Tips & Tricks

What Makes A Good Social Media Ad?

July 25, 2023
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Are social media ads getting more difficult?

Although it varies from adult to adult, the average attention span of a social media user is now down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds. Additionally research from Kings College London suggests that the average adult checks their phone up to 80 times per day.

The conclusion on attracting ad views then is that, though ads need to be short and capture attention in less than 12 seconds in order to convert, the chances of getting your social media ad actually viewed is actually increasing as phone use increases.

So with the status of today’s social media users in mind, we have collected five top trends for what makes a good social media ad.

5 techniques for good social media ads

Five reliable techniques for making a good social media ad are:

  1. Use video
  2. Use low-friction conversions
  3. Use interest-based targeting
  4. Create your customer profile
  5. Prepare great ad copy

To ensure you’re maximising every technique, below is a guide to each of those five key techniques and methods with some examples to support your ad creation.

1. Use video

And remember this doesn’t need to include people or require a full-on filming set, often animations can be as or even more effective grabbing the attention of your target audience. If your product uses a subscription model or requires a more complicated purchase process, then animations can often be more effective in explaining this during those first 12 seconds.

However when it comes to choosing between image and video content for your social media ads, there is less flexibility. Research shows that the average social media user remembers 95% of a message when it is watched, compared to 10% when it is read. This demonstrates that video ads are not only more effective in driving engagement but also in brand awareness.

What about GIFs?

The same rule can be applied to GIFs as videos, anything with moving or animated elements generally perform better than their image equivalents.

See the example below by software platform Asana, the GIF animation is immediately more eye-catching than the animated image.

good picture social media ad
Asana Facebook image ad.
good social media ad gif
Asana Facebook video ad.

2. Use low-friction conversions

It’s worth remembering that conversion starts at that first button click on your social media ad, and ends at the post-checkout page. Optimising and improving each step is absolutely essential and can add that extra percentage onto conversion rate.

There are also a wealth of other benefits to increasing conversion rate:

  • Better understand the behaviour of your audience
  • Enhance your wider ad strategy
  • Reduce your cost-per-acquisition
  • Inform your other ad campaigns
  • Boost your SEO (search engine optimization)

When it comes to optimising each step of your conversion journey, focus on the following three core areas:

  1. Conversion button - for example, ‘claim offer’ and create more urgency than ‘buy now’.
  2. Product page - offering easy size selection, video as well as images of the products, and a well structured product description and FAQ section.
  3. Checkout - offer as many payment options as possible, and consider pay-later offerings such as Klarna.

Don’t forget to split test

Everyone has an opinion, and even if you put your ads through the hands of 20 people within your target audience, everyone will have an opinion on the best conversion button, the best ad creative and their favourite payment platform.

So to make sense of it all, try split testing your ads - creating separate ad campaigns where you make one change to the ad itself, keeping the target audience exactly the same. This will allow you to answer those burning questions of; is this the right button? Is this the right video?

The ultimate goal is to reach that 'one true creative' that records the highest click-through-rate to make the most of your ad spend. This Bella & Duke case study is a great example of finding your best creative.

3. Interest-based targeting

Whilst every social media platform and its ad manager have its own unique abilities (and it’s worth testing a few that suit your demographic), Facebook Ads (covering both Facebook and Instagram) are leaders in allowing you to create good social media ads with interest-based targeting.

You can target your Facebook ads based on:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Relationship status
  • Education

You can target even more granularly with interests by targeting other brands and fanbases. For example, if your business launched a new protein powder or protein heavy version of a current food product, you could target fans of Gymshark or a popular fitness influencer such as Matt Does Fitness.

Interests for good social media ads
Common interests are what bring us together, they're also why we tend to buy from the same brands as our closest friends.

By tapping into these interest-linked communities, you increase not only your chance of conversion but also your chance of customer loyalty and repeat purchase, dramatically increasing your customer lifetime value (CLV).

4. Create your customer profile

The earlier you decide on and create your customer profile the better. The desired outcome is to personalise and characterise your customer profile so much that they become the kind of person you have met before, or someone you could imagine meeting in the future.

By creating your customer profile early you can thread their wants, needs, desires and appearance through all stages of your ad creation process including creative, ad copy, call-to-actions and product pages.

Questions to ask yourself when creating a customer profile

So break out the whiteboard and pens and decide on the following:

  1. How old are they?
  2. What gender are they?
  3. Where do they live?
  4. What’s the problem they’re trying to solve by buying your product?
  5. What transformation are they seeking?
  6. How do they want to be perceived by others?
  7. What are the other brands they follow?
  8. What are their interests and hobbies?
  9. What publications do they read?

By the end of this process you should be able to imagine the person within your customer profile and what kind of a day they might experience, and therefore when your ad should be seen and what it should look like.

Use audience insights

In the likely event that your business already uses a Facebook page, you can use audience insights to understand your current audience including who spends the most time on your profile and what kind of posts are engaged with most.

5. Prepare ad copy

No matter how much you intend to use images, GIFs and video in your performance ad creative. Great copy will always be king. Every platform will require a certain level of copy to be added to the body of your ad and by following positive ad copy etiquette you can create copy that converts.

writing good ad copy
Take your time, get second opinions and test your ad copy with your audience.

Use the ‘Rule of One’

The ‘rule of one’ is a common rule used in copywriting and essentially means that your copy should always:

  • Speak to one specific reader
  • Highlight one specific problem
  • Offer one specific solution
  • Promote one specific offer

There’s nothing stopping you from testing multiple readers, problems, solutions and offers across different ad campaigns, but ensuring each ad focuses on one specific element is key to high performance ad creative.

Create urgency

The average person is exposed to 93 ads every single day, and it’s your job to ensure that your ad is the one they choose to act upon. So create urgency by offering a limited time offer or by emphasising the problem the user is trying to solve consistently through the ad creative and copy.

Include a call to action (CTA)

New customers are lost everyday to ads that don’t include a way for people to act upon what tey’ve just seen. To maximise return on ad spend (ROAS), ensure you not only include a CTA in all ad copy but ensure its a call-to-action that is easy to understand and creates urgency.


You should now feel equipped to create good social media ads that only convert but also gradually improve as you continue to understand your highest quality target audience.

For more tips on how to create great social media ads, visit our social media marketing blog.

To upgrade your social media ads with stunning ad creative delivered monthly that are designed to convert, schedule a call with one of our friendly team.

Written by Aled Nelmes for Aura Ads.

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