Facebook ads are a great tool in your marketing arsenal – if you know how to execute them well. But for the uninitiated, Facebook advertising can seem like a total waste of time and money. Although ad competition is fierce on Facebook, creating high converting, visually appealing ads is possible if you follow a few simple rules:
1. Great design
Ads that pop out at readers will always be more successful than ones that blend into the background so good design is everything. Steer clear of light colours as Facebook’s background is white so a light colour will fade your overall message. Minimise the text in your ads – if your ad is designed well you should be able to communicate a lot of information through the images – white space is a highly effective design strategy.
2. High resolution images
Pay attention to the size and quality of your media images. If you’re using grainy, dimly light photos you’re unlikely to gain any positive traction. Ditto if you’re using generic stock images that your audience have probably already seen hundreds of times. Choose images that actually tell a story about your brand and are unique and personal as well as high quality.
3. Test and compare multiple versions
Never just come up with one version of your ad! Create three to four versions as a minimum and then ask a sample group of customers to give you their feedback. The difference between a high-performing ad and a low-performing one may be simple as changing a background colour or one particular word in your heading. However, most people never find out because they don’t seek opinions before hitting publish.
You don’t need to pay money to assemble a professional focus group. Simply gather a group of friends, family or colleagues around your computer screen and ask for honest, uncensored feedback. The closer the people you ask for opinions are to the demographics of your target audience the more relevant their feedback will be – but if you can’t get testers who fit your target niche, just having a range of different opinions and voices will help you see your ad in a newer, more objective light.
4. Highly focussed targeting
One of the most common Facebook advertising mistakes is to try and create your advertising net too wide resulting in no fish being caught. Even if you have the best ad in the world it will not appeal to everyone. People without kids are probably not be going to be interested in your ad for children’s gumboots. Similarly vegans are unlikely to click on your ads for hunting and fishing equipment. Your ad doesn’t necessarily need to reach a wide audience to be effective – it is more important that it reaches the right people. One of the most powerful techniques for high converting ads is to target intersections of interests based on what you know about your existing audience. So instead of getting Facebook to show your ad to all men over the age of 30, narrow your focus even further by getting Facebook to display your ad to men over the age of 30 who live in Queensland and are interested in both golf and property investment (assuming that is what your current buyer persona is).
5. Social proof
Most people, whether they admit it or not, are influenced by what people around them are doing. And if an individual has not heard of your brand before, one of the most effective elements you can include in your ad is faces of happy customers or customer testimonials or endorsements.
6. Use calls to action
An ad should always have a goal behind it. Why are you advertising? What are you hoping to achieve? How will you measure the success of your campaign? Will it be in the number of new sign ups to your email list, or the amount of sales of a product? Whatever your goal is, make sure it is obvious to the consumer what action you want them to take when they see it.
7. Create a sense of urgency
The online marketplace is incredibly crowded. Even a decade ago, you couldn’t purchase certain things online easily. So you would have to go to a physical store to buy something within their opening hours. Now, however, you can buy just about anything online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, often with free one-day shipping. The downside of this for retailers is consumers know they can get something whenever they want it which means there is no sense of urgency for them to act on your offer. One way to counteract this in your advertising is to create a sense of scarcity or a fear of missing out by offering either a limited number of free gifts to people who take up your offer or a discounted price for a limited period of time.
For more helpful tips on Facebook advertising, check out Facebook’s help section. They have a range of free resources to help get you started.