consumer has with your brand. So, how can you make that ad eye-catching, informative, and enticing enough for someone to engage with you? Furthermore, consumers must see a message five or more times before taking action, so consistent messaging and imagery across all advertisements is critical.

In this post, we'll review how small businesses can build successful digital ad campaigns to reach their customers and grow to new heights.

Finding Digital Ad Success as a Small Business

Digital ads are highly accessible and effective – making them perfect for smaller businesses to achieve their goals. Here are some tips your small business can use to build successful campaigns.

Develop Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines are a set of standards that outline the overall look and feel of your brand. Developing brand guidelines for your company is a great way to amplify your brand, improve your image, and ensure your audience recognizes your brand no matter where they see your ads.

The main elements to consider when building brand guidelines are logos, color palettes, and easy-to-read fonts that fit various applications. Utilizing free tools is a beneficial way to help develop these guidelines. Coolors or Canva can aid in generating palettes of complementary colors, and Google Fonts or are excellent for finding suitable fonts.

Your logo should be present in all advertising. It's recommended to have three versions of your logo:

  • Your main, full-color logo
  • A black-and-white version
  • An inverted/white version

These different iterations of your logo will allow design flexibility to create a cohesive ad.

Brand guidelines empower you to consistently represent your brand across various channels and platforms while increasing online visibility. Consistency helps you build a recognizable and trustworthy brand image that customers will easily pick up on when seeing your materials across sites.

Use High-Resolution Images

High-resolution images and videos of your product or service show consumers what they can expect from your company. If you do not have any photos of your own, you can use many stock imagery websites to find great images.

The standard, popular stock image sites have many photo options, though there are other free options to find when starting. Some of the top sites include the following:

However, using stock images has pros and cons, especially compared to taking photos yourself or hiring a photographer. Here are some things to consider:



High-resolution images look great on your website

Images can be generic or feel impersonal

Easily resized or edited for your business

Photos may be overused and recognized across sites

Less expensive than hiring a photographer

You may not be able to find the exact image you are looking for

You can also start with stock photos before switching to photos you take yourself or mix and match them. They're a great option to supplement your materials and content.

Be Concise with Ad Copy

Less is more when it comes to digital ad copy. Text can be challenging to read on small digital sizes, so it's best to focus on your main points and make them stand out. Quickly establish a firm offer or benefit to entice users to click on your ad for more information.

For example, use clear language like '50% off' or 'Free Shipping.'

If you're running site retargeting ads, change the copy on those ads or have a specific offer for returning visitors since they have already spent time browsing your website. Some common phrases are 'Don't Forget' or 'Last Chance'. That also lets you customize your display ads to your specific customers, helping to personalize ads to them.

Overall, ad copy across your digital ads, social channels, emails, and landing pages should be consistent to ensure the end user understands them quickly, which also gives the brand a cohesive feel.

Bonus Tips for Finding Success

Here are some extra tips you can follow to help your digital ads stand out and earn customers' eyes!

  • Change your ad creative often to Avoid Creative Fatigue
  • Keep an eye on what your competition is doing to stay competitive and relevant with your offers
  • Test different creative sets to see which can deliver the best results
  • Try a GIF ad or HTML ad to introduce movement in your ads

Grow Your Digital Ads with McClatchy!

Handling your digital ads alone can be challenging to fit into all the other business tasks. When you partner with McClatchy on your advertising campaigns, you gain access to our experienced creative team, which is dedicated to understanding your brand, making your ads look great, and turning your creative vision into a reality.

McClatchy has a broad audience with extensive knowledge of who they are – meaning you can connect with very specific consumer groups. They also have flexible options, where you can consult one of our experts for their guidance or use our self-serve option to keep complete control in your hands.

Reach out to one of McClatchy's marketing experts to get started today!

McClatchy Expert Blog Series.

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