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How to create an ad: 5 simple steps

To create an ad that stands out among the hundreds of ads we are bombarded with daily is a big challenge.

Fortunately, or not, there is no magic formula. Making an ad that generates engagement is much more a matter of strategy and well-thought-out elements than creativity, as we will see below.

How to create an ad: 5 simple steps

How to create an ad with high conversion power

Especially for start-up companies, relying only on content that attracts leads organically is a very long way to go to get results.

Although generating relevant content is essential for the marketing of any business, to boost brand recognition and attract customers faster, investing in paid ads it’s still the best solution.

Proof of this is that by the end of 2023, companies will be on the path to spend more than US$424.3 billion in digital advertising.

The challenge? The huge variety of options, from different platforms and ad types to target audiences.

How do you choose the right platform to advertise on? What types of ads do they accept? And once you decide, how to actually create an ad?

This is what we answer in the step by step below.

1. Determine your target audience

Before you start creating an ad, you need to clearly know who it is aimed at.

Your ad needs to be as specific as possible to reach people who are naturally inclined to engage with your brand and product. If you shoot everywhere, you’re likely to get lost in the digital noise.

To determine your target audience, we advise you to define some buyer personas – semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

To do this, ask the following questions with your ideal customer in mind:

  • What is your age range?
  • What does he spend most of his time doing?
  • Which social media platforms does he use most?
  • What type of place do he usually live in?

This information will help you define which ideal platform to publish your ads, what language they should have and what type of information they should contain.

How to create buyer personas?

2. Choose your platform

With your target audience well defined, you may come to the conclusion that it is better to use multiple platforms in your marketing campaign.

This is not uncommon since people are usually on more than one social media and they definitely search on Google, which is why the Google Ads is always a good choice.

Before you decide to create an ad, however, you need to understand which formats each platform allows.

Below, we list some examples of the most used platforms.

Tik Tok

Creating ads for TikTok involves capturing the attention of young audiences and engaging them in an authentic and creative way

  • Videos on TikTok have a time limit, they can range from 5 to 60 seconds, so use quick cuts and dynamic movements.
  • Use TikTok’s official ad tool to create targeted campaigns.
  • The platform offers different formats, including In-Feed Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenges and Branded Effects.
  • Experiment with different video styles, storytelling approaches, and visual elements.
  • Analyze the data to understand what resonates best with your audience.

How to use TikTok to sell online courses


Creating one effective ad for Instagram requires a visually appealing approach

  • Instagram offers several ad formats, including carousel, single image, video, stories, and more. Choose the format that best suits your message and audience.
  • It’s a visual platform, so make sure your images or videos are high quality.
  • Use Instagram to highlight special offers or promotions.
  • Include exclusive discount codes to encourage conversion.

8 Tips on How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Business


To create an ad effective for YouTube you must consider visual elements, persuasive messages and storytelling

  • The platform offers different types of ads, such as TrueView (skippable ads), bumper ads (short ads), and discovery ads. Choose the type that best suits your goals.
  • Add captions to make your ad accessible and understandable, even without sound.
  • Use additional text to reinforce your message.
  • Tell a compelling story to create an emotional connection with viewers.
  • Use ad extensions to provide additional information and encourage interactions.

Strategies for getting views on YouTube

3. Create a message

Now that you’ve defined your target audience and preferred platforms, it’s time to craft your message.

A good advertisement is one that attracts the attention of the target audience, effectively communicates the desired message and motivates the intended action.

Here are some key elements to create an ad with high conversion potential:

Powerful title

The title must be clear, concise and captivating.

One of the greatest advertisers in history, David Ogilvy, says that “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Some headlines are interesting, like the launch of a new service or product. Others have a very strong benefit. Most are specific rather than general in their facts. 

In short, there is no rule. Create a catchy title that matches your marketing goals (such as selling a product, inviting people to visit your website, sign up for your email list, download an app, etc.) and do tests to see if the response is good or if you need to improve your call.

Copywriting Tips

List of benefits

Explaining the features of your products or services is important, but explaining the benefits to the customer is what really matters.

When creating an ad for social media or Google Ads, you won’t have much attention span or space to write, so get straight to the point effectively, that is, highlighting the advantages that your product offers to the customer.

For example, let’s say you have an online healthy cooking course. A feature of your service is that you have a website where customers can watch recorded classes with practical recipes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The benefit is that they have new ideas for healthy recipes that they can make quickly, whenever and wherever they want.

Unrefusable offer

Whether you’re offering an unbeatable price, a free class or a great value product package, doing your best to offer a good deal to your customers will help you succeed.

Also remember that people are nervous about spending money online. There are many scammers and low quality products out there.

Therefore, highlight other practical advantages of purchasing your product, such as secure payment, 7-day guarantee, special price for the first purchase, etc.

Knowing that there is no risk and that they have nothing to lose by buying your product or service is a powerful purchase incentive.

Attractive images

People are visual and don’t always want to read everything that is written in an ad.

You can grab your customers’ interest by adding images  to your ads, whether photos, videos, graphics, etc.

For example, you can post a photo of what you have to offer or record a video of yourself speaking, to give peace of mind that there is a real person behind the ad.

You can take photos yourself or look for free, royalty-free images online.

Regardless, if you create an ad with some visual element on it you will have better chances to attract more attention and interest for your message.

12 tips for include images in your online course

Highlighted Call to Action (CTA)

All of your ads need a call to action (CTA) that provides information to consumers about what to do next.

In some cases — like an ad on your web page — the CTA can be simple and straightforward, like “sign up for our newsletter” or “click here to buy.”

Meanwhile, if you’re advertising on social sites, your CTA needs to be more subtle but no less clear. For example, you can choose “click here to learn more” or “explore what we have to offer”.

You need to use interesting words and a persuasive language to give that extra push. 

4. Don’t forget the details

These are small things, but they can have significant impacts on your advertising campaign: the details.

If you pay attention, you will notice that there are countless advertisements in magazines, billboards, online banners, etc., without clear company contact information.

Don’t make that mistake. You’ve told your audience what you’re selling, now tell them where to buy it.

Use your ads to drive people to your website for more information. This is imperative for several reasons.

First, if people visit your website and are impressed by it, you have a better chance of turning them into real customers.

Secondly, you can track how your ads are performing and which leads are generated on the website to get an idea of ​​how your campaign is working. That way, if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, you’ll know where you need to make changes.

How to create a sales page

5. Create test ads

When creating an ad and publishing it, it is crucial continually experiment and monitor audience engagement.

This ensures better results as you learn what your audience responds to.

Elements like text, font color and size, and title can be easily manipulated to test viewer engagement.

For best results, test only one element at a time. You can run multi-element tests once you have data from these initial A/B tests.

Create an ad well-designed and sell more


With these five tips on how to create an ad you will be able to create compelling campaigns for improving your conversion rate, transforming potential customers into real customers.

That’s great, but don’t forget that your ads won’t get you far if you don’t make your customers happy. Therefore, focus on delivering everything you promised. 

After all, if you exceed expectations, you will see your customers coming back for more and, most likely, telling their friends about your company.

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