Pro Tips For Every Facebook Visual Ad Type

Advertisers flock to Facebook & Instagram because of the unparalleled targeting, engaged audiences & bevy of visual ad products. Clients frequently ask me what the “best” type of ad is on FB. The truth is, they are all capable of driving incredible ROI when you know how to best utilize.

Tips for all ads

Stand out. Remember that FB has a cool color scheme (blues, grays), so use bright colors like oranges, reds & yellows. With the majority of FB traffic being mobile, you will want to create “thumb-stopping” visuals.

80/20 rule. I like to apply the 80/20 rule to text, assuming that the image or video will generally drive about 80% of performance and the copy around 20%. Keep it concise. For copy, shorter is almost better; within 90 characters is recommended.

Single-image tips

Text overlays & logos are routine top performers in my experience. I would also recommend placing a CTA (call to action) “button” on the image to develop perceived clickable space & better qualify clicks. While keeping within 20% text/logo on images is no longer required, FB may still limit delivery when you go over this percentage.

Make sure you test several macro iterations: lifestyle, product or dashboard shots, illustrated and more. When you determine which performs best, move on to series of micro-iterations.

Carousel tips

Carousel ads are perfect for telling a visual “story” & can captivate a user’s attention by doing so. They’re perfect for highlighting product variety.

Use the carousel ad unit to explain your services, value props & brand differentiators.

If the order of the images and videos isn’t important to you, try uploading up to 10 and letting Facebook’s algorithm sort based on engagement with every card.

Dynamic ad tips

An obvious fit for retail & e-commerce, dynamic ads have become a retargeting powerhouse for many advertisers. Broad audiences are rolling out to all advertisers, which turns this into a prospecting ad type.

Aside from retail and e-com, I encourage brands in travel, auto, real estate & food delivery to use dynamic ads — as they could all create product feeds.

The carousel ad template generally performs best for dynamic ads. Ensure you are taking advantage of upsell & cross-sell capabilities to increase margins & AOVs (average order values).

Take a segmented approach in ad set audiences based on recency, depth, & duration of visit while managing bids and budgets autonomously.

Video ad tips

A question I receive from clients is, “Have you seen video outperform images?” The answer is yes, and while some verticals are better suited for video, it’s a formidable tool for any brand.

The best tip I have is to keep video short — under 30 seconds. You should also optimize the thumbnail of your video ads & choose it with the same diligence you could a single-image ad.

While Facebook recently shown that videos will auto-play with sound, I would still recommend the use of text overlays in videos (think TV commercials & their use of sound & text).

Build audiences based off engagement with your video ads. Select quality-defining metrics like users who have viewed 75 % or more of your videos and use them for sequential messaging / lookalike audiences for prospecting.

Canvas ad tips

Canvas ads let you to take the user through a visually immersive experience contained within Facebook & Instagram. While I wouldn’t consider this the most direct response ad product on FB, it has its use cases.

The sky is the limit when it comes to the types of visual elements you could mix and match with Canvas. To drive action, ensure you’re sprinkling multiple CTAs throughout the ad unit. Give the user multiple chances to continue through to your site & take action.

Slideshow ad tips

Slideshow ads were intended to be used when advertising in areas with poor internet connectivity & to users with older mobile operating systems. While this isn’t a common ad format, it could be worthwhile to test for your brands under the right conditions.

For creative, try testing your top-performing carousel advertisements as a start since slideshows are a looping video of up to 10 images. You can treat these as lightweight “storyboarding” advertisements to gauge user engagement before you make a heavier investment in video / canvas ads.

Now that you’re armed with some fresh perspective, get out there & test some ad products!