For modern marketers, producing enough ad creative for all of their campaigns can feel like a never-ending battle. The landscape has become increasingly complex, with new platforms and ad formats continuously being added into the mix.
This has meant that not only does a higher volume of creative need to be produced, but there is also an increased number of different approaches that need to be taken when building the assets themselves—with each being customized for its intended placement.
Before we get into the ins and outs of cross-platform creative optimization, it's important to first understand what it means for creative to be platform-optimized. Put simply, this term describes ad creative that is built in a way that adheres to the unique specifications and best practices of a certain platform and its placements.
When producing creative assets for your digital campaigns, platform-optimization is one of the first and most important steps that needs to be taken to give your campaigns the best chance of performing to their full potential.
Building creative that is optimized for a single platform is one thing. However, due to the fragmented nature of the digital landscape, campaigns now need to be spread out across multiple platforms in order to effectively reach, engage, and reinforce messaging to dispersed audiences. And because platforms each have their own distinct creative specifications and best practices, advertisers cannot take a one-size-fits all approach.
Instead, you need to build a variety of dedicated creative assets, each optimized for their intended platform. Unfortunately, this can often lead to confusion, which is why it is common for advertisers to unknowingly deploy unoptimized creative that is hurting their campaign performance.
So, in order to show how this can be avoided, the following sections walks through six of the largest digital ad platforms, outlining the key elements that you need to include in order to ensure your creative is optimized. For the purposes of this article, we'll be focusing on video, as that's where the differences between platforms are most obvious.
Examples from paleo and plant-based snack brand, Julie’s Real, will be used throughout in order to showcase how a brand can effectively build a package of optimized, cross-platform creative assets.
Keep things short & sweet by keeping duration under 15-seconds
Eye-catching visuals in the first three seconds to grab attention
Polished look with strong branding
Use of vertical/square video to make the most of screen real estate on mobile
Bold call-to-action (CTA) with visual cues encouraging viewers to swipe up (Stories)
Bold on-screen text for sound-off viewing
Beginning and end are bookmarked by logo
Fast-paced with dynamic transitions
Features user-generated-content (UGC) style footage to provide authenticity
On-screen text is in TikTok native font
Sound plays an important role (both music & sound effects)
Consider using stickers that are inspired by organic TikTok content
Vertical video is used with key visual elements placed within the safe-zone (away from user-interface)
CTA on the end frame with visual cues encouraging the viewer to swipe left
Built for sound-on, with the use of voice-over (VO)
Use of emerging story-arc in order to grab & maintain audience attention
Optimized for mobile viewing with tight framing and fast pacing
Visuals avoid interfering with interface elements such as the “Skip Ad” and CTA button
More than two shots shown within the first five seconds
Full-screen, vertical video
Concise, easy-to-follow structure:
Early branding > key message/offer > strong CTA
Use of UGC-style video inspired by native platform content
No animation on CTA
Logo is featured throughout the entire video duration
Positive and inspiring tone
Use of at least one of Pinterest’s “breakthrough video approaches”
E.g. using a border to provide a layered surface
Emphasis on specific product features & benefits
Creative is tied to a specific buyer motivation
Less than 15-second duration for higher completion rates
Use of movement within the first few seconds to grab attention
Bold on-screen text for sound-off viewing
Create a sense of urgency with a real-time offer or discount
Heavily product-focused visuals
The examples showcased above highlight the fact that building optimized creative for cross-channel campaigns can be quite a complex, time-intensive process. This can be a real problem for modern marketers, as often there simply isn’t the time or resources required in order to do this right. Especially when these specifications and best practices are not set in stone—they constantly change and evolve.
Shuttlerock offers a creative solution that is dedicated to solving this problem. As an official creative partner of each of the platforms mentioned in this article, our 100% in-house design team is rigorously trained and kept up-to-date with all the latest platform-specific best practices. With Shuttlerock, it's as easy as selecting whichever placements you need and our team will take care of the rest, delivering fully platform-optimized creative.