47% of an ad’s value is used up within the first 3 seconds. That’s the 3 seconds you use to capture attention. But like so many things in business, it’s easier said than done. You can waste a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to create a Facebook ad through trial and error.
Or explore the secrets that the experts use. Want to know how to create a Facebook ad that captures attention? Here’s what you need to know.
Why Facebook Makes Sense for Small Business
Facebook’s active users are on the rise. They’ve increased 11% year over year to more than 2 billion.
Entrepreneur Magazine calls Facebook ads the fastest way to make money.
Social Media Examiner found that Facebook is the #1 priority among professional marketers. It increases sales, exposure, traffic and leads. So, to put it simply, having a Facebook page for your business can help you reach a lot of new customers. And when you have a strong Facebook marketing strategy driving your business page, you’ll be able to develop successful new ads without overdoing your ad budget.
Let’s look at how we help you achieve these results through Facebook.
Know Your Target Audience
The first — and most important — thing you need to know about how to create a Facebook ad that delivers results is this. Know who your target is and appeal directly to them with the ad. Every business will cultivate its own custom audience base, and you want to make sure that you attract the most qualified leads.
If you only know about your target at a high-level (age, gender, income level, etc), digging deeper is how to create a Facebook ad that works. Get better results and spend less money doing it.
What are their goals, interests and challenges? Facebook has collected a lot of data over the years. When you pay for an ad, you have access to the data. You can target by some very interesting things like:
- Typical job roles
- Age of children
- Relationship status
- Fitness interests
- Preferred entertainment
- Upcoming anniversary or other events
Start putting together some written profiles. As we get into the actual ad creation part of how to create a Facebook ad, we’ll look at how to align ads with their target to be really relevant. Being more relevant helps raise your Relevance Score.
What is a Relevance Score?
Are you trying to reach as many people as you can? You don’t want to exclude anyone or write off a potential customer, right?
A lot of small businesses we talk to have this mentality. They don’t realize that in the process they’re just annoying a lot of people who will never be customers.
These people could instead be seeing ads they enjoy for things they’ll actually buy. But you’re taking up the ad space.
The Facebook user is less pleased with their Facebook experience. And Facebook then loses ad revenue they would have gotten if they had shown a different ad.
Because of this, Facebook rewards businesses that only show ads to people who are likely to engage with that ad.
To do this, Facebook tracks how people who see your ad react to it. They compare this to a competitor and other industry data. They then give your ad a Relevance Score from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most relevant.
Facebook “adds” your score to your monetary bid. If someone with a lower score bids higher for the same space, Facebook gives you the space at a discount.
Keep this score up to keep ad costs low. That’s what this article is all about. Capture attention to increase that Relevance score. Get the best possible ROI on Facebook.
That’s how to create a Facebook ad.
Steps on How to Create a Facebook Ad
Your Facebook ads won’t magically come out perfect, so you have to put in the work to make them effective. Luckily, our advertising experts have spent years working with Facebook and identifying the best ways to run an ad account. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you run successful Facebook business ads.
1. Create a Budget
The price you pay for the ad is an important metric to track. But it’s not your only expense in an ad campaign. If you want to know how to create a Facebook ad that gets results, consider all of the expenses up front.
Plan around it.
Those who don’t have a budget end up overspending on ads, not realizing that what they’re doing isn’t working. They are surprised by costs they didn’t consider.
A typical social media advertising budget includes the following. If you’re doing a lot of this yourself, you should still consider the time involved. After all, time is money.
- Cost per click
- Research & Planning
- Ad creation
- Campaign management
- Ongoing Analytics, Testing and Optimization
- Landing Pages on your website — If the ad directs people to your website, the ad needs a dedicated landing page that continues the buyer’s journey. These pages must be fast and mobile friendly to get results.
Do your homework beforehand to begin pricing. Setting a daily budget (or weekly, monthly, etc.) can help you pace yourself and stay within your allotted ad spend. Track expenses to improve your ability to stick with the budget. That’s how to create a Facebook ad that doesn’t break the bank. It delivers on its promises.
2. Choose the Right Type of Ads
Facebook ads aren’t just one thing. Facebook offers incredible variety. Knowing how to create a Facebook ad that captures attention means understanding which ad type will get the job done.
