Social media marketing is an investment no company can do without and it’s especially important for small and medium businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. Social media enables very simple and cost-effective two-way communication.
Using a smart digital marketing strategy, you can increase the audience reach of your posts. However, good design is what makes the audience stick around.
Social media platforms are still a necessary form of promotion and a great way to build your brand identity. With attractive social media ad design, your posts will be remembered, shared and liked.
Where do you start? How can you start redesigning your ad strategy in order to attract new followers and customers? In this article, we’re bringing you the 6 steps you can take to start to improve your SMM results instantly.
- Develop a Consistent Style Guide
Every major brand has a style guide. It’s a general brochure or a document that describes all major points and details related to design, such as logo, visual instructions, colors, font, etc.
Here is an example from L’oreal:
Image source: L’Oreal Brandbook
If you want to run an organized, successful social media campaign, you need to have consistent rules for posting content. The easiest way to achieve this is to develop an all-around design style guide and stick to it.
This will also help newcomers in your team. Instead of having a browse through hundreds of posts and question colleagues about the brand style, they can simply refer to the style guide and know exactly what to do.
Here are some of the most important sections that you should include in your design style guide:
- Font (typeface, color, size)
- Colors (with RGB code and a palette sample)
- Logo (attach a logo in all its possible forms, with explanations when to use which ones)
- Social media header images (for Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube)
- Profile pictures for social media pages
- Photography guide (where to acquire photos and how to attribute sources)
- Step-by-step social post (if you make your posts in an online tool or Illustrator, attach a template with step-by-step instructions for a generic SM post)
- Write High-Quality Ad Copy
When it comes to social media ads, visuals are extremely important, but that does not mean you should ignore the text.
Words have the power to influence behavior, trigger emotions, motivate and inspire, which makes them the perfect tool for social media ads. When you look at major corporations and brands, you will see that they pay very close attention to what kind of wording they use, especially with marketing-friendly buzzwords.
Here, you can find the best writing websites to help you hire professional writers for your ad copy. It’s always wise to hire or at least consult with a copywriting expert before posting something.
- Tailor Your Design to Your Audience
Does your audience respond to your visuals? Do you know what your customers and clients like?
As you probably know, each color, typeface, form and layout has a specific effect and every audience has its own preferences. For example, if you’re running B2B marketing campaigns where you’re targeting top executives, you would use black or blue with a clean and sleek design.
On the other hand, marketing to teenagers is a whole other pair of shoes. In order to reach them and be engaging in their colorful newsfeed, you need to pop. This means colorful visuals, high contrasts and “loud”, impactful fonts.
- Test and Experiment
This is one of the most important parts of your social media ad design strategy.
Many designers and marketers believe that perfect content nails it on the first try, and is a result of careful pre-thinking and preparation. Of course, even though every post should be well-thought-out and planned, you can only know so much before actually posting it.
One of the best ways to test your ad design is A/B testing or multivariate testing. Design two different ads and see which one performs better (you can easily track this with Ad Manager).
- Consider Rebranding (if necessary)
If your ad content is constantly underperforming on social media, maybe it’s time for a design overhaul.
Of course, this can be a tricky step and it will require alignment and consultation with your entire time, coupled with weeks of hard work.
Also, redesigns changes become harder the more audience you have and the bigger your brand is. Just remember the public outcry every time Facebook had a redesign! However, there’s a very good reason even some of the most popular brands go through design overhauls. If something is not working at its best, it’s better to turn a new leaf and start from scratch than to flog a dead horse.
After it’s all done, refer to chapter 4 again (testing and experimenting). Before launching any kind of design, try finding a focus group which will test how they like the new design compared to the old one.
- Be Unique and Surprise Your Audience
On social media, there are many posts that look alike nowadays. Marketers are using tried-out, famous methods for attracting customers, but the problem is that they are among millions of others who are doing the same thing!
When you’re coming up with a new campaign, try thinking outside of the box. Even though you should track industry advice, you don’t have to follow an exact formula for a successful ad. If you’re completely original and unique, it will speak volumes about the awesomeness of your brand.
An example of unique content would be an uncommon format. These days, we’re seeing a lot of promotional videos combined with emoji-stuffed captions. Yes, that works. But yes, that’s all over the place.
Instead of a video, try posting a gif. GIF animations are among the most beloved format for millennials, who make up the majority of Internet users.
Developing the optimal social media ad design doesn’t have to be a nuisance. With the help of experts from different teams (copywriters, designers, marketers), your next viral post is bound to happen!