Facebook Advertising can be tough. And it’s getting tougher every day. As more advertisers realize the potential and jump on-board, the increased competition can quickly turn a winning ad into a money-waster.
After managing hundreds of thousands of dollars in Facebook Advertising (and wasting lots of money making every conceivable mistake), I still learn new, surprising things with every new campaign I create.
In the end, however, the success of a Facebook Ad comes down to just two critical elements:
- A great design (attracts users’ attention while creating desire for your product).
- Laser-focused targeting (displays your ad only to an audience of potential customers).
Here are the 9 most effective tips I’ve learned about creating amazing Facebook Ad Designs that will excite and entice users to buy your product!
1) Always Test Multiple Designs
I can not stress this enough. Never assume anything. Always test everything. No matter what your level of expertise is or how long you’ve been advertising on Facebook, always test both your ad’s design and its targeting.
Every time you’re creating a new campaign, take the time to come up with at least 4 different Facebook Ad Designs and then test each one. For example, you might test two different images with two different copy texts (2 images x 2 texts = 4 variations).
As you might have guessed, here at AdEspresso, we love illustrations. Every post has a unique design and we use them for advertising as well but we have discovered that that strategy was somewhat off. While illustrations perform pretty well and are great branding, an ad with a picture of a person performs far better:
Look at that! The Ad showing a person performed nearly 2 times better than our beloved mascot.
So, remember: test everything, even the craziest ideas. Then mix it up to keep things fresh: vary both copy text and images to reduce Ad Fatigue and steer clear of high ad Frequency, which can decrease ad effectiveness.
2) Create Buyer Personas
Most businesses have different sorts of customers with different needs. By creating Buyer Personas, you not only improve your Facebook Ad Designs but you serve your customers better, overall.
For each potential customer type, write down a persona. Man or woman? Profession and job title? What’s the biggest problem s/he’s hoping to solve by using your product?
Once you’ve created your buyer personas, design a Facebook Ad (paired with laser-focused targeting) for each one, directly addressing their pain points. Here’s an example of two potential AdEspresso Ads, one aimed at Startups and one aimed at Media Agencies:
Very different value propositions! For Startups, we highlight their desire to grow as quickly as possible. For Agencies, we address managing Facebook Ads more quickly and with better results.
3) Add Social Proofs
Do you know what the most influential emotion in a purchase decision is?
People resist buying your product because they’re scared of losing money and afraid of making the wrong choice. This is why free products are so effective. And it’s not just about the money. Free = No Risk = No Fear.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you should give your product away for free (although sometimes you should). I’m just suggesting that you need to address customers’ fears by adding Social Proofs to your Facebook Ad Designs.
A great social proof that reduces fear are testimonials from famous people. Having a VIP endorse your product immediately gives you credibility and removes a level of fear. It can also be expensive, of course.
If you don’t have testimonials, you can still leverage your large user base. Check out this ad from Dropbox. Despite being well known, Dropbox still highlights that they have more than 100,000 businesses relying on them! That’s a testimonial in itself.
Can you imagine how users respond? 100,000 businesses?! Wow! If everyone and their sister are using Dropbox, there must be a reason. It must be a great product and so I have no fear jumping on-board. How can all those people be wrong?
4) Use Call-to-Actions
Adding a Call-to-Action to your Facebook Ads might not increase your click-through rate or make your ad more engaging but it’s likely to improve your overall conversion rate and decrease your cost per conversion.
Why? Because a good call-to-action decreases friction. If a user clicks your ad and arrives on your landing page, it won’t need to waste time figuring what to do next. He’ll already know and quickly proceed to perform the desired action.
He’ll know because you’ve prompted him in your Ad with a Call-to-Action like “Download our eBook…,” “Subscribe to our newsletter for a chance to win…,” “Take the survey and receive $10 off…,” etc.
By the way, here’s a post we recently published on advanced Call-to-Action strategies on Facebook.
5) Choose images that stands out
If advertising is a war, then Newsfeed is your battlefield. And a very crowded one it is.
If you want to get your ads clicked on, you have to grab the users’ attention so that they read your ad. This will come down to your ad’s image. The right image can immediately attract the eye and earn you a click.
