A Complete Guide from the team at Shoo Social Media
Ad creative is absolutely essential – it is often what people will remember the most about your ad. You of course have the freedom to go in any direction with your ad creative. However, there are some useful tips to keep in mind to guide your creative process. There are many different types of creative you can use, such as photography, illustrations and animations. First, some general points which apply to all of these:
- Storytelling does not only apply to written copy. Images and videos can be valuable storytelling devices too. Ensure that there is always a purpose behind your image or video, and that it contains a message which resonates with your audience. There is no use having an image which is aesthetically pleasing but irrelevant to your business. Interrogate why you set up the ad in the first place and make sure that the image portrays a message which aligns with this.
- Ensure that your written copy and creative work well together. It is usually best to let your copy take the lead, and design creative based upon this.
- In a similar way to written copy, ad creative is effective when it evokes an emotional response. Think not just about showing the ‘’what’’ of your product or service, such as technical features. Focus also on the ‘’why’’, such as how the product or service can enhance the lives of prospective customers. There are a plethora of ways to portray this ‘’why’’ using ad creative, one significant one being colour.
The Psychology and Importance of Colour:
Colour can change the entire effect of an ad, even if the copy and actual image were to remain the same. Colour contributes to first impressions and even influences behaviour, thus is of vital importance in marketing.
Colours illicit emotions. There is no strict rulebook as to what colours you should use and when, however certain colours often do have the same broad connotations:
- Red – excitement, a sense of urgency
- Yellow – happiness, optimism
- Green – health, nature, calm
- Purple – royalty, respect, wisdom
- Blue – peace, reliability
Take McDonalds as an example: it’s iconic yellow arches and red background evoke a sense of happiness, excitement and urgency, all things which ‘’pull’’ you towards them when you see their logo on the motorway (allegedly red also provokes hunger!). Note also that the bright yellow and pure red contrast with each other, making for an eye-catching logo.
Indeed, if you have a dark background, a light image and text and vice versa. When it comes to Facebook ads, it is wise to choose colours which contrast with Facebook’s blue and white. Colours which stand out from the rest of the feed are more likely to make people notice your ad and stop scrolling. Furthermore, colour helps differentiate brands. It is what makes your brand distinctive, so ensure that the colours you use in your ads cohere with the colours you have chosen for your brand logo and website.
Tips for images:
- Ensure that your image is not overly cluttered – sometimes less is more. Make sure that what you are selling is unmistakable and don’t let it blend into a busy background.
- Of course this is not always necessary, but including faces in your images makes people more likely to notice them. There is even a set of cells in the brain which only fire off when presented with faces. They can help to humanise the product, as well as show the emotional impact your product can have. People are influenced to take action when they see something has a positive or negative outcome, and faces are a concise way to portray one of these things.
- Use geography. If targeting people in a specific area, use an image with something distinctive to do with that location. If people spot something which they recognise and which feels relevant to them, they are more likely to pay attention.
Why use videos?
- Although images are an effective device, you can achieve the equivalent and more with video ads. Moving images, rather than static ones, stand out and make people more likely to stop scrolling. Background music also adds to this effect, and can enhance the desired tone of the ad.
- Videos also portray a lot more information in a single ad, thus are excellent for storytelling. Delivering a narrative on video is more easily achieved and it means capturing audience attention for longer. People remember what they watched a lot more than what they read, or briefly looked at.
- Just remember that the same tips for images apply to videos. Don’t cram your video full of information and have too much visual stimulation within it. Keep the focus on your product.
Designing your ad creative is where you will see your ads come to life. If your budget does not yet allow you to hire a photographer or illustrator, then there are sites such as Canva which make designing creative quick, easy and still good quality. However you go about making your creative content, whether that be hiring someone or doing it yourself, ensure that the concept is relevant and tells a story. Remember that you can test multiple ads (split testing) and see which performs best, so don’t get too bogged down in making it absolutely perfect in the initial stages. Just keep the above information in mind, do your best and the data will tell the rest!