If your click-through rates are low, chances are your Facebook ad creative needs some help. Learn how to design irresistible Facebook ad creatives with this guide.
A good Facebook ad clearly conveys its offer. An outstanding Facebook ad makes you forget you're even looking at an ad in the first place.
So, what makes designing a good Facebook ad creative so difficult in the first place?
In this guide, we'll tackle that question head-on by giving you 6 tips for creating outstanding Facebook ads, as well as showcase some examples that will inspire your next work of art.
Here we go!
What is a Facebook ad creative?
Since we'll be going over best practices and examples of ad creatives, it's critical that we first learn precisely what part of the ad we're talking about.
A typical Facebook ad has several different components to it:
The primary text is the first bit of text that appears when looking at the ad from top to bottom. This can be short, like in this example, or even several paragraphs long.
The creative is the image (or video) aspect of your ad. The creative can include copy (text) in it as well. This part of the ad is what we'll be focusing on today.
The headline appears below the creative, and its job is to cleverly emphasize the CTA. The headline is best kept short (under 40 characters).
The description is right below the headline and should be used to support the offer at hand. You can use this space to add a value proposition or product/pricing information.
Lastly, we have the CTA (or call to action) button. The call-to-action buttons are pre-made by Facebook, and what you have available depends on the campaign objective you choose. You should be selecting a CTA button that is geared toward the offer you're trying to convey. If your goal is a purchase, using a CTA like "Shop now' would be a better option than 'Learn more'.
How important is the creative aspect of Facebook ads?
There's only one answer to this question: Extremely.
You can have the best optimization, budget, bidding, and target audience for your campaign—but if your creative looks like it'd belong in a how-to guide for a Scamming 101 class, you'd be hard-pressed to make any money off of it at all.
That's how important the creative aspect of your Facebook ads is.
While design has always been a largely influential part of your Facebook ads, it's significantly grown in importance since Apple's iOS 14 updates.
To TLDR it for you, Apple released a series of privacy-related platform updates to protect its users from being tracked by third-party data. One of the major effects is that certain Facebook audiences (like website retargeting audiences) will not include all of the individuals who meet that criteria.
Fewer people in your target audience = fewer purchases and lower ROI.
Therefore, it's critical that every component of your ad (and especially your creative) is created to the highest quality to ensure your conversion rates remain high and your campaigns remain profitable.
Note: If you want to learn more about the iOS 14 changes and how you can work around and even repair these losses, you can read our guide here.
Facebook ad creative types
The tricky part of coming up with a solid creative strategy is to use the right Facebook ad formats for your campaign in the first place.
There are 6 basic types of ad formats available on Facebook, each with its own ad size and specs and ad placements:
This is the easiest and most basic type of ad format available. These single-image ads work with all campaign objectives and are relatively easy to create compared to the others on this list. Image ads can be used in a variety of ways and with every type of offer under the sun.
The old adage of "An image is worth 1,000 words" goes double for video. Like image ads, video ads can be used for absolutely anything, but they do excel at explaining more nuanced product details, showcasing before and after content, and garnering more excitement and engagement.
Facebook carousel ads are one of my favorite ad formats due to their versatility. Carousel ads are swipeable individual cards that are grouped together under a single ad. These cards act as a sort of 'mini ad' and can be made up of images or videos.
These are great to use to show off multiple products at once while still giving each item its own space to shine. You can create these cards individually or use Advantage+ catalog ads (formerly “dynamic product ads”) to enable an automated upselling/cross-selling strategy.
The collection ad format appears similar to the carousel format at first glance. Collection ads feature one main product spotlight, followed by a series of other images or videos beneath it. When you tap on the ad, however, it's a different experience entirely.
Tapping on these ads brings up a sort of landing page-style experience. Here, you can add pictures of your products in action and combine them with additional sales copy. While the workload required to create these is heavier than a single image ad, effects like a 14% lift in sales can certainly make up for the extra effort.
Keep in mind, these ads are a mobile-only format.
Creating video ads on your own can be a difficult task to undertake, especially for new companies. If you're looking to harness the power of video quickly and affordably, slideshow ads can help to easily uplevel your ad game.
Slideshows are an animated experience for your standard images, and Facebook allows you to add multiple images together or even add license-free audio. Since they're smaller than video files, they can also load up to 5x faster than traditional video ads. You can create these for free inside Facebook when setting up your ad.
Instant Experience (formerly Canvas)
If a landing page and a Facebook ad made a hypothetical ad baby (stick with me here), it would look like an Instant Experience ad.
These mobile-friendly ad formats are more like a landing page than an ad, as they can feature things like swipeable carousels, tilt-to-pan 3D images, product catalogs, images, copy, and video.
These ads can do everything that all of the above ad formats can. The only downside is that, given the nature of these ads, they are only available for placement on mobile devices.
6 tips to crush your Facebook ad creative strategy
If you want to create the best Facebook ad out there, your creative needs to stand out, reaffirm the offer at hand, and have some killer Facebook ad copy to go with it.
In addition to that, you'll need to make sure to follow these 6 tips to make sure your creatives resonate with your target audience and lead toward that coveted click.
1. Keep your ad creative on brand
One of the most common mistakes I see young brands make is to continually change the entire design aesthetic of their ads to the point that it isn't even recognizable as the same company.
Like Nike without the swoosh, it just doesn't look right if you don't follow the same brand guidelines.
