Digital advertising is much more efficient and relatively cheaper than many other forms of traditional ads. Determining which ads work and when to drop an ad is done by using A/B testing. Yes, you can test more than two options at once, but this the simplest form to get the point across for demonstration purposes.
With these testing methods, you can create two competing ads in various formats – based upon clicks and conversions you will be able to kill one ad and keep the ad that works best:
Design the same ad in different colors – same images, same verbiage, but maybe the background color is different or the image colors are different. This works well with simple images. Load both and run them in the same manner – within a short amount of time you will be able to view the ad that gets the most clicks and converted the customer to your call-to-action.
Usually same images, same colors but the verbiage is different. Some ads just change the first few words to all caps and that is eye catching enough. Once again, this is also an effective way to quickly assess which content is preferred.
We are a visual society – using the same colors and verbiage but changing the image often results in a preferred ad response. You can quickly drop the underperforming ad and continue with the optimal ad image. Using the correct visuals can really boost conversion.
Ultimately your A/B testing should prove some analysis for future ads. This is the quickest and cheapest way to see what appeals without blowing your entire marketing budget.