Don’t Create Another Facebook Ad Until You Read This

Written by Tim Edmundson

There are few companies better at making money than Facebook. That speaks to the power of the Facebook ad  — Facebook makes their money from selling ad space, and a lot of brands are taking them up on the offer. In fact, they’ve warned shareholders they’re actually running out of ad space to sell.

All of this means there’s a lot competition for user attention on the social network. Your Facebook ads need to be able to stand out and hook your customer’s interest, but how do you do that?

There are four main components to any successful Facebook ad: using the right specs, effective targeting, compelling visuals, and strong copy that drives your customer to take action. Let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure you’re setting your ad up for success.

1. Nail the Basics

Before you get started, you need to get familiar with the basic specs for Facebook ads. These can change from time to time, so it’s always a good idea to check the official source to ensure you’re building ads that fit the bill. If you haven’t done it yet, click through the link and play around a bit with the options available. They give a pretty thorough rundown of each ad placement and the requirements for each.

2. Define Your Audience

One of Facebook’s strengths is its robust set of targeting tools. And with the amount of data Facebook has access to, you can define your audience in a precise way. They have a solid guide on how their targeting works, and the options available to you here. Here are the primary options available.

> Core Audiences | This option leverages the vast amount of user data Facebook possesses and allows you to manually select your audience based on characteristics like age and location.

> Custom Audiences | You can upload your own list of users you want to reach with your ads across Facebook — this allows you to get ultra-specific with your messaging, since you know exactly who you are targeting.

> Lookalike Audiences | This allows you to find similar users based on the criteria of an existing audience, which means it’s great for finding people who may be a great fit for your brand.

It’s a best practice to target your ads to a specific audience, and these groups are a great start. But a word of warning, don’t create too narrow of a targeted audience. You’ll limit your reach and miss out on customers who may not fit your vision of the “perfect customer.”

It’s also a good idea to take advantage of Facebook’s Audience Insights tool. It gives you more information on three distinct groups of users on Facebook — people who have liked your page, users in your uploaded lists from Custom Audiences, and people on Facebook as a whole.

The best way to leverage the Insights tool is to use it to create more focused ads that will land better with your user base. It gives you more in-depth information about your audience — their likes, demographic info, and lifestyle — which you can use to create ads that resonate. For example, if you’re selling running shoes and Insights tells you that your audience also likes smart watches, try and incorporate wearable tech into your Facebook ad to catch their attention.

3. Choose a Compelling Image

Once you establish the specs and identify your audience, you need to start focusing on the creative itself. The best place to start is with the image — this is the most important aspect to any Facebook ad. Your image needs to get users to stop scrolling and take notice, so it needs to stand out.

Check out this simple guide to choosing the best images for your Facebook ad. Along with their recommendations, here are a few tips to picking the image that will grab your customer’s attention.

> Choose an Image Based on Your Audience | Your image needs to resonate with those who you are trying to reach. For example, are you targeting runners? Choose lifestyle imagery showing someone being active — tap into what motivates and inspires your audience.

> Keep it Simple | Don’t overcomplicate your image — you need your users to immediately recognize your imagery if you want them to stop scrolling. Simple imagery with interesting arrangements pay dividends when it comes to driving clicks.

> Use Vibrant Colors | Facebook’s color layout is consistent, so it’s guaranteed your ad is going to be sitting on a blue, grey, and white background. Choose colors that stand out — if your brand’s colors are naturally eye catching, try and use those to help keep your advertising on-brand and engaging.

> Take it Easy on the Text | If you’re planning on overlaying some text into your image, awesome — it’s a great idea… just don’t overdo it. Facebook frowns on too much copy in images, and will reduce your ad’s exposure if your text takes up over 20% of the image. So keep it brief, and design your text’s inclusion in a way that minimizes its use of space.

If you’re taking your own photos (or even just looking for a criteria when selecting from an image library), check out Facebook’s guide to taking interesting ad photos here. It’s definitely worth a look.

4. Write for the Click

Your image selection is designed to grab your customer’s attention, so now that you have it, what now? Your copy should drive users to take action, and you can do this any number of ways. And much like everything else related to building an ad on their platform, Facebook chimes in with their own advice here.

Here are some tips on how to effectively write Facebook ad copy.

> Write to Your Audience | Since you already built your audience, you know who you’re talking to. Adapting your copy to whoever you’re trying to connect with allows you to address the main concerns of your audience. You can play up the value props that you know will reach them, thus making your ad much more click-worthy.

> Maintain Your Voice | Your voice is how many consumers will identify with your brand, so ensure you’re using it in your copy. Is your brand playful? Strong-willed? Bold? Your copy should reflect it.

> Keep it Brief | Thanks to Facebook’s copy limitations, you should write your headline so it’s under 25 characters, and your body copy under 90. Brevity is the soul of wit, so embrace that ethos and make your copy short and sweet.

> Match Your Copy to Your Image | Your copy and image are a package, so they should complement one another. Write your copy to incorporate the image in some way — be it calling out a specific element from the image or matching its tone.

> Play Up Your Deal | If you have a compelling offer, the copy is the prime place to inform your audience. People respond well to numbers instead of text, so write it as “$10 off” instead of “ten dollars off.” This is also a great opportunity to pair your image and text together — add some text overlay into your image that shows off your offer.

> Use a Direct CTA | Use strong copy here to prompt your customer to take action. It needs to be something that will help them understand the action you want them to take. This is no place for ambiguous text — be direct and collect those clicks.

Create a Better Facebook Ad

With this info in hand, you should be able to create better Facebook ads that are set up for success. The key is to approach each key element — targeting, image, and copy — in a way that takes advantage of the best practices laid out here and in Facebook’s guides. Keep these tips in mind when you’re building your next ad, and your campaigns will reap the rewards.

You can design and launch your Facebook ads directly from the SteelHouse Advertising Suite, as well as prospecting and retargeting for mobile and display. Request a demo or sign up today