Facebook also checks to ensure that the destination page matches the offer and retains the same overall theme consistency as your ad text, so making sure these are connected will help you with ad reviews in the long run.
When designing your creatives, feel free to play around with different themes but make sure there's some connection between them and your current brand image (font, typeface, color palette, etc.).
2. Use high-quality imagery
In the olden days of flip phones, it was hard to get a solid set of product shots unless you had a quality digital camera. These days, modern smartphones have built-in quality cameras and instant access to photo editing apps.
At best, low-quality imagery makes your company look like a small business that may (or may not) be legitimate; at worst, it's an outright turn-off—especially if it's a high-ticket item.
In short, there's absolutely no reason why your creative should feature low-resolution imagery in 2022.
3. Produce enough creatives to avoid ad fatigue
While you might be tempted to ride out a well-performing ad for as long as possible, over time, you'll find that your audience will inevitably suffer from the dreaded ad fatigue.
Ad fatigue happens when your audience sees the same ad so much that they start to lose interest in your ad and ignore it entirely. This fatal disease wreaks havoc on your metrics and, more specifically, your click-through rate.
In order to prevent this from happening, you should have a steady supply of ads that you can change out once you see this start to happen. If you see that your ad frequency is high and your CTR is dropping, this is a pretty good sign that you need to swap your ads in ASAP.
4. Always test your ad creatives
On that same note, when you're swapping out your old ads for new ones, you want to make sure that these ads have been properly vetted before you send them live. To do that, you need to be consistently testing your ads to see which ones perform well and which are duds best left in the waste bin.
To properly test your ad creatives, you need to:
- Ensure you are using the same control for your tests, which should be your audience targeting. If not, you won't know if the creative or the audience changes are what's working.
- Let the test run its course. When testing your ads, you'll need to give your ads time to be served to their audience before you make the final call. Typically ads should be out of the learning phase before this decision is made.
- Give each ad the budget it needs. If you're testing a lot of ads at once, it's important that you also give your campaign the proper amount of budget in order to run them. Giving a campaign with 50 ads a budget of $5/day will leave you with only a few ads that actually deliver.
While we don't have time to dive into all of the rules you should follow for creating a great A/B test here, you can learn all you need from our ad testing guide.
5. Be mindful of your ad placements
Another thing to keep in mind in the design phase is where you envision your ad appearing on the Meta product suite.
Some ad placements (like right-column, marketplace, etc.) have smaller image sizes than others. If you have a lot of text in your ads and are simply shrinking the image size, chances are your audience won't be able to clearly read everything in your ad and will just skip right over it.
6. You don’t need to spend $$$ to produce great creatives
For those of us who aren’t creatively inclined, the previous 5 tips have no doubt caused a decent amount of stress. Even if you don’t have the title graphic designer on your resumè, you can still have visually stunning ads for your campaigns with services like Sparkle.
Sparkle is Madgic’x unlimited on-demand design team that can help you produce not only images but videos and other assets like organic social posts, emails, and even flyers.
Once you submit a request, Sparkle’s team will have your first proof ready in as little as 48 hours, and you can make as many changes as you like until you’re happy with the final product.
You can try Sparkle risk-free today by submitting your first (free) design here.
3 Facebook ad creative examples to inspire your next campaign
Of course, all the rules and practices are nice to read. But just like a good Facebook ad creative, the proof is in the pictures!
Let's take a look at 3 Facebook ad creative examples that will give you some inspiration for your next campaign.
I referenced BarkBox on my previous list of Facebook ad examples that I love, and I'll happily do it again here. This ad knocks it out of the park for me because the creative hits some of the most basic ad fundamentals:
- Cleverly re-emphasizes the offer and even allows you to imagine your pet inside the photo frame
- Takes advantage of seasonality for inspiration
- Restates the value in the ad headline and inside the creative's copy
Well done, BarkBox!
Ever see something so delicious that you just want to reach into your screen and stuff it into your face? That's exactly how I felt about this ad from Sakuraco.
One of the easiest ways to have your audience visualize your product is to show them in video form. In this ad, Sakuraco showcased some of the high-end sweets and teas you'll be able to find in their monthly snack boxes. I would have added an additional emphasis on the CTA at the end of the video, but the creative seems to be working regardless, as the social engagement is quite high.
When you combine novelty and charity, you're bound to get an ad that kills. MicroSend has taken this lesson to heart with the above example.
This niche climbing-related magnet set nearly serves as a tiny climbing experience itself. By using a carousel format, they were also able to showcase different product use shots, as well as call out the fact that every purchase results in a direct donation.
These ad examples will go a long way when you're dreaming up your next campaign. If you're looking for more Facebook ads that rock, check out our Facebook ad examples article. You can always spy on your competitor's ads too. ;)
Today, we've covered the fundamentals of how to create high-converting ad creatives and 3 examples of ones that are hitting it out of the park today.
As long as you create ad campaigns that follow the rules we've set about today, you'll have an easier time dreaming up your own all-star ads in the future!
You can use up all your time and money to produce new ads and still end up with poor CTR. Or you can leave it all to Sparkle and get unlimited creatives designed for conversions - all for a flat fee.
Tory is a digital marketing specialist and the current Marketing Manager of Breadcrumbs.io. She's been featured in various high-profile marketing blogs like Hootsuite, AdEspresso, and Databox and holds certificates for both Google and Facebook Ads. In her spare time, she gardens and paints from her house in the Florida panhandle.