By Nazia Khan-Ahmed
There are basic website click sidebars, news feed video ads and mobile ads promoting apps on Facebook. There is one thing they all share that is an image. You have to pick the right image and test it. In order to achieve maximum success with Facebook ads you have to gain attention through imagery.
It is not as simple as it seems. There is no way to achieve it by following a step by step guide. The only thing you can follow is advice, resources and methods to test your images for your Facebook ads.
The first thing to keep in mind is to always testing your ads. There is no true right way of doing anything. There are many variables like audience an ad might work for a certain kind of audience but will not be appropriate for any other type of audience.
You have to test the techniques you are implementing or planning to implement. The more important part is to keep on testing and finding other techniques that will help refreshing your ads.
The users on Facebook grow quite bored of seeing the same thing over and over again. They will not take a minute and move on from one thing to a newer version. Variety and innovation gets their attention. The next thing is to come up with a bunch of ideas that you might thing will work with the type of audience you have.
Now we’ll discuss how to pick great images for your ads.
How to Pick the Correct Dimensions
There are many places where you can put images. Facebook has a dimensions page with ten different images with their associated dimensions listed.
This is quite helpful but it is only the recommended size. There are many times where you want to start your ad campaign and use the same image. It is better to make sure that the source image is large enough. It should also have a fluff background.
So that it can be cropped and resized to fit various image positions. This is why exact dimensions aren’t entirely reliable; your image will need to fit more than one position.
In general, you’re going to want a letterbox style image, with a width wider than its height. This is because most images on Facebook are laid out that way, or at the very least are square. Very rarely is an image going to be in portrait layout, and it tends to stand out in a negative way.
Know the Purpose
There are two schools of thought for Facebook ad images. The first is to always have an image relevant to your business. If you sell cat toys, your ad images should be pictures of cat toys, or scratch posts, or kittens playing with ball of strings. The second is to use any image you want, so long as it catches attention of your audience.
It does no good to use a picture of something else for your cat toys business; the people who find it eye catching and click it are expecting something relating to cats, not to seeing wild animals. The disconnect between ad image and landing page is annoying and leads to a relatively higher bounce rate.
Plus, Facebook technically has strict rules against using images that are unrelated to ads. There is something you might about Facebook being not constant about applying their regulations regarding ads. Some are caught, even over-enforced, while others slip through frequently. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help to point at another business and say that if that worked for them it should work for us too and Facebook still rejects your ad and the appeal doesn’t help.
Know the Demo graphs of Your Audience
Knowing your audience is the most vital part of articulating fruitful ads, from copy to directing to images. In this hypothetical dog toy store, you should know whether your audience is primarily attracted to large dogs or small dogs, active dogs or toy dogs, and so forth. You wouldn’t want to advertise tiny dog sweaters to an audience that mostly enjoys hunting with their dogs, would you?
Know your audience so you know what appeals to them. More importantly, you want to know what turns them off. Running an ad with an image they don’t notice is less than ideal, but it’s otherwise fine. Running an ad with an actively detrimental image will associate your brand and your store with that image, driving away customers.
There are a lot of ways to learn about your audience. You can study their interests and demographics through Insights or off-site analytics. You can run contests with polls attached, asking for information or preferences in exchange for an entry in a giveaway. You can just ask questions and foster discussion on your wall. All of this assists you to figure out what your most engaged users are into.
Test Images before Using
Before we get into more specifics about selecting images themselves, you should gather a bit of knowledge about how you can test images against one another. Luckily, this is a very convenient process within Facebook natively, and you can use third party tools to do the testing for you.
Now Split test is a scientific comparison of two ads which are identical which might have one variable that is not identical.
You might have to limit yourself to only one variable. So you would know which change worked for you, if you keep on changing several factors it might not work for you.
This blog post is specifically about images so we will discuss images in particular. Let’s say you have two identical ads or may be more than that. They all have same text, headlines and the same landing page. The only difference between them is the image.
You can have one ad with a picture of a cat toy, one with a picture of a happy cat, and one with a picture of hills. You can have three more with the same cat toy in the first ad, but different shapes. You can even have two identical images, only one has a thinner border around the picture. There are nearly countless variations you can test with ad images.
How to find Royalty Free Images
Always make sure that the images you are using for your ads are copyright free. There are many complaints from photographers and graphic designers that their images have been used without their permission.
The consequences of this might get you in hot water and might get you into legal battle.
