Tech and software companies are investing heavily in digital paid advertising.
They’re either advertising on Facebook, Google search and Display networks, Instagram, media publishers, and other networks.
But why is that?
Online advertising can be very effective for creating brand awareness, attracting social media followers, generating leads, and increasing product sales.
Companies of all sizes are shifting towards online advertising. According to eMarketer, it’s estimated that U.S. advertisers would have spent $129+ billion on digital advertising by the end of 2019.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next online advertising campaign, you’ll surely find an ad example from some of the tech and software companies you follow, trust, and even admire.
So whether you’re planning to launch a tech or software company, or you simply want to get some inspiration from their ad designs, I wrote this in-depth article with you in mind.
You’ll see 10 ad examples that have generated massive engagements, resulted in millions of dollars worth of product sales, and made an unforgettable impact on the industry.
Let’s get started.
Example #1: Apple Music Display Ads
Apple is one of the smartest companies in the world. It’s arguably the best when it comes to smartphones and operating systems.
But what you may not realize is the route the company follows with online advertising. The team doesn’t complicate things at all.
When you see a typical Apple Music display ad, it doesn’t look fancy. Isn’t it obvious on their website as well? The tech. company allows plenty of white space on its website — yet, it doesn’t affect their sales negatively.
Even before Apple iPhone X was launched, there are millions of customers on the waiting list. Apple has become a magnet in the consumer market.
Apple’s logo always stands out in its banner ads. No matter where the banner ad appears, the logo is what attracts people in. As long as that logo is there — there will be trust.
The call-to-action button used in the banner ad is simply “Available Now” which is more than enough because Apple is a household name already.
What you can learn from this paid ad example from Apple is simplicity. Remember that you don’t have to complicate your message to make it catch on. Just communicate your message well — and you’ll drive engagement and grow sales.
Example #2: Shopify’s Facebook Ad Campaign
Shopify’s Facebook ad is a good example of delivering enormous value. This should inspire you to create online ads that are not only aimed at getting you leads and sales but make sure it’s going to help people ultimately.
Looking at Shopify’s ad, here’s the first question you’ll see:
“What kind of person do you say you are to the world?”
This question is rooted in how the human brain is wired. When people are appreciated and valued for the traits they have developed over time, they take notice.
If you’re a potential customer of Shopify, and you come to the realization that you can be the person you’ve always wanted to be, would you click on the ad or ignore it?
I bet you’ll hit the ad instantly.
When you create your ads, you can ask personal questions to instantly evoke curiosity and emotions from your target audience.
Challenge people to start thinking about their decisions, and they might start looking in the direction of your product.
If your online ads are a source of a reminder to what’s possible, people will be motivated to take action. Shopify’s ad motivates potential customers and businesses to rethink their strategy. The question, “What’s your next move?” is challenging.
It prompts the viewer or customer to consider new options for a more impactful change. Make sure you incorporate such concepts into your online ads. Above all, use the right call-to-action on your ads.
Shopify’s banner ads are also attractive but uses the “Try it for free” and “Get started for free” CTA buttons.
Apple Music used “Available Now” on its banner ads, but that doesn’t mean you should use the same. Use a CTA that’s relevant and clear.
Shopify uses the “Sign Up” prompt instead of the “Learn More” CTA. That’s exactly what Shopify wants users to do.
If you want people to learn more about your products or services, then don’t use Sign Up but “Learn more.” Or simply split test your Facebook call-to-action button to be sure of the best phrase to use.
Example #3: CISCO Online Banner Ad
If you’re a frequent reader of media sites like FastCompany, Mashable, and TheAtlantic, you’ll notice some of the native ads on the platform. Most of these ads are banner ads while some are contextual.
Cisco has been a trusted tech. and software company for decades. They have a huge customer base already — so it’s important to create an emotional hook that will draw these people in.
By leveraging compelling visuals and powerful messages, Cisco was able to launch a campaign that generates lots of engagement.
Cisco’s “I’m hacking your company” campaign captivated the audience. It worked because people are scared of being hacked — so they’d rather get protection now than later.
Example #4: MailChimp Facebook Ad Campaign
If you’ve been in the online marketing environment for a while, then you must be familiar with MailChimp. Before the new email marketing providers came onboard, MailChimp was dominating the email marketing world.
The company had the best email marketing software at the time. They are still popular and recommended for those that are just getting started.
I gave you that intro for a reason:
MailChimp’s ad is a good example of providing practical education for potential customers and existing ones. The example ad below shows how MailChimp works:
It’s an ad for the MailChimp personalization tool. A new feature that helps businesses and marketers increase their email conversion rates.
The success of this Facebook ad can be attributed to great visuals. This Chimp has become brand imagery for MailChimp. Every marketing material they put out there usually has a full or partial Chimp mascot.
MailChimp also uses lots of negative space to draw people’s eyes towards the image. Because at the sight of that image, it’s easy to recognize the brand behind it — MailChimp.
Example #5: Facebook as from Athos App
In the fitness world, many people want to see their performances in real-time, they want to be able to track muscle efforts, heart rate, respiration, muscle fatigue, and so on.
