Gear Your Ads For Peak Performance: Optimizing By Placement For Better Results

The tools available to the modern advertiser has never been as abundant nor as effective as what is on offer in today’s digital environment. 

The last decade has seen the emergence of a diverse range of influential online platforms, each offering advertisers a variety of different ad placements to utilize. 

However, as a result of this diversified landscape, a challenge has arisen for brands to ensure that their ad creative is not only being disseminated across the numerous online channels but is also designed specifically to meet the best practices of each respective placement. 


There is no cookie-cutter solution to multi-channel ad creative

An ad, for example, that may work well on Instagram, will need to be adapted in order for it to also be successful on TikTok. Whilst at the same time, an ad designed with Instagram stories in mind, won’t necessarily be effective when placed on Instagram feed. What I’m alluding to is the importance of placement optimization, the act of designing each ad to match the needs of its final destination in order to give it the best chance of optimal performance. 

There is no easy, one-size-fits-all approach to solving the varying creative needs and specifications for each different social channel. In order to get the most value out of each placement, a single creative concept should undergo multiple modifications, tailoring the ad to suit each of its desired placements. At Shuttlerock, we provide brands with a much-needed solution to this problem; instead of a cookie-cutter approach, our solution lies in our ability to quickly modify creative assets, enabling it to flourish across all placements. 

The two examples below, produced by Shuttlerock for video game developer Capcom, demonstrate this need. The first is an ad designed for Instagram stories, whilst the second was modified to be used on TikTok. Try and spot the differences between the two in terms of design.

9:16 IG+FB Stories

9:16 TikTok

Although being minor, these optimizations are crucial in enabling the creative to function and thrive in both placements. 

The first thing to address is the differing length of the two ads. The TikTok version was slightly cut down to fit within the optimal 9-second time-frame. You may have also noticed that some of the design elements, such as the “Resident Evil” logo and the Mature Rating icon were moved in the TikTok version in order to not overlap with TikTok’s visual overlays. 

The third and more crucial difference can be seen with the CTA on the end frame. The Instagram stories placement requires the user to swipe up to visit the associated landing page. However, on TikTok, the swipe motion is to the left. The need for modification here is obvious, you don’t want users swiping in the wrong direction. These changes come as a result of specific requirements necessary for functioning on either platform.  


Take things to the next level

After meeting such requirements, you can then begin to get creative and experimental, making the most of the unique characteristics of each placement, and leveraging them to amplify the effectiveness of your ad. Maximizing screen real estate plays a big role here, it is important to think of phone and laptop screens as today’s modern billboard space.  

Obviously the larger the billboard, the more chance it has to grab a viewer’s attention, meaning bigger is better in the minds of advertisers. Due to this, it has been no surprise that the 9:16 ratio, which is seen on both Instagram & Facebook stories, along with TikTok, has become a preferred choice for advertisers targeting mobile users. Taking up the entirety of a phone’s screen without any surrounding visual distraction is extremely powerful. This, along with the ability to utilize interactive elements such as polling, makes the placement a key weapon in an advertiser’s arsenal. 

However, it is important to realize the unique characteristics and intricacies of each placement. All enable brands to reach consumers in a slightly different way. By adopting an omnichannel ad strategy and designing specifically for each chosen placement across a number of different platforms advertisers can broaden their reach, whilst compounding the effectiveness of their ad’s messaging. 


Be bold and stand out from the crowd

It is, however, important that brands take advantage of this opportunity and don’t simply fill these placements with bland, mediocre creative. This will only result in viewers swiping past them, paying little to no attention. This is why high-quality creative is key. There is an opportunity for brands to set themselves apart, stopping users mid-scroll by investing in ads that cut through the noise and engage viewers from the first frame. The examples below show how this can be achieved. They are visually striking whilst also utilizing the placement-specific parameters effectively and creatively.

16:9 In-Stream/YouTube 

Land O'Lakes 9:16 IG Stories Poll

9:16 IG+FB Stories

At Shuttlerock, our teams of in-house designers, art directors, and creative strategists work in unison to ensure that all of our video-ads are both vibrant and dynamic. We produce creative that catches eyes, stops thumbs, and ultimately communicates the ad’s messaging and desired action response. Our teams are trained in omnichannel best practices, providing brands with a trusted one-stop-shop for short-form, video-creative needs. 

In this post, I have only scratched the surface in terms of the multitude of different placement options available. The continuously growing list is exciting for us here at Shuttlerock, we embrace innovation in this field and encourage brands to do the same.

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