4 Steps to Killer Social Media Ads

November 13, 2018

Why Social Media Advertising

79% of Americans and 49% of humans (well… some non-humans too) have social media accounts! That large audience base plus plenty of analytics make social media ads the perfect way to reach your target personas. We already know that video is the best marketing tool. Now, video + social media advertisements? That seems like the perfect way to capture attention and engage leads!

Social Media Ads from existing content

One fantastic way to get more out of existing footage is to create a social media ad. For example, if a company wanted a 60-second brand video, we could also cut that into a 10-15 second social ad for minimal additional cost. However if a customer’s primary focus is social media advertising, several can be made from one day of production.

You may be asking yourself, why not just upload the original video? Well, you can. But usually, the original video isn’t the most effective social content. A social media ad should be 4 things: initially captivating, action-oriented (featuring a CTA), formatted for social, and short.

Make it initially captivating

There is so much content on our feeds already, that in order for a user to watch a paid advertisement, it needs to immediately stand out. It’s vital to capture a user’s attention in the first three to five seconds of a social ad. Make the user stop scrolling! While all videos should be captivating, social ads should be designed for engagement drop off.

Clear CTAs

Though many types of videos include some form of a call to action, the CTAs on social media ads must be clear, action-oriented, and timely. Generally, the point of a social ad is to encourage viewers to take action. An effective CTA will do one of the following:

  • Create an urgency to act
  • Use active language (download, like, donate, etc.)
  • Promise something extra/free

You can even run A/B testing with two or more different CTAs on the same video and see what CTA gets the most engagement. You may find there’s a big difference between “Download our E-book” and “Download our Free E-book Now.”

Social Media Ads

Optimized Format

On most social platforms, square video (1:1 aspect ratio) is the optimal format. Most people view social media on mobile devices, and square video takes up 78% more screen space in your news feed. LinkedIn is often (but not always) viewed on desktop computers, so reformatting to square may not be necessary if you’re advertising on LinkedIn. Just remember your audience, and always be mindful of the most effective ways to reach them!
Social Media Ads
As long as there isn’t complex animation, creating a square video from a landscape video isn’t that complicated. That being said, if social media is a large part of your video strategy, shooting for square should be considered during production.

Short and Sweet

According to Hubspot, optimal length is 30 seconds for Instagram, 45 seconds for Twitter, 60 seconds for Facebook, and 2 minutes for YouTube. Don’t worry, this doesn’t need to be exact, but shorter social ads usually perform better. If you capture attention within a few seconds, interested users will keep watching!

In Conclusion

The average person will spend over 5 years of their life on social media. That’s more than eating, drinking, and socializing combined! Before you get existential thinking about your own social media use, think how this could benefit your business. Just remember to keep it short, immediately captivating, and optimally formatted with a clear CTA, and you’ve got yourself a killer social media ad!

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