24 KEY CHARACTERISTICS YOUR FACEBOOK AD IMAGES SHOULD HAVE
When it comes to the creative aspect of your Facebook ad images, it is important to note that it does not necessarily need to be all about the offer. Make sure your creative reflects the marketing message that is in your copy.
Visuals such as images and videos are what grab our attention while swiping and scrolling through our News Feed. Reaching people on Facebook means being able to communicate visually, and to do so quickly. Facebook favors visual content over written content because time has proven that visuals are what users want to see. Plus, visuals are more easily remembered, and they are far more likely to be shared.
Ads grab your attention with bright, complementary colors and an artfully eye-catching arrangement of your products.
Moreover, your ads and images must be relevant to the audience viewing them. If your ads do not resonate with your audience, there is little chance they will take a 2nd look at your ad, let alone engage with it. Irrelevant ads are a complete waste of money and time. Tell your audience why they must engage with your ad. What value are they going receive and what makes your offer better than the rest? Your value proposition is the “why” behind the action you request.
In addition to that, including a clear and relevant CTA (call to action) in each ad in order to motivate your audience is also necessary. You cannot blame them for not taking action if you do not ask them to do so. Make sure you make it direct, clear and, if possible, include a sense of urgency by using words like, “buy now,” or, “shop today and save 25%.”
There is a lot of thought that goes into this process, and there are a number of important things to think about whenever you are working on your creatives. We have gathered 25 essential characteristics that Facebook ad images should have.
1. SHOW PEOPLE USING YOUR PRODUCT
Your ad should look like it belongs in someone’s news feed. If your audience is used to seeing updates from friends and family, make sure your ad does not alienate them before they have a chance to see what it is you are offering. Show people using your product rather than merely displaying your product by itself.
2. CREATE DIFFERENT FACEBOOK AD IMAGES FOR DIFFERENT PERSONAS
If you have not created buyer personas, start there. If you have, make sure to create separate Facebook ad images for each of your different personas. Personas will definitely help you to understand exactly who it is you are trying to reach and how to do so most effectively.
3. USE TARGETING TO NARROW YOUR AUDIENCE
This can seem out of place when talking about images, but listen up: You have defined a clear target for your audience (or at least you should have). Now it is time to create imagery that is ideally suited to that target. One-size-fits-all does not exist in Facebook advertising. Custom targets call for custom Facebook ad images.
4. USE IMAGES OF FACES
Facebook will tell you itself that ads with faces in them receive a lot more engagement. That is also true for Instagram, and almost anywhere we post images. We seem to relate more with ads when we can see people’s faces. It is where most of us look when we first meet a person, and it helps us to connect with them straight away. It does the same for Facebook ad images.
As a general trend, people tend to hate missing out. This instinctive loss dislike helps us to take advantage of opportunities in our surrounds, but it also gives us an uncomfortable feeling when we might be missing out. Setting a deadline on your offer and even including the words “limited-time offer” can help those sitting on the fence to make decisions.
6. KEEP YOUR FACEBOOK AD IMAGE FREE OF EXCESSIVE TEXT
Facebook used to suggest advertisers include less than 20 percent text overlay on their images. Their updated recommendations advise against using any text overlays at all or using as little as possible to get your point across.
While some advertisers do not need text overlays to reach their audience, many find it more useful to include at least a short message. We recommend including a small amount of text and using Facebook’s tool to test whether or not your image will be approved, penalized, or disapproved. Just upload your finished media file, and Facebook will give you a level of approval based on its guidelines.
7. MAKE YOUR MESSAGE THE FOCUS
There should be an especially important part of your image that communicates your message, and you should make sure to crop tightly around that part of the image to ensure your audience sees it.
Ask yourself, “Without reading any copy, would you understand what this image is advertising?”
8. INCLUDE SOCIAL PROOF
Social proof means using real-life testimonials, and including these in your ads can be very powerful. Use well-crafted customer testimonials—gleaned from blog post comments, tweets, reviews, and Facebook posts—to create compelling and unique ads which show what real people think of your product.
9. ONLY USE HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES
Nothing looks worse than a low-quality picture in your ads. For this reason, make sure to use the highest quality images possible to help your ads seem their best.
10. SIMPLER IS BETTER
Think about how fast users are scrolling through their news feeds. Then think about how long time do you have to communicate your message. Therefore, the simpler the image, the faster you can get your point across. Do not miss out on opportunities by making your audience think too hard about your picture.
