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Facebook Advertising: Our guide to optimising your creative (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our Facebook Advertising blog series, we covered the importance of optimising your content. Now, we’re going to focus on your creative. Why? Images + text are a winning duo. When combined, they have the power to engage and reach so many more people than you normally would have. And put a little ad money behind it and they’re even more powerful. Read on to find out how you can use imagery to your advantage.

The power of imagery

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” over and over again. But when it comes to FB ads, it couldn’t be more true. In fact, it means so much more. Where digital ads are concerned, the right image can be the difference between being noticed or ignored – which in turn, can be the difference between helping your business’ bottom line or not.

This is because Facebook marketing is disruptive. Images have the power to stop someone scrolling, read your ad and, ideally, click through to your site or landing page. And if they don’t catch their attention, then they’re not considered useful. Your users notice the image first, then read the headline, text body and description section. And because it’s the image that’s their first impression, you need to make it count.

Take this Facebook ad from chocolate giant, Reese’s:

This is a great example of powerful imagery that will stop you in your tracks. I mean, who would’ve thought we could love chocolate even more than we already did? And it’s not just Reese’s using imagery to their FB ad’s advantage.

While maybe not as bold and in-your-face as Reese’s, Canva also used imagery to capture their audience’s attention in a slightly different way:

This ad is fun and simple at the same time. When you think about your Facebook feed, it’s usually filled with photos. So using a white colourful Facebook ad design helps them to get noticed.

Facebook ads best practice

Want to get your FB ads noticed? Our brains may process imagery 60,000 times faster than text, allowing visual information to be viewed 94% more than text, but there’s still a lot you can do to optimise your imagery – starting with making sure you know what Facebook is looking for from your ads.

Facebook ads have their own algorithm that can either work for or against you. Similar to the News Feed algorithm that can hurt your organic reach, ads can become more expensive to run when running counter to what the algorithm wants. To help you satisfy the algorithm, Facebook released their ad image cheat sheet listing 6 principles of effective Facebook ad imagery:

  1. Show the interesting part of your business – Grab people’s attention with images of your people, products and environment.
  2. Avoid distracting image elements, like bad lighting – You want people to pay attention to your image, not your image quality.
  3. Match your image to your message – Your image and words should individually convey your message but also complement each other.
  4. Use images that incite emotion – Emotion is a powerful tool for connecting with your audience.
  5. Use images that reflect your brand – Include your brand’s colour or products in your images.
  6. Stay consistent – Ad images should look and feel the same across channels so that customers recognise your messages.
  7. Refresh your images – Ad campaigns fatigue over time, so review performance and update your images when you see ad performance dip.

Facebook ads guide

When it comes to the size and shape of your FB ad images, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and getting your imagery specs right (or wrong) can significantly affect your ad reach. You don’t want to be doing all this hard work and not have it seen, so keep the following creative specs and technical requirements in mind:

Single image ads

This is a simple, single image with a link, small amount of copy and a headline. It’s easy to set up and works with every type of ad objective except for video views.

Image specs:

  • Size – 1,200 x 628 pixel
  • Ratio – 1.91:1
  • Other recommendations – Minimal or no text on the image

Slideshow ads

This essentially allows you to create a looping video ad out of up to 10 different images.

Image specs:

  • Size – 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • Ratio – 16:9, 1:1 or 2:3
  • Other recommendations – Choose images with a consistent ratio (using different sizes will lead to cropping)

Canvas ads

This is a new type of ad that lets you create a fullscreen branded experienced that users can interact with. Once a canvas ad is clicked, it’ll open up into a more full-scale experience that can include things like videos, tilt-to-pan images, buttons, linked photos, captions and more.

Image specs:

  • Image — 1,200 x 628
  • Ratio — 1.9:1

Carousel ads

This lets you use a combination of all other ad types, running up to 10 images, slideshows or videos in one single campaign.

Image specs:

  • Size – 1,080 x 1,080 pixels
  • Ratio – 1:1 square
  • Other Recommendations: Minimal or no text on the image

Please note: FB ad options are constantly evolving and changing so check back often for updated ad specs as they crop up.

Need help optimising your Facebook ads? The Bang Digital social media marketing team can help you create a successful social strategy that uses powerful imagery to your advantage. Contact us today.