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How Do You Make Social Media Ads Stand Out?

Tips for Creating Successful Campaigns

Social media, such as Facebook, is the perfect place to market your mobile app, but it’s a crowded market for advertising. As a result, getting your app noticed by the right audiences at the right time requires some intentional effort. The following tips will help you make social media ads stand out and get your message seen and heard on the most popular social media platforms.


How To Make Social Media Ads Stand Out


Set Goals

A little bit of planning can go a long way toward social advertising success. Begin by identifying the market that you want to reach and establishing your goals. When you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can take a methodical, structured approach to social media advertising, such as quantitative creative testing, that will deliver superior ROI to social ad placement. 


Get Creative

You have to follow the rules set by each particular advertising platform, but you don’t have to let that fact stifle your creativity. Think outside the box and give the text and images in your ads a unique look that differentiates you from your competitors. There are many creative ways to use social media to push your brand and image, and you will need to find the one that works best for you.


Leverage Video 

Here’s the truth: the ads that are generating the most engagement are short videos or animated illustration gifs and videos. Through video ads you’re able to provide more information or more reasons to convince users on social media. It is much more fun and interactive ad experience that consumers enjoy engaging with.

There are so many different directions you can take video ads to communicate different messages, call to actions, and to develop brand identity. The possibilities are endless and it’s a form of social ads that will continue to grow in popularity. This is why Facebook and creative partners like us have gone to such lengths to make adding motion to ads easier. Facebook launched its “Video Creation Kit,” and we’ve spent a lot of time developing our own best practices for how to add motion to still images and AdRules offers a video editor and bulk sheet editing to create thousands of videos for localization, resizing and quick additions of end cards and start cards all done inside our Creative Studio.

You can also learn about the best practices to get more results from your social video ads here.

Use Instagram Carousel Stories for social media ads

On Facebook and Instagram, you can create a carousel ad set that works as a slideshow. The carousel ad format can showcase up to 10 images or videos on both platforms. Having 10 slots to work with is a great creative opportunity. Social marketers are taking carousel sets to create social media ads that stand out as stories and work hand-in-hand to create a sequence of powerful ads. These are fun for users to click through, if you do it right you can take your viewers through a convincing journey that leads to your call to action.

Get creative with it, think about how you can connect the slides with each other to create unique experiences. Don’t be afraid to mix images and videos to develop your message. The goal is to create ads that speak to your audience, entice them to interact, and motivates them to follow through on your call to action.


Bold, Simple Fonts


In this digital age, fonts must be easy to read and digest. This doesn’t mean you have to go with basic and boring fonts. In recent years, marketers have dared to experiment with brand styles. Some of the best social ads use bold, textured, and stylized fonts to communicate their message or call to action.

Fonts have become a crucial tool for designers when designing digital ads. Social media channels like Facebook have a text to image ratio rule that prevents companies from using a lot of text in their ads. This has limited a designer’s ability to go all-in with sizes of fonts. Designers are pushing font styles to make use of the limited space available with these ads.


Ad Copy


We strongly recommend checking your competitors’ ads to see which ad copy they’re using over and over again. A simple twist on what’s been working for them could help your ads a lot. But while your competitors’ ads can be helpful, there’s one golden rule to follow: Use emotion. Emotion rules over rationality, especially for game and lifestyle apps.

This is basically a new spin on that old ad copy rule of “sell benefits, not features.” The most fundamental (and powerful) benefit ever is how a product or service makes people feel. So always focus on emotions. They’re the ultimate product experience.



If you had to distill any advertisement down to two things, they would be the headline and the call to action. The ad copy in a Facebook video advertisement serves as the headline. Buttons are the call to action.

Once again, checking your competitors’ ads can be helpful, but don’t stop there. There are plenty of ways to test buttons. Try using “my” on your buttons instead of “you” – this is yet another old direct response trick that still works in 2020. Whatever you do, make the copy on your buttons clear. Confused people don’t take action. And you’re pitching to people who are scrolling through a river of information; even the slightest whiff of confusion is enough to suppress conversion rates.

Start and end cards

Not using these as part of your video advertising? We think you’re missing out. Here’s why start and end cards work so well:

  • They tell the story of the ad.
  • They create a powerful first frame visual.

Start Cards

Start cards are simple. They usually include just the name of the app. Try that, but also try going a step further. Adding a call to action can help a lot.

Some apps use calls to action or phrases that introduce gameplay or explain to the user what they should do, almost like a mini-tutorial. For example, Gardenscapes will use a CTA like “Save Your Garden!” or “Make a Choice to Save Them!” And, some apps try to draw in the consumer’s attention by using phrases such as “The Best Matching Game” or “It’s Harder Than It Looks!” on their start cards. These kinds of phrases draw the consumer to watch the video instead of scrolling past it.

While start cards are not as important as end cards, they serve an important purpose: They can stop people from scrolling past your ad when it shows up on their timeline or social media feed. And if people never see past the start card, they’ll never see any other part of your ad.


End Cards

End cards are used to pique interest in the game based on the call to action and the brand slogan. They work in part thanks to a psychology principle called “the recency effect.” When consumers are looking for new apps, they are more likely to remember apps whose ads use end cards.

Most end cards have the app’s name and a call to action like “Accept the Challenge!” or “Try it Yourself!” Some include a button, too, with content like “Download Now!” or “Play Now!”

Many advertisers also include prompts to download their app on the app store/Google Play, but we don’t recommend that. Including the platform logos frequently drop conversion rate by 10-15%. You can try blurring out the gameplay in the background of the end card. We’ve seen it work well, and lots of gaming apps use that tactic.


Text placement, fonts, colors, and emojis for social media ads

How text looks and where it’s placed can have a big effect on conversion rates. Again, you can get some ideas from your competitors’ ads in the Facebook Ads Library and other tools, but we like to position text towards the top and bottom of the screen and to use bright, pure colors for optimal response rates.

These aspects of a Facebook ad are important in another way, too. They’re good examples of elements best chosen by Creative teams. User acquisition managers or teams may want to manage these aspects of ads:

  • Call to actions
  • Messaging
  • Buttons
  • Headers and Footers

Creative teams should pick the text attributes we’ve just mentioned, plus background images, button colors, and fonts, and video ad aspect ratios, and ad lengths.


The Takeaway on Social Media Ads

If social ads haven’t worked in the past for you, look back at how you crafted your message, the visual, and the delivery. The best social ads are highly targeted to a specific audience in mind. 

To extend the life of your ad campaign, and make social ads that stand out, figure out your audience, and design ads that appeal directly to them. It’s easy to take any graphic and put social media dollars behind it. The difficult part is taking the time to develop a branded ad experience that resonates over time and speaks directly to the people interested in what you offer. Create social ads that are valuable enough for consumers to willingly click on them. This means getting out of your comfort zone and seeking new methods.

social ads that stand out


Read our blog post, UA Media Buying Model, and see how it works in tandem with our Ad Concept Model. Learn the media buying best practice strategies for Facebook Android, Facebook iOS SKAN, Google, and TikTok.

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