4 Free Resources to Inspire Better Ad Creative
By Allen Finn
A furniture maker slaves over a lathe during the day but she moonlights as an SEO. When a plumber in Cedar Rapids finishes mending clogged pipes, he goes home to add negative keywords and optimize bids. When I freelance, I am biz. dev. guy, creative talent, accountant, or debt collector depending on the day of the week.
My point is this: the tired adage about small business owners and hats might be played out, but it’s completely true.
Notice, though, that the ancillary tasks associated with running a business listed above are all learnable skills that can be acquired (or circumvented) with a bit of time and the right tools. Anyone can brush up on PPC knowledge (using blogs like this one) or subscribe to QuickBooks.
Developing an eye for good design, though, is a different story.
Good taste is subjective, sure, but it doesn’t come natural to everyone. Trying to arrange the various textual and graphic elements of a Display ad or piece of Facebook creative can feel arbitrarily laborious to some and downright infuriating to others.
How, then, is your average small business owner or overworked marketer supposed to improve upon bland ad creative like this…
What it lacks in excitement it makes up for with information and four different greys!
With something like this…
The first is practice. Not the #hack you were looking for, I know.
The second, though, is easier and just as actionable: Look for creative inspiration in the right places. Find superlative ad creative, figure out what’s so great about it, then use your research. All it takes is a bit of serendipity and a willingness to use some free resources.
What’s this? Why, it just so happens I’ve rustled up a short list of some of the best resources you can leverage to make better ad creative.
#1: Canva Design School
If you’re a content marketer, an influencer, or just an avid user of social media, you’ve encounter Canva.
Hell, if you’ve ever been to our website, you’ve encountered Canva: many of our contributors (myself included) use it to create the images (some sort of visual overlaid with the title of a blog post) that accompany social shares.
While I’ve never used the paid version, I’ve made extensive use of Canva’s free tools. Before doing so, though, I paid a little visit to their blog, Design School.
Design School is a phenomenal resource for tips on how to make better ad creative through the power of design. They’re got blog posts on platform-specific strategies and best practices that are loaded with great examples (which you should borrow from liberally).
While the blog itself is great, the real gem here is the extensive tutorials section, which includes multi-step modules on:
- Shapes and Icons
The best part about Canva’s tutorials is that they’re interactive; everything you’re taught, you’re taught within the context of the tool. This makes it easy to pivot away Go to the full article.