A Creative is the first element of your campaign that an internet user sees and catches their attention – heavily influencing the effectiveness of your ad revenue. The creatives you use have to be interesting enough so that people choose your widget amongst a dozen or maybe even a hundred that are visible on a website. That is why it is so important to really work on it and actually spend some time finding the perfect one.
We know it may be a time-consuming task… This is why in Voluum DSP you can test up to 64 combinations of main images and headlines in one campaign! You can easily and quickly learn what performs well and replace poorly-performing images with better or newer ones.
With a DSP, you can also test many Ad Exchanges using one platform instead of asking each Publisher directly. Plus, you don’t have to pay several top ups to qualify and run campaigns – with ours you only need one.
However, you also should remember that the requirements presented in our documentation might be slightly different, and content that is approved directly might be disapproved while using a DSP. It can be both because as a DSP we have our own policy and guidelines and also because Publishers may be more strict while working with DSPs.
Also bear in mind that even when you find a creative that works really well, it may change after some time and performance may decline. Internet users get bored if they see the same thing over and over, so you cannot get too lazy! You need to keep working on finding new combinations that will attract and convert people.
Main Images – Native Advertising Requirements
The main image is the first thing that catches the attention of internet users. Why? Because glancing over an image simply takes much less energy than reading text.
The main image, accompanied by a headline, is the most important element of a creative. It is the image that people will see in a widget on websites where you will be promoting your products/services. It should grab attention and encourage people to click on it. The widget determines which elements will be shown, but the main image and a headline are always present. This is the most popular result:
This is why you need to choose the main images carefully and also test them for some time to learn what performs well currently. You also have to remember to optimize ad images that you selected for your campaign. Our team of experts will be happy to help you with that.
When you’re looking for advertising campaign creative ideas then you will probably check what is being promoted at the time: offers, landing pages and creatives out there. You can obviously get inspiration from these creative advertising campaign examples. But remember that following what others do might not be a good idea because people usually get bored when they see the same things over and over again. As we mentioned earlier, your main image needs to draw attention so you need to be careful while picking it.
There are also a few rules you should always follow when choosing your main image:
9 Native Advertising Rules to Follow
Always Provide High Resolution Images
The first rule that applies to all Publishers is to make sure that the uploaded native advertising images have high resolution so they look both aesthetically nice and professional in the widget. A small or poor-quality creative may stretch and appear pixelated or blurred, and more importantly, unattractive for the user whom you want to reach. And an unattractive ad is not going to draw users in. That is why high advertising image resolution is a foundation.
To make sure that both our Advertisers and Publishers are happy with the results, we created a feature – image cropping thanks to which you can get to know more about image ad specs and crop your images while keeping the proportions required by the Ad Exchange. Using it allows you to adjust your main images to the Publisher’s widgets without stretching them (which usually worsens quality).
After all, high quality images look more professional and are simply more pleasing to the eye, and this is the reason why Publishers prefer these and internet users crave them.
Check that Text on the Image is Allowed
In native advertising, the headline is meant to take over the role of text on the image (in comparison to banner/display ads). Usually, creatives with a lot of text perform worse. More importantly, some Ad Exchanges reject such images right away, even if the image generally looks good and would still be accepted on banner traffic.
Of course, this does not mean that text cannot appear on any image ever. Just don’t let it dominate your image. Logos are acceptable as long as your campaign does not infringe the trademark. Before you add an image with text on it, please visit our guidelines and check the requirements for each Ad Exchange separately.
Examples of excessive/unnecessary text on creatives:
The images shown above contain text that could be either very easily substituted for a headline or simply mentioned in an article on a landing page – or there’s simply an excessive amount of text. Publishers also do not like text that looks as if it were just pasted on an image.
Below you can find acceptable forms of creatives with text; i.e. images that contain single words created by arranging physical things next to each other, not by inserting text boxes:
Avoid Poorly Edited Pictures
When uploading a picture, it’s better to use an original one or one that is edited very well. Adding things to a picture that don’t belong there and were obviously added with a photo editor or graphics software might not be a good idea. What seems funny in reality may not turn out as professional. Publishers consider it a low quality picture and, as you can guess, these are not desired. So it may be a better idea to replace such images.
We definitely recommend avoiding images like these:
Give Up the Idea of Using Flashy, Aggressive Images and Optical Illusions
It may seem that flashy, aggressive images and optical illusions will attract attention and be clickable, but in practice these do not look so great on websites. Since most Ad Exchanges declare that they don’t want these creatives, we reject them.
Here you can find few examples:
Aren’t you feeling dizzy just by looking at some of these?
Make Sure that Your Images are Cropped Nicely
Poorly cropped images look bad; it affects the general quality of an image and also seems unprofessional. After all, nobody likes photos that are not properly cropped and most Publishers do not want them either. Below are a few examples.
These images would look much better if you could see the whole objects and peoples’ faces, wouldn’t they ?
