8 tips to design creative Facebook ads that drive clicks

19th May 2021

With a 37% increase in advert impressions and a 6% decrease in price per advert in 2019, Facebook advertising could be just what you need to drive business growth.

However, not all Facebook ads can deliver results; not because people aren’t interested in the offer, but rather due to poor design.

Even if you have the most appealing offer in place, poorly-designed creative could bring your entire ad campaign down.

So check out these eight tips to design more creative Facebook ads and drive clicks that turn into sales.

1: Invest in relevant, high-resolution images

High-resolution images not only make your ad look great, but they also give an instant boost to its credibility. Blurry photos and low-quality stock images, on the other hand, will make your ad look cheesy and unprofessional. So don’t be surprised if people just scroll past them without a second glance.

In addition to being high-resolution, your ad images should also be relevant to your messaging.

For instance, check out how the following ad promotes the ability to learn from home while showing a picture of someone learning from home.

This is a great example of a Facebook ad creative that works for its user.

2: Use eye-catching, complementary colours

Your choice of colour could make all the difference for your ad visibility.

There are certain colours that pop and instantly catch the eye. So consider using colours that would stand out on someone’s Facebook feed. And if you’re going to use multiple colours, make sure they complement each other to further enhance the appeal of your ad.

Check out the use of bright and warm colours in the following ad from Phab, for instance. Not only does this instantly catch the eye, it also perfectly balances the combination of red, orange, and yellow.

Use colour in your Facebook ads.

3: Design with mobile users in mind

Mobile contributed to 94% of the total Facebook advertising revenue during Q2 of 2019. These impressive numbers suggest that you must prioritise mobile-first design if you want your ads to work.

You don’t want mobile users to come across your ad only to experience issues with display such as the image not showing completely or the text overlay getting cropped out. Not only will this ruin their experience, you also risk not getting your message across effectively.

So when creating your ad through the Facebook Ads Manager, don’t forget to preview your creative and make sure that it looks great across all devices and placements. This means ensuring that everything is displaying correctly and addressing any issues before you launch your ad.

4: Keep text to a minimum

While you might need text to get your messaging across, keep in mind that too much of it in your images can ruin ad performance.

Facebook recommends using less than 20% text in your images to improve quality and performance. Otherwise, it could limit your ad reach or even penalise you in auctions.

Check out the following MasterClass ad, for example. Tony Hawk’s photo takes up a majority of the ad space. And the only text they’ve used is ‘Tony Hawk Teaches Skateboarding’. They’ve managed to sum up everything they need to say about the offer in just four words.

Limit the amount of text you use in a Facebook creative.

5: Create simple and clear messaging

While you need to go easy on the text for your Facebook ads, you still need it to get your message across. And it can be challenging to do this when you have text restrictions. So it’s crucial that you find the perfect balance between simplicity and clarity.  

Keep rewriting your in-image text and look for a way to rephrase it in a simpler way without losing its meaning. Can you shorten a certain word? Is there a simpler term to replace some of the phrases?

Check out the following in-image text from the Codecademy ad below. They’ve found a way to say everything they need to say in fewer than five words. Here, the term ‘job-ready’ ties up the messaging in a clear but concise manner instead of using multiple phrases to say something along the lines of ‘to get a job’.

Another great example of a Facebook ad with clear messaging.

6: Don’t forget about branding

The text restrictions also bring about some challenges with branding. Stating your brand name and highlighting your slogan could use up a majority of your valuable text space. So you might skip the whole thing and publish an ad image with only your offer. But this also means you fail to brand your ad and you’re leaving it up to the audience to double check where the offer is coming from.

Instead, make sure to use other branding elements for your creative Facebook ads. You could implement your brand colours if relevant, for example. And you could include icons and logos as graphic elements as well so people can know who’s giving out the offer.

Check out how The Great Courses included the company logo in the following ad, for example.

Always use your logo in your ads - like this Facebook creative example.

7: Create videos that engage instantly

If you plan on creating video ads, keep in mind that timing plays a crucial role. You want to create videos that instantly captivate your audience during the first few seconds and make them want to keep watching.

While Facebook lets you create video ads of up to 240 minutes, you don’t necessarily have to use up all of this.

Instead, try to keep it short but clear, and focus on making a compelling offer during the first two seconds.

8: Experiment with different creative Facebook ads

Although you can create great ads by following tips and best practices, you should also look for ways to make those ads even better.

So don’t forget to test out different variations of your ad creative to see what works best for you and what appeals to your audience.

You could test different elements of your ad such as colour combinations, messaging, text placement, imagery, and more.

In summary: Creative Facebook ads

Creating compelling Facebook ads can be challenging, but the tips given above will give you some guidelines on how to get started.

Remember that these only make up the basic framework. To find out what works best for you specifically, you have to keep testing and experimenting with different variations that implement these tips.

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