The digital ad landscape is as endlessly evolving as the culture which consumes its content. Effective publishers and advertisers must pay close attention to current trends and ad requirements, as set by the sources.

We have compiled some “best practices” for ad image creation in 2019, based off our expert team of media buyers, market research, and information provided directly from advertising sources.  

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Colorful - How color influences our behavior and decision making is a science unto itself. When creating ads, colorful is key. We’re not talking psychedelic here, but vibrant and crisp colors that pop will draw eyes to your ad over those surrounding it. Better yet, if one color pops more than others, accentuate that color.  

Image Contains a Person or Animal - We have found that ad images which contain people or animals obtain higher CTR. Additionally, use a photo where the the person is close up and easy to see, while limiting the number of people to one or two. Female subjects also tend to perform better than men.

Avoid Stock Photos - It may seem like an easy way to obtain polished, high quality photos, but to readers they scream inauthentic, and let’s be honest, they all look the same.

Vintage or Old photos are an excellent go-to; article permitting, of course. Old-timey looking photos give the impression the reader is going to learn a lost or forgotten secret about a historical event, person, or place. Black and white photos can serve this purpose as well. Just don’t convert a modern to black and white and try to pass it off as vintage.

Say Yes to Selfies - Selfies provoke a strong sense of authenticity and intimacy that can heavily influence someone to choose your article when they are looking to enjoy some easy reading. With the above covering what helps your campaign succeed, there are a few things that are almost certain to get your campaign rejected by most reputable sources.
These include: Drugs, Violence, Nudity, Implied Nudity, Weapons, Politics, Graphic, Gory, etc. You get the picture.

Taboola has a wonderful resource which they keep up to date with not only what they deem acceptable, but also what is currently seeing success on their network.

Check Out Taboola Trends

These suggestions give you a great starting point. The best way to find your top performers is to begin A/B testing your headlines and images. A methodical approach to ad creation will allow you to develop a strong foundation of what works best for your content.