Facebook ads can make effective marketing tools, helping you get more likes, views, web traffic and interaction with your brand. Given how much marketers and businesses spend on Facebook advertising nowadays, you want to optimise your ads as much as possible to catch the eye and get clicks. This largely comes down to two things: sharp design and smart targeting. Read on to discover how to design premium style Facebook ads that will do your brand justice – all for a modest budget. Your social media presence may be about to take off.
Basic principles of premium style Facebook ads
Before you get designing, let’s start with the basics. The first step of any ad campaign is to identify your objective. You’ll then build the style and content of the ad(s) around this.
Most Facebook ads appear in users’ news feeds, right alongside updates from their social circle. As such, an effective strategy is to include images of people in your ads – not just the product. Show potential customers what having this product in their life might look like.
- Remember, too much text is off-putting. You want just enough to add meaning, but not so much that the image becomes cluttered. Too much text also means your ad will be shown to fewer people (see 20% rule)
- If you’re struggling to contain all of the information you need to convey in just one image, why not consider a sequential ad campaign? Alternatively, you might want to try the carousel format, where you can include multiple images that the user clicks through
- Imagery is important, and while you don’t necessarily need to be a pro photographer, it’s worth reading up on Facebook’s image guidelines re: file size and quality. The same image can appear vastly different (and poorer quality) if these guidelines are ignored
- Finally, take time to experiment with different images and ad formats to find something you like. Make sure you preview the ads before putting them live. Split testing a range of ads to discover which ones your audience responds to is a great way to learn what works – you can then optimise accordingly.
Choosing imagery for premium style Facebook ads
Naturally, you want to select images that will grab users’ attention as they’re scrolling through their feeds. The right image can make all the difference between whether they choose to click. So choose your images wisely and be prepared to test several options.
Here are some useful tips:
- Aim to have some visual contrast – using Instagram-style filters can help. Studies have found that lighter, brighter images perform better than darker ones, so keep this in mind
- Use the psychology of colour to influence users’ reactions. Did you know that many people dislike the colour orange? The ideal choice of colour will depend on both your brand and your audience – do some research beforehand
- If you’re running ad campaigns in a number of regions, source location-specific imagery. Ads that are personalised by location are shown to be more effective
- Use images containing faces. We’re psychologically attuned to look out for faces – even in everyday objects – so these images automatically draw us in
- If you’re an e-commerce brand, certainly consider using multiple images, rather than just one. Give your customers a wider impression of your product range and maximise the chances of them seeing something they like.
Remember that alongside your own branded imagery, quality stock photos can also be sourced for free from image libraries like Burst.
Your marketing message for premium style Facebook ads
You could have the most beautiful ad in the world, but if your audience isn’t sure what to do or what’s in it for them, the ad will fail. A clear, simple marketing message is key. You need to communicate the following in as few words as possible:
- What is the product or service?
- Who is it aimed at?
- What’s in it for the reader?
- What should they do next?
The ad image and text should work together to reel people in and convince them to click. Your call-to-action, in particular, will impact your conversion rate. Just a few important words that stand out immediately and make the desired action clear: find out more, buy now, sign up.
As mentioned above, Facebook has a 20% text rule that limits the amount of text you can display within the ad image. If you exceed this limit, the ad will be shown to fewer people, so it’s an important guideline to keep in mind. You may find this grid image checker tool helpful.
Lastly, consider your font choices carefully. Too many fonts will be distracting – stick to two choices maximum. Readability is a priority: this and sourcing options that complement each other and suit your brand. If you already have fonts that you use as part of your brand identity, be sure to extend these to your advertising as well.
Take a look at these successful Facebook ad examples to get a feel for what you should be aiming for. Note the mix of photography and illustration, as well as succinct marketing copy.
Tools to help you design premium style Facebook ads
Luckily for those of us who aren’t natural designers, there are lots of tools and templates we can use to create Facebook ads that look the part. PicMonkey is a graphics-editing tool that, if you haven’t used it before, may just change your life. You can use it to create everything from posters and presentations to social banners and infographics. And, of course, for Facebook ads.
You can use PicMonkey templates, or upload your own imagery and icons to create something completely unique. Other low-cost templates can be found from creators like Zokamaric, Micromove, and Doto.
To sum up, a successful Facebook ad tends to have the following traits:
- Attention-grabbing, colourful visuals
- A clear, specific call-to-action
- Designed to appear at home in the users’ news feed
Come up with four or more designs and test them out – this is the only way to find what works for your audience. With tools like AdEspresso, you can run multiple campaigns that test different variations of images and marketing copy, optimising the most successful automatically. Check it out – and happy designing!
Victoria Greene: Writer & Entrepreneur
When I finally took the plunge to become an entrepreneur, it was the best decision I ever made. Now I love sharing my advice to help others have the courage to take the jump into entrepreneurship.