Content Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategy,

Social Media Ads: Stop the Scroll


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There are a lot of distractions on social media. If you are designing creatives – especially for performance advertising – you need to make them so that viewers actually stop to see your ad, instead of continually scrolling down their news feed.

No matter how great your creative is, if you don’t capture the attention of the viewer at the hook point, they will scroll away before they even know what your ad is about.

What Is a ‘Hook Point’?

When it comes to digital advertising, video is fantastic at driving engagement. A creative video will not only grab the attention – it will hold it. But how do you get there?

In short: with a strong hook point.

The ‘hook point’ is the first – and primary – objective of success in the news feed.

The main principle behind this concept is that you need to hook the viewer in the first three seconds with something visually captivating in order to get them to stop scrolling and pay attention to your message.

How to Capture Attention in the Feed

Essentially, consumption on most social platforms news feed is fast, frequent, and, most of the time, sound-free.

This is why, when designing creative for performance advertising, it’s crucial to bring the brand to the front and capture the user’s attention quickly, ideally within those first few seconds.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Make Sure the Message Gets Across With Sound On and Off

It’s good to remember that mobile viewers with their phones on vibrate or silent will have their videos auto-played with the sound off. Even on desktop, where videos auto-play with the sound on by default, many users expect this and put the tab on mute.

Whether it’s on mobile or desktop, if even one video is switched to sound-off mode during the news feed scroll, future videos will play without sound, too (until the setting is switched back).

With so many people watching ads with the sound off, it’s absolutely crucial that your creative still makes sense on mute. Along with outstanding visuals, consider adding captions to the videos, as well.

Create Visually Appealing Social Media Ads

Whether it’s Facebook News Feed or Instagram stories, you need to make sure your visuals are captivating and valuable to the viewer.

A great way to help viewers quickly relate to your brand or product is by telling them a story. From simple visuals to outstanding narrative and video, telling a good story with design humanizes your brand. In turn, this can engage and provoke an emotional response within your audience.

After all, when it comes to video, emotions are key for making people want to keep watching.

Pay Attention to the Format

Another important component of creating an attention-grabbing ad is how it looks, and you should keep in mind that each platform has specific requirements for formatting video ads.

Facebook’s video design recommendations, for instance, state that you should shoot for H.264 compression, progressive scan, fixed frame rate, square pixels, and 128kbps+ stereo AAC audio compression.

Optimize Your Ad Title and Description

An engaging title and description are important for telling users what they should expect to see.

On Facebook, this will also feed the platform’s targeting algorithms with information about the topic of your video, so remember to include relevant keywords.

Stop the Scroll

The feed-based environment of today’s social media platforms is extremely quick, and when it comes to performance ads, every second matters.

By focusing on creating ads that make you stand out from the first frame and quickly reel viewers in, there is an opportunity to cut through the clutter, become more competitive, and get thumbs stopping.

Feeling inspired? Learn more about creativity in digital marketing, and how it can help marketers deliver more meaningful ads.

Paris Childress
Paris Childress

CEO & Founder

My job is to match talented, motivated marketers with high growth companies, arm teams for success, then to get out of the way.

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