11. EFFECTIVE FACEBOOK AD IMAGES DISPLAY BENEFIT
Remember the fundamentals of effective Facebook ad mentioned above? This is a critical point, and it applies to the image as well. As your image is the first thing your audience will see, it must display the benefit quickly and precisely.
12. KEEP YOUR COPY AND GRAPHICS CONSISTENT
That’s a problem we see all the time. You would be surprised how many Facebook ad images have nothing to do with their copy and vice versa. You are trying to create a cohesive ad that influences your audience to take action, so make sure that there is not any disconnect between what they are seeing and what they are reading.
13. LIMIT YOUR ADS TO ONE CTA
This can sound confusing, but let’s tie this back to the introduction section above. A call to action is necessary, but using more than one in a single ad can be confusing. Do not offer a free e-book to download and ask your audience to “shop now.” Choose the appropriate call to action when constructing your ads as well.
14. PEOPLE LOVE FREE STUFF
People quickly take notice of the word “FREE” in any advertising. We love the idea of getting something for nothing, so use it in your ad imagery as much as you can. Do not worry about giving your product away for free though! Something as easy as including a FREE download, a FREE consultation, or FREE shipping could be enough to improve the engagement rates of your ads dramatically.
15. USE NUMBERS TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS
Most of us are conditioned to pay attention to numbers in ads to help them understand its value more instantly. Make sure to use any number that helps support your ad’s benefit such as: “3 for 1” or “10% off!”
16. USE A SCROLL TEST
When you are coming up with ad creative, make sure to see what competitors are doing well and what you want to avoid. Try a “scroll test.” Scan your feed to see what ads make you want to stop and look. Note the reasons you stopped on each and try to replicate their success in your images.
17. TEST A VARIETY OF COPY
The copy in your ads may be letting down otherwise stellar Facebook ad images. Be sure your copy resonates with your audience by testing various versions before you change your images. That is especially true for the text overlays, as it is the copy which people react to first. Try running several variants simultaneously (A/B or split testing) and devote your budget to the most successful one.
18. TRY USING MULTIPLE IMAGES
In some instances, the use of multiple images can improve the efficiency of your ads. This is especially true of e-commerce ads where various products can be tastefully grouped to create a compelling Facebook ad image.
19. IMMEDIATELY DISCERNABLE MARKETING MESSAGE
While an outstanding image may capture someone’s attention, a compelling ad image must also get your marketing message across instantly. There should be zero time between catching someone’s eye and their understanding of what your ad is presenting.
20. USE COMPLEMENTARY/CONTRASTING COLORS
Try using contrasting or complementary colors to get people’s attention when crafting your Facebook ads. Using 2-3 complementary colors will help your ad stand out. You can also want to shock someone into looking at your ad by using deeply contrasting colors. Remember, the whole point is to get attention. That is said, once you have it, you only have a short time to get your marketing message across. Make the most of your attention-grabbing colors by using text overlays, an image, and copy that keep people hooked.
21. STICK TO 1-2 FONTS
Too many fonts can make an ad image feel confusing, hard to read at a glance and overwhelming. Viewers tend to shy away from things that make them feel uncomfortable, even if they cannot pinpoint exactly what is causing them to feel that way. Stick to a single font or add a complementary secondary font.
22. APPEAL TO BOTH RATIONAL AND EMOTIONAL JUDGMENT
Most of us use the mix of our rational and emotional judgment to make decisions. That said, your Facebook ad images should appeal to both sides to be most effective. Let’s look at an example.
An ad for an e-commerce shoe store can advertise, “countless winter styles to look your best on any time,” to appeal to their audience’s emotional side while including, “plus quality and prices which will make you a certified Smart Shopper” to appeal to their rational side.
23. EMPLOY THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR
Most top creatives understand the physiological stimulus generated by each color. Different colors create specific feelings when we see them. Also, particular demographics tend to appreciate specific colors. You can reach your audience more profoundly by using the colors they prefer to look at. While this isn’t a foolproof plan, the concept is backed by plenty of studies and is worth testing in your images.
24. LOCATION-SPECIFIC GRAPHICS
This tip is extraordinarily powerful for local businesses. When people see places they know in Facebook ad images, they’re far more likely to connect with them. Therefore, showcase your area in your local ads and help viewers to take notice of your local business. Location-specific pictures can also be helpful when porting travel or destination-based products.
Designing incredible Facebook ads is not as complicated as you might have thought. While it’ll take months, possibly even years, of tweaking and testing before you have a fully optimized campaign, you will find the effort worth it. By implementing these simple techniques, you will see your Facebook campaigns and, by extension, your business, flourish.