Maximus: Automated Media Buying Platform for Native Advertising

Worth a thousand words? How to make your native ad images better

Maximus | Worth a thousand words? How to make your native ad images better

August 21, 2020

Worth a thousand words? How to make your native ad images better

If you’ve ever run native ads or even simply seen one while scrolling through your favorite website, you know that they have two main components: headlines and images. Saying it like this makes native advertising sound deceptively simple. But when all you have to grab your audience and make them click are a small image and 60 or fewer characters, you really have to make them count! We already talked about what makes a great headline on our blog, but what about images? Well, after spending years in the native ad space (and through Maximus’s features) we’ve learned a lot about what makes a great image. Here’s how to make your creatives stand out from the rest.

1. Be bold.

When you scroll down a website, what do you see? Probably lots of black and white text, sidebar content, and maybe a few ads breaking up the text. When you’re reading, the images surrounding the text can start to blur together. Consider an image that will grab attention from the start, like one with bright, unexpected colors.

2. Use the element of surprise to your advantage.

When your audience is looking at thousands of images every day, those images can start to run together. Eventually, your audience may ignore them entirely. Though native ads are all about matching the context of the sites on which they appear, this doesn’t mean your image has to be boring. Try an image with an unusual subject, or with the subject framed in an interesting way, such as a closeup of an everyday object. Just keep network rules and restrictions in mind when creating your images.

3. Don’t forget composition.

We know color and subject are important, but what else? Another attention grabber is an interesting composition in your images. You definitely don’t need to be an award-winning photographer to run native ads, but having a basic understanding of the basics of composition can make your image (and its subject) really pop. Plus, it can help you make better use of the limited space you’re working with.

4. Put a face to your image.

Think of all the emotions a face can convey - happiness, sadness, anger, surprise - to name a few. A single expression can say so much, so it’s no surprise that our eyes are drawn to photos of other humans. In native ads, you can use this to your advantage. The expression of the person in your photo can give people an idea of what they should expect when they click through your ad. Paired with a surprising and interesting headline, it may become too interesting not to click.

5. Make sure you have the basics.

Since you do have limited space, it’s important to make sure your images are clear and not pixelated. Every network has their own image specifications, so make sure all of your bases are covered before you upload them.


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