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Handy Creative Guidelines for Facebook, Display & YouTube Ad

An ad creative is one of the cornerstones of a successful advertising campaign. A well-designed creative can sell the product. However, while making ad creatives, advertisers often feel the lack of a guiding hand that directs them in the right direction. The result is that they make avoidable mistakes, causing advertising waste. To avoid that situation and make things easier, we bring you here an insightful guide on building ad campaign creatives.

Online Ads Guideline

Instead of starting at point zero, you can pace ahead in your advertising journey by utilizing all our learnings on making good ad campaign creatives. At Mediaqart, we are testing thousands of ad variations every month. While doing so, we have noticed patterns of what generally works better. We process them all in this handy guide. Here are the insights for you:


  • Image formats work best when you clearly convey what you are promoting.

  • The product price, benefits and unique selling points should be visible upfront on the creative.

  • For e-commerce ads, the creatives should have high-resolution product images.

  • Your ‘Offer’ should be clearly stated on the creative.

  • The call-to-action (CTA) must match the goal of the ad. E.g., If you want to drive website traffic, CTA could be Learn More.

  • If it is a lead generation campaign, the content on the lead form must sync with the content in the creative.

  • Organic feel: Create images in a way they look organic to the users. That is because people prefer to see an organic post rather than an ad. For example, people surf Facebook to look at their friends and family profiles. You can include people in your image, so it blends in with other organic posts, increasing the chances of your ad getting clicked.

  • Include your photo: People want to know who they are buying from. It helps them to connect with your brand automatically. So, highlight the people and limit the text in your creative.

Insta & FB Ads Guideline
  • Static or video: If information can be given out clearly, directly and in a short time through a static image, you may choose it over a video ad. We did a branding campaign for restaurant chain Jumbo King where the objective was to give a direct message about franchise opportunity. The static image ad got us leads at one-third the cost of the video ad.

  • Mixing up formats: Create a mix of images, videos and graphics. Like in real estate digital advertising, video ads can give a walkthrough of the property. Carousels can display amenities, whereas a single image ad can be used to promote the brand and announce offers.

  • Adapt story ads:. We did a campaign for fashion e-commerce brand Kraus Jeans where we saw a performance increase of 10% by adapting story ads on Facebook and Instagram.

  • A/B test ad creatives: Doing A/B tests lets you understand what variables work better in your ad. While doing A/B testing, limit the number of testing variables to one. For example, you can test two ads with different headlines and keep everything else the same.

  • We did an A/B test campaign for real estate major Alliance Group.

  • Instagram Ad guidelines

  • Ad B got 3x more leads than Ad A. We realized people respond more when we emphasize the price and the headline. We implemented this learning to drive better results in other ads.

Video ads (boomerang, regular videos, GIF):

For video ads, you can follow much of the tips mentioned earlier for images. In addition:

  • Make videos as per the purpose of your campaign. For example, educational videos work best in the awareness stage of the buying cycle.
  • It is ideal to have a voice on a video with a square canvas, coloured background, and easily readable headlines and subtitles.

💡Tip: Writing Facebook ad copies is an art. This is why we have a detailed article on how to write Facebook & Instagram ad copies that convert.
Click here.

Image & video specifications & format:

Majority of the image & video ads will work at:

  • Resolutions: 1080 x 1080
  • Aspect ratio: (Image: 1.91:1 to 1:1); (Video Ads: 1:1); (Story Ads: 9:16)

Here you can check your creative specifications quickly.

Next is Google Display Ads.

Display Ad guidelines


  • Avoid images that are blurry or have excessive filters.
  • Images should not have edges and borders.
  • Do not overlay a logo, text or button on top of the image.
  • Avoid displaying products over digital composite backgrounds/white backgrounds.
  • Limit text in the creative.

Long headline: Write here why your product is beneficial to the customer. The headline should act as a standalone copy without the need for a supporting text.

Short headlines: It must be unique and compelling. Include your offer in it. Don’t repeat your business name in it.

Descriptions: They should complement the short headlines, clearly explaining your value proposition.


  • Two formats are needed: square (1:1) and rectangle (4:1)
  • Place it in the center and not too close to the edge of the image.
  • Avoid adding text and additional details inside the logo.
  • Transparent and white background logos work best.

