Content is the air business breathes today. Hoards of banners, posts, and slogans can make your customers feel dizzy sometimes. What could keep their focus on your message is creativity. The world of advertising is evolving, with brands using more interactive campaigns to engage audiences. In this quick guide, you'll find a few recommendations on how to follow ad creative best practices.

Ad Creative Best Practices Explained

Have you ever wondered why certain advertisements do exceptionally well? It's not just about the content. The best-performing ads follow a common guideline and practice, yet they are all very unique. The idea of adhering to standards and best practices can be exhausting at times, and it might appear to stifle innovation. You shouldn't spend so much time thinking about it. Simply start putting them into practice and perfecting your technique, focusing on images or concepts. The rest can be handled by intelligent automation solutions.

Let’s start our journey by clarifying the basic principles that make a good ad campaign.

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Use eye-catching design

The first step is to ensure that the advertisement is visually appealing. It takes more than a brilliant color palette and a stylish font to evoke this impression. Nothing draws attention better than storytelling.

creative best practices design

People process visual elements 60,000 times faster than reading words. Visual storytelling (or visual narrative) is a story told using visual media. According to the Content Marketing Institute, visual narrative core elements include tension, entertainment, education, experience, and call-to-action (CTA). Tension motivates people to understand the message, whereas entertainment and good experience make the ad enjoyable. Education, if sincere and not mansplaining, adds value and depth to your ad and CTA ensures that people take action.

Most ads get served through Facebook and Google ads. You can refer to their ad creative best practices when designing new creatives with different digital ad formats and layouts. Also, if you want to make your creative ad even more engaging, add animation or micro-interactions to it by using rich media ad formats.

Touch the spot with the right words

Use creative optimization best practices in the copy; this makes ads more compelling for readers to click on the CTA button. Most people understand that an effective ad is not just amusing or witty; relevance is the secret sauce of effective writing.

If the ad content and message do not relate to the product or service, the creative aspect of the ad will be ineffective and not generate the desired result. No one will remember the ad or the message no matter how exciting it looks. Ad copy should always be engaging and informative, emphasizing the product's benefits. Nobody will think it's creative if the highlighted benefits do not address the customer's problem. To make a difference, you have to feel your audience's difficulties as if they were your own.

ad creative tips

There are so many things that can distract your readers from following CTA. That's why you should deliver a sense of urgency. Explain why they should care right now.

You must capture the audience's attention with your creative ad campaign. Understand what your potential clients live and breathe, and tailor your creative ad to their current situation. This ad creative best practice may appear challenging at first glance, but the digital world has provided tools that may help you evaluate trends and improve the success of your ads.

You may use tools such as Owler, Crunchbase, or Google Alerts to subscribe to specific events and topics instead of manually monitoring them. For example, you may subscribe to your competitors and main customers' companies in Owler Pro’s “Following Companies” section to see what were their latest partnerships, product launches, and keep your eyes on the ball. Stay fresh with the most important industry topics that affect your business. The insights you get there can be very entertaining and inspire new ad campaigns.

Choose ad creative format wisely

One of the most important creative best practices is choosing the proper ad format. You're less likely to hit the objective with your campaign if you don't know what ad creative options are available to you. Web, native, video, banner, in-app, and rich media advertising are among the most common formats for mobile and desktop design. Learn more about the best-performing display banner ad sizes and other creative formats.

To maximize the value of your ad creative campaign, use your audience research to find out what devices and channels your potential customers use the most, as well as what preferences in the content format they have.

The best ad creatives are usually customized for sites. You may need to customize ad sizes for every platform - desktop, in-app, mobile, CTV. Use the DSP Auto Resize tool to streamline ad optimization for various display banner ad sizes.

The other best treatment that you can give to your ad creative is to allow the algorithms of your DSP to optimize its size. Such a feature like creative autoresize on SmartyAds DSP, for instance, can automatically fit the size of the creative for each ad placement, so that you reach more users and never miss ad impressions because your creative doesn't fit. 

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Differentiate ad creatives for customer segments

Do your customers browse the web or social media when they’re supposed to see your creative? For example, youngsters are more likely to live on social media whereas senior citizens may appreciate finding your ad creatives on websites related to their profession. Each channel requires using a specific ad creative format, so knowing your customer becomes crucial.

creative targeting

In order to convey your message clearly and concisely, it is important that you understand how each of your customers prefers to communicate. You can then use this information when dealing with them so that they feel heard while also understanding the benefits of doing business with you.

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Test, then launch

Assumption is the enemy of a well-planned ad campaign. No matter how many tips you’ve learned, chances are that some factors you don’t know about would influence the ad performance. Regardless of how many tips you've learned, there's a good probability that some factors you don’t know about would influence the ad performance. Furthermore, no campaign is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. You may reduce risks and find your own ad creative best practices by running A/B testing and splitting your traffic between two different ad creatives.

It's common to feel like the process is overly difficult, and can hinder effective marketing. However, the performance differences between the two variants will show valuable insights on the most efficient location, device type, ad formats, operating systems, CTAs.


Following creative best practices is vital to grab your audience’s attention and keep it focused. By using AI-powered programmatic ad campaigns, you can achieve the highest return on investment (ROI) with minimal budgets and narrow targeting. SmartyAds DSP is exactly this type of solution. Run smart campaigns across channels, formats, locations, and business verticals with the maximum performance achieved through targeting and programmatic optimization. This strategy will help you to achieve higher conversion rates along with increased user acquisition and engagement numbers.

Streamline your ad campaigns with SmartyAds DSP!

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