How to Design Mobile-First Creative For Effective Social Advertising

When it comes to social advertising, the quality and intent of your creative materials can be make-or-break. You have to consider not just what will appeal to your audience and get your message across, but also how your audience will be viewing your ad.

In most cases, they’ll be seeing it on mobile. In fact, 80% of social media browsing is done on mobile devices. Now, let’s break down the percentage of users who engage with some of the most popular social media platforms on mobile:

Even 57% of LinkedIn users access the platform through their smartphones. All that is to say that, when designing creative for your next social ad campaign, mobile interfaces need to be top-of-mind. Here are some tips for how to do that.

Make a Quick Impact

When people are viewing social media content on their phones (as opposed to on a desktop device), they are more likely to be on the go. This means you have less time to draw them in than you would if they were browsing on a computer, or if you were advertising through a connected TV commercial or podcast ad to a user tuned in from their couch or in their car. 

Because mobile browsing is more of a fleeting experience, you have to grab user attention fast. While your creative should still aim to entertain or educate the viewer holistically, it needs to catch their attention first. 

  • Video ads: For social videos, you have about 3 seconds to catch user attention before they decide to continue watching or scroll away. In those 3 seconds, you need an engaging hook. That can be an eye-popping stat, something that makes them laugh, or even the start of a list that they’ll want to see through to the end, like “5 Reasons Why I Like…” or “3 Things I Wish I Had Known Before…”. It’s called “creative,” so be creative!
  • Image ads: Social graphics designed for mobile need to balance standing out against the news feed while also blending in with the content users typically see on the platform. That includes considerations like avoiding graphics with white backgrounds that may blend in too much with the Facebook and Instagram news feeds. Your imagery should be both eye-catching, native-looking, and clearly digestible for users who are likely to see it first on a small screen.

Blend In to Stand Out

Creating mobile-first social content requires a balancing act: You want users to stop scrolling, but not because what they’re seeing is out-of-place. Think about what you usually see on your social media feeds: pictures of friends having fun, funny cat videos, or yet another engagement announcement or baby bump. 

While brands always want to put their best foot forward, be wary of developing creative that’s a little too slick. If something looks like it belongs on a postcard or a TV commercial, there’s a good chance that it will stick out among a sea of iPhone-quality videos as an ad—and not in the way you are hoping to. User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to engage your audience in an authentic way while staying consistent with the experiences users expect to have on mobile social media apps.

Don’t Neglect Your Ad Copy

When you hear “copy” you might only think of the caption on an Instagram photo or the text section of a LinkedIn post. You’d be right, but only looking at part of the picture. The copy you use in your image ads, video scripts, and motion graphics is extremely important to your storytelling on mobile. Just as we did with this blog, starting off with an eye-catching statistic is a great way to engage audiences right off the bat. 

Getting someone on mobile to stop and read even a couple of sentences on Instagram might be challenging, but bringing those attention-grabbing words and phrases to your creative will help you hook your audience in. 

Your Social and Creative Partner

At ADM, we know how vital good creative is to successful social campaigns. That’s why we offer creative services to develop image, video, and other creative content that aligns our unique digital marketing techniques with our clients’ distinct goals and brand images. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to discuss our social media and creative services offerings.