You probably already know that images can alter a person’s behavior…
- Inspire them to change their mind,
- Evoke different emotions and actions,
- Attract their attention, and
- Impact their willingness to click an ad, for instance.
You also know what makes a good Facebook ad image and some tricks that could help make it even better.
But you’re not a designer. You have no clue how to use all this knowledge in practice.
Luckily you don’t have to. Today I’m going to show you how to create stunning Facebook Ads images using a simple too called Canva.
Canva is an amazing tool that makes creating blog post images, infographics, visuals for the web and of course, ad graphics extremely easy.
It is one of the simplest graphic design tools you can use even if you’re not a designer.
In a nutshell to create a graphic in Canva you simply need to select a visual type, pick elements from an impressive library of shapes, colors, images, graphics and many more and… you’re done!
But that’s just a quick overview of course. There are many intricacies in each step of the process.
So let’s take a look at every one of them in detail.
Facebook Ad Images
There’s one other thing I want to touch upon before we begin:
The Facebook’s rules for using images in ads.
The social network has some rules for images you can include in your ads, for instance:
- You can’t use images that portray a product’s nonexistent functionality.
- You also can’t feature “before and after” images or those showing unexpected or unlikely results.
- Your ad images can include text but only if it takes less than 20% of the image (there are however some ways around it).
Finally, there are different image sizes depending on the type of an ad and placement you use. Jon Loomer created an amazing infographic depicting every ad image size you can use. Click here to view the full infographic.
Using Canva to Create Facebook Ads Images
With that off the way we can look at the process of creating images with Canva.
How Canva Works
Canva works on a simple drag and drop basis. You simply select elements to include in your graphic from a vast library (or upload your own) then drag and position them on your visual.
There are two main elements to Canva:
The dashboard gives you access to your designs and allowing you to select a default template to work from. This is the first screen you see after logging to the app:
Main work area
The tool’s main area where you actually design your graphic has 3 key elements:
A. The library of graphics, shapes and templates you can use in your ad.
This is where you can find elements to include in the ad, from simple shapes to graphics and even images from your Facebook gallery.
B. Main canvas
That’s the main graphic canvas on which you place various elements to make up image for your ad.
C. Controls and Export Tools
These are options that help you export your image to use in ad (or whatever other content you created it for).
Creating Facebook Ads in Canva
Step 1. Sign up for Canva if you haven’t already.
In order to start using Canva, you’ll need to sign up for an account.
But don’t worry, it costs nothing to do so. And in many cases, creating visuals is free too. In Canva you pay only if you use paid graphics, you will then be charged when you decide to export your design. This means that you can experiment with different paid elements and only pay for the one you want).
To sign up for Canva, go to Canva.com and register using one of the three methods: with your Google account, Facebook or email.
Once done, you will see the dashboard we already talked about.
Naturally since it’s your first time using the tool, it will have nothing in your designs history.
Step 2. Select ad image size
Canva gives you two options when it comes to setting up your graphic:
- You can use a pre-defined template, or
- Select custom size you prefer.
Both options are located in the “Create a design” section at the top of the dashboard.
- Using a Template
Canva features an impressive number of predefined templates to help create various graphics, from blog posts to presentations, flyers and a lot in between.
And as you may have guessed, it also has a pre-defined template for a Facebook ad image.
To access it, click on the More button on the list of templates:
The tool will open a catalogue of available templates. Scroll down to the very last section – Ads and select Facebook Ad.
Canva will create a 1200 x 627px size image and also, open a library of available ad styles (we’ll talk more on this in a second):
- Creating a Custom Size Image
To create a custom size image, go back to the dashboard and click on the “Use Custom Dimensions” button in the upper right corner of the templates library.
Canva will overlay the screen with two boxes to specify custom Width and Height for your image:
Once you give the measurements, click Design and the tool will set new image canvas to your specification.
Note that if you use a custom design, you have no access to ad templates as when you use a pre-defined template.
Step 3. Adding elements to the ad
Canva’s library features a number of elements you can add to your visual:
- Background colors and patterns,
- Illustrations, and of course
All of them are located in the left side library. This is how the sidebar looks like when you use a custom dimension:
When you use a pre-defined template however, Canva automatically selects a number of templates for you to choose from. Here’s how the sidebar looks like when you choose the Facebook Ad template:
In this guide however I’ll show you how to add elements to a custom design.
Layouts are predefined templates to base your design on.
If, for instance you want to create an image that features two columns, one containing a picture, the other some graphic elements, layouts could help you specify that division.
To use a specific layout, simply click on it and Canva will add it to your design.
Note that the two graphics in columns are for illustration purposes only. To remove or edit them, click on that section of the visual and use the Inspector bar that will appear on screen.
The inspector bar works for every element you add to the design giving you access to various editing tools for that graphic.
Here’s how it looks when you want to edit a column’s background color:
As the name suggests this section contains various templates and settings for adding copy to your image.
The top section contains the most basic text templates where all the stuff below the horizontal line are various templates you could use.
Note the word FREE beside many of them, it denotes that you can use the template at no cost. As we’ve already discussed, Canva also offers paid elements. You can tell which ones they are by the lack of Free label on them.
Just like with Layouts, to add a text template, just click on it and Canva will add it to your design.
Note the Inspector we talked about earlier. In text tool it contains options to change the color of your copy, remove or copy it.
To edit the copy, click on the line of text you want to edit. When you do, a second Inspector bar will appear giving you access to more editing tools, you’ll be able to change font, text size and color for that individual line.
If you want to add a custom background to your ad, this is the section to use.
Background as the name suggests contains various colors, patterns and images you could use in your design.
Note that not all images are labelled as Free, those without the label are paid (typically, they cost $1) and you will have to pay before you export any graphic you created with them.
Again, to use a particular pattern or image as a background, simply click on it and Canva will add it to your design.
Grids, Frames and Other Shapes
Lastly, if you click the search button in the sidebar (not the search box though), you’ll gain access to libraries of various shapes, grids, frames and other graphic elements you could add to your design:
This library contains hundreds of elements that could help you enhance you ad design, including stock free photography.
To access them, click on Photos section:
Note that not all pictures are Free. And typically the less generic the image, the greater the chance that you will have to pay for using it.
Uploading Own Photos
Having access to a library of images is great but I bet you’ll mostly want to use own images in your ads.
And Canva gives you two options to do that:
- You can upload images directly from your hard drive, or
- Connect Canva to your Facebook account and use your photos in the design.
Step 4. Exporting the Ad
With your graphic done, it’s time to export it to use in the ad.
And you won’t believe how simple it is, because:
Canva is actually integrated directly into AdEspresso!
And the integration is so tight that you won’t even have to leave AdEspresso to use Canva to create your Facebook ad image…
Here’s how it works:
When creating an ad in AdEspresso, you have three options: Upload your images, use those in your gallery, or create a new one with Canva. Click the Canva button and their full editor will pop up right inside AdEspresso.
Pretty neat, huh?
Here’s how it looks inside AdEspresso.
What if you’re not using AdEspresso yet?
The process is pretty simple too:
Simply click the Download button in the top right corner of the Canva’s interface and… you’re done.
Canva will export the graphic and it will download automatically to your hard drive (unless you have a browser set to act differently but then you’ll know what it will do instead).
And …. that’s it.
Canva is a super simple tool anyone could use to create stunning ad graphics.
And if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out AdEspresso’s …