Since it first became an option in 1994, digital advertising has evolved to the point it can effectively target most any audience you choose.

Not only that, but working in the digital realm has become easy, quickly adaptable and cost effective. It negates the need for long-term contracts, monitors its own success, and allows you to immediately use feedback to create better ad strategies.

As such, U.S. spending on digital ads is set to reach $93.7 billion by 2019, representing a 24 percent increase over this year’s estimated revenues. Of that, display ads are expected to continue to represent the biggest segment, reaching $33.7 billion in two years’ time.

That said, poorly designed and/or ineffective display ads still flood the internet. If you’re new to the process of creating effective ads, consider these guidelines for getting started.

Personalize. You’re wasting your marketing dollar and your viewers’ attention if you fail to use data insight to create ads and optimize venues likely to appeal to your target market. Consider using analytics tools to shed light on who your key audiences are before forming an ad strategy.

Exploit your strengths. Become familiar with your competitors’ ad messaging, understand your competitive differentiators and use your ads to point out your singular advantages. You’ll blend into the woodwork if you do what everyone else is doing.

Set concrete goals. The ROI of your campaign will otherwise be difficult to gauge. Are you seeking more website traffic? Conversions? Audience engagement? Awareness? Lifelong customers? Applying numbers and timelines to your goals allows you to better evaluate success.

Be consistent. Tweaking the copy and visual design of your ads is recommended as you determine which specific combinations are performing the best. However, your branding will get lost in the shuffle without some consistency. Consider keeping the same basic voice, colors, fonts and/or imagery, or perhaps changing out just one element at a time.

Don’t be obnoxious. Your design will become a good reason for ad blockers if it employs clashing colors or startling images, or flashes in viewers’ faces. Instead, be noticed but not intrusive by making good use of bold colors, borders and white spaces.

Optimize call marketing. Ensure your ads are highlighted with memorable vanity phone numbers and/or call buttons that encourage viewers to respond by calling. The methodology has seen a huge resurgence in recent years due to the popularity of smartphones.

Affiliate wisely. Protect your brand by ensuring your ads won’t appear on inappropriate websites or alongside questionable content. Prevent that through a demand-sized platform that allows you to monitor and remove your placements at any given time.

Make your website as appealing as your ads. Your ads may work spectacularly to drive viewers to your site, but they may be turned off if the site itself is boring, archaic or contrary to your branding.

Test ads frequently. Pretend you’re a customer and run through the process of responding to your ads. Is it overly time consuming, confusing or complex? If so, fix it.

Many companies cannot afford to leave digital display out of their marketing mixes.

“Once manual, time-consuming and relying on a shotgun approach, the digital ad industry has evolved into an automatic, efficient and targeted channel,” notes a recent e-book by global technology vendor VE Interactive. “From the nonchalant browsers to serial shoppers, e-commerce sites have unlimited opportunities to engage with their customers online. And display advertising provides these sites with the platform to do so.”

Learn more about how digital display can complement your call marketing campaign at Custom Toll Free.