In the paid media world everyone is seeking to capture their audience’s attention. One of the major components in attracting audience attention is design. In fact, it can be the deciding factor in whether someone decides to stop, digest, and engage with any type of media—especially paid or sponsored media.

In 2018, companies did very big, bold things with their design and marketing. As we approach the New Year, the question becomes, how are you going to kick things up a few notches to continue to drive audience engagement.

Here are 10 of our favorite social media advertising design trends from this past year and why we think these trends will continue to succeed in 2019.

1. Stop-Motion Photography / .GIF Animation

Stop-motion animation highlights objects moving in multiple frames. This draws the viewer to pause to view the animation frame by frame. Expect to see rapid adoption of this type of animation because we’ve officially reached a point where still photos just aren’t enough to peak people’s interests anymore.

Facebook Ads has recently embraced this form of image animation, and as a result, is seeing an uptick in usage. The animations are great because they’re long enough to get a complete message across and short enough to keep one’s attention. Even better, as a marketer, creating animated gifs is much easier than you would think.

2. Boomerang Videos

If you are looking to achieve the highest engagement rate possible, without having to dig deep into your advertising budget, boomerang videos might be exactly what you are looking for.

Somewhat similar to animated gifs, boomerangs are a short video format with repetitive nature.

Developed by Instagram, this new, entertaining way of presenting video content is a recording of a sequence of images that are then repeated backward in a one-second timeframe. So it’s similar to an animated gif, but the marketing potential of this medium is much more recognized.

3. Flat Lay Design

BirchboxMan Sponsored Post

You’ve probably seen Flat Lay designs, even if you haven’t heard the term before. Flat Lay design refers to a shot of items lying flat on a table, floor or other flat surfaces. The image is always shot from above.

These types of images are most popular on e-commerce sites. Many that follow design trends think that the flat lay design model is going to continue to increase in popularity over the next year.

4. Short-Form Video

Short-form video is something that needs to be a part of your content strategy in 2019. We’re all familiar with the 30-second television commercial spot. In today’s multi-screen environment though, 30 seconds is just too long. The reality of the situation is after 10 seconds; many viewers are on to the next thing. Enter short-form video.

Short-form videos consistently engage viewers within a short span, making their video marketing more efficient and effective. As multi-screen domination continues and social media use increases year over year, the human attention span is going to continue to decline. Short-form videos give you the flexibility to produce videos that hit viewers immediately and get to the point.

5. User-Generated Content

User-generated content provides social proof. Relatable content from your actual customers, rather than your marketing department lends a level of credibility that no other form of marketing can offer.

At its core, user-generated content is a vote of confidence that is made by your brand’s biggest evangelists. When they publish a blog post, take a photo, write a review or create a short video, they are doing so without you even asking for it. Leveraging user-generated content is a great way to reinforce the core values and value proposition to your customer base while creating an engaged community of customers.

6. Emoji-based Advertisements

Emojis play a big part in the daily digital conversation. They can be used in advertisements to spark interest. They provide a fun approach to advertising and help reinforce messaging and highlight benefits within an ad. Many ad platforms now support emoji advertising in both ad copy and targeting, and many well-known brands are starting to incorporate emoji advertising into in their campaigns.

7. Text Animations

Text animation plays a big role in both visual appeal and getting the core message across to your audience. Text animation gives audiences a split second visual focal point to latch onto. It helps narrate a story to the audience.

8. Illustrative Call-outs

Illustrative Call Outs Chipotle
Illustration in its own right is a draw (no pun intended), but with illustrative call-outs, an advertiser can highlight key value propositions. Illustration call-outs add a subtle design dimension to advertisements, demanding focus on particular parts of the ad itself.

9. Testimonials

Similar to user-generated content, customer testimonials and product reviews as design elements help give credibility to a service or product. Social proof often drives higher engagement and enables trust for the consumer in your service or product. Nothing resonates better than word of mouth and using a testimonial as a design element indicates a social thumbs up.

10. Colored Gradients

Color Gradient Upwork
Color gradients have been the trend for several years and will continue to be popular in 2019. Bold colors help give attention to an ad, helping you drive the messaging home in the mind of the consumer. Darker gradients help messaging stand out on top of lifestyle imagery, completing an immersive experience. These bold statements channel the consumer’s emotions, helping them connect with your product or idea.

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