If someone saw your Facebook ad but your company’s name was hidden, could they associate it with your brand in 5 seconds? You’ve probably never thought about this question before. But it is super important.
If people fail to associate your ads with your brand, it means that your ad campaigns are poorly branded, and you lose thousands of dollars on zero brand recognition.
Luckily, where there’s a huge challenge, there’s also a magical cure. For your ads to be memorable, they need to be aligned with your brand’s design.
Up next, you’ll find eight tested-and-proven hacks to keep your Facebook ads and branding constantly aligned.
Aligning your Facebook ads design with your branding requires lots of coffee, chocolate bars, and time – the three most essential ingredients to your Facebook ads masterplan.
Ready to tap into creativity and give your ad campaigns a boost? Let’s roll!
1. Create branding guidelines
This article will teach you how to align your ad design with the rest of your branding, but… what if you don’t even have clear branding guidelines yet?
A quick rundown of inspiring brand stylebooks will remind us how important it is to have consistent branding.
You don’t need to create a 50-page brand stylebook; a few straightforward guidelines will do the job.
Example 1: Scout
Scout is a company that helps people with daily personal navigating. Moreover, they’re perfectly aware of how important it is to keep consistency throughout their website, ads, print materials, etc.
Scout’s 38-page style book is full of explanations and best practices. They go even so far as to explain the difference between their logo with and without a gradient.
In fact, the folks at Scout leave nothing to chance. The stylebook even includes examples of text on the light and dark background.
Example 2: KAE
KAE is a strategic marketing agency focusing on premium services. You might have seen their business cards in a design blog as they’re a real masterpiece.
KAEs branding stylebook features images of their branded products – website, business cards, etc. This way, anyone who looks at the stylebook for the first time will get a quick overview of their style preferences.
But KAEs Stylebook also includes specific requirements for fonts and color codes. Their stylebook’s an excellent example of displaying all the necessary information in a compact yet stylish manner.
See KAEs design guidelines here.
The PERFECT brand stylebook
So how can you create your own stylebook that compares to the best practices?
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Create a stylebook that itself follows your brand’s design guidelines
- Include examples of your website and core design elements
- Add images that show your logo in use
- Mention specific requirements like font type, font size, branded colors (with Pantone codes), etc.
- Include downloadable logos and other design elements for quick access
Alright, now that you’ve got your design guidelines all mapped out it’s time to start applying these to your Facebook ads design.
Up next, we’ll share our favorite tips and best practices with inspiring examples from real brands. Take in as much inspiration as you can, and apply the new insights to your own Facebook campaigns!
2. Always use branded colors
If you’ve ever read about the color psychology, you know that some colors ignite stronger emotions than others. So it would be only logical to use red and yellow in your ad designs, right? After all, these two colors catch everyone’s attention and generate interest. Not so fast!
Here’s the truth: Using colors that do not align with your brand design can help you get lots of clicks. But as people land on your home page and see an entirely different design, they’ll feel confused and disappointed. And nobody likes to be deluded.
Here’s a great example by Asana (And yes, we know, they’re incredibly smart to have chosen fun and bright brand colors.
All Asana’s Facebook ads are a variation of the same colors. And when you click, you’ll land on a website that uses… The very same color combination!
While using bright colors in your ad might seem like a perfect way to attract attention, you should only use the same colors as your other brand elements, e.g. website.
Recommended reading: How to Create Stunning Facebook Ad Images with Canva (that’s a really on-point guide!)
3. Use colorful elements
What if your brand doesn’t have a bright and fun color code? What if you have to get by with … let’s say… 49 dull shades of gray?
We used to have this problem at Scoro, a SaaS startup I’m working with. Luckily, we did find the perfect solution.
After some testing, we discovered that using ad designs that featured the logos of all our software integrations worked wonders. Read more about our tests here.
While the integrations weren’t part of our brand style guidelines, they were an inherent part of our product. Which made them 100% relevant.
Here’s another good example from Sony. Notice how the “Up to 20% off” bubble breather extra color to the ad.
Pro tip: Instead of adding bubbles with a discount offer include a client testimonial or other social proof to increase your ad’s credibility. For example, if you wanted to advertise a software solution, you could include a colorful bubble shape with text “Trusted by over 5 000 companies worldwide”.
You don’t always need to have awesome brand colors to keep your ad design and branding aligned. By using relevant colorful details, you can breathe life to your ads without drifting too far from your company’s style.
4. Use complementary colors
It’s okay to use some additional colors in your Facebook ad design as long as they can still be related to your brand.
The best practice is to use some branded colors and spice it up with complementary hues. If you’re aiming to attract people’s attention, learn to apply the complementary color code (the opposite colors on the wheel work well when used together).
For example, if you use a lot of green tones on your home page, complement them with red in your Facebook ad images.
Take a look at this ad by Smaato. It mixed the light blue (main color) with complementary orange details.
Find the perfect balance between using your branded colors and complementing them with suitable tones. As a result, your ads will be pleasing to the eye, and can still be related to your brand.
5. Use the right fonts
Take a look at this font:
Does it look awesome? Yes. Would you like to use it in your ad images? Likely. Could customers relate this font to your brand? Nope.
