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How to Make Your Ads More Clickable 

The key to influencing audiences now resides in a brand’s skill of crafting advertisements that distinguish themselves from the masses, grab attention, and ultimately drive clicks. TEGNA’s Katie Yape, an expert in the dynamic field of digital advertising, is here to offer her tips to win the battle for consumer attention, and ultimately, capture clicks to increase ROI.

Meredith Cunningham Published: September 27, 2023
How to Make Your Ads More Clickable  image

Katie YapeBy Katie Yape, Digital Product Manager, TEGNA 

In the dynamic world of digital advertising, the quest for capturing the click has never been more critical. As the battle for consumer attention rages on, the currency of success has shifted from impressions to clicks, and the power to persuade lies in the art of creating ads that stand out from the crowd, capture attention, and compel audiences to click.  

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing veteran seeking fresh perspectives or a budding advertising professional eager to make your mark, this guide will help you explore the art of creating clickable ads, offering valuable tips and insights to help you gain a competitive edge in display advertising. 

Let’s get started. 

Creating More Clickable Ads for a Competitive Edge 

As digital ad spending in the US is projected to reach $293B in 2024, it’s clear that display advertising is a very crowded space. With so many brands competing for consumers’ attention, it is incredibly easy to get missed. 

How will you stand out from the crowd?  

Display advertising can be incredibly effective, but we need less than 15 seconds to get a user’s attention and make it count.  An essential part of any strategy is effective creative, and taking the time to craft the right messaging and target the right audiences with high-quality ads will make a difference. 

So then we have to ask, “What drives users to click on ads?” 

In my experience, users are attracted to ads that resonate with them, speak to their emotions, solve their problems, and meet their needs. When you know your target audience’s mindset, behaviors, and demographics, you can create ads that speak to and connect with them.  

It’s also super important to evaluate the ads in your campaign and optimize them as you go. You want to ensure you’re sending the right message to the right target audience, and monitoring and measuring your campaign results can help tell you what’s working best.  

10 Tips for Making Your Ads More Clickable 

With digital advertising, every click represents a potential customer, a chance to convert interest into action, and brings your brand closer to meeting its goals. Whether your digital ads are pre-roll video, standard banner ads, native advertising, or content sponsorships, the TEGNA team uses industry best practices for design and copy when creating digital ads for our partners. 

  1. Keep it Simple: Too many words and busy creative can overwhelm a consumer. You’ll want to consider using minimal but effective copy. 
  1. Strong Call-to-Action: Within this minimal copy, you’ll want to include a great call to action – not just “click here.” Your copy and CTA must genuinely inspire action to resonate with your audience. Remember, your product or service is here to solve their problems and meet their needs.
  1. Stay Relevant: Refreshing creative every 30-60 days is essential to staying fresh. Try out different messaging to see what works and use different messaging for different targets. 
  1. High-Quality Creative: Taking the extra time to craft great ads will ensure an effective campaign. Nobody wants to click on fuzzy, pixelated, or poor-quality images, meaning using high-quality images is imperative when creating your ads. 
  1. Targeting and Audience Segmentation: Display advertising can be incredibly effective, but getting in front of the right target audience is essential. You’ll want to choose a media partner, such as TEGNA, to utilize tools like TEGNA AudienceOne, a customer data platform created to collect first-party data and build relevant audience targeting capabilities. AudienceOne can also be paired with all other products, such as Audience Marketplace, to leverage precision audience targeting, geofencing, and retargeting capabilities to reach an ideal audience highly likely to engage with your brand. 
  1. Leverage Local News Partnerships: Advertisers must be hyper-focused on keeping their brand safe from aligning with harmful and misleading content. ​Public trust, truth, and transparency have enormous value, and amid this growing sentiment, TVB found that local news is one of the safest environments for advertisers, even on digital platforms. Learn more on how local news can extend the halo effect to your brand.  
  1. Brand Safety & Credibility. Ad fraud is a big problem in the digital space. Choose agencies, media buying companies, publishers, and technology providers with dedicated processes, technology partners, and requisite training to stop fraud before it starts. You’ll also want to look for high-quality TAG-certified publishers and use tools like NewsGuard to prevent the spread of misinformation. 
  1. Leverage Contextual Advertising: Contextual advertising is a form of targeted marketing that tailors advertisements to users based on the content they are engaged with, emphasizing the user’s ongoing online actions to increase clicks. For example, if a user is reading about the Grand Canyon and sees a digital ad for hotels near the Grand Canyon, that’s contextual advertising.
  1. 9. Cross-Platform Campaigns: Reaching your audience through more than one channel isn’t nice to have. It’s a must-have. Audiences are watching the morning traffic report on their TVs while getting ready in the morning. They’re checking the news and browsing the internet throughout the day, then relaxing at the end of the day by streaming their favorite show at night. Running a cross-channel marketing campaign that includes linear broadcast, OTT streaming, and the digital landscape is essential to reach your consumers across all touchpoints.
  1. Test, Measure, Optimize: Reporting tools like Google Analytics and TEGNA Attribution provide actionable insights to maximize campaign effectiveness and drive ROI.​ Be sure to monitor campaign types and performance metrics of your creative. Remove a particular ad from rotation if it is not performing to expectations. 

Examples of Engaging Clickable Ads 

What makes for a great digital ad? Here are a few examples from campaigns I’ve been a part of that demonstrate the art and science of creating digital ads that get audiences to click, interact, and take action.  


GTCC Display Ad Example

Why it Works: This Guilford Technical Community College banner is simple but effective. It uses minimal copy and has a great tagline.  


Why it Works: This animated ad is an excellent example of thinking differently. The movement presents a great way to capture a user’s attention and draw eyes to the simple and straightforward call to action.  



Why it Works: This interscroller for Tamarack Resort is a fine example of showing users what they are missing using high-quality images. The copy is simple and has a great call to action. 

Elevate Your Clickable Ads with TEGNA Digital Advertising 

Knowing where to begin and who to trust with your digital advertising dollars can be challenging. You want to choose a partner who knows digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and can craft a creative strategy to fit your brand needs. 

This is where we can assist at TEGNA. Our marketing experts can help you navigate the linear broadcast, streaming OTT, and digital landscape. Collaborate with us to craft a strategy and ad creative to meet your advertising goals. Let’s get in touch. 

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