As digital marketers, we geek out about the latest trends happening online. So you may be thinking, ‘Okay. Then why are you still blogging? That’s very 2001 of you.’ We hear you.
We don’t ever expect our blog will trend on BuzzFeed or Reddit. (That’d be pretty neat, tho!) Our goal is to hopefully add a little value to our corner of the world. We use this space to talk about what’s happening in digital spaces, and answer the questions we’re asked most frequently by our clients and within our network.
Without a doubt the single most asked question we get is about ad specs. We covered this a little in a previous post where we talk about Best Practices for Digital Creative. (The TLDR version: there’s no one size fits all, tailor it for your audience and campaign.) Our goal here is to expand on that post and update based on platform changes and things we’ve learned since that time. Specs below are accurate as of the time of this writing (May 2023). Note that there are many different ad options on all channels, and in some instances there are more sizes available than the specs we have listed below. Generally speaking, these are the most commonly placed sizes based on what’s available and what performs best.
Why a chameleon in the thumbnail, you ask? His specs, duh. And we’re still working on getting noticed by Reddit.
GDN and Other Programmatic Platforms
- 728×90, 160×600, 300×600, 300×250, 320×50, and 300×50, 320×480, 970×250, 480×320, 768×1024, & 1024×768, 150 kb max file size.
- Static or responsive, though as of Fall 2021 Google is trending toward all responsive ads using portrait and/or landscape photos or videos of any size.
- Native ads are an ad type all their own, but are worth mentioning here because the specs are pretty different from the above. They require:
- The destination URL – i.e. a link to a landing page with informative content like a blog or other article
- The image – 1200×627, 600×600, or 800×600 formatted as static JPG, PNG, or GIF. Animated images are not accepted, and the image should not contain a text overlay. Optimal file size is 750kb -4MB, 72-144 pixels per inch.
- Copy – Including a headline with maximum 55 characters, body maximum 120 characters, “sponsored by” text maximum of 25 characters, and no emojis or special characters such including trademark™/registered®
- Logo – the brand logo must be supplied on a white background in a 1:1 ratio, 300×300 recommended
- *It’s worth noting that not all of these elements will appear every single time the ad is displayed. Typically the headline, image, URL and sponsored by fields appear, but appearance of the body copy and brand logo can vary by placement. If your business has strict compliance or other guidelines, it’s worth verifying the viability of this ad type before placement.
- 1200×1200 or 1200×680 static, no max file size indicated
- 1080×1920 aspect ratio, length of :15, :30 or :60 formatted as .mp4s
- 1080×1920 aspect ratio for video
- The ideal length: the shorter the better, predominantly :15 if the message can be communicated. :30 or :60 ads will work when there’s more information to convey, and though we don’t recommend it–YouTube will allow up to 6:00.
- There’s no max file size, but video files must be uploaded to a legitimate YouTube account. In order to run these ad digital ads, we need publicly available or unlisted YouTube link. Private links will not work.
- 1080×1080, 1200×628, 600×600 static or video and 800×800 for carousels. The max file size accepted is 30 mb.
- These ads must be accompanied by Primary Text of up to 140 characters and a Headline of up to 40 characters.
- 1080×1920 static, dynamic, or video. The max file size accepted is 5 mb for images or 1 gb for video.
- While the platform doesn’t note this, Snap places in-platform overlays in the top and bottom 10-20 pixels of the ad. We recommend leaving blank space here so none of your messaging or design gets lost.
- 1200×600, 1200×800, 1200×1200, 800×418, 800×800. Max file size of 20 mb.
- These ads must be accompanied by text of up to 280 characters (or 257 if a link is included.)
- In this case it’s especially important these ads be the right size, shape, and format. Optimal specs are an aspect ratio of 9×16. The platform will accept 1X1 or 16X9, though these are more likely to make your spots stand out clearly as ads.
- Minimum resolution: 540x960px, 640x640px, or 960x540px.
- On TikTok, authenticity is King. Because this platform’s algorithm curates ads so finely, users are likely to scroll past if it’s clear your content is an ad and you’re not trying to engage authentically by generating content on the platform.
- Generally speaking, produced ads aren’t necessary to run a search campaign. The key component here is an SEM plan well tailored to your product using terms that people are most likely to key in when searching for you and ad copy that ties in with the landing page and keywords in the ad group
- RLSA (or Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) – these are lists of people that can be uploaded and layered in on top of your ongoing search campaign. These folks have interacted with your brand in some way.
- Performance max – 1:1, 1200×628, or 600×314 static ads, 512 KB max file size. Video in standard aspect ratios are also accepted.
- The most effective Reddit ads appear in-feed. These can be 1:1, 4:5, 4:3, or 16:9 with a max file size of 1GB. Frame rate is important here, it can be up to 30fps, and the platform specifically supports .mp4 or mov.
- Ideal length: :05-:30 recommended, but the video can be up to 15:00 long.
- Your ad should include supporting copy for a post headline of no more than 300 characters.
We hope the specs above provide some insight and direction for all your digital campaign needs. These are the top performers or required specs as of the time of this writing. We’ll be sure to update this periodically if we see major shifts in the types of ads that perform best on any given platform. In the meantime, hit us up if you have other needs or questions on ad creation you’d like to see us talk about in a future post. (How about everything you need to have lined up for your digital campaign pre-launch, anyone?)
Go Forth. Go Digital.