If you go through the entire blog you will find another article I wrote about how to acquire royalty free images. You can also create your own image from scratch and use your creativity to the fullest. If not, you can always use stock photos.
The 20% Text Rule
Facebook has a specific regulation about text on advertisements, and it’s a very inconsistent rule. It’s called the 20% text rule, and it’s the ultimate foe of advertisers everywhere in the world.
Basically, Facebook has a grid tool that splits an image up into equally sized sections. The tool then identifies text in the image, and highlights the boxes that contains text. Each box is 4% of the image, so if more than 5 boxes have text in them, more than 20% of the image is text. If more than 20% of your image is text, your ad will be rejected.
Using Emotions to Sell
There are some more specific tips for the images themselves. First of all, emotion based selling. If you go looking for advice on Facebook ad images, there are a lot of people telling you that smiling people, happy people, specifically happy women are one of the most Workable subjects. This is true, but in a sense, any emotionally intense image can work.
Using Sex to Sell
In advertising the only thing that you can’t go wrong with is using the feminine charm to sell. I know sounds ridiculous but it works.
Be it beauty products, career counselling, hardware tools, plumbing works or interior decoration. Women have been able to accommodate most of the advertisements.
On Facebook your ability to use sex as a tool for advertising is limited. Facebook has strict rules on what kind of sexual images you can use in your ads. For one thing nudity isn’t allowed even if its subliminal.
For that matter, Facebook will even reject ads that use cleavage or a male underwear model cropped down to the underwear. Even if there’s no nudity, it’s still a blatant use of sex to sell. As a general rule of thumb, if the image has the model’s head cropped out, it’s not acceptable for ads.
Logos can both be good and bad in Facebook ads, depending on their placement and the design of logo itself. A general rule of thumb is to only use your logo when your ad is more about promotion of brand and growing a page than it is about converting users or selling a specific product.
A logo raises awareness about your business. It’s an icon sitting there in a sidebar or in the news feed, and users process that information even if they don’t consciously note it. Later, when they see your logo somewhere else, they’ll recognize it from somewhere they have seen it before, and they’ll be more inclined to trust your brand. If they click your ad, it should be a website views, page likes or other general objective.
Tweak Your Image to make it stand out
Sometimes it is as easy as to tweak with the contrast or hue to make your image stand out. If you are using your logo you can add an attractive border in order to define it further.
Speaking of contrast, sometimes it’s easy to make your ad stand out. If you want to use your logo, or if you’re using an image that seems to blend in more than you’d like, you can try adding a simple border around the image. A couple pixels wide, black or green, it doesn’t take much.
In general, images that stand out and images that contrast from Facebook’s stodgy blue/gray theme work best. It’s difficult to gain the user’s attention, particularly with sidebar ads, which tend to be ignored or even blocked by many users.
Make Memes Not War
Making memes is really easy. All you need is the right picture, some text in Impact Bold font, and a bit of a sense of humor. Not too much humor, of course; wouldn’t want to make an original joke. Original jokes are the opposite of memes.
The tricky part with memes is that meme culture moves incredibly fast. In the time it takes you to get a meme image approved for an ad, that meme could have already bored the hell out of the audience. You look like you’re capitalizing on an old trend and that you’re out of touch with the demographic you’re trying to reach.
Memes are most effective with a younger crowd, so if your audience is of that age group go ahead with it However, I don’t recommend using them in your ads. Why not? Well, first of all there’s the speed at which they are rotated throughout the internet, which I already mentioned. They’re right up there with clickbait in terms of content that gets passively demoted. Essentially, they have less weight in EdgeRank than a non-meme image.
Use Cover Photo as constant advertisement
Your cover photo is like a billboard for your business in some ways. It’s a large image that stands passively where traffic flows, delivering a constant message. For the last year and a half or so, Facebook has allowed a cover photo to include a call to action, which is very helpful for your business. You can use graphical pointers to direct users to an app button, to a post, or in another direction entirely. You can use call to action with your logo to create an effective banner as your cover photo. You can use your slogan and logo side by side and create a genuine photo.
About the Author
Nazia Khan- Ahmed is a Social Media Writer who has majored in Textile Designing. Also Holds Bachelor’s degree in Education and English Language Certification. Finds it impossible to discuss herself in third person but is doing so as per the demands of this bio. She is a home-maker and teaches Textile Designing to degree classes at the same time. Being nocturnal has taught her to manage her work in the night and her home at day time.