How to Mind Map Creative Advertising Ideas with MindMeister

This is a guest post from Nitzan Gursky. Nitzan is the Marketing Team Leader at Infolinks, one of the largest monetization networks in the world and the company behind AdShop. Connect with Nitzan on LinkedIn.

No advertising campaign can be a success without the right creative. In this article I’ll share how to mind map creative advertising ideas, using MindMeister.

There are many benefits to online advertising–tremendous reach, pinpoint targeting and clear reporting of which campaigns are working, and which aren’t.

However, I’ve often found that businesses put a lot of time (and money) into choosing an advertising platform, but get stuck when it comes to developing the creative idea.

That’s understandable. Many fine marketers freeze up when it comes to the time to get creative – it’s why designers and copywriters are in such high demand.

If you’re in need of a way to bring your idea to life, there’s no better way to get started than with a brainstorming session–and MindMeister is an intuitive, effective solution to mind map creative ideas.

How to Get Started?

Here are three important steps:

  1. Understand the ads you’re creating: To begin, you need a basic understanding of the advertising platform you’re using. What kind of space will your ad live in? If it’s an InFold ad, for example, then you know you have a certain amount of space for the creative assets you create.
  2. Tell a story in your ad: The best creative tells a story that connects your business or brand to your next customer. One of the best ways to tell a story when you don’t have a lot of real estate–like on a text ad–is to make sure you focus in on a few key differentiators. What makes your products or services unique?
  3. Find the best ad by trying more than one: No one really knows how your creative is going to perform until it does. If you have more than one way into your story, you have a better chance of finding the best idea, by testing out a bunch of good ones. This is where mind mapping can really come in handy.

Know what you’re working with

To know what your ad needs, you need to know what you’re working with. For example, if you’re running an InFold ad with Infolinks, you’ll have a leaderboard ad — that’s a 720 x 90 pixel ad that usually contains an image, supporting copy and a link (usually, to a relevant page on your website).

Here’s an example of an InFold ad:

infolinks-image-1 mind map creative

Notice that with this type of display ad, you have room to communicate one key message and one key call-to-action, which is the button that you want people to click on to take the next step towards becoming a customer.

Knowing what you’re working with is key to building your story, which is our next step.

How to tell a story in a small ad

Many online advertising opportunities occur in a small space – think ads on mobile phones – so you want to make sure the story is focused. This could be the story of your new product, a seasonal promotion or maybe why you’re different to your competitor.

But how do you boil down everything that’s great about your business into a single idea?

Imagine you sell shoes. Say, athletic shoes. When you tell the story of your shoes, it’s important to simplify. For example, you could tell the story of the quality of your shoes.

You can use MindMeister to mind map creative advertising ideas and plan what you’re going to focus on in your ads. In this example, I’ve divided my hypothetical campaigns into “quality” and “value.”

mindmeister creative brainstorm mind map creative

When you create your ad about your shoes’ quality, use words that convey the idea of quality and use a picture of a beautiful shoe to reflect that.

Finding the best ad

I’m going to tell you a secret: No one really knows if an ad is going to work before they run it. But you have better odds of finding a winning ad if you run variations, especially of your ad text.

By using MindMeister to mind map creative ideas, you can generate enough ideas to test a selection of ads. Next, use your mind map to plot out how you’d vary the text on the ad. In this example, I’ve shown how you could plot out three options for the “Value” ads:

value-creative-advertisement-mind map creative

And here are three options for the “Quality” ads:

quality-creative-ad-mind map creative

Notice that the only thing that varies is how the idea of “price” or “quality” is phrased.

Can one or two words really make a difference? Yes. Many studies have shown that changing one word in an ad can increase response significantly. So try using MindMeister to mind map creative adverts with varying language, colouring, visuals and call-to-actions.

The Bottom Line: Creating Great Ads Takes Planning

Online advertising offers a terrific opportunity for those who can use it well. In this short blog, I’ve given you a few steps that can help improve how you approach your campaigns, especially your advertising creative. Now, it’s up to you to take these ideas and test them out by using MindMeister to mind map creative ideas for your next digital advertising campaign.