Businesses that need to show their products to potential customers — think real estate, retail, automotive sales, clothing and footwear, tourism, online games, etc. — have seen good results from search banners and Image ads in ad networks. Large images grab users' attention and help them get the gist of the ad in less than a second. Formats in Yandex.Direct with images like display ads help foster relationships with brands while also allowing advertisers to target impressions for specific audiences. Keep reading to find out how to get the most out of these formats.
1. Use all possible creatives
There's a general rule to keep in mind, given that Image ads only appear in the Yandex Advertising Network: the more sites your ads can appear on, the more possible impressions they can have. Try to upload creatives of all sizes and fill out all available fields — this increases the chances that your ad will appear on different sites and get broader reach. The more detail you add to your creatives, the easier it will be for your potential client to remember you.
You don't need special training or a professional designer to create Image ads. In Ad Builder you can select the right templates and parameters for your creatives.
If you are unsure of where to begin, Ad Builder can help generate ads based on your site — using texts, images and your typical company colors from your site. All you have to do is review the generated creatives and edit them.
The CR of your ad is influenced by multiple factors, e.g. how clearly the product or service being advertised is presented, whether a price is shown, the presence of a call-to-action button and the relevance of the link. Elements that help users recognize your brand — your logo, your brand's typical color scheme, slogans, etc. — help increase your ads' effect on brand awareness.
2. Put what's important in the title
Some ad blocks will only show your ad's image and ad title. To make sure the user clearly understands your offer no matter how the ad appears, mention the product or service advertised in the ad title.
The "Main text" field in Image ads is a good place to describe your unique selling point:
3. Avoid images with large text
Your ad text will be illegible if it is laid on top of an image with built-in text. If users are unable to understand your message, this can have an effect on your CTR.
4. Experiment with form and content
In some cases, Image ads with GIFs show better performance — the moving images are more informative and do a better job of holding users' attention. A good example of an Image ad is a GIF with a clearly visible logo and the brand's signature colors. Using GIFs makes your Image ads visually similar to smart banners, a feed-based format with high conversion rates.
Example. The online tool seller VseInstrumenty.ru tested Image ads with GIFs for a month. Their goal was to bring back users who had added items to their cart but didn't complete their purchases. Ads with GIFs showed better results than ads with static images: they brought 4.5X more clicks at 1/3 of the original CPC, leading to 2.1X higher ROI.
5. Use Image ads together with Text & Image ads
This can help improve your ad campaign's performance indicators in ad networks as well as on search.
Example. An advertiser from the construction and refurbishment industry used Image ads together with Text & Image ads for two months. Their goal was to determine the influence of this combination on the traffic amounts they received from retargeting. The results showed that this strategy brought 45% more clicks and 18% more conversions while lowering CPC by 7%.
We also recommend you add search banners to your Text & Image campaigns.
We compared the click-through rates and click prices of Text & Images ads when they appeared alone and together with search banners. Our research showed that 90% of advertisers who used search banners saw increases in their click-through rates, while 40% saw decreases in their click prices. Moreover, half of advertisers saw their CTR increase by 1.5 times or more, while their click price increase by no more than 3.2% or actually decreased.
6. When analyzing campaign performance, keep the effect on brand awareness in mind
All image forms have a proven effect on brand awareness, so don't rush to judge their performance solely by a last click model. Doing so can lead to incorrect conclusions and cut off audiences that didn't immediately visit your site, but remembered your brand later and could return from other sources.
Our experiments have shown that users who see an Image ad, even if they don't immediately click on it, return later via other channels.
Example. Image ads help "warm up" audiences. When users who had already seen Image ads later visited an advertiser's site, they spent more time on the site, and their visits brought 16% more conversions than those users in the control group.
Search banners' effect on brand awareness remains even after the campaign finishes.
Example. Less then a week after the campaign finished, an advertiser from the finance industry saw the CTR of their Text & Image ads increase among users who saw their search banners by 8%.
7. Don't forget about mobile audiences
A significant portion of traffic that Image ads bring comes from smartphones, so we recommend you:
- Come up with separate creatives and USP for impressions on mobile devices, and address mobile users directly.
- Always check your landing page. Make sure that everything loads correctly in terms of load speeds on different devices, that users can clearly see the advantages of your offer and easily find your contact details. If your site doesn't have a mobile-friendly version or loads very slowly on smartphones and tablets, you can create a light and easy-to-load Turbo page right in the Yandex.Direct interface. Turbo pages help increase your conversions from mobile devices and improve your interactions with mobile audiences.
Negative bid adjustments for smartphones can lower your overall conversion rates since with mobile traffic:
- conversions can be delayed
- conversions can take place from other devices.
8. Set up retargeting
Image ads can appear for retargeting lists or display criteria like users who visited your site and spent time reading the description of a specific product.
When using Image ads, we reach out to an audience that is already interested and familiar with your company. As a result, retargeting is more effective than just setting up ads for keywords. If you are just starting to work with Image ads, we recommend beginning with your retargeting lists. You can find instructions for working with retargeting lists in the Help section and the special check list.
If you need additional help setting up your image ads, you can contact your Yandex manager or the International Sales Team. If you have your own tips that you'd be willing to share with us, please do! We will keep them in mind when preparing future articles. And as always, good luck with your campaigns!
- Upload creatives of all sizes. Fill in all available fields in Ad Builder so that your banner can appear on as many sites as possible, and reach the maximum number of users.
- Use elements that make it easy for users to recognize your brand (logo, typical company colors).
- Increase your ads' CTR by clearly indicating the product or service being advertised, the price and linking to a relevant landing page.
- Mention the product or service you are advertising right in the ad title so that it is clear no matter how the ad appears.
- Maximize the legibility of your ads by avoiding images with large built-in text.
- Experiment with formats to determine the optimal combination. In some cases, Image ads with GIFs perform better — they are more informative and keep users' attention longer.
- Run Image ads alongside your Text & Image ads to improve your campaign's performance.
- Add a search banner to your Text & Image ad campaigns. When they appear together, search banners can increase the CTR of your Text & Image ads by 50%.
- Take the effects on brand awareness into account when analyzing your campaigns' effectiveness. Users who see your Image ads can return to your site later via another channel, even if they didn't immediately click on the banner.
- Create different USPs for mobile sites, and address mobile users directly.
- Always check your landing page, layout and load speed on different devices to make sure that users can see your competitive advantages and contact details.
- Create Turbo pages in Yandex.Direct if you don't have a mobile site or if yours loads very slowly.
- Set up retargeting to address a specific group of users with a concrete offer, e.g. to bring back users who previously visited your site and completed certain actions.