How To Create A High-Converting Online Advertisement

There are moments in life that you consider ‘life-changing.’

Well, I’m going to tell you a personal secret.

One of those life-changing moments for me was the day that I watched my first episode of Mad Men.

Now, before you laugh, or think that I’m some kind of crazy obsessed fan-girl, I want to tell you why it was so life-changing.

This show represented the terrifying reality; the reality that so many of our life decisions are driven by strangers sitting around a table in a board room.

“What you call ‘love’ was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.” – Don Draper.


For the past century, the power of that influence has sat in the hands of large organisations.

Their clients would have them on multi-million dollar retainers in order for their products to be advertised at the right time and place.

If that product can afford to be seen on the giant billboard in the middle of the city, it must be the best.

Well, do you want to know what is the best thing about living in 2015?

The little guys have the power to be just as influential, and if not even more influential.

Because of one advancement in human society.

The Internet.

Now this is where you guys come in, the entrepreneurs, the startups, the little guy trying to make a big splash in the world.

You finally have a voice!

Advertising in 2015 is a completely different ball-game than it was just 5 years ago.

The entrepreneurial advertising space has officially moved away from radio, billboards, TV and print, and has moved into the new age of digital.

For you, digital is where your ‘gold nugget’ is buried.

Radio still works for the big guys, but can you afford to spend $20,000 for 30 second radio ad?

I didn’t think so.

But now we can spend as little as $10 a week, creating digital advertisement on ‘digital billboards’ on some the world’s most read websites.

Websites that have millions of weekly readers.

And the best part is, we can actually see how many people saw it, engaged with it and took action!

So let’s do this!

What is a digital advertisement?

A digital advertisement includes internet banners, sponsored content, social media advertisements and so on.

You’ve all seen them.

Here’s an example of one of our internet banners, you may have seen it stalking you around the internet lately.

Buzinga Ad

This is what we call “low hanging fruit.”

It’s where you can spend the least amount of money, with the highest possible conversions.

The greatest thing about the digital advertisements, is that the person can take action on your advertisement within a second.

Often with traditional forms of advertising, the audience firstly hears the ad, but then has to remember to take action at a much later point in time, such as when they are grocery shopping 5 days later.

Majority of the time, they’ll just forget about your ad altogether.

So how do you create the perfect advertisement so people notice it and take immediate action?

 1. Understand The DNA of your Customer

I’ve always found it useful to create a ‘persona’ or a ‘profile’ of your customer.

Give them a name, age, an income, priorities and behaviours.

For example, if you’re advertising a new e-commerce app for your women’s clothing company, your customers persona is probably me.

I represent 85% of the 18-25 year old females in Melbourne.

Name: Katelyn

Age: 23

Income: Not enough to fund my wardrobe needs.

Priorities: Work, relationships, socialising, spending time on social media, building empire, etc

Behaviours: Shops and researches for clothing online.

So you know you need to appeal to my age group and my priorities.

E.g; “New Arrivals: Do you need a new dress to wear out this weekend?”

You will most likely have more than just one customer persona.

So what you need to do, is divide all of your potential customers into relevant segments.

After that you can design a different advertisement tailored to each persona’s needs and priorities.

 2. Treat Your Customer with Respect

Ad Blocker

Source: Ad Blocker

Advertisements are often interpreted as jedi-mind tricks.

People today try to purposely ignore ads or try to not be influenced by them.

This is why ad-blockers exist.

So you have to make sure that your ad is transparent, truthful and not intrusive.

It must provide value to your customer.

Don’t use false or extreme claims. Avoid clichés and don’t be aggressive or patronising.

Remember, respect goes both ways, if you respect them, they will respect your brand.

And then they will buy.

3. The Steps To Creating an Attention Grabbing Advertisement


Source: Faveable  

From my own experiences, images have a more powerful impact than words, so keep this in mind when designing your ad.

80% of your audience will read the headline and only 20% read the body of the text.

Make sure that you spend 80 cents of your dollar coming up with a headline.

I like to follow the acronym AIDA when creating my ads.

If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch Alec Baldwin’s famous movie scene when he preaches this acronym!

A: Attention

How will you capture your audiences attention?

Draw attention to the ad through the design, the headline, the image and the colours.

You need to use colours that make people feel comfortable but stimulated.

But before you go too crazy with colours, remember: The colours also need to be relevant to your brand. 

I: Interest


How are you going to get people interested in your ad?

You need to create a hype or an intrigue. “What’s all this about?”

Remember to think out-side the box, be different! Stand out!

Here are some examples highly effective headlines that generate interest:

“This highly addictive mobile game makes over $50k per day, Play it now!”

“Find out how this app will turn you into a millionaire overnight!”

“Do you need a date for this weekend? Get the most downloaded social dating app right now!”

Remember – always be asking yourself, what will make my target audience want to click on my ad?

“The only thing worse than not getting something you want, is someone else getting it.” – Roger Stirling, Mad Men

D: Decision

Your ad needs to give your audience a decision that they need to make.

What we all sell we can easily live without.

But why does your app need to be downloaded?

They must want to make the decision to click on your ad.

You need to tap into the emotional reasons for them to know that you product will solve a problem.

A: Action

One of the most important aspects of digital advertising is to create a Call-To-Action.

It needs to be the most prominent and obvious part of your advertisement.



Examples for apps could include:

“Download and Install the App Now’

“Call Us Now To Get 25% off”

“Visit Our Website”

4. Testing


So now you know what steps are involved to create an ad, you need to know how to implement and optimise these ads!

Optimisation is the key to digital success.

As I mentioned above, online advertising opens up an entirely new avenue when it comes to measuring your ads performance.

You can track how many saw the ad, how many clicked on it and how many converted (downloaded your app) after clicking on it.

The great thing about this is that you can make several versions of your ad and test them to see which one rendered the highest conversion.

5 ads is usually a good start.

Things to test:

  • Headlines
  • Call-To-Action copy
  • Colours of Call-To-Action buttons
  • The image
  • Channel comparisons

Test each one separately, because you need to know what individual element has the most influence.

This may take a few months to perfect, but once you know that you have an ad that actually works, the benefits you will reap from a high conversion rate will result in a mind-blowing ROI.

Logan and I wrote this free guide – The Advanced Guide To Mobile App Marketing – just a few weeks ago.

It will talk you through of all of the different marketing and advertising channels available.

You will get: case studies, strategic and tested framework, tools, advertisement optimisation, tips and tutorials including how to make Facebook Ads and get your ad featured on sites such as + much more!

Download it here.

Alternatively, if you aren’t up to actually making ads yet, have a read of the Startup Guide below.

App Developer whitepaper

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Katelyn has nearly a decade of experience in sales and customer service management. Working with some of Australia’s leading brands, she understands from the front-line the fundamentals of creating a successful marketing strategy to attract and retain loyal customers; a key goal for the launch of any new app.