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Joaquin Lopez

Best Practice Ad Creative Recommendations

24th Jan 2020 Paid Search 5 minutes to read

It’s not easy knowing what the best practices are for Facebook and Instagram ads, which is why we’ve compiled this easy to use ad creative guide for beginners. Find out how to improve the look of single image, carousel and video ads below.

Single Image Ads

As single image ads can be disguised as normal Facebook posts; they tend to capture audience’s attentions a little bit better than other image format ads.

It’s very easy to just use a generic image and be done with an ad. We think that spending a little bit of time curating a selection of images and testing them against each other is a better method. However, we wouldn’t recommend selecting the first image you see on stock image sites. We recommend taking your time to select the right images, editing them or creating your own graphics using free and easy to use methods.

Recommendations

  • Use high resolution imagery. There’s nothing worse than coming across a pixelated ad as it can make your brand look unprofessional and your results may be at an all-time low! Always use bright, high resolution images as this will help you capture the attention that your business or brand is looking for. Have a look at Facebook’s minimum pixel requirements.
  • Avoid too much text. Having a bit of text is fine but make sure it doesn’t cover more than 20% of the image. Don’t know how much text is on your image? Use Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool. It is best practise to test every image you use through this tool. This will also stop your ads from being disapproved by Facebook’s iron fist.
  • Design your own graphics. If you’re now thinking “I’m not very artistic or creative”, the good thing is, you don’t need to worry! There’s a free and easy to use website called Canva. Here you can adjust image sizes, edit photos, add icons, shapes and much more. What we find great about Canva is that you can use pre-made templates, so you don’t have to do any creating. Just pop the image you want to use on a template and ta-da! Your new graphic is ready to download and use on your ads.
  • Use scroll stopping images. If you have a background in design, use this to your advantage and create attractive imagery that will make your audience stop for your ad. Keep it new and refreshing, keep within your branding so you’re easily identifiable and make it eye catching so you can stop users from scrolling.
  • Customise each placement image. This is where ad creating can get time consuming. Each ad will be projected on multiple locations around Facebook and Instagram and these come with different sizes. Luckily, Facebook lets you customise and crop your selected image, but make sure you check before you hit publish.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads have almost taken a back seat when compared with single image and video ads. They’re easier to identify as an advert which might make a user scroll past without looking at your ad. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use carousels as having a variety of ad styles can help market and attract different customers and demographics. After all, we can’t recommend enough to TEST, TEST and TEST as you never know what will work best for your business.

It’s best to use carousel ads if you have multiple products or services to market. Use each carousel slide to feature a different item and image as this will help generate slide swiping. This adds a layer of interactivity that single image and videos don’t provide.

Recommendations

  • Use a location slide. Don’t be shy to add a location card if you have a brick and mortar shop. This will help people living locally to find you.
  • Use between 3-5 slides. Don’t settle for less than this as carousel ads are the rulers of interactivity. Use varying images to grab and engage your audience. Make sure your slides are colourful and unique!

Or

  • Use a single image across multiple cards. If you have a new product that needs pushing, split one image over multiple slides to create a swiping image effect. You can provide more detail and info about that one product that needs the love and attention.
  • Show what you got. Don’t be afraid to promote multiple things on carousel ads. This is your chance to show different dishes from your restaurant or different items of clothing.

Videos

Video is easily one of the best ways to capture your audience’s attention. You can convey your message in under 3 seconds and provide more details if viewers decide to continue watching. It all depends if you managed to draw their focus from the beginning. However, it’s not as simple as just creating a video and publishing it on Facebook. 85% of videos are viewed with sound off, meaning it can be harder to convey your message if your videos are sound-heavy. If you really want to attract your target audience, then a bit of editing or advanced planning might be needed. We really do wish it was as easy as closing your eyes and clicking your heels together; but, with just a bit of work, you could be drawing in more of your audience to watch your videos for longer.

With more and more users using Facebook on mobile devices, we can see why there is a need for mobile-first creatives.

Recommendations

  • Add subtitles. There are plenty of great services on the internet that provide subtitles for a low cost. Users have the choice of clicking on your video or continuing with no sound. This will stop you from alienating your potential audience.
  • Add a 3 second intro teaser. You may already recognise this from videos that you have come across already. Adding an engaging teaser or hook at the beginning of a video can engage your audience to watch the rest.
  • Capture attention quickly. Videos that begin with motion or rapid movement tend to be more interesting and relevant to viewers.
  • Refrain from starting a video with a static image.
  • Start with the most interesting scene of your video. People don’t like to be kept waiting. If you hold off on providing important detail, viewers are more likely to continue scrolling or exit the video.

Summary

There is no science to what will generate the best results, but by taking these actions on your ads you will be taking a step in the right direction. As mentioned above, we recommend testing different creatives in order to identify what works better for your business. The more you test, the better you will understand your audience, leading to the results you are looking for.

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Joaquin Lopez

Senior Paid Media Executive

A sci-fi movie buff, gamer, lover of dystopian fiction and self-taught bassist, we’ve concluded that Joaquin has quite the creative streak. A recent trip to Japan unearthed a love for ramen noodles, so we now know what to bribe him with! Fun fact: originally from Chile, Joaquin’s surname means ‘son of wolf’.

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