After Effects Tips: Creating Social Media Ads
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


Are you looking to spruce up your social media game with eye-catching motion graphics? If yes, Adobe After Effects might just be the tool you need. This blog is your guide to creating engaging social media ads using after effects motion graphics. We will take you through a step-by-step journey, right from setting up your project in After Effects, creating animated backgrounds, adding text and graphics, working with audio, applying effects and presets, optimizing your ad for different social media platforms, to finally exporting your ad for social media. So, let's dive right in!

How to set up your project in After Effects

Starting a new project in After Effects for your social media ad creation can seem daunting, but it's actually pretty straightforward. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. First, you need to open After Effects. You'll be greeted with a welcome screen. Click on the 'New Project' button.
  2. Once you've started a new project, go to the Composition menu at the top of the screen, and select 'New Composition'.
  3. Here's where you'll set up your workspace. Start by giving your composition a name. For the sake of this guide, we can call it "Social Media Ad".
  4. Next, decide on the dimensions of your composition. If you're creating an ad for Instagram, for example, you might want to use a square format like 1080x1080 pixels.
  5. Set the frame rate and duration for your composition. A typical frame rate for social media ads might be 30 frames per second, and a common duration might be 15 seconds — but these can vary based on your specific needs.
  6. Once you've set up everything, click 'OK'. You now have a blank canvas to start creating your after effects motion graphics for social media ads!

Now, that didn't seem too hard, did it? Remember, these are just the basics. The real magic begins when we start adding elements to our canvas. So, let's keep going!

Creating animated backgrounds

Now that we've set up our project, it's time for the fun part — creating our animated backgrounds! Using after effects motion graphics, we can make backgrounds that are as simple or as complicated as we want. For this guide, let's start with a basic gradient background:

  1. Firstly, go to 'Layer' at the top menu, hover over 'New', and select 'Solid'. This will create a new solid layer.
  2. For our gradient, we'll need two colors. Let's say we want to use a breezy blue and a vibrant orange. Choose your first color when the 'Solid Settings' box pops up, and then hit 'OK'.
  3. Next, head to 'Effect' up in the menu, hover over 'Generate', and pick 'Gradient Ramp'. This will apply a gradient effect to our solid layer.
  4. In the 'Effect Controls' panel, you can now set your second color under 'End Color'. There you go! You have a beautiful gradient for your background.

But we're creating after effects motion graphics for social media ads, right? So, let's animate this gradient:

  1. Within the 'Gradient Ramp' settings, you'll find an option for 'Ramp Scatter'. By animating this, we can create a subtle shimmer effect.
  2. To animate, click the stopwatch icon next to 'Ramp Scatter'. This will create a keyframe.
  3. Move your timeline marker ahead a few seconds, then increase the 'Ramp Scatter' number. This will automatically create another keyframe.
  4. Hit the space bar to preview your animation. Voila! You've just created an animated background.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The world of after effects motion graphics is at your fingertips, ready to make your social media ads stand out. So, why not try adding some shapes, patterns, or even a moving image to your background next time?

Adding text and graphics

With our animated backgrounds in place, it's time to give some substance to our social media ads using text and graphics. After effects motion graphics offer a vast range of possibilities, so let's explore a few basics.

Adding text is simple. Select the 'Text' tool in your toolbar (it looks like a 'T'), then click anywhere in your composition and start typing. You can adjust your font, size, color, and more in the 'Character' panel. Just remember to keep your message clear and concise for maximum impact. But what about making our text a bit more dynamic?

  1. Select your text layer in your timeline.
  2. Expand the layer options, then click the small arrow next to 'Animate'.
  3. You'll see a variety of properties you can animate, such as scale, rotation, opacity, and more. Choose one that suits your ad. For instance, let's pick 'Scale'.
  4. You'll see a new 'Animator 1' section appear under your text layer. Play with the 'Scale' settings until you get the effect you want.
  5. Just like we did with our background, you can animate these properties over time using keyframes.

Now, onto graphics. You can import graphics like logos or icons into After Effects. Go to 'File', then 'Import', and then 'File' again. Once imported, you can drag your graphics onto your composition and position them as you like.

And guess what? You can animate your graphics in the exact same way we animated our text and background. So go ahead, bring your social media ads to life with after effects motion graphics!

Work with audio in your ad

Let's talk about audio. A catchy tune or a compelling voiceover can take your social media ad from good to great. Adding audio to your ad in After Effects is as straightforward as adding text and graphics. Here's how:

  1. Start by importing your audio file. Navigate to 'File', then 'Import', and finally 'File' just like we did with graphics.
  2. Once imported, drag your audio file down to your timeline. It will appear as a new layer.
  3. You can adjust the start time of your audio by dragging it left or right on the timeline.

