Are you constantly scrolling through social and being bombarded with ads by other agencies, ecomm brands or Saas sites looking tacky, cringy or generic? Yeah, us too.
Now, we're going to take a wild guess here that you DON'T want to have other folks saying the same about your ads, right? right.
So we've put together this article to help you set yourself apart, build based best practices and ultimately inspire consumers from the get go.
There is no way around it. The best format for social is going to ALWAYS be vertical if it's available. Why? because you want to maximize your real estate (aka space on someone's screen). What would you notice more? A vertical video that takes over most of your phone screen while scrolling or one that's horizontal and basically takes up 1/5 of your screen space? Obviously the vertical one is going to get more attention.
So when in doubt: go vertical.
It should go without saying that social media is a space for people to experience a lot of color and not a lot of dull, dark or black and white imagery. So the best practice will always be to make sure your content is vibrant and colorful, not dark, dull or black and white. Not only is this a great practice for content, it's also imperative if you want your content to be recognized by the algorithm as "high quality content" - those platform AI's are brilliant and they judge your content you post and will only show it to so many people before it is deemed unworthy of showing to more.
So keep it colorful and please the algorithm gods.
Some think of format and think of size and color but really it's all about resolution. It's absolutely key to create high quality content. No one wants to engage with a video that's low res. It makes brands and people look unprofessional and lazy. While you're at it - don't skimp out on the audio. People hate bad audio, crappy music or terrible background noise and a super amateur move is to accidentally have audio only coming from one speaker. Don't be that person! We have faith in you.
So ideally all posts should exist in 1080p which square, wide or tall.
Narrative is everything. If you want to create a compelling offer, showcase an interesting side of your brand and get folks to visit your site or store, you're going to need to have a strong hold of storytelling in a way that will intrigue your ideal customers. This isn't all about "telling" a story but more about creating a narrative that creates curiosity (for agencies, creators, etc) or creates an "aha" moment in a consumer that your product can solve a problem they didn't even have (ecomm, SaaS, etc).
So ultimately, really think about what story you're telling and how you want to ultimately intrigue your customers.
Not all ads should be the exact same and not all campaigns should have seemingly identical ads. You want to try various types of ads with completely different types of storytelling. You may think you know what your audience wants or what your industry expects is "successful" but that's not always the case. Some of the best ads we've created and seen have been completely out-of-the-box compared to the rest of the industry. Don't be like everyone else, try to create ads that are completely different and make various versions. IF that means you need to have various brainstorms with multiple people to come up with ideas, do that! Do it regularly. It will help make you a lot more money than if you don't.
So aim to have at least 8 variations of ads per campaign. Get creative!
Get your numbers on lock! Social proof is essentially creating "proof" to strangers that you have "clout" or are popular, successful and "approved" by your peers enough to have a large following. This applies to brands just as much as individuals. So it's extremely important that if you don't have a large social media following, it is costing you a large percentage of sales because a lot of people will go and explore your brand once they've seen an ad of yours and you best believe that they base their next decisions off of that. They won't even visit your landing page or website if they don't think you pass their social proof test across socials. Now, getting a massive social following is not hard at all. There are incredible social marketing strategies that we apply to all of our client campaigns that really move the needle, even for startups.
So there is no excuse to not have your social presence looking snatched. Prioritize getting a solid following and your sales will soar.
Ah lifestyle. A completely subjective yet very effective and integral aspect of your brand to help ensure your ads, content and overall vibe reflects the lifestyle of your ideal audience. This ultimately means that your ads need to not just intrigue, solve projects, etc but it also needs to "feel" like it is a part of the lifestyle or "culture" of your ideal customers. You wouldn't edit, design or speak a certain way to an audience who's "cultulre" or "lifestyle" doesn't align with it, would you? We'd suggest not. Understanding your ideal customer helps you better understand how you can create a lifestyle around your brand that reflects their own lifestyle.
So make sure your ads reflect your customer's culture by editing it in a way that they're attracted to organically.