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Best Practices for Facebook Ad Design

Published: October 12, 2012

Author: Natalie Pejooh

Today’s post is by Natalie Pejooh, Facebook Account Associate for digital marketing agency PPC Associates. When Natalie, who has a background in radio promotions, isn’t making clients money with her Facebook acumen, she’s listening to music, crafting, or hanging with her dog, Buckley.
We all know the Facebook ad limitations: they’re small, text space is limited, people aren’t on Facebook to shop, etc. But since it’d be a mistake to dismiss the platform, what with the whole billion-users milestone and encouraging results from new releases, let’s break down some best practices for making those ads count.
Here goes…
Use Best Image Practices
– Make sure your image is easy to see. If you’re using an image of a person, make it a close-up. If you’re a jewelry company showing diamond rings, do an extreme close-up of the diamond.
closeup ad image
– Rethink big groups of people; these can just blend in. And make sure that if you are going to use text in an image, it is readable.
– Zoom in as much as possible. Pictures of someone from head to toe won’t show nearly as much detail as a picture of a face.
– Use colors that pop against Facebook’s color theme.
– Get up from your computer and stand back a few feet. Is the image still clear?
– Use good-looking people! People will feel more inclined to click an ad with a good-looking man or woman. (I don’t think I need to get into why.)
– Bold, wacky, crazy images are sure to get users’ attention, but please make sure they are relevant, otherwise clicks won’t matter (or may associate your brand/product with misdirection, which isn’t good).
Speak directly to your audience
Be loud, cause disruption, and stop your audience from their likes, add requests, and status updates! Make your audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Know your demographics and make sure to specifically focus on a niche group. Modify your tone to fit the group (e.g. use proper grammar for an academic audience).
FB ads audience
Follow by example… or don’t!
Look at some of the ads companies have posted on your Facebook page. Which ones work for you, and which ones don’t? Take note of the pros and cons and keep them in mind when making your creative, and then think of ways to make yours better!
Don’t be boring
It has happened. You wouldn’t think it was possible with the restrictions on ads, but there have been plenty of times where I’ve noticed an ad, started to read it, and then stopped mid-read. Users want clear and to the point; if you can’t grab the attention of a user immediately, don’t bother. Look at the limitations on ads as a benefit, not a downfall; you want to grab users’ attention as quickly as possible, so be clear and brief, and don’t try to cram too much into an ad.
The limitations of ad copy can help you from being long-winded. Think of it as a hedge against boredom! Users should see in one glance why they should care and how they can get involved.

bad FB ad
Blah, blah, blah. Can you even read the text in the image?

Ask for feedback
You need to be on the same page as your audience, so asking your peers, friends, and/or family what they think of your ads can certainly point you in the right direction. Sit them down and have them to take a look. Are you able to come to an understanding of what the message of your ad is conveying? If not, you know you need to rework it.
Provide benefits
What are users getting out of looking and clicking on your advertisement? You’ve got to provide an incentive. So ask yourself: why should they click your ad? Are you offering a discount or special deal? Think of ways to entice them.
FB incentives ad
Try something different
If your ads aren’t getting the results you would like, or you’ve stopped getting as many clicks, try something different. Shake it up. You’re competing and probably losing against all the Facebook noise if you keep the advertisements as is. You should focus on creating a ton of ads in order to see what is working and what’s not in order to properly fine-tune your ad. Then you can figure out how you can fix what didn’t work and how you can make what did work even better.
On top of that, nobody wants to see the same ad time and time again, so keep your ads new by changing the content regularly to prevent ad fatigue.
Test multiple ads
Generate as many creatives as possible; promoting multiple versions of ads can help clarify what your audience will react best to. Duplicate ads through the ads manager or through Power Editor. Tweak a little bit at a time so you can zero in on exactly what’s working.
Write what you know
You don’t need to push out something witty if that’s not you. If you’re good at it, then go for it, but your goal is to instantly communicate your brand to the user. Being as straightforward as possible is a safe bet, because what you’re promoting is clear and to the point.
southwest facebook ad
Fly direct. The end.

weight watchers facebook
“Lose weight” would have been punchier.

Use Spell-Check
Need I say more?
Don’t forget the Call to Action
The whole point of Facebook is engagement, and what better way to provide that than with a call to action? Using calls to action in ads is a valuable option that can benefit you greatly. With Facebook, the likelihood of clicking an ad can vary, but using a call to action gives the user a clear direction (people tend to like clear directions).
ad call to action
Start licking!

Hopefully by this point you’re overwhelmed with ideas of how to make better-performing ads, but there are more tips out there! What’s your favorite bit of ads insight? Leave a comment!
natalie pejooh
– Natalie Pejooh

25 E Washington Street
Suite 420

Chicago, IL 60602(650) 539-4124


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