Want to fade your audio in and out? No problem, keyframes got you covered:

  1. Select your audio layer and press 'L' twice to reveal the 'Waveform'.
  2. Now, expand the 'Audio' options, and click the stopwatch next to 'Audio Levels' to set your first keyframe.
  3. Move your playhead to where you want your fade to end, and set another keyframe. Adjust the 'Audio Levels' to create your fade.

Remember, the audio should complement your visuals, not compete with them. So, keep it balanced, folks!

Now that we've tackled audio, you're one step closer to mastering after effects motion graphics for social media ads. Next up, let's dive into effects and presets, shall we?

How to apply effects and presets

Now, let's get a bit fancy with your ads. Nothing screams attention like some cool effects and presets, right? Here's the good news: After Effects has a treasure trove of them.

First things first, to apply an effect in After Effects, you need to select the layer you want the effect to apply to. Click on the layer in the timeline. Now, navigate to the 'Effects & Presets' panel. Not seeing it? Go to 'Window' on the menu bar and check 'Effects & Presets'.

Here's how to add that wow-factor:

  1. Scroll through the list of effects, or use the search bar if you know what you're looking for. Found something you like? Click on it, drag it over to your selected layer, and drop it. Voila! You've just applied an effect.
  2. Once you've applied an effect, you can customize it in the 'Effect Controls' panel. Play around with the settings until you're happy with the result.

Presets are a bit like effects, but they're even more straightforward to use. Think of them as pre-made effects that you can apply with a single click. To apply a preset, just drag and drop it onto your layer, the same way you would an effect.

Remember, less is often more when it comes to effects and presets. You don't want to overwhelm your audience with flashy visuals, right? Keep it subtle, and always make sure that your effects enhance your ad, not distract from it.

Now, you're ready to take your after effects motion graphics for social media ads to the next level. Keep up the good work!

Tips for optimizing your ad for social media platforms

Okay, you've built an amazing ad with after effects motion graphics. Awesome! But, how do you make sure it's optimized for social media platforms? Here are a few tips.

  1. Consider the platform: Different social media platforms have different specifications. Instagram prefers square videos while YouTube loves widescreen. Before you start, check the preferred video specifications for the platform you're designing for.
  2. Keep it short and sweet: On social media, people's attention spans are like goldfish—short. Keep your ad between 15-60 seconds. The idea is to grab attention, deliver your message and make a lasting impression, all in less than a minute.
  3. Start with a bang: In the world of social media, you need to hook viewers in the first few seconds. Make sure your ad starts with an engaging visual or a compelling message.
  4. Use captions: A lot of people watch videos on mute while scrolling through their social media feeds. Including captions ensures your message gets across, even without sound.
  5. Call to action: Don't forget to include a clear call to action. Whether it's visiting your website, buying a product, or simply liking and sharing, tell the viewer what you want them to do.

Remember, creating after effects motion graphics for social media ads is both an art and a science. It requires creativity, but also knowledge of the platform you're designing for. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating ads that not only look amazing but perform well too. Ready to create some social media magic?

Exporting your ad for social media

Great job! You've created an engaging ad with after effects motion graphics for social media. Now, it's time to export it. Here's a straightforward step-by-step guide to help you do just that:

  1. Go to Composition: In your After Effects application, head over to the Composition menu. From the drop-down list, select 'Add to Render Queue'. This will open up your render queue panel.
  2. Set your settings: In the render queue panel, you'll see two main settings—Render Settings and Output Module. Render Settings should be set to 'Best Settings', and Output Module to 'Lossless'.
  3. Choose your format: Click on 'Output Module', a dialogue box will pop up. From here, you can choose the format for your video. Remember our chat about platform specifications? Here's where it comes to play. Choose a format that works best for the social media platform your ad will be on.
  4. Set the destination: Now it's time to tell After Effects where to save your video. Click on 'Output To', choose your preferred location, and give your file a name.
  5. Render: With everything set, it's time to hit 'Render'. A sound will play once your video is ready. Congratulations! You've officially exported your first After Effects motion graphics ad for social media.

There you have it! With these steps, you can export high-quality after effects motion graphics for social media ads. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be shy to experiment with different settings and formats until you find what works best for you. Ready to share your creation with the world?

If you enjoyed our blog post on "After Effects Tips: Creating Social Media Ads" and want to learn more about using After Effects in your projects, check out the workshop 'How To Animate A Logo In 2D Using After Effects' by George Dyson. This workshop will teach you how to create eye-catching animations that can be used in your social media ads and enhance your brand's presence online.