11 min read
When you are an adapter to anything new, a lot of the time you can get away with murder. The same was true for Facebook ads. When they were first introduced, Facebook ads were cheap, had very little competition, and the rules were not as stringent as they have now become.
Does this mean that Facebook ads are not worthwhile anymore?
Absolutely not, but you do have to become smarter and do something different in order to be noticed. There are so many moving parts to create Facebook ads.
Even having a massive budget won’t make a difference. You will either blow through your budget without the ads helping you meet your objective, or you will be running very, very expensive ads.
I’ve run several successful campaigns for clients, but with these successes also came some mistakes. I am going to show you some of the best tips I use when I create Facebook ads for clients so that you can use them in your own campaigns also.
One of the very first things you must do in order to create a successful Facebook ad campaign is ensure that you have defined your target audience as specific as possible. This does not mean simply deciding the age, occupation, and interests–it means a lot more than this.
These types of ads are usually run to cold audiences. If you are running an ad to a cold audience, this means you are attempting to gain the attention of prospects who have never heard of you, do not know what you do, or whether you can help them.
Trying to create Facebook ads to this audience is usually the most difficult. You have to gain their trust before making any type of offer. The copy and imagery that you use is extremely important and needs to help the audience stop their scroll. It’s a lot harder to gain the attention of a cold audience so imagery is crucial at this point.
Remember, when someone is scrolling their timeline, they are seeing several ads and posts, and chances are they are ‘skimming’ through these posts until they see a post from a friend, page, or group they regularly engage with.
Before you attempt to create Facebook ads, ask yourself: What ‘type’ of content does this audience want or need?
You’re probably going to run an add for one of three main reasons:
If you’re looking to create an ad with the intention of building brand awareness, there are two things that are very important–trust and originality. What can you do to make your ads stand out from the crowd?
The types of content that does really well in building brand awareness are:
You need to ensure you balance the look of your ad with the quality of the content. That is what will make you memorable.
Facebook loves content that keeps people on Facebook. That means if you want to send someone to your blog or website or funnel, you’ll do better by running an ad.
In order to convince your prospect to click off of Facebook, you’ll need an image or video that stops them from scrolling and copy that captivates their attention.
When you are selling a product or service via Facebook ads, you are going to sell to people that know you as well as people who don’t know you. Your content creation process becomes more involved at this point.
Once you are able to define your target audience and their needs, it becomes easier to create videos, images, and copy that will help you engage your audience in a more significant way.
The next thing you want to do is focus on creating copy and creative assets that help your ads convert into leads and sales. Let’s look at each point separately.
I know! When most people think about copy, you’re thinking, “Oh no! I am not a natural writer.”
If you know your audience, you can write copy that resonates with them. You must be able to do two things with your copy:
Cookie cutter templates work sometimes and you will often see people offering you ‘ultimate’ templates to write copy. The only thing is, if everyone in your industry is using these cookie cutter templates, how does that help you stand out from the crowd. How do you sound different?
The best writers are not thinking so much about how to write, but rather about the problem and solution.
You want to be thinking about how your audience is feeling at this moment in time and how your product/service resolves the issue for them.
A great example of someone who did this well is Rachel Pedersen. She wrote a post about her small wedding ring which resonated with hundreds and thousand of women and went viral pretty quickly because her message was one that was polarising.
A lot of badly written ads do one thing very, very wrong. They focus on the product but not the desire that the prospect is looking for.
People are more than likely to resonate with the desire of wanting something vs needing something.
You want to focus on how your product or service will make them feel rather than focusing on the product itself.
For example, if you’re selling a course, a prospect is more than likely to buy into how the product or service will make them feel after purchasing it, rather than the features that come with it.
Make your copy customer centric. You are selling to a human being with feelings. This works whether you are selling a red pair of pumps or a solution to a health problem.
Think of your headline like a headline on a newspaper. You have a very small window to grab someone attention, and this is the largest text on your advertisement.
Chances are if someone is skimming your ad, they will read this before reading your main ad copy. When creating your headline, think to yourself,
“If this was the only copy I could include with this ad, what is the one thing I would like my audience to know?”
Try and keep your headline short–no more than 25-30 characters. Also when writing your ad, remember that people are viewing the ad on desktop and mobile.
Facebook recommends a news feed link description that is no more than 30 characters. You can use more text than this, but 30 characters makes it a lot easier to see the copy on mobile without it being cut off.
This is the main bit of copy you will really need to work on. You have a lot of real estate here, so I would use it up as best as you can. Don’t make the copy as long as a novel, but be descriptive while maintaining brevity as much as possible.
Easier said than done, right? I’m glad to tell you that some people make it seem much harder than it is. There are three simple rules I like to follow that work all the time:
I am going to be biased here and state that even though powerful graphics make all the difference, they do not usually beat the performance of video ads.
A recent study by HubSpot showed that 55 percent of consumers pay close attention to videos they watch, compared to averages of 39-43 percent who merely skim social media posts. Also, 45 percent of consumers say they want to see more video ads in the future.
Using videos for your ads not only help you engage more of your audience, it can also work out cheaper–which is always a good thing for any business owner. Videos that take up more real estate in the newsfeed are more than likely to get someone to stop and watch.
When creating video ads, you should use videos with a dimension of 1920px x 1080px, but if you really want to get an audience’s attention, use videos with a 9:16 ratio and I know this because Facebook told me so directly.
When using images, you can use images that are square in size: 1080px x 1080px OR 1200px x 628px. These provide the best resolution for your images.
One thing that Facebook does frown upon is too much text in images. Having too much text runs you the chance of poor deliverability. Facebook advices to use images and videos that consist of no more than 20 percent text.
I bet you’re thinking, “But I have seen ads with more text than that”. The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can test it and see how well it performs and if the text in the image is affecting the performance, it’s very easy to stop running the ad.
One mistake that many marketers make is not being relatable enough. They use random images that do not trigger any feelings. This at times makes people stop, but most of the time it makes prospects scroll past your ad faster.
For example, if you’re running ads to moms, use images or videos that mothers can relate to. This could be an image with a mother playing with a child or even better, YOU interacting with your family. Using images of yourself makes your ad more personable and gives people an insight into who YOU are.
I get it, sometimes knowing if you’ve got it right when creating Facebook ads is difficult. This is why I always recommending constantly testing.
There are billions of people using Facebook and it’s near impossible to create one type of creative that will resonate with everyone. It’s important when you are running Facebook marketing campaigns to test several variations of copy and images.
Remember, your audience will tell you what is working and what’s not. You will also be able to identify which copy and image is working the best by comparing the engagement and costs between each ad variation.
Testing variations at the same time allows you to find out faster which campaigns are worth spending more on vs. which ones should be turned off quickly.
Getting opinions from peers is a great way to get honest feedback to know how to create a facebook ad correctly. I highly recommend Depesh’s Free Facebook Group because his Facebook Group only is because he has worked with multi-million dollar companies and is an advisor to Facebook. Who better to get advice from?
You will find a range of super experienced Facebook ad consultants from various backgrounds (including me) who can help you with feedback.
If you’re more of an introverted learner, I have created a guide that helps marketers get acquainted with advertising on Facebook by teaching you all about the Facebook Pixel and creating captivating ads.
Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.