Don’t Just Keep Up with Social – Get Ahead of it

Jory Tindall, Senior Designer

Social is a moving target in the best of times and best practices are always changing, but here’s a few tips to keep you ahead of the game.

1. Turn it up

Before COVID-19, how many times did you get hit with blaring audio you forgot to turn off while scrolling through Instagram at your desk? Is it weird to enjoy watching David Hasselhoff music videos from the 80’s? Asking for a friend...

The drastic change in lifestyle has put more emphasis on audio in ads on social with more consumers scrolling and consuming social at home. With the exception of large campaigns, audio is often an afterthought on social advertising. Backing tracks or voice-overs have gone from a “nice-to-have” to an essential element of the ad that helps to maintain the continuity of the user experience when ads are spliced between cat videos. Make the most of your audio – your customers are listening.

2. Make it qui-

Yes, customers are spending more time on social platforms, but humans still have short attention spans. Data shows that customers are more willing to experience a longer narrative in an ad, but only if they feel like they’re being spoken to directly. Keep your ads succinct, clear, and don’t obscure your message.

The case can be made for a longer form narrative in retargeting and remarketing/retention campaigns where the user has already expressed interest. This can be effectively accomplished by:

  • Social proof, users before and after (see example 1).
  • A longer form celebrity/influencer video (see example 2).
  • A step-by-step “how it works” or educational concept. We’ve seen success with this concept in cosmetics especially (see example 3).
Social Media - Ad Examples

While we’ve seen success with all of these longer form narrative concepts, keep in mind that the only thing keeping a user from moving on from an ad is a finger swipe. Get to the point, showcase value, be clear about intended use cases.

3. It’s all in the details

While getting to the point is essential for keeping a customer engaged in your message, product value is often best perceived by close, tight crops of the product. This could be a standalone stylized product shot, an image of the product in context or in use, or any number of different visual concepts, but the important variable is seeing the detail up close and personal. This provides the user with information about:

  • The quality of the product based on the packaging design or presentation (see example 1).
  • The textures or colors it contains which helps with product tangibility (see example 2).
  • Details about how the product will perform while in use (see example 3).
Social Media - Ad Examples

4. Don’t social distance from ad testing

Building and establishing a brand is important, but testing and experimenting with new visual and creative concepts is a key factor in driving performance. Social has a short attention span, it’s easy to launch new concepts targeted at a refined audience, making it the perfect candidate for throwing new concepts into the market to see what sticks.

Additionally, it’s easy to cut and replace ads on social. You aren’t locked into a long-term agreement like in broadcast, if a concept isn’t working or customer sentiment has changed, it’s easy to take down under-performing concepts and replace them with more evergreen concepts. Now is the perfect opportunity to test into some new creative and production concepts, with photo and video shoots on hold for the immediate future. Check out our guide to Getting Scrappy With Creative and reach out with any questions you may have!