Demand Generation

6 essential B2B SaaS ad design best practices (with examples)

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When executed as part of a complete go-to-market strategy, paid advertising can help you get some quick wins in the door. And while ad design is one of the most important components of a successful campaign, we’ve noticed it sometimes doesn’t get the care and attention it deserves in the world of B2B SaaS ads.

Through my experience designing for B2B SaaS companies, I’ve learned some best practices for executing ad designs. Here are my top 5.

1. Design for small screens and mobile users 

With 15% of the population being mobile-only internet users, designing your ads with smaller screens in mind will help you reach a wider audience. Our team built a Figma ad template specifically to help us with this challenge. In it, we built frames to match a variety of mobile designs and created previews to help up visualize what each ad looks like on a mobile device.

In addition to mobile-only users, 2023 is the year mobile will finally take the number-one spot with a 51 percent share of ad spending. It’s more important than ever to start prioritizing how your ads look on a mobile view. This means you need to be mindful of your design decisions (e.g., text size and the total amount of content on the ad).

Design for small screens and mobile users

 2. Consider multiple sizes and formats

There's a huge opportunity when it comes to creating different formats for display ads. On the Google display network alone, there are over 40 size variations you can choose from. In many cases, the more sizes you create for your ads, the more opportunities your campaign has for impressions. 

While creating various sizes of your ads can be time-consuming, we recommend prioritizing the use of each platform’s top-performing sizes:

Top-performing Google Ad sizes:

  • Medium rectangle: 300x250
  • Large rectangle: 336x280
  • Leaderboard: 728x90
  • Half page: 300x600
  • Large mobile banner: 320x100

Top-performing LinkedIn ad Size:

  • 1:1 aspect ratio, up to 6012 x 6012 pixels

Top-performing Facebook ad Size:

  • 1:1 aspect ratio, 1080 x 1080 pixels

Top-performing Instagram ad Sizes:

  • 1:1 (square), 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • 1.9:1 (landscape), 1200 x 628 pixels

On top of choosing your format, it’s also important to stay updated on any format changes a social platform might introduce. Tools like our Figma B2B SaaS ad pack make it simple to properly size a range of ads and stay current on sizing changes across multiple platforms. 

Consider multiple sizes and formats

3. Strengthen brand consistency

The best part about display advertising is that it’s (mostly) all about the visual (with some help from the copy and audience targeting). The main point is to emphasize brand visibility and present it in a positive light. 

To create ads that are instantly recognizable and associated with your brand, be sure to build your ads, as you would with any other design component, closely in line with your brand style guide. Keeping your ad designs within your brand’s look and feel (colors, typography, imagery, etc.) ensures that your audience gets a consistent brand experience at every touchpoint with your company.

Strengthen brand consistency

4. Effective copy & CTAs

Including large or boring bodies of copy won’t get you the conversions you want. For example, the average Facebook ad is only viewed for 2.5 seconds on desktop and 1.7 seconds on mobile. Your best option is tailor your messaging to fit your intended audience clearly and concisely. 

Consider the specific audience of your ICP and personas you are targeting: what pains are they experiencing, and how would they benefit from your solution? Pick those that make you the best fit for them and focus on those to keep your small bit of copy as impactful as possible.

The pain, claim, gain framework is a great tool for choosing ad copy that has a better chance of catching the attention of your target audience.

While the copy you choose to use for your CTA is important, so is how you present it. Layout design and scale can both drastically influence the conversion rate of that specific ad. Choosing your words carefully and designing intentionally should improve your click-through and conversion rates. 

5. Be mindful of design trends

Due to display ads being a more temporary marketing asset, it’s a great opportunity to explore and test different design trends at a given moment. Maybe you have a refresh you would like to apply to your current brand but are nervous to make the jump? Display ads are a great place to explore those ideas and see what results you get. 

Here are a few sites I would recommend looking for design trend inspiration:

Be mindful of design trends

6. See what your competitors are doing

Looking at your competitors’ ads can be a great place to start when you’re gathering inspiration. Luckily, both Facebook and LinkedIn have made this easy to do. Using Facebook's ad library, you can search your competitors directly or use keywords from your industry. On LinkedIn, you can view any company’s profile and see exactly what ads they are running.  

In addition to viewing your competitors' current ads, you can find lots of different specially curated ad swipe files. With so many libraries available, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of them! I highly recommend looking into more options that may be more curated to your industry. Here are a couple of my favorites:

The takeaway

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it does provide a few crucial tips when designing your next campaign ads. This form of digital marketing provides endless opportunities and possibilities, it’s worth a shot exploring and see which techniques and practices most impact your campaign. 

Looking to read more before your launch? Check out this blog explaining how to best leverage your paid media channels.

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