As paid marketing competition increases on Facebook, ad creative becomes increasingly important. To effectively grab target audiences’ attention, paid advertisers need to get back to the fundamentals of advertising.
What do I mean by this? I mean we need to focus on our ad creative. Ad creative isn’t just the image that you use; it’s also the messaging and call-to-action.
Here are a few helpful tips that I’ve compiled from various sources, including my own experience creating Facebook ads for our clients.
1. Use imagery that will grab your audience’s attention.
Facebook’s Creative Tips for Making Your Ad guide says it best: Images are the first thing people will notice about your post. So take time choosing and curating the images you put there. This includes:
- Staying away from cheap stock photography and avoiding using blurry images. There’s nothing wrong with using stock photos, just make sure that you’re using clear, quality images that are realistic and authentic to your brand.
- Using crisp “lifestyle” images of your products. In other words, showcase your products in the context of how they should be used. For example, if you’re selling expensive clocks, show them hanging on a wall in a nice, expensive-looking house.
Lifestyle images are especially effective because they help you convey how your product is used in real life. It’s more genuine and overall more interesting than a close-up of a product on a plain white background. Similar to ads in a catalogue, lifestyle images help you tell your brand story and share ideas of how to use your products through compelling photos.
- Testing your ad using people in the image who are smiling. A while back, Basecamp did a case study about this on their subsidiary, Highrise. Their results revealed that smiling people increase sign-ups by 102 percent. Though dated, this case study is still valid and proves that adding the human element can have a dramatic impact on your ads effectiveness.
- Using bright, attractive colors in your ad image. Dull black and white images rarely grab your attention. Think about an ad that you’ve clicked on recently. I’d wager that it included a few vibrant primary colors.
2. Say what you need to say
Much has been written about how to make Facebook ad copy compelling. I’ve listed the tips that I believe are most valuable:
- Our friends at Facebook advise that before you start designing your ad, decide first who your target audience is. Why? Because your audience should determine what type of image you use and how you write your copy. For example, how old is your target audience? Where do they live? Anywhere? In Key West, FL? What kinds of things are they interested in? Family Activities? Yoga? Sports?
- Once you have a better grasp on who you are writing to, write in a tone of voice that reflects your business’ personality. That might be funny, quirky, lighthearted or philosophical. Or, it could be all business. The more authentic you are to your business’ identity, the more effective your ads are likely to be. So, be yourself and be consistent.
- Keep it short and sweet. In a Facebook ad you can use 20 percent of the space for text overlay. With that said, I’d advise not to maximize that 20 percent. Keep the ad image clean with a 3-5 word statement and then leave the description section above or below the ad for where you elaborate.
- Keep it relevant. In the words of the Hubspot team, “Relevance is critical for success when using Facebook advertising. Remember, you are spending money when someone views or clicks on your ad (depending on the settings you use). If you’re showing ads that aren’t relevant to your target audience, then you’re wasting your time and money and will likely not see success with any kind of advertising.”And, just in case you weren’t aware, Facebook has a feature in their advertising platform that rates your ads and gives you a relevance score, similar to Ad Rank in Google AdWords. The more relevant your ad image, ad copy, and destination page is to your audience, the higher your score is — and the more favorably Facebook will treat your ads – so relevancy is key.
- Provide an enticing value proposition. Why should the reader click on your ad? How will your product or service benefit them? A strong value proposition should captivate the reader to want to click on your ad.
- Include a clear call-to-action. What do you want your reader to do? Purchase that statement necklace? Take advantage of your limited time sale? Your reader needs to know what to do next, therefore you need to tell them in your ad.
Whatever type of Facebook ad you decide to create, always remember that the key to success in Facebook advertising is testing, testing and more testing.
If you’re not doing so already, follow or connect with us on Facebook! And if you have any questions about how to take your Facebook advertising to the next level in 2016, be sure to contact our Paid Marketing team!