Check Whether You Can Use Circles and Arrows
Many guidelines state that placing circles and arrows to highlight a specific part of the image is considered clickbait – and this is a prohibited practice with some Ad Exchanges. So before you decide to send a campaign for approval that contains these kinds of edits, please check our documentation where you can find information which Publishers don’t want them and also see other image ad requirements.
Usually, arrows and circles are acceptable if they are part of a process scheme, a diagram or a chart.
Ensure that Before/After Images and Zoomed Body Parts are Allowed
Some Publishers don’t approve before/after images and zoomed body parts on creatives. You can find this information as well in our documentation. Regular images showing either a thing/person before/after using a product can be interesting enough for users, however you need to find a nice, quality creative and add a headline that will encourage a person to click on it! If you decide to use creatives with body part close-ups, please remember that the content should be easily recognizable, and it cannot be grotesque or unsettling.
Here you can find few examples of what may be rejected:
Verify If You Can Use GIF Format
We also cooperate with a few Ad Exchanges that do not support GIFs. Thus, it is better to double-check our documentation and requirements twice before uploading such creatives – check out Creative & Headline Specifications for each Ad Exchange separately.
Find Out Whether You Need to Use a Logo on an Icon Image
The icon image is not always visible in a widget, but it is better to add a nice one anyway rather than have it rejected. Even if the Publisher does not require using a logo or is not adding an icon image to a widget, the element should still follow the Ad Exchange’s guidelines. For example, too sexually suggestive or shocking images are always rejected.
As a logo we understand a symbol, graphic mark, motto, slogan or a word associated with the promoted product, company or business type. Recently, the number of Publishers that require a logo as an icon image is increasing. That is why we highly recommend using graphic marks/symbols rather than pictures as icon images to keep up with upcoming trends.
Here you can find few examples:
Headlines: General Tips, Best Practices and Examples
The headline must be informative and relevant to the campaign topic or offered product. This seems pretty obvious, but our Moderation Team rejects campaigns based on this on a daily basis. So make sure that your advertising headlines match the main image as well as your offer content.
Have Balanced Headlines
Keep them short but at the same time informative – e.g. “Personal Horoscope” can be enriched with a more direct expression “Check out Your Personal Horoscope!” The headline addresses the customer directly, which gives the impression of exclusivity.
Remember Proper Grammar and Punctuation
Please avoid excessive punctuation and symbols. The most often overused punctuation marks include exclamation points (!), question marks (?) and ellipses (…). Ellipsis may cause the impression that your sentence is unfinished. We also strongly recommend avoiding emojis, as they may not be displayed properly on the website. These are restrictions applied by some of our partners.
Refrain from Excessive Capitalization
Remember to use proper capitalization that is according to most standard guides in the country the campaign is targeting. Excessive capitalization i.e. capitalizing whole words is sometimes referred to as screaming or shouting. Publishers do not like it and as a result our Moderation Team rejects headline that look like this:
“NEW HD NIGHT VISION GLASSES”
Consequently, it is more reasonable to use such a form:
“New HD Night Vision Glasses”.
It is acceptable to capitalize an entire word if it is a brand name, an acronym, or a common abbreviation, such as “NASA.” In Voluum DSP we generally do not accept headlines which are fully capitalized or even partially capitalized, even when only one word is capitalized when it should not be.
Use the Language of the Country that You are Targeting
It is a good idea, just remember to make sure that you are grammatically correct. Do a little research on how to write proper headlines in the given language because each country has different rules. In English the first letter of most important words should be capitalized; in German the first letter of the sentence and first letter of nouns should be capitalized; Spanish uses exclamation and question marks both at the beginning and at the end of a sentence.
See the difference between languages with these advertising headlines examples:
English: Do Not Try Another Diet Until You Watch This!
German: Versuchen Sie keine andere Diät, bis Sie dies sehen!
Spanish: ¡No intente otra dieta hasta que vea esto!
Some publishers also require a specific language even though the selected country uses more than one, for example Engageya requires headlines for the United Arab Emirates to be in Arabic and does not accept headlines in English.
Avoid “Too Good to Be True” Headlines
We often reject headlines with exaggerated claims, mostly with health and financial related offers. Some traffic sources directly inform their users that they disapprove of “too good to be true” headlines. So it is better to avoid exaggerated claims especially with categories such as nutrition (weight loss, skin care etc.) as well as finance (binary, forex or crypto trading).
Some examples of unacceptable content:
“Woman Reveals Simple Fat Burning Secret She Used To Lose 98lbs In 3 Weeks”
“How This Woman Lost 32lbs of Body Fat in 2 Weeks With Zero Exercise”
“Basic Home Remedy Melts Away Moles & Skin Tags In 32 Mins”
“By investing crumbs in Bitcoin you will gain $34,566 in one week”
With these tips, your advertising campaign images and headlines are much more likely to be approved and succeed. After reading this article, your campaign shouldn’t get rejected for just some silly reason! Though some requirements may seem strange sometimes, our Moderation Team strives to keep these rules from our partners imposed.
The best part is: now you know what you need for a successful and profitable campaign! Think outside the box and let other people be inspired by your creative advertising examples! Find your perfect creatives and send them to us. We are waiting for you!