Tips for Creative Mobile Ads on Facebook and Instagram

August 31, 2017

With Facebook now supporting over 2 billion monthly users and Instagram quickly becoming a social network force to reckon with, marketers must be more creative than ever to attract attention. And, not only that—we have to constantly make sure our messages are clear, and that we’re driving consideration, clicks, and conversions. If pictures were worth a thousand words before, now they’ve hit double-digital annual growth.

This is even more important on mobile. Smartphones have become the device of choice for today’s users on the go. Advertisers need to devote attention to refining the user experience for people who are constantly “plugged in.”

Here are a few tips for making sure your Facebook and Instagram ads are going the extra mile for today’s consumer.

Who’s Your Audience?

A first step is to determine your target audiences, and to keep them in mind as your create your ads. Avoid using the same creatives for all of your markets and audiences. Adapt your creatives to fit different user wants and needs.

Focus on the Product

Try using images that feature a close-up of your app, in a mock-up on a device adapted to the mobile OS you’re targeting (Apple iPhones on an iOS target, for instance).

Also experiment with short videos showing a demo of the main features of the app. We’ll discuss video ads in a later section.

Focus on the People

You should also try images featuring people using your app. For example, a music streaming mobile app could feature a person listening to music on their headphones. Basically, any action symbolizing or suggesting the nature of the app you’re promoting is a great way to make your message clear at first glance.

Optimize Your Text and Logo

Your logo should always be visible. This is especially important when you’re targeting markets where your brand awareness is strong.

Note that Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network place limits on the amount of text you can have on your ad image. You’ll have to follow the rules, but be sure to get as close to the limit as possible to make sure your message stands out.

Get Creative on Instagram

Instagram is a heavily image-based network, so creativity is crucial. Draw inspiration from the main influencers in your field—look at what they’re doing and make sure you’re targeting your audience as efficiently and inventively as possible.

Use filters, image composites, and videos—all the while making your ads as natural and seamless as possible to users.

Get in the Video Game

With six-second videos poised to become a standard, you’ll have even less time to immediately make a splash with video. Make yours as brief and clear as possible—six seconds can be a challenge, but be sure not to exceed 30 seconds, and make sure you feature your product in a clear and recognizable way.

Note that many people don’t activate sound on an ad. So, ensure your message comes across, even on mute. It is still considered best practice however to have some backing music or a voiceover for those who see ads with audio engaged. Consider using royalty-free music to spice things up in an easy way. Ensure your message is understood by including captions and featuring your logo in the first few moments.

A/B Test Everything

Don’t just assume one solution will work better than another. Always test two versions of an image—they need to differ only on a specific element, so that you can compare results and consider insights once the A/B test is over.


Blue or green? A/B test both to identify the best version.

Be sure to A/B test different kinds of videos, too—is a generic one showing a product overview more effective than one with a specific and unique feature?

An Exciting Time for Mobile Advertisers

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Everything changes and nothing stands still.” When it comes to the evolution of digital advertising and the active routines of today’s mobile user, the philosopher’s words ring true. Stay ahead with awesome mobile ads on Facebook and Instagram. Clicks and conversions await!

Mattia Stevanato

Marin Software
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