Creative Media

How To Create An Ad Asset That Converts

a hand coming out of a laptop screen to exchange money for a bag

So, you want to create an ad asset that converts?

File that under the list of things easier said than done. Branded content comes in all shapes and sizes—primarily photos and videos—with an important job: communicating what makes your brand special to the world. 

Branded content helps you stand out in saturated markets, make meaningful connections with your audience, and get those valuable conversions. But there’s more to it than just an aesthetically pleasing visual. Whether you’re running Facebook ads, Instagram ads, or just looking to make video ads that pop, we’ve compiled a list of ten tips to help you out.

Let's talk about branded content that works

1. Pre-Production

Before you start shooting footage or taking photos, you need to decide where you’re planning to have your ad asset live. On social media? On your website? This is a meaningful decision that will inform your production process. 

Consider this example: YouTube videos need to be cut down to a 9:16 ratio if you’re planning to repost clips on social media. You lose a lot of real estate when you cut down to a smaller frame, so you’re better off planning for one from the start. 

Similar considerations need to be taken for all platforms, whether it’s a Facebook ad or part of an Instagram ad campaign—always plan ahead! 

2. Define Your Style

As you enter the production phase, you need to consider the aesthetics of your ad and how they can support—or detract—from your product. You want your product to look amazing, but also still look like it does in real life. Authenticity matters!

Bright lighting is a must. It makes colours pop so everything looks vibrant, appeasing eyes desperate for something exciting. You also need to consider the positioning of your product in the frame. You probably have an angle from which you prefer being photographed, and chances are your product has a good side, too. 

Your shots and footage should be clear and crisp. If you don’t have photographers or videographers on your team or access to high-quality equipment, then consider enlisting the services of some branded creative professionals. You won’t regret it, trust us. 

3. Adhere To Brand Guidelines

Brands have guidelines and failing to follow them is a great way to produce an ad asset that does the opposite of convert. Not only will the brand be unhappy, but your viewers will be left feeling confused by the discrepancies. 

Certain elements, like logos, colour palettes, and slogans should be consistent across channels and campaigns. For example, you’re never going to see an ad for a Big Mac where McDonald’s classic red and yellow has been replaced by pink and purple. All that would do is leave people thinking that Burger King had hijacked their marketing room. 

Find ways to stand out within your guidelines, not by breaking them. 

4. Break The Fourth Wall

It’s a well-known fact (we hope) that people are more likely to buy something from a person than a faceless corporation. People love it when the “human element” is injected into ads, so make sure yours have it in spades. 

A great way to do this is by having someone speak to the camera or by incorporating a voice-over. This creates a conversational feel to your ad that people will appreciate and it presents plenty of opportunities to spice things up with humour and personality. 

Bonus tip: use subtitles on your videos! Not everyone is going to be watching your ad with the volume up, and those who are hearing impaired will appreciate it, too. 

5. Leverage Influencer Marketing

We have a lot we want to say about influencers, and it’s because they’re lightning in a bottle when it comes to social media. Influencers have devoted audiences and know their platforms inside and out. Seriously, what’s not to like? 

You probably know the value of having a recognizable face in your ads, but also consider the value of having them embody your target demographic. It’s not just “oh, they like this?”, it’s also about eliciting that “they like this and they’re like me” feeling! Just make sure you’re being diverse with who you’re featuring so everyone can feel that way. 

6. Understand Safety Zones

Platform-specific thinking extends into post-production too. The display for every platform is different and you need to edit things as such. Here’s a quick breakdown of the recommended aspect ratios for the following platforms: 

  • Facebook & Instagram: 1:1 or 1:91 (in-feed); 9:16 (story/reels)
  • LinkedIn: 1.91: 1 (horizontal) ; 1:1 (square) ; 1: 1.91 (vertical)
  • X (Ugh, it’s Twitter): 1.91: 1 or 1.1
  • Pinterest: 2:3
  • TikTok: 9:16, 16:9 or 1:1
  • YouTube: 16:9 or 4:3

Always make sure your text and primary subject are within the zones. This is especially important as it pertains to promos and key information—the last thing you want is for it to end up partially obscured or out of the frame!

7. Embrace Less As More

Are you still with us? A lot of people wouldn’t be, and that’s just the reality of creating content nowadays. People’s attention spans are short, so you better be sure you’re giving them the most bang for their seconds as possible. 

Shoot for branded video ads that are 15 seconds or less. Clocking in at less than six seconds is even better. The first three seconds should contain the most important information—this is definitely a “less-is-more” situation, folks.

8. Write Compelling Ad Copy

Here’s a golden rule when it comes to copy: rather than stating what your product is, state what it does for someone. You need to create a “need state” that communicates to someone how buying your product will make them feel. 

Pretend for a second you’ve been tasked to write Facebook ad copy for a company that sells jeans. Which of these two approaches do you think will sell more: telling consumers you sell authentic dark-wash denim, or telling them your jeans will make their butts look good and help them feel more confident? Option two by a landslide!

Bonus tip: always include a call to action! People should never see your ad, want to buy, and then be left wondering what action to take. Make it super clear. 

9. Understand The Sales Funnel

When creating your ad, consider which stage of the sales funnel your target audience is at. In other words, think about what stage of the buying process they might find themselves at and act accordingly. 

If you’re targeting people at the top of the funnel, you can buy with less-produced assets if you’re using video formats that break the fourth wall. At the middle or bottom, focus more on communicating your unique selling points that put you above your competitors. 

The platform you’re on also matters here. Consider the demographic differences between Facebook users and those on TikTok, thinking about how they might influence where someone finds themselves in the sales funnel. 

10. Cover All Your Bases

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to experiment. You might not nail it the first time, but trial and error is part of the process. What we can assure you is that you’ll never nail it if you give up or don’t try a bunch of different kinds of content. 

Creating Facebook ads that feature polished branded content might be your ticket. Or, maybe it’s organic user-generated content on Pinterest that best resonates with your target audience. It could even be custom-branded GIFs.

You’ll never know if you’re afraid to try—be courageous! 

We Make Ads That Convert

They say practice makes perfect… or does it? You can practice all you want, but the best way to create a converting ad asset is to let us do it for you. 

At The Influence Agency, our in-house team of professionals are experts at creating branded content that drives conversions. We can confidently say that nobody does custom photography and video content like us—see the results for yourself! 

Contact us for a quote today!