Over the past two decades, the rise of social media has totally revolutionised the advertising industry whilst also having a huge impact on the way businesses can advertise their products and services, at what cost, and who they can advertise to.
Social media has completely shaken up an industry that was almost dominated by larger companies who could afford to pay for advertising on billboards, newspapers, radio or, most recently, search engines.
It was only a few years ago when Facebook launched its advertising platform in 2007, and it suddenly was as if barriers that made advertising inaccessible for many no longer existed. The widespread adoption of Facebook advertising accelerated the fast evolution of its own advertising platform and the products available to advertisers, making it a revolutionary channel to gain visibility to a potentially worldwide audience.
The easily-accessible nature of the platform has helped small and medium-sized businesses get started with digital advertising and clearly reduced the need for expensive adverts, once commissioned to large creative agencies. But whilst the process of creating adverts doesn’t necessarily require a huge investment, it is recommended to follow a series of guidelines to ensure your ad performs at its very best.
Creative guidelines for a mobile-first world
Many things have changed since the first version of Facebook Ads was officially released. Mobile evolution and mass adoption is certainly one of these. The society we currently live in is what Facebook itself defines a “mobile-first world”.
Buying and selling products, watching films and tv series, listening to music and podcasts on mobile has become the norm and advertisers need to deliver engaging experiences that are able to catch people’s interest whilst they perform everyday activities.
Living our lives constantly connected to our mobile devices, we have become the potential target of the many businesses who want to sell their products and services to us. But social media is a crowded place and winning the user’s attention is becoming harder and harder every day. For this reason, designing eye-catching ads that are memorable and specific to your target audience is essential to get the most results out of your advertising budget. So what should your Facebook ads look like on mobile?
- Designed vertically or using square aspect ratio to better fit mobile screens and take up a larger portion of the screen.
- Bright and bold with little or no text on the image. A shorter text tends to perform better as it delivers a concept in a quick and digestible way, that is what users expect from a mobile experience.
- Actionable. All Facebook Ads come with a variety of call-to-action buttons you can choose from that make it clearer for users what action they should take. Make sure you pick the one that’s most relevant to your goal.
- With motion. Animated or video ads can stand out more in the news feed and capture the user’s attention for longer.
Of course, different campaign objectives have different requirements but the above guidelines can be applied to most campaigns.
Creative Best Practices for Static Image Ads
Earlier we mentioned that video ads tend to perform better, however that doesn’t mean that image ads can’t deliver successful results. Quite the opposite, in fact. Static image ads have proven to be a great choice for direct response campaigns, as long as a few best practices are followed. Facebook recommends the following:
Ensure that your message is clear and designed to inspire action. Again, make use of any call-to-action buttons tailored to your marketing goal.
If your business sells physical products, make your advert as product-focused as possible to drive sales. Remember that people scroll through their feeds quickly so being clear on what your offering is essential.
Choose the recommended image ratio for each placement. Different placements require different image sizes so make sure you’re ready for it to deliver the best experience possible. Or if you’re happy to use the same image across multiple placements, you can easily do so thanks to the ‘Asset customisation feature’ in Ads Manager.
Generally speaking, creating ads with high-quality images, compelling ad copies and a clear objective is highly likely to boost your campaign performance.
Creative Best Practices for Video Ads
Designing high-quality creatives for video can be a more challenging task but movement is recommended to make your ad stand out. In particular, if you are looking to drive brand awareness, video can be a great ally as it makes your advert more memorable.
The current recommendations for Facebook video creatives are as follows:
- Make sure that there is a clear brand association. Use colours, logos, or directly showcase your products to make your brand recognisable. You want your brand to appear in the first few seconds as the users tend to scroll through videos quickly.
- Focus on great storytelling to keep your audience engaged throughout the whole length of the video. You want to ensure that your story is concise yet comprehensive.
- Make your story easy to understand both with sound on and sound off. Remember that videos on Facebook autoplay with sound off so it is recommended to add compelling text overlays or captions.
Of course, there is so much more to ad creation than this but what we have covered should have given you the foundation to help you get started.
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