Guide to social media ads

/ Nitesh Dutt

Let me throw a few facts at you: 

Fact #1: People watch videos online now more than ever before.

Fact #2: Advertisers know fact #1 and use it to their advantage. 

Everyone knows social media channels and how to use them, but there’s a proper way to market your product, service and brand. Whether you’re a business owner, influencer or solopreneur, it’s always important to know the best practices for each social media platform and what to post on them.

Each platform has its own guidelines, formats and video specifications that have become industry standards. For example, a long, horizontal video is perfect for YouTube but may not sit well with users on Instagram, where users appreciate shorter vertical videos. 

When creating ads for specific platforms, it is important to remember what specs work best for which channels. 

Want to learn more about creating social media ads? Click here for 5 easy-to-follow tips to help you get started.

Facebook

Facebook is the popular kid with a nice car that everyone knows when it comes to social media ads. It’s been around for as long as most of us remember, and even though it’s lost some popularity over the years, it still manages to get a lot of attention. 

When creating ads for Facebook:

  • Make your point and make it quick: The average human attention span has dropped to around 8 seconds. That means in an ad, especially on social media, it’s important to make your point in the first few seconds.
  • Caption everything: Not everyone watches a video with the sound up for one reason or another. Make your message easy to get across with captions.
  • Test your ad: Every marketer has run an A/B test on the work they’ve done. Ads on Facebook should be no different. On FB, you’ll want to create several ads and run each with at least one different variable at a time. 

Facebook video ad specs Instagram

What was once a platform all about photos, Instagram has become the place to find any and all types of video content. With Instagram Live, Stories, IGTV and now Reels, businesses and influencers can shoot, edit and post video directly on the platform. According to Hootsuite, companies spent over $20 billion on Instagram advertising in 2019. That’s roughly $5 billion more than YouTube earned that same year.

When creating an IG business profile, it’s important to remember these components:

  • Make your bio pop: Capture your brand in less than 150 words and an image or logo. Make sure users know who you are, what you offer and why you’re unlike other companies.
  • Add an action: Your bio shouldn’t just let users know who you are. Add a button next to that follow so users can go to your site, contact you or buy directly from you.
  • Don’t get stale: Like bread, a stale social media page is a waste. Change up the types of posts you create, the way you edit posts and take advantage of every new tool and feature IG drops.
  • Create a calendar: Don’t play the guessing game or scramble to post things at the last minute. Use a calendar to create posts and work towards long term goals.
  • Hash and geotag it up: Use hashtags, especially popular ones, to get in on trends and reach worldwide audiences. Geotags are great for reaching a local audience.

5 ways to boost your video engagement on social media

Instagram video ad specs

LinkedIn

You can place ads on LinkedIn? Don’t be worried if that was your first thought. It was mine too. When LinkedIn popped up, it was for professionals to network and find new opportunities. It still is, but there’s been an uptick in ads for professional services, career help and professional networking events. 

LinkedIn provides its own guidelines and best practices for ad creatives looking to create their own advertisements. They go into detail on what makes compelling content, how to optimize content for any format you select and how to test your ads to make sure they work.  

LinkedIn video ad specs Twitter

When it comes to Twitter, ads have gotten lost in the shuffle in recent years. With so much of the platform becoming engulfed by the news and current events, it’s hard for users to remember ads. Even then, 86% of global consumers spent more time consuming digital video than they did in 2016. For those creative marketers out there, creative advertising is the #1 factor in driving sales and 47% of sales can be attributed to these creatives.

Not all ads are meant to sell a product or solution instantly, but you definitely want to create something that engages and strikes a chord with audiences. According to Twitter’s business resources, a video optimized for the platform increases emotional engagement by 33%. The platform also outlines 5 key components to remember:

  • Keep your video between 6-15 seconds long
  • Grab attention early by opening on your product
  • Add captions for mobile, sound-off viewers
  • Show your logo and keep a permanent placement in the upper-left or upper-right corner of the frame
  • Incorporate positive human interaction with your product(s) or service(s)

Twitter video ad specs

There it is, your comprehensive guide to creating social media video ads. Social media is like every other piece of marketing, it'll take some trial and error. You'll create something great on your first try or you may fall flat the first few times. All that matters is you keep at it and continue creating to find your voice and what works with your audience. 

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