Business name:

  • Write your conversational brand name rather than its legal name.
  • No need to use copyright signals in your business name.

Provide more assets:

  • More assets (creatives) help Google test a variety of ad formats.
  • Google’s machine learning understands what combination of assets works better and drives more conversions for your business.
Find Google Display Ad Specs here.
Youtube Ads Guideline
  • Give adequate information with clarity within the time frame of your skippable and non-skippable videos.
  • The product or service presentation needs to be top-notch. Here is an example of an average looking video ad and a good video ad.

In this video ad, the product presentation and video quality could have been better. The campaign delivered a higher cost per click (CPC).

In this video ad, the product benefits are delivered in a crisp manner. The presentation and video resolution is good. As a result, the campaign’s CPC was as cheap as one-third of the previous example.

Youtube Ads Guideline

Create videos for mobile:

  • Use tighter framing on the subject and large supers (texts). If the person or product in the frame is clearly visible, it becomes easier for the viewer to process the ad.
  • Adjust brightness and contrast to make your ad visible on a small screen.
  • Do fast pacing. Have two or more shots in the first five seconds. It helps in ad recall and consideration.
  • 70% - the amount of global watch time on mobile devices.

Use the power of sound:

  • Experiment with music, dialogue, and sound effects – to support the visuals. 95% is the amount of video watched on YouTube with sound on.


  • Use people in your video to make a direct connection with your audience.
  • If people appear in your video, let them open the screen and introduce your brand.
  • Faces attract attention and increase motivation to watch the video.

Use high-quality visuals:

  • Use delightful or memorable visuals. The font, tagline, visuals and colors can be consistent with your brand theme.
    It helps drive brand associations.
  • Introduce your product in the first five seconds. YouTube says that visuals that attract interest in the first five seconds lead to longer view times on its platform. More view times is a positive indicator for your sales cycle.
  • Make people or the user an integral part of your ad.
  • Use the elements of emotions, humor, action and storytelling.


  • YouTube recommends using the logo into the story or on the product itself for better ad recall.
  • For ads in the Consideration stage, put the logo as a text overlay or a watermark on the video.

Create urgency:

  • Be direct while giving out offers through text, call-to-action buttons or voiceover.
  • Create urgency in your ad by using messages like ‘limited offers’ and ‘offer expires soon’.

💡 Bonus Tips:

  • The landing page: If you are directing users to your website, the landing page experience is just as important as the ad itself. The page must be consistent with your ad offer, content and visual identity. No matter how good your ad creative is, post ad click experience is critical to your campaign success.
  • The factor of ad fatigue: If you see your campaign performance dropping week-by-week, it may be because of ad fatigue. It happens when your audience has seen your ad multiple times and starts to ignore them. As a result, they do not take the action you want them to, and your results drop. Learn here how to avoid ad fatigue.

Find YouTube Ad Specs here.

Having read about the best practices of making creatives on the leading ad networks, let us clear our basics further.

Making it all about yourself!

  • Brands often make the mistake of only speaking about themselves in the ad copy.
  • ✨ Solution: Your ad must attract attention by stating what users want to hear about. Make them the hero of your ad. It is all about helping them excel.

Writing fancy over clear!

  • Going fancy or witty is totally fine. But it should not be at the expense of being clear.
  • ✨ Solution: Your ad message needs to be clear as water for people to understand it and take a step ahead to give you business.

Not showing urgency!

  • Often, advertisers slack in terms of showing urgency. Think, what would be the case with the reader? They will move on if they see your ad.
  • ✨ Solution: Maintain a sense of urgency in your ad. People have a loss aversion bias. They do not want to miss out on potentially profitable trades.

    You can learn more about making attention grabbing creatives here .

Creative Takeaway:

The insights shared here can help you build a strong foundation for getting your campaign creatives right. Testing is important. Look inside the ads at the individual assets (text and images) to know what drives performance. Implementing the learnings help you improve your results.

Achieving better results is also about improving our creative process daily. What are your learnings from making ad creatives? Did we miss out on something that you can help us know? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

In addition, do you want to boost your advertising performance, but need help? Book a free consultation to see how we can help with our performance marketing solutions. All the best!