Therefore, carefully select an image that will stand out from the crowd. You might also try to add some visual contrast like the ad here. Honestly, I don’t like this tactic as it looks a bit tacky/spammy and therefore is bad branding. It does tend to work, however.
A better strategy is to use Instagram-like filters on your pictures. Be creative but remember, while the image needs to stand out, it should not be offensive or too strong. That would be against Facebook’s rules and your ad will be rejected.
6) Address your users’ rational and emotional sides
We think we’re intelligent animals who always act rationally but that’s only partially true. Our emotional side has a lot to say when it comes to buying.
A simple list of product features might convince the rational self in some users but has no effect at all on their emotional self. Our emotional self don’t care about features, that part of us wants benefits.No one wants to become a millionaire just to have money. They want the beneficial lifestyle that comes with being rich. Likewise, you don’t buy a product for its features. You buy it to solve a problem and, thereby, to make your life better.
In your Facebook Ad designs, therefore, address both the rational and emotional side of your users. Here’s a great example:
7) Be consistent
Like Call-to-Actions, consistency will reduce friction and help your users complete the desired action. If someone clicks on your ads, it’s because they like the image, your message, and what you’re offering.
After clicking, they should end up on a landing page that reinforces what they saw in the ad. Use the same images and wording, just go into more depth describing your product and why they should buy it.
People decide if they like a website in seconds. If you don’t hook them immediately, you lose them. Imagine what would happen if, after clicking an ad for red sport shoes on Facebook, you ended up on a generic page with hundreds of sport shoes without one that is red. You’d leave immediately, right?
This is a crucial thing that so many advertisers overlook! After looking for a good example for more than half an hour, I gave up, and quickly found a typical error:
Look at that, I click on a very specific ad with a pink shoe… and on the landing page there’s no trace of it. And no mention of the 55% discount promised.
8) Put the right ad in the right place
Correct placement of your Facebook Ads is critical and, ideally, you want to optimize your design for each placement.
- Desktop Newsfeed: Great for engagement and generating sales & leads. Supports longer copy and link description.
- Desktop Right Column: Less effective but cheaper. Images are smaller and text less readable. Works well for retargeting users who already know your brand. Use an image they’ll recognize to catch their eye.
- Mobile Newsfeed: Great for engagement & Mobile app installs. As we saw in a recent post, mobile users tend to click “Like” a lot. Copy is shorter, so be careful. While conversion rates on mobile are often deceptive, mobile is great for discovery. Users will discover your product on their phones… then buy it the next day on their desktop.
Check out this ad below. It was in my right column but it was clearly meant for the Newsfeed. The text is simply too small and, therefore, unreadable. The copy has the same problem. It’s just too long and I don’t even know what the ad’s about!
9) Always Be Credible
Trust and credibility are fundamental. Without them, you’ll never convince a user to buy your product, give out their email address, or establish any relationship.
While this should be common sense, I see ads all the time that do not appear credible and so immediately jump turn me off as spammy. Point #6 above describes how you appeal to the emotional side of your users by highlighting the benefits of your product but this does not mean you should over-promise or, worse yet, lie outright.
A self-improvement course can surely help your career. A service like AirBnB can help you earn extra money from an unused bedroom. But would you advertise either with a picture of someone driving a Ferrari or having fun on a Yacht? That would be far too much of a reach, right?
Check out these two ads:
I can easily believe that a new start-up can guarantee me $100 per month – or even up to $1,000 per month. But when we start getting into very large numbers, this can lead to doubts of your brand or company’s credibility.
For example, the “$25 Million Dollar Swipe File” implies that the file you are receiving is worth, or will lead to, 25 million dollars.
While the business that advertises this may have actually earned such a high amount of money with this file, some may perceive the dollar amount as exaggerated given the anonymity and brevity of the claim.
It’s Up to You Now…
These are the most effective ways to design killer Facebook Ads that I’ve learned over the last 5 years.
Have you already tried some of these strategies? Did they work well for you?
What else should you consider when designing Facebook Ads?
Leave a comment below and let us know!