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Why beauty isn’t everything in advertising

If you are thinking about doing paid advertising, you are probably considering how to design your ad. So let me ask you a question: are you designing it to look beautiful? Or are you designing it to work for you?

I love fashion and lifestyle magazines. Whenever I travel, I’ll buy two or three at the station or airport to keep me occupied for the journey. And if you flip through any of these magazines you’ll see some stunning ads full of beautiful models, gorgeous locations and elegant typeface.

So it is tempting to create ads that showcase beautiful design, your stunning logo, and inspiring images. But before you do so, read this article. I will explain why beauty isn’t everything when it comes to advertising online.

First, have a look at this excellent infographic from Kissmetrics:


How Colors Affect Conversions
Source: How Colors Affect Conversions – Infographic

The statistic I think is most interesting is the one from Performable. They changed a button from green to red, and it resulted in a 21% increase in conversions. So have a think about that statistic and what that would mean to your business. If you spend $100 on advertising, you could achieve a 21% increase in sales just from changing the colour of a button. That’s a huge number!

I can guess what you are thinking now. You’re thinking: “but I’ve seen those ads with the big red buttons. They’re ugly and annoying. There is no way I will allow that to reflect my brand!”.

Whilst I would be inclined to agree, you do have to take note of these pieces of research if you really want to get the best ROI from your advertising. The fact is, people to respond well to some colours over others, and often it is the uglier, brighter, gaudy looking designs that draw attention from visitors over the more beautiful but muted brands. However, you don’t need to go down the path of bright red and yellow, giant font, flashing ads that we’ve all seen and hated. There is a middle ground. What you do need to do is draw the attention of the visitor away from the rest of the page they are currently looking at. So you do need to make a statement.

So does this mean you should make all the buttons on your ads red?

Absolutely not. Red is not necessarily the color that is going to work most effectively for your target customer. But you do need to do some research into colour psychology for your target market, and more importantly you need to try out some different ads to see which ones get the best response. That is exactly what these businesses in the infographic did. They experimented and they looked at the results. By doing the same thing, you could really transform the effectiveness of advertising for your business.

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