What makes a “good” Facebook image? This question can be challenging to answer, especially if your brain leans more towards the logical side and less towards the visually creative side. Luckily, these 6 ad image best practices will ensure you’re headed in the right direction when it comes to ad creation:
#1: Include Humans, Preferably Happy Ones
Humans are attracted to other humans. This is plain old human nature! Yet all too often we stumble upon these miserably boring ads with nothing but text, images of office supplies, or boring graphics that aren’t engaging or easy to identify with.
Including images of people in your Facebook ads is one of the easiest ways to make a real, human connection with your audience. And it’s preferable if these people are happy!
The ad below is the perfect example. Not only is this woman happy and smiling, but she’s making healthy juice, which ties into the context of the article being promoted.
#2: Use a Contextually Relevant Image
Speaking of context, this is something that is extremely critical when hunting down the right ad image. For instance, would a nutritional website promote their brand with an image of a cheeseburger and fries? Probably not. This is the same thing as using some random person or picture of a dog to promote your new software feature. It just isn’t contextually relevant and therefore your message will get lost in translation.
Here’s an example below that is doing a poor job at providing a contextually relevant image in their ad. The ad below appears to be promoting a B2B marketing strategies guide, but their ad image is of four random people (whose backs are to the camera) going for a hike. While the image isn’t awful, it has no tie into what the post is promoting. They tried to make the connection with the words “stronger and more adaptable,” but the image still feels out of context.
On the other hand, the help desk platform Zendesk demonstrates a strong example of providing a contextually relevant image. They appear to be promoting their live chat feature, and the image they used is of an old-school form of communication that likely takes many back to their nostalgic childhood days. Not only is this image contextually relevant, but it also is likely to spark emotions.
#3: Add a Pop of Color
If your ad is all greys, whites, and tans, it’ll be easy to skip over. However, if your ad contains all the colors of the rainbow it could be sensory overload for your audience.
A good balance of whites and lighter greys, with a touch of a more lively color is the perfect way to strike a harmonious balance. Try and use a clean, light, crisp background and then incorporate a brighter shade of red, orange, blue, pink, green, or purple. Take the example from the clothing company below. The pop of red in these side by side images instantly catches the eye against the crisp white background.
#4: Simplicity Is Key
Speaking of sensory overload, a big no-no when it comes to your Facebook ad image is having too many things going on in the image itself. This will lead to the main message getting lost, and is just not visually engaging for the viewer.
Rather, err on the side of simplicity so prospects can focus in on the main message of the post. The ad below from Outdoor Voices does an excellent job at this. Rather than showing several models in a city landscape, hopping around in their leggings, there’s one model on a crisp white background, nicely displaying the leggings.
#5: Channel Your Inner Comedian
People often come to Facebook to be entertained. Whether they’re enjoying some downtime after work or just killing time in-between meetings, Facebook users are usually not looking to take in a bland sales pitch. Rather their state of mind is to be entertained.
What better way to entertain someone than to make them laugh? Humor is by far my favorite way for advertisers to engage with their audience – if you can pull it off, it’s fun and actually makes people pay attention.
Fitness.com did a great job at this – sharing the obsession many of us have with guacamole on National Guacamole Day (yes, this is a real day!).
HubSpot also does a wonderful job at this, often sharing videos with some office humor. If you haven’t seen the hilarious 7-year old Ava Ryan pretending to be a working adult, you are seriously missing out.
#6: Make Your Ad Copy Direct and Actionable
Even if your Facebook ad image is absolutely stunning and following all of these best practices, it will not matter one bit if the copy surrounding your image is lacking in direction.
While images often speak louder then words, the words are equally important when it comes to advertising on Facebook. After all isn’t your goal to get people to do something? Whether that be visiting your website, filling out a form, or simply engaging with your brand, make sure your ad copy is actionable and direct, with a specific call-to-action or CTA.
Hootsuite provides a strong example of a Facebook ad that does so many things right:
- An emotional image of people
- A clear value prop for the offer (“make your resume stand out”)
- A sense of urgency (“expires tomorrow”)
- A strong CTA (“get offer”)
- A discount code so people feel like they’re getting something special
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