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Tutorial 5: Developing Your First Creative for Your Marketing Campaign

Tutorial 5: Developing Your First Creative for Your Marketing Campaign

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Welcome to day five of your Digital Marketing for Beginners Course! You've almost made it to the end—well done! You've come along way. Hopefully, you can now talk with some confidence about what digital marketing is and have a good idea as to whether it's a career you'd like to pursue.

In this final tutorial, we'll cover some key principles for developing your first creative. What exactly is a creative in the context of digital marketing, and what is it that makes a creative eye-catching and effective? How does this differ from channel to channel?

Ready to get started? Let's go!

  1. What's a creative?
  2. What makes a good creative?

1. What's a creative?

A creative is a general marketing term that refers to any asset or content that is used in marketing campaigns in an effort to convince people to buy a product or service. They're the artwork, design, and concept that goes into a website or ad. They can vary massively in complexity, from simple text ads which may take a few minutes to compile and launch, to 10-minute video ads which require more extensive production efforts.

Such a diverse array of creatives obviously requires a diverse skillset to produce them. Behind an established company's marketing will be a team of marketing designers, creative directors, art directors, production managers, and copywriters. If the company doesn't have these resources in-house, or they want a highly specialized creative, they'll often work with agencies. In smaller companies, it's common for employees to wear multiple hats—the content marketing manager may be responsible for copy across the entire spectrum, from ad and landing page copy all the way through to long-form ebooks.

2. What makes a good creative?

So what makes a good creative?

Well, regardless whether you're writing a blog post, creating a video ad, or recording an entire podcast, you have to get the mix right between sensationalism and relevance.

Indeed, this is the thread which runs throughout marketing. On the one hand, you need to be able to capture attention. You need to be able to excite, motivate, and inspire people. That's the "sensationalism."

On the other hand, you need to be relevant; if the ad overpromises, the experience that follows the click will inevitably underdeliver. You need to stay honest.

So how do you reach this balance?

Well, first of all, you need to keep the messaging simple, direct, and memorable. And, more likely than not, you need to make it goal-oriented. You need to communicate to whoever is seeing your ad, your blog post's title, or the first few seconds of your video ad, why they should click through or continue watching. You need to communicate the value and the probable outcome of the time they are about to invest.

Consider these two sentences. Imagine them on a banner or in a text ad. Which one would you click on?

  1. Online French lessons: First week free
  2. Start speaking French within one week—free for your first week!

Both are simple sentences which take little time to process, but the switch to more goal-oriented messaging makes a big difference. Again, it makes the value of the probable time investment very clear. No one cares what you can do. Everyone cares what you can do for them.

The importance of the simplicity of the message you use stretches to your vocabulary, too. Don't use jargon where you could use common turns of phrase. Consider the following sentences:

  1. Supercharge your French language skills with these intensive classes
  2. Get fluent in French with these classes

Again, the version with the more recognizable, common language and the specific outcome is (probably) more appealing to you. Keep it simple, keep it relevant, keep it focused on the outcome.

Next up: make it personal. Talk about "you." If you look at the best copywriters and marketers in the digital space nowadays, they write conversationally. They address the user directly, and often strike an approachable, honest, friendly tone.

  1. We're the number one online school to learn French
  2. Looking for an online language school? We'll teach you to speak French in no time at all

And the best advice? Always produce your creative with the next action in mind. If it's a blog post, write every line with the aim of getting the reader to the next line. If it's a banner ad, figure out what it is that will inspire the viewer to click through to your website. If it's a video, what's the hook which will entice the watcher to continue watching the video?


You've reached the end of the course! Congratulations! If you'd like to test how much you've learned, try out the final test to see if you can pass with 70% or over. If you have feedback on this course, simply reply to one of the emails which accompany it—we'd love to hear from you!


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