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Internet Advertising to Recruit Youth

Presentations, Trainings, & Support Available Online & In-Person

What’s all the hype about internet advertising?

Not sure where to start, but you want to start now?

Tried it before but with mixed results? Need some tips to boost your efforts?

Follow along as our Innovation and Research Department shares lessons learned for how to effectively recruit youth into programs and research studies using internet advertising. You’ll gain some great tips to get you started with internet advertising and steered in the right direction. These eight videos are super short but packed with good information based on our own experience.

Estimated time: 2-3 minutes per lesson, average / 35 minutes for the entire course

Contributing Staff

Let’s get started…


6 minutes, 2 seconds

Lesson 1

Avoid Stock Photography

2 minutes, 25 seconds

From our experience, people who saw ads using stock photography reacted pretty negatively as they are unauthentic. So then what graphic do you use? 

Lesson 2

Be Concise

3 minutes, 14 seconds

You have so much you want to say! But Facebook and Instagram limit the amount of text you can use, and if you use too much, you’ll lose your audience anyway.

Lesson 3

Be Clear

1 minute, 52 seconds

People are very smart when it comes to ads. If your ad sounds gimmicky, complicated, or ambiguous, people may assume it’s a scam. Avoid clickbait-y language, and tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Lesson 4

UX Matters

3 minutes, 48 seconds

UX means user experience. UX is what happens after your ad, not only the visual branding but how users navigate subsequent pages. If they find everything cohesive and easy to use, they may stick around. If they get confused or tired, they will navigate away.

Lesson 5

Platform Follows Audience

4 minutes, 10 seconds

Platform follows audience. Just because statistics may indicate that youth spend more time on one platform over the other, they may not click on those ads. Launch your ads in the platforms you think may perform well, and then see how it goes.

Lesson 6

Targeting Ain’t Perfect

2 minutes, 41 seconds

Just because you specify a certain population in your advertising doesn’t mean that they will actually see the ad. For example, race and ethnicity is determined by Facebook based on people’s content on Facebook. This is what they call multicultural affinity. It’s estimated, not self-reported.

Lesson 7

Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

2 minutes, 15 seconds

Sometimes that means keeping all the ad creative the same, but changing the targeting parameters by one variable, perhaps adding gender, or age range. Other times it means keeping the targeting parameters the same, but changing one thing in the creative.

Lesson 8


2 minutes, 11 seconds

It may not be easy to accept that we need to continue recrafting our ad, but the results of pivoting may be worthwhile.

And to wrap it all up…

One Final Thought

2 minutes, 38 seconds

One final piece of advice… Never, ever underestimate the work that internet advertising entails. It’s work!

Intrigued but still feel overwhelmed? We can help you use internet advertising to recruit youth for your program, evaluation study, or digital focus group!