It might be hard to resist using modern-looking creative fonts in your ad images. But the hard truth is that these super creative fonts never align with your branding guidelines.
By ignoring your brand’s fonts and using different ones, you lose the consistency. Moreover, you’re wasting out on the opportunity to increase brand awareness with Facebook campaigns.
Whenever possible, use branded fonts in your Facebook ad designs. And if you’d like to go an extra mile, include your logo as well!
For example, Fiverr uses the Helvetica font both in their Facebook ads images and their home page.
Most of the time, the font is meant to deliver a message, not replace your ad image. Whenever possible, use the same font in all your designs – website, advertisements, and print materials.
6. Show your product in your ads
Showing your product in your ads is beneficial in so many ways:
- It instantly says what the ad is about
- Customers get a glimpse of your product
- You can emphasize the benefits of your product
- You’ll have a good-looking ad design
- You keep your ads aligned to your branding
- There won’t be any surprises on your landing page
That’s a perfect reason to run a Facebook Ads A/B test featuring ad images with and without your product.
Here’s an ad by Crazy Egg that falls straight into the best practices basket. The entire image showcases their product in action, helping people imagine themselves using and benefitting from the product.
Moreover, taking a quick picture or screenshot of your product is far more efficient than creating an ad design from scratch. Preparing and taking a perfect screenshot takes about 5 minutes.
One of the best (and easiest) things to feature on the ad image is your product. That’s all you need!
7. Use authentic photos
You’ve tried creating ad designs featuring your products or using custom illustrations, but nothing seems to work? No worries. There’s one more trick up in our sleeve. And it’s a classical one – use a photo.
Before you head to a stock photo site, know this: There’s a thin line between attracting attention with your ads or failing to differentiate from all the other photos on Facebook News Feed.
In fact, a test by Marketing Experiments found that nearly 35% of visitors would be more likely to sign up when shown a real picture, not a popular stock photo.
Take a look at this picture. It would be the perfect ad image for a business-related product.
But before you jump from your seat and head to get a free download of this photo, take a look at this. You weren’t the only one who thought this free image is pretty amazing.
Here’s the rule: Never use a stock photo in your Facebook Ads image. People could never relate the picture to your brand as they’ve seen it many times before. Moreover, your ads will look “cheap” – everyone knows the picture’s inauthentic.
But let’s not only talk about bad examples. There are lots of folks out there who understand the potential of a great Facebook photo ad.
Look at this example by Pact Coffee. Doesn’t it make you want to have a warm cup of coffee right away?
Pact Coffee’s ad image works for several reasons.
- The image looks high-quality and trustworthy
- A nice cup of coffee ignites emotions
- The image showcases their product
Oh, and have a look at the Google image search results. The photo’s authentic!
When using photos in your Facebook ads, resist taking the shortcuts. Avoid stock photos and use authentic ad images. If you don’t have the time to take the photos yourself, visit community-based photo sites like Flickr and Stocksy to buy high-quality photos that haven’t been used everywhere else.
Read more: 5 Tricks to Improve Facebook Ads Images
8. Be consistent in your messages
Imagine you saw an ad that said: “Improve your Facebook marketing by 80%”. Sounds like a nice offer, right? So you click on the ad and are taken to a landing page that says “Social media marketing for modern marketers.”
Whaaat?! Where did the promised 80% improvement go?
It’s disappointing to be promised one thing and then given another. So why would you do it in your Facebook ads?
So which messages should you use?
The best practice is to use the same messages as on your home page. You can choose to include your main value proposition in the ad image, text or headline.
Of course, if your ad leads to a landing page, your ad campaign’s messages might differentiate from your home page. The golden rule is to use similar messages across ads and landing pages.
Here’s an example. DaPulse’s ad says clearly that they project management software for startups. There will be no confusion what the ad is about.
Keep the same tone and “voice” of your messages throughout your website, advertisements, and blog. This way, your brand will look more authentic and will be a lot more memorable to your audience.
You shouldn’t only keep your Facebook ad images aligned with your branding. It is just as important to be consistent in the messages you’re putting out there.
9. Extra tip! Use your brand mascot
There’s one company that singlehandedly comes to mind when talking about brand mascots. Make your guess.
We’ve all had a crush for the mustached Italian waiter (serving only AdEspresso) rambling around on this site and in our Facebook News Feeds.
If you visit AdEspresso’s website or look at their Facebook page Walter (yes he has a NAME!!), is around every single time.
And it works! We all know that this guy stands for AdEspresso, no matter where we see him.
If you have a brand mascot, don’t hesitate to use it in your Facebook ad campaigns. Mascots are highly memorable and give your brand a stronger character, leading to greater brand recognition and more sales.
We hope you found some inspiration to apply to your ad campaigns!
Just to be sure, let’s go over all the tips once more. Here’s how to create Facebook ads that are aligned with your brand’s style guidelines:
- Create branding guidelines
- Use branded colors
- Use colorful elements to bring your ads to life
- Use complementary colors
- Use your branded fonts
- Show your product on ads
- Use authentic photos
- Be consistent in your messages
- Include your brand mascot