Facebook Ads are one of the most powerful tools available to businesses to grow their customer base. The social media platform boasts billions of active daily and monthly users, with users spanning nations, age groups, and interests. With an average cost-per-click of $1.72, the right Facebook ad strategy can reap a large return for your business.
As with any ad strategy, it’s ad quality that will attract new customers. Yet what defines ad quality? Is it just a great image, or do I need an in-depth description?
The quick answer is all of the above. Successful Facebook ads align their headline, description, and visual to send a concise message to the right audience.
In this post, we’ll walk through this process. We’ll start with covering best practices for headlines and visuals (including video). We’ll then apply these best practices and show how you can align them to create a strong Facebook Ad.
(Keep in mind: great ads are only a part of creating a strong Facebook ad strategy. Audience targeting also plays a vital role, as it ensures your ads are being shown in front of the right people. But for the purpose of this post, we’ll just cover the creative aspects of Facebook ads).
On first glance, these seem alright. The headlines are relatively clever and have strong images that show the product they’re selling. Yet you don’t want alright ads. You want great ads.
The headline is one of the most important parts of your Facebook Ad. Apart from the visual or video, the headline stands out the most. Only after reading the headline will the viewer decide to read the description, or ultimately, click on your ad.
From this perspective, it’s easier to understand the issues with the above examples. With Popslate, it’s difficult to know what the ad writer means by second screen. Is the product a screen protector? A new display feature?
The headline for the flying robot ad faces a similar problem. The ad tells us they’ve reinvented the drone, but what does that mean? Drones are still somewhat new to everyday consumers, will they really know (or care) that they’ve been reinvented?
In other words, these headlines don’t resonate with their target audience. When trying to write your own headline, ask yourself the following:
- Is my headline succinct?
- Is my headline attention-grabbing?
- Is my headline relevant to my audience?
For the last two questions, take the advice of Sam Hurley, Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ, who says to always put yourself in the audience’s shoes. If you know who your audience is, you won’t have to worry about common headline mistakes like:
- Naming your brand or product in the headline (your brand’s page is already included in the ad).
- Using technical jargon, which can confuse users about the purpose of your product or service.
- Use clickbait headlines, which can frustrate users and have them leave your landing page in a heartbeat.
Optimize Your Visuals
Of course, the strongest headline wouldn’t be as effective without a strong visual. Bill Widmer, Content Marketing Consultant, sums up the importance of visuals like this:
“A visual is worth a thousand clicks.”
You may be thinking “great, but I already know the importance of visuals. How do I go about creating or selecting the right one?”
When you’re ready to create or select a new Facebook ad visual, keep the following tips in mind:
Don’t be afraid to be bold! Shock value, whether it be funny, quirky or even creepy, can grab a user’s attention. In the Swimmerall ad below, they embrace their fun and over-the-top brand and create a truly odd ad.
As long as your copy fits your brand personality, don’t be afraid to take a few risks and try an image that’s less than tasteful.
Worried about not having a great photographer or graphic designer on hand? No problem! Online photo editing tools like Canva rely on simply, intuitive UIs that allow users to create and edit images with little hassle. Canva, in particular, has a free library of images and ready templates so you can get started right away. What’s more - Canva provides all this in its free version!
If the goal of your ad campaigns is to get more people to purchase your product, using an image or video of your product in action may seem like a logical choice.
Yet in some cases, a different approach may be best. Josh Fechter, CEO of BAMF, uses images that elicit a strong emotional response. If he’s promoting a startup event in Los Angeles, for example, he’ll use a photo of sunny LA rather than one of the event itself:
Did you know that up to 20 percent of your ad image can include text? The image text rule essentially gives you another space for adding creative copy. Take advantage of this by communicating different information from your headline or description.
Remember the Popslate ad? The image includes the text “We’ve Launched.” This alerts the user the product is now available, while the headline and description focus on Popslate’s benefits.
In the Facebook ad by Slack, you can’t help but smile with their approach to image text.
Yes, Use Video!
Marketing consultant Daniel Wallock suggests you use different videos for different objectives. For example, if you’re starting off with a new audience, you can run an awareness (“Why”) video that explains your product. You can then follow the same formula for engagement (“How”) and conversion (“What”) videos.
One great use of a “What” video is for the Original Anti-theft Backpack, which you can view here. In just 25 seconds, the video shows off several features of the backpack, which helps viewers understand “what” is so great about the product in the first place.
Yet as Daniel explains, this video is ideal for people who are ready to buy. To get them to this point, the company should first have “Why” and “How” videos.
For a “Why” video ad, the company could use a video that shows the dangers or consequences of backpack theft. A “How” video could next introduce the product and focus solely on the features that prevent theft.
In this context, using the published video as a “What” video makes perfect sense. The video highlights additional features that aren’t directly related to theft. After watching all three, it may be this last one that convinces the viewer to buy.
Now that we’ve covered some best practices for headlines and visuals, it’s time to put them together to develop some strategies for aligning both elements for your ads. Let’s walk through some more excellent ad examples to see how it’s done.
Both your visual and copy should be pushing users toward a certain goal within the sales funnel (awareness, engagement, or conversion). Can you tell the goal of the below Dollar Shave Club ad?
The last bit of description copy that says “Try the Club Today” should give it away (conversion). Nevertheless, we can see how the rest of the post supports this goal.
The description explains that for just a few bucks, anyone can enjoy Dollar Shave Club’s quality razors. The image hones in on this point by showing the same product for both his and her razors (not to mention we get to see the product, period).
Finally, the headline reads “The Smarter Way to Shave” which tells the user that joining the Dollar Shave Club simply makes sense for anyone.
While most of this post has focused on headlines and visual, don’t forget the importance of a powerful description. This text snippet allows you to expand (albeit briefly) on the value of your product or service.
We already highlighted the effectiveness of the Dollar Shave Club description, but let’s look at a couple more ads to show other ways descriptions can be helpful.
In the PayPal ad, the description expands on the ad’s headline “Business in a Box” by explaining what that includes (selling, online payments, and finance management).
This GoPro ad expands on the value of customers trading-in their HERO4 for the new model (they receive $100 off).
In this ad, Lyft uses the description to expand on the compensation requirements for new drivers ($1,500 a week, as stated by the headline).
Don’t Stop at the Initial Purchase
If your ads are successfully landing you new customers or clients, great! But the first deal should by no means be the end of the relationship. According to Maxwell Finn, Co-Founder of Ad IQ Academy, “profitability comes from a post-purchase ad sequence.”
Whether you’re running an e-commerce clothing site or niche SaaS company, you need to drive customers to make more than one purchase. This could be a monthly subscription, or getting someone to purchase multiple products.
Facebook’s audience tools allow you to retarget previous customers. The key is creating ads that are just as compelling as the ones in the initial sales funnel.
Making the Most of Your Facebook Ads
Creating the right Facebook ad is both art and science. In this post, we’ve covered a bit of both. We’ve covered some best practices for writing headlines and creating/selecting images. We’ve also shared ways to align these elements to make a strong Facebook Ad.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. For some additional tips and ideas, we recommend the following sources: