Facebook Advertising Creative Best Practices

Best Practices 

Developing the right creative is very important to the success of your Facebook advertising campaign and there are so many rules and guidelines it can be difficult for businesses to keep track. That is why the team at Parallel Path has compiled a list of best practices for you to reference as you develop your creative images, videos, and ad copy. We have also included best practices on A/B testing and details on how many ads you should run in a campaign. Following these guidelines will help ensure that you are putting your best foot forward with your Facebook ads.

Ad Images and Videos 

  • Use less text on images 
    • When you use text on your image, try a smaller font and fewer words to lower the proportion of text to image. Facebook’s research shows that images with less than 20% text perform better, though there is no limit on the amount of text you can use in your ad image. Learn more about text on images.
  • Add movement: 
    • Ads with movement stand out in News Feed. When you make a Stories ad, you can use free templates that automatically animate your ad. You can also edit the colors, images, and fonts. 
  • Consider the psychology of color choice: 
    • There have been numerous studies done over the years that show consumers are influenced by color in ads. Check out this guide from Digital Synopsis.
    • Facebook recommends using bright, contrasting colors and bold backgrounds to catch your audience’s attention.
  • Show people using your product
    • Your ad has to 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 doesn’t alienate them before they have a chance to see what it is you’re offering. Show people using your product rather than simply displaying your product by itself.
  • Create different Facebook ad images for different personas
    • People are more likely to pay attention to content that’s relevant to their interests, which means you’ll likely get better results if you customize your ad’s message for the people who see it.
  • Use images of faces when possible 
    • Facebook will tell you themselves that ads with faces in them receive a lot more engagement. That’s 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’s where most of us look when we first meet a person and it helps us to connect with them right away. It does the same thing for Facebook ad images.
  • Only use high-resolution images
  • Image must align well with copy
  • For video, tell your story with and without sound and use the first few seconds wisely
    • Since videos on Facebook autoplay with sound off, it’s important to make sure your video ads entice viewers even when muted. When sound is off, beautiful imagery and on-screen text (include caption) can help tell your story. When enabled, your video’s sound should offer additional value to viewers and further bring your story to life.
    • Consider showing brand or product imagery in the first few seconds
  • Do not include any non-existent functionalities or automatic animations

Source: Facebook Uhuru Network 

Writing Ad Copy 

  • Aim to stop the scroll with one of these strategies:
      1. Open with a question
      2. Address customer pain points
      3. Be clear on the benefits your product offers
      4. Highlight your offer if you have one (e.g 10% discount)
      5. Use customer proof / create FOMO
      6. Use emojis to break up the text
  •  Tie your text to your visual
    • When writing ad copy it is very important that the copy ties into the visual. If an outside agency is drafting ad copy to accompany your images or videos,  it is important that the managing team receives those creative assets well in advance of the campaign launch so they can spend time crafting the right message for your target audience in a way that captures their attention and ties into the visual. 
  • Create different ads for different people when it makes sense
    • It is important to make sure that you have visuals and copy that speaks to different segments within your target audience. For example, if your target age group is 25-54 it could be valuable to showcase images and videos that feature different age categories within that broad age range. 
  • Speak to your audience
    • Find a balance when communicating with your audience. Write like you are speaking to a specific member within your audience while being mindful not to violate Facebook’s ad policy on personal attributes
  • Keep it short and sweet
    • We know there are a lot of great things to communicate about your brand with your audience but the goal with the ad copy is to provide an attention-grabbing quick blurb that entices the user to click through to the landing page where they can learn more and convert.
    • People on Facebook and Instagram scan quickly. In research conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association, it took 2–3 seconds for 2 out of 3 for people to see and cognitively recognize desktop ads compared to 0.4 seconds on mobile. Keep your text short, clear, and concise to get your message across.
  • Be recognizable
    • Use the same tone across channels, so your audience recognizes your message. 
  • Add pricing when appropriate
  • Include words like “today,” “now” or “this week” to add urgency
  • Use a call to action – but only one
    • A call to action is mandatory, but using more than one in a single ad can be confusing. 
  •  Include real testimonials from happy customers

Source: Facebook Cheat Sheet

A/B Testing 

  • Test only one variable for more conclusive results
    • You’ll have more conclusive results for your test if your ads are identical except for the variable that you’re testing. For example, run the exact same image to the exact same audience, at the same time, but use a different CTA to see which performs better. 
  • Focus on a measurable hypothesis
    • Once you figure out what you want to test or what question you want to answer, create a testable hypothesis that enables you to improve future campaigns. 
  • Use an ideal time frame
    • Facebook says that the ideal timeframe for A/B testing is at least 7 days and no longer than 30 days. Tests longer than 30 days may not be an efficient use of budget since a test winner can usually be determined in 30 days or sooner.
    • Your ideal time frame for testing may also depend on your objective and business vertical. For example, if you know your typical customer takes more than 7 days to convert after seeing an ad, you’d want to run your test for a longer period of time (such as 10 days) to allow enough time for these expected typical conversions to occur.

Source: Facebook 

How Many Ads Should Run at the Same Time?

The number of active ads in your ad account or from your Page plays an important role in achieving predictable, stable, and optimized results.

Each time an ad is shown, Facebook’s ads delivery system learns more about the best people and places to show the ad. The more an ad is shown, the better the delivery system becomes at optimizing the ad’s performance.

When an advertiser runs too many ads at once, each ad delivers less often. This means that fewer ads exit the learning phase, and more budget is spent before the delivery system can optimize performance. In other words, too many ads can result in worse performance.

Facebook recommends 6 or fewer creatives per ad set. The delivery system favors ads with more delivery because conversion predictions are more accurate. Once you’ve added more than 6 ads, there is little marginal benefit.

Source: Facebook 

How often should ad creative be refreshed?

Creative refreshes can sometimes depend on what your budget is and the audience size. Larger budgets would require more frequent creative refreshes. Generally speaking, we recommend creative refreshes every 4-7 weeks.

There is a lot that goes into running a successful Facebook campaign but following these best practices in your creative development will ensure that you are off to a successful start. 

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