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How to create successful online ads for YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram

Online advertising is still gaining popularity. With more business moving online and customers looking for information about products and services on the Internet, getting your customer online is important.

The impact of online advertising can be significantly increased by achieving the following:

  1. Capturing your target audience: the people who are potentially interested in your products and services. What you advertise has to be at least of some relevance to them. E.g., you need to target the audience that is as close as possible to your target customer: starting with targeting just males or females, certain age groups, occupations, marital status, education, income, etc. Different combinations of the above can help you narrow your advertising target, which ultimately increases ROI for your spend.

  2. Capturing the audience when they are in the right mindset. This is a much trickier task, but this will provide you with even more leads and sales. Consider using ads on relevant websites, forums that have people already looking for your products. Target the different groups on Facebook that are interested. They are more likely to be in the mindset to consider your products and services.


Now that we discussed some general rules of online advertising, let’s dive into guidelines for advertising on different social media channels and YouTube. While it is all considered online, the guidelines for advertising on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are drastically different.



How to properly advertise on YouTube.

The key goal of YouTube ad is to give as much information as possible in the first 5 seconds. Around 80 to 90% of ads are usually skipped after the first 5 seconds. In addition, you don’t pay if the person skipped the ad. There are 2 ways to go about this:


1. You can utilize the 5-second rule for your advantage. Even if you have a 10, 15, 30-second video, make sure the first 5 seconds: a) feature your company name; b) showcase your products or services; c) entertain viewer; d) tell something interesting, unique, and relevant about our business, products, or services.

Below is a funny video of a compilation of 5-second ads with guidelines that we are discussing here:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RCvGqn2Pp8


2. If you do need a longer time to showcase your products & services, you will want to use a longer ad. However, be mindful the shorter is your ad, the more likely viewers will watch your ad till the end.

  • Rule #1: Go short. Try fitting everything you need to say in 10-15 seconds. 30 seconds for YouTube is too much unless you have a masterpiece ad that is either super funny, or entertaining or has a very interesting and grabbing attention story.

  • Rule #2: Grab attention, entertain, wow the viewers in the first 5 seconds. This will increase the chance they will continue watching the ad. Remember, your ad stands in the way of what the person really wanted to watch, so you need to steer their attention to your ad.

  • Rule #3: As most of the viewers will still skip, make sure you feature your business name or product name in the first 5 seconds.

  • Rule #4: Tell viewers something relevant about your product and services. While it may be difficult to do everything in the first 5 seconds if you managed to grab their attention and made them interesting to hear about what you offer you have until second 8 (average time of fast acceleration of viewers skipping). In the end, you made ad not to just entertain viewers but sell your product.



How to properly advertise on Facebook.

The key things to remember about Facebook ads are:

  1. 80 to 90% of Facebook content is accessed on smartphones and tablets. Yes, that’s right, only 10 to 20% of Facebook content is accessed on desktop computers. When creating your ad, make sure the font and visuals are large enough. Do not try to put too much in the ad; avoid putting layers of information and pictures.

  2. Unlike YouTube ads, Facebook ads blend with the other content the person is viewing. Make sure you grab their attention in the first half-second of the ad.

  3. When the person scrolls through their Facebook feed, you cannot make them stop and view your ad. So, the ads must grab attention in just under one second. Make sure your video or banner ad grabs their attention with stunning visuals, funny pictures, relevant message.

  4. Most of the Facebook users don’t have their sound on (as they access Facebook through smartphones). Design the ads with this in mind: all information has to given to viewers visually. Don’t waste time and money to create the sound for your ads.

  5. Simplicity is key. With 1 to 3 seconds, you have very little time to say anything to your customer. Focus only on 1 key idea that you want to tell them about your business, product, or services.

  6. The name of your business, product, or service has to be prominently shown in the first second of the Facebook ad.

  7. The ad must have a clear message (idea) that can be easily and quickly absorbed. If you have a call to action, consider embedding it into what is going on in the ad (build it into the picture, video).


How to properly advertise on Instagram.

Instagram advertising is somewhat similar to Facebook advertising and the same rules apply. However, there is an important difference that you have to keep in mind:

While Facebook is mostly text and pictures media, users are more likely to absorb and pay attention to the ads that have text and pictures. In Instagram, you are competing with visuals. Usually, those are high quality, high definition photos. When advertising on Instagram, you must make sure your ads provide high-quality pictures that make people want to stop and look at them.


Last general tip on advertising online: customers are usually in relaxed mode when online. They don’t like to spend time figuring out things, thinking too much to understand your ads. Clarity of your ad, what it is trying to say about you and your products/services is key. Also, the ad visuals have to fit nicely with what you are trying to say about your product/services. The whole ad has to nicely fit into what customers expect to see, the little story you are telling with your ad has to make sense and form a holistic picture in minds of consumers.

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