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17 June 2020 by Samantha Swanepoel

Important Elements that Should Feature in your Social Media Adverts

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Digital advertising is starting to overtake traditional advertising as we know it. More and more businesses are opting to advertise their brand and products on Social Media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Hundreds and thousands of Social Media users scroll through their newsfeeds and timelines by the hour which gives your adverts the potential to reach thousands of people in a short space of time.

However, just because your advert has reached a potential consumer does not automatically mean that the consumer will be driven to action. In fact, as a single post among thousands of memes, funny videos and the likes it becomes increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowd.

For this reason, it is important to learn exactly what elements should feature in your Social Media adverts to ensure that they will be noticeable, clickable and lead to conversions.

An Eye-Catching Headline

An eye-catching headline is imperative to a successful social media advert. When your target market is scrolling through their newsfeed you are in direct competition with memes, photos, funny videos, adorable animals and a string of other popular posts.

For this reason you need to ensure that the headline of your advert will draw the attention of your target audience to convince them to read the advert.

Research has proven that Social Media users are drawn to adverts that feature a new product or attractive features. When writing your headline you should experiment with strategies that include:

  • Product benefits
  • Discount offers
  • Product benefits
  • A sense of urgency

Choosing the Correct Image

The image that is connected to the advert should be specific to the brand, product and content you want to advertise. However, the image should also stand out and draw the attention of your target audience.

While stock images are readily available from a variety of sources, they are not unique. The best course of action would be to create your own advert images to ensure total uniqueness.

Consistency is also key: the images that are used in your advert should reflect your brand and the images used on your website. This will help to market your brand and breed brand familiarity through well-structured repetition.

Before setting out to design your image you should also check what sizes are required for the Social Media platform you plan to advertise on.

Text-Based versus Video-Based Adverts

Current statistics reveal that 52% of marketers believe video-based adverts to be more appealing than text-based adverts while 48% of marketers argue otherwise. However, research shows that video-based adverts drive 59.3% of clicks compared to text-based adverts.

While videos have proven to draw in more clicks, provide deeper brand insights, drive conversions and encourage engagement, they are not necessarily the best marketing medium.

Videos take time to watch and viewers may not watch the video to the end. This is where a short and effective text-based advert will out-perform a video-based advert.

The short answer to the debate is that both mediums are viable for advertising. Each advert and brand is unique which means that the marketing medium will differ accordingly.

Try out different advert types until you find what works better for your business.

Zoning in on the Content

One of the biggest mistakes that are made in Social Media marketing is overselling. While every business truly believes that their product is the best, this does not mean that consumers respond well to aggressive or false advertising.

For this reason, it is never wise to exaggerate the capabilities or results of your product, to make it sound better than it is or to promise the impossible. Instead, allow the benefits and uniqueness of your product to drive the consumer to action.

Content should be precise and follow the 20% rule. This rule dictates that the advert should only contain 20% text which can be easily checked with a text overlay tool. This is not only to keep your content to-the-point but certain platforms, like Facebook, do not allow adverts to be boosted if they have more than 20% text in the advert.

Long text becomes difficult to read and viewers may not read all the text unless it is concise. In this situation, less is definitely more.

Complementary and Contrasting Colours

Colouring is very important in effective adverts. For this reason, the colours should reflect the business’s brand but should not clash with the colour scheme of the Social Media platform being used.

For example, Facebook’s colours are blue and white which means an advert using the same colours will blend in. Brighter colours are more likely to stand out and catch the audience’s eye.

While colour can definitely be used to catch the viewer’s eye, there is an intricate balance between attractive and gaudy. Play around with colours to find the perfect combination.

Driving the Call to Action

You can have the perfect advert design that knocks all of the above elements out of the park but if you do not have an effective call to action or a call to action at all, then the advert is for null.

Your campaign’s call to action is the difference between determining whether your target audience will, in fact, take action or not.

An effective call to action is all about persuasion: telling your customers what to do, why they should do it and how to do so. The content in your advert should persuade your customers to take action.

The call to action should be concise: the longer the call to action is, the easier it is to lose your target audience. Thus your call to action should be a single button and sentence.


With each passing day, Social Media platforms are becoming increasingly lucrative as advertising platforms for businesses. Their reach, targeting capability and easy accessibility all contribute to the overall effectiveness of Social Media advertising. However, effective advertising starts with a well-designed advert.

If you would like to have an advert designed for Social Media advertising, contact the digital marketing team at Online Innovations for expert assistance in the design and management of your Social Media adverts. Call us on 041 365 4919, email [email protected], or visit our website at www.onlineinnovations.com to find out more. 

Does your business need help developing the ideal advert for your Social Media Advertising?

Improve your brand awareness with well-designed Social Media adverts with the assistance of the design team at Online Innovations.

If you’re interested in our services, please give Bronwen a call or email her for more information.

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