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Proper Formatting is Your Secret Weapon for Successful Digital Ads

Online advertising is everywhere. But what separates good ads from great ads? And what’s the secret to maximizing potential return on investment from your online ad campaigns? The answer, as you might imagine, is complex, but some of it boils down to how your ads are formatted: i.e. how you are arranging text and/or images to grab a user’s attention and encourage them to click. 

This involves knowing how to make the most of each ad platform’s unique formatting options. Our Ad Placements Guide shows you how, with detailed guidelines for formatting your Google, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ads. Feel free to reach out to ask to ask for a copy of our Ad Placements Guide but for now here’s a quick overview of the major ad types and how they are structured.

Google Responsive Search Ads

Whenever you search a word or phrase on Google, you’ll notice that the first few results are paid ads. They look a lot like the organic (i.e. unpaid) search results in that they include a headline and a description. 

When creating each ad, you can write up to 15 headlines (up to 30 characters each) and four descriptions (up to 90 characters each). Google will automatically test different combinations to determine which produces the best results and then show those more frequently. Providing this variety of messaging is crucial as it allows Google’s algorithm the material it needs to maximize ROI for your campaign. 

Facebook & Instagram Feed Ads

Facebook Ads (i.e. those that appear on a user’s feed) allow for a lot of detail, as the ads consist of primary text, a picture, a headline, a link description, and a call to action. It’s important to compose each of the written portions carefully, not just to deliver your message quickly and effectively, but also to work within the guidelines for character limits and image sizing to prevent any important information from being cut off. You not only want the user to respond to what you’re saying, but you want them to see it properly in the first place. 

Facebook & Instagram Story Ads

Both Facebook and Instagram offer Stories as a feature for users to share content with their friends and followers. They consist of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours and are displayed separately from the content published on your profile. 

Advertisers, too, can create Stories to deliver their message, which are displayed alongside other Stories a user is viewing on their feed. However, Story ads don’t disappear after 24-hours; you can choose the length of your campaign and the frequency of the ads. Choosing content is equally important here, with one description and one call-to-action alongside your photo or video. 

YouTube Ads

YouTube offers several options for advertising, starting of course, with what we’re all familiar with: ads that play automatically before videos. Here you can choose from skippable instream ads (video ads that a user can opt to “skip” after a short period of time), non-skippable instream ads (video ads that a user must watch in full before their chosen video begins) and bumper ads (bite-size 6-second clips that appear before videos). Deciding which to use will depend on your campaign strategy and should be considered carefully.

There is a great deal of flexibility in the length and messaging of your video ads, but data suggests some best practices for instream ads: 30 seconds is an ideal length, but testing a shorter video would be beneficial too. You should deliver important messages early and aim to create an emotional resonance with your audience. 

YouTube also offers non-video ad formats such as discovery ads, which display images and text at various touchpoints on the platform. Choosing the right ad format for your campaign will be an important consideration for you and your digital strategist. 

Where to Start?

If you’re getting your feet wet with ad campaigns on any of these platforms, be sure to ask us to send you our Ad Placements Guide for everything you’ll need to help you properly format your ads to maximize results. 

For more in-depth guidance on creating ad campaigns that drive strong revenue and offer the best ROI over time, get in touch with a Wallop strategist or our Director of Sales, Linda.