Facebook audiences are like circus guests.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that they’re popcorn-hungry children. But they indeed are on the constant lookout for lions, aka fresh approaches and compelling marketing messages.
Which makes us marketers the lion tamer, always looking for new tricks to entertain our Facebook ad viewers.
But how can one possibly come up with tons of new ideas each month? Unless you have a magical hat to pull out rabbits, doves, and awesome Facebook ads, you need to look for inspiration in small everyday things.
We invite you to take your imagination out for a spin and to explore twelve unusual places to find inspiration for your Facebook ad campaigns.
Let the lions in!
1. Online design galleries
I couldn’t resist but to start with my personal favorite.
There are tens of creative design galleries to gather new ideas for your ad visuals as well as for headlines and texts. Some of the best graphic design galleries include listings of the latest product, book cover, and poster design, leaving you with no shortage of great visual examples.
Here are some design blogs you can check out:
From up North – an online magazine that curates the creative web to deliver you the best and latest news from the creative industry
Format Magazine’s galleries – inspiring design photo galleries selected by an art magazine to share the work and experiences of photographers, designers, illustrators and artists around the world.
DesignCloud – is a wonderful Tumblr site, set out to inspire and stimulate the minds of our international readers by featuring the best of art, design, and innovation from around the globe.
Creative Boom – an online magazine that celebrates, inspires and supports the creative community. Do check out their graphic design inspiration!
I could go on praising all these inspiring graphic design galleries accessible in a single click. Make sure to bookmark your favorite ones for later!
Caution! Some design sites are so compelling that you might realize you’ve been browsing them for two hours straight. You will be left wondering where all your time went.
2. Product descriptions
What better place to draw inspiration than your own products?
You might have written amazing product descriptions in the past, and forgot about them by now. But they might turn out to be your treasure chests full of great messages and engaging wording.
To get inspiration for your Facebook ads, read through your past product descriptions or landing pages and reuse the text in your ads. You’ll likely find some great ideas (you can give kudos to the past you for having written such witty words).
And if you won’t find any inspiration in your product descriptions, it’s a good indicator that it might be time to replace those with more engaging texts.
3. Ask your grandma
Before you think we’re completely crazy, read this through. Your new audience, who’s never used your products or services before, might have a hard time understanding its benefits.
Imagine a situation when you’d show your product to your grandma. How would you explain what it’s for, how it works, and why she needs it? Now think about the ways to deliver the very same message to your Facebook audience, while packaging it as a neat ad campaign.
Take a look at this ad campaign by Try The World – a gourmet food subscription service. They use their headline and link description to explain what they offer and let the visuals do the talking. Even your grandma could tell what their offer stands for.
4. AdEspresso Ad Gallery
Guess where I found the Try The World ad example?
It’s from the largest online Facebook ad gallery, featuring hundreds of ad examples – AdEspresso Ad Gallery.
You can use the gallery to browse ads by company name, keywords, ad placements, industries, objectives, and attributes. It’s also a fantastic resource when you’re looking to spy on your competitors.
Tip: Search for big-name players like Nike or Shopify to see a wide array of top-notch ads.
5. Go out for a walk
It’s in the middle of the day, and you’ve completely run out of energy, less to speak of creativity. Sounds familiar?
We’ve all read these research-backed articles that say we need to give our brains some rest in between hard work. So why don’t you trust me this one time and make a test? Go out for a walk.
Do not listen to audiobooks or think about what you’re going to do when back at the office. Instead, look around you. Perceive all the advertisements on the street and look at people passing by, thinking how you’d introduce your product or service to them.
By giving your brain some downtime, you’ll release new creativity when back in the office. Moreover, we’re inclined to boost our imagination while on the move.
There are so many wonderful creative ads out there; you just need to find them.
We bet that BMWs marketing agency wouldn’t have come up with this creative idea unless they saw Audi’s ad.
6. Read customer surveys
Your customers’ attitude should at least partly decide how you design your ads. To get to know your potential audiences, you should conduct both online and one-on-one customer surveys.
If you already have a customer survey, it’s time to dig into it, and see what your potential clients think about your product.
