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What Your Marketing Agency Should Know About Text Ads — But Doesn’t


This isn’t news to anyone in the marketing game, but for the uninitiated, text ads are nothing new. So long as there has been advertising on the internet, there have been text ads. In fact, go back to 1994, and the generally accepted first banner ad ever was nothing more than rainbow-colored text almost daring you to click a specific area. The click-through rate was bonkers, and the world would never be the same.

Why the history? Well, for years now, trying to get the same magic from text ads has been illusive to say the least. Sure, there have been great success stories. What’s more, as companies zero in on the elements of their text ads that get the most attention, text ads are getting better. However, this isn’t to say they’re very good. Say what?!?

Here’s the thing: a number of marketing agencies today are still working off of the way things were done back in 1994. Most folks would conclude that the world has changed dramatically in the last nearly three decades. Advertising online is more than just throwing a random rectangle with colorful text on a website. Good text ads are cultivated not created. More on this later.

If you’ve wondered why your company’s text ads aren’t netting the kind of results you want, here are some places where your marketing agency might be dropping the ball:

Size & Ratios Matter

Innuendo aside, there is a lot to be said about the physical presentation of a well-placed text ad. Considerations about what sites the ad will be on (social media platforms, for example), as well as how distracting certain dimensions can be all must be taken into account.

Grabbing (and keeping) Attention

Attention spans are considered to be lower now than ever before. Bemoan the origin of this social hot take all you want, the fact is that when folks are online, they are all about TL;DR. Text used in advertising needs to be concise & speak to the audience. Think of the unwritten rules that apply to interoffice emails: 1) don’t abuse the “hey, everybody” option; and 2) don’t write a novel.

Strong Calls To Action

Once you’ve got someone’s attention with a text ad, now’s your chance to call them to action. A solid CTA about your product/service, as well as industry, can be quite effective at getting them to click on to where you can reach them best. You want your CTAs to be clear, to the point, and get them to do something (hence, the ‘action’ part of CTA).

Define ‘Success’

It seems like a simple thing & maybe even the first thing that agencies should do. However, you might be surprised to know how many marketing agencies fail to help their clients determine goals, both short- and long-term, for their text ads. If you don’t have a way to gauge whether you’re accomplishing what you set out to do, how will you know you got there? Even more crucial, how do you know you’ve not even come close?

You need to make sure your marketing agency is handling their business well enough to handle yours, including testing, tweaking, and everything in between: 

  • navigating a good balance between headlines, display URLs, and descriptions is a good start
  • having a good idea & control over where you want your text ad(s) to show up is helpful
  • making sure your ads can translate well across devices is incredibly important

At the end of the day, text ads that hit the mark follow general best practices. Just like with any industry, doing the basic things right makes all the difference in the world.

Text ads are just one of the many things MindEcology of Austin, TX studies, understands, and more importantly, improves upon. See what their work can do for you today.