It’s one thing to have the best mobile app that does all of these, but it’s entirely a different ball game to communicate it well.
An ad that gives people the ability to track performance for what they care about is likely going to get results — which was why Athos capitalized on this notion. Here’s the compelling Facebook ad:
Like all Facebook ads, visuals are very important. And the ad above has a hero image that conveys what the Athos app and ‘smart’ clothing is all about. Even if you’re new to Athos or have never heard of it, this ad can give you a good idea.
That screenshot of the app is unique, but as it’s placed close to the hero image, there’s a chemistry that we can all recognize.
When creating your Facebook ads or you’re advertising through Instagram, Google ads, or any other channel, make sure you choose the right imagery.
Could the image tell your brand story without any explanatory copy? This is something you have to keep in mind — regardless of your business model or industry.
Example #6: IBM Educational Banner Ad Campaign
IBM is another tech and software company to be reckoned with. Its online ads are based on the premise of providing education while driving revenue.
IBM’s new platform is a unique one — to educate people about the state of Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, Blockchain, and how these all fit together.
Once the new platform was ready to be launched, IBM decided to leverage online advertising channels to get the word out. They created banner ads that invited people to “think” with them.
There were several ads — but they were all based on the slogan “Think” and “Put Smart to Work.”
An interactive ad such as this will be of interest to people. Once the user clicks on the sequence, he or she will be able to reveal what each of the five pillars represents.
This ad campaign became a global phenomenon. In fact, it won several awards — such as Gold at the London International Awards and the Gold Design Lion at Cannes Lions 2012, Bronze Winner at CLIO Awards, and so on).
The ad is relatable and gives a fresh perspective on what most marketers use as lead a lead magnet: free informational content.
This goes to show that you don’t necessarily need to give out free information just to educate people, you can create massive demand and initiate interactivity on your website, on social media, or even offline events.
Example #7: OptiMonk Retargeting Ad Campaign
When you’re running retargeting ads, it’s always a good idea to use imagery that people saw previously, that way they can recognize it no matter what they’re currently doing.
That’s exactly what OptiMonk, an email popup provider. The company helps businesses and website owners to capture more visitors’ email addresses and other contact information before they leave.
OptiMonk uses Facebook retargeting ads to promote its exit intent software. Retargeting is usually very effective, especially when you have a tool that people have shown a level of interest previously — but couldn’t take action at the time.
The beauty of Facebook retargeting ads is the cost. You can get started even if you have less than $10 to spend per day.
Example #8: HP Display Ad Campaign
Banner ads are becoming popular these days. For some people, no one clicks on banners on the internet. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
HP proved the efficacy of display ads through compelling banners that would get the target audience clicking just to find out more.
HP nailed this banner ad with the compelling statement “Go where the action is.”
When you understand your target audience, it becomes easier to win them over with your ads.
HP is smart and knows its target comprises of users who are familiar with the term “enterprise” so the brand capitalized on that when creating their banner.
If you’re selling simple solutions to business and busy people, you might want to include the words they’re already familiar with on your ad.
Example #9: Facebook Ad Campaign from Visa
As one of the most trusted fintech companies in the United States, Visa has to nail its online ads so people don’t get disappointed.
Rather than using text-based ad copy, Visa leveraged videos on LinkedIn to promote new programs and campaigns. When you watch Visa’s video ads, you’re catapulted to the scene where it’s created (literally).
The video ad above is a good example. It showcases women who are passionate about starting their businesses.
Although a 2-minute video — but the viewer will be asking for more. Above all, the video ad conveys the importance of Visa’s new Visa Everywhere Initiative.
Example #10: Marketo’s Facebook Lead Ads Campaign
The standard Facebook ads still produce good results, but when you’re looking for more you need to try Facebook Lead Ads.
That’s what Marketo used to add new leads into the sales funnel. Lead Ads is unique because it allows people to quickly subscribe to offers, email lists, newsletters, and quotes directly from the Facebook news feed. Here’s the ad:
They don’t have to click a link to visit a landing page before they can opt-in. Everything is done on Facebook.
If you want to get more leads and customers, you might consider investing in Facebook Lead Ads. It’ll challenge what you thought was impossible with Facebook advertising.
However, if generating leads isn’t your thing, but brand awareness, then you can use the standard Facebook ads — because it’ll work for such an objective.
You’ll need a helpful material to give away when you run a Facebook Lead Ads campaign. It could be a free eBook, an email course, software, membership site access, or webinar. The list of lead magnets you can use is endless.
Online advertising is growing!
It doesn’t matter the industry you operate in or your business model, you can leverage Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Ads, and other digital advertising channels to reach your target audience and grow your sales significantly.
You want to showcase your products and services in a creative way — because users want to see ads they can ‘relate’ with because they’re primarily on social media to connect and discover awesome stuff.
If you’re not sure which type of Facebook ad campaign (imagery or video) will work for your business, you can always test different ads combination.
Or test different channels entirely. For example, run Instagram ads to promote a lifestyle product or cause, while using Facebook ads to reach a general target market.
Have you been inspired by these online advertising campaigns from tech and software companies?
Let me know if you have any questions or need help with your digital advertising campaign.