Here’s what you can learn from customer surveys:
- What people like about your product/service – make sure to emphasize it in your next Facebook campaign
- What are people’s expectations to your product/service – craft your ads that they respond to the most popular anticipations
- What are the greatest downsides of your product/service – address your audience’s concerns by removing the doubt
By considering these three questions, you’ll be able to craft multiple marketing messages to use in your Facebook ads.
You can use a tool like SurveyMonkey to conduct simple customer surveys in no time.
7. Fashion magazines
Pardon my inner girl, but this one’s really helped me out on several occasions.
If you’ve never peeked into your mom’s Vogue, know that it’s full of wonderfully written editorials and articles, popping with energy and carefully chosen words.
When you’re having a complete drought of ideas, a touch of nicely written fashion ads might be all you need. It helps you get out of the box you’re usually stuck in while creating new Facebook ads.
Try this thought exercise: Imagine you’re going to advertise your product in a fashion magazine. How would you change your product/service descriptions to adjust it to the tone of the magazine?
You’ll be surprised by how many great ideas you’ll come up with after you’ve tapped into your creativity.
8. Previous ad campaigns
If you’re unsure whether your new ad ideas work, don’t look out for a tarot reading; but read the numbers in your Facebook Ads Manager instead.
Take some time to analyze your previous campaigns before hurrying to the next ones. Collect data about your best-performing ad texts and visuals, to know where to place the focus of your next Facebook campaign.
Even better if you’re using AdEspresso – you’ll get an instant overview and comparison of which ads worked and which ones didn’t.
9. Google SERPs
Google is the most prolific tool a marketer could wish for. It’s great for keyword research, PPC advertising, and as it turns out – gathering inspiration for Facebook ads.
Here’s how to use Google for coming up with new ad ideas:
- Think about the keywords that would describe your product the best.
- Google them and have a look at the SERPs (search engine response pages)
- See what topics come up first, meaning what people are the most interested in
- Use your new insight to come up with related keywords, topics and audiences to target in your next ad campaign
Check out this creative page description by Canva, found when searching for “design postcards”:
10. Ask your sales team
Yes, we know. The sales team is always super busy communicating with possible clients and doing the outreach.
But you can catch a salesperson by luring them with a free lunch in a restaurant across the street. Use this time to ask them about their recent meetings with clients, and learn what are the customers’ biggest expectations to your product/service.
Here are some questions you should ask your sales team:
- How do customers find out about us?
- What do they like the most about our product/service?
- How would you present our product/service to a prospective customer?
- If you could bring out five most important benefits of our product/service, what would they be?
- Give me a one-liner that best introduces our product
Remember! There’re lots of creative people outside your company’s marketing team. And we’re not talking about the salespeople here. Approach the customer support, product team, and other teams to get inspiration for Facebook ads.
11. Twitter’s 140-word messages
In order to tweet full-length thoughts, people must get really creative with the choice of their words, hashtags, and abbreviations.
Think how would you shorten your current Facebook ad text to 140 words.
By going through this exercise, you’ll reduce your ad messages to the core, eliminating unnecessary babble. You might even understand that your current texts were full of jargon and lacking in meaning. If that’s the case, you’re lucky to have found an opportunity to improve your ads.
If your ad text is too long, people won’t commit to reading it.
You can also use Twitter to find inspiration for your Facebook ads, checking your competitors’ accounts for great tips.
12. Spy on your competitors
Who knows a marketer who doesn’t regularly check what their competitors are up to? I personally don’t.
That’s probably because your competitors are the best resource to see what works for an audience similar to yours.
Here’s a fun guide by AdEspresso: 3 Ways To Be An Expert Facebook Ads Spy
To give you more inspiration, here are eight places where you can spy on your competitors:
- AdEspresso Ads Gallery
- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts
- Mentions of competitors
- Competitors’ websites and landing pages
- Blogs and e-book offer
- Keywords they’re targeting
- Brochures and flyers
- Print advertising and magazine ads
Idea! If you have a particularly strong competitor with a market size way bigger than yours, keep a constant eye on him! Being a similar but smaller company gives you more flexibility to apply their well-tested best practices in your Facebook campaigns.
Last but not least… your secret resources!
Alright, folks. We’ve explored some pretty weird places to find inspiration for your Facebook ad campaigns. Now it’s your turn! Use the comments to share your secret go-to places to boost your creativity! The Lions played their part… now it’s time for Tigers!