To explore the options, we’ll look at 5 Facebook ad types to consider with their benefits at various stages of your customer’s journey.
a. Lead Ads
Consumers today are less driven by the impulse buy. They realize that they have options. They often explore those options online before buying anything. They check reviews. They look at social media profiles. They price check with the competition.
A lot of this “looking elsewhere” happens because they don’t know your brand well enough to make a quick decision.
Lead generation isn’t reserved for a B2B (Business to Business) audience. Anything over $20 or taking any kind of consideration at all should have a lead-generating process to maximize return on the marketing budget.
Once you have contact information, you can follow up with people who have gotten past the “getting to know you” stage. Now they’re very likely to become a paying customer. You can even attract lookalike audiences who may be just now learning about your business.
Lead ads do this. Facebook fills the form in as much as possible. The person does the rest. They then submit.
Offer something of value in exchange for contact info. This might be something uniquely valuable to your target audience in the following categories
- A chance to win
- Free trial
- Useful App
- More information
- Exclusive content
- Exclusive deals
- Exclusive access
“Exclusive” is an important word here. People want to feel that by signing up they’re getting something everyone else doesn’t get. Otherwise, why would they sign up?
Lead ads are most effective when someone has at least seen your brand a couple times before. Use them in conjunction with other ad types to increase the conversion rate.
b. Offer Ads
Why aren’t we using more offer ads? Want to know to create a Facebook ad that converts? Give them an offer they can’t refuse. Offer ads are intended to reach people who are ready to buy. They just need to know that now is the best time to do it. You’re the one to buy from, and your ad copy should reflect that.
Be creative. Constantly giving people 50% – 75% off looks like you’re going out of business and devalues your brand. It also cuts into your margins.
Some great offers that don’t give away the house include:
- A free gift your target will want (the more exclusive the better)
- A service upgrade for 3 mo – 1 yr when they order now (this often costs you very little and pays you back over time)
- 20% off a certain order size if they buy now
Sometimes you want to reward existing customers while increasing customer lifetime value. Making them feel special can increase loyalty.
Is there a new competitor on the prowl? Sending offers to existing customers during this time is a great way to avoid losing customers.
If the offer is only intended for the recipients (existing customers), turn off the sharing function in the ad set up. Always put a short time limit on an offer. Your goal is to convert now.
c. Carousel Ads
Carousels are helpful in all stages of the buyer’s journey and have high click-through-rates. A carousel is a series of images or videos, sort of like a mini slideshow. it can be used to:
- Tell a story
- Showcase different items from your product catalog
- Show different features of one more complex product
When you consider how to create a Facebook ad in the carousel format, where the target is in the buyer’s journey determines the type of carousel you show.
If you’re in the awareness/discovery phase, showcasing a number of visually appealing products is a great way to give people an introduction to your brand.
If the target is already aware of your brand, focus on features of one signature product. Or show a mixture of products then features. You can also incorporate video in carousel ads to increase engagement.
You can also show services using a carousel. A house cleaning service could show a series of images or videos of various services you provide.
Carousels ads are phenomenal for the upsell.
Do you sell computer accessories? Upload to Facebook a list of people who just bought a screen protector or case for their MacBooks. Then show them a carousel of the various laptop satchels you carry.
d. Video Ads
45% of people spend over 1 hour each week watching promotional videos on Facebook. 92% of people share videos they like. 51% of marketers say video gets the best ROI.
Videos on social media get 1,200% more shares than text only and text-image combined. 87% of digital marketers are using this ad format because video views draw in more leads.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So a video is worth about a thousand pictures. Videos help you impart a general impression and relay a message very quickly, often within seconds.
While video may not work as well for long and detailed how-to’s like this article, but 59% of B2B buyers and 80% of B2C consumers prefer video in most cases.
They’re great for brand awareness and the very top of the content marketing funnel where the buyer’s journey begins. A Facebook video ad generally works best as a high-level piece. Its job is to get people interested. Save the details for a sales page on your website.
Between a video and a single image, the video has a greater chance of generating results. Someone who doesn’t know your brand or doesn’t know about the problem your offerings solve can still enjoy a great video. If the video resonates, they move deeper into the funnel.
And finally, don’t take too long to convey what you want to say to them. Now that almost every brand is competing for the attention of the consumers, user’s attention span is shrinking. As a matter of fact, based on recent studies, you only have 10 seconds to grab a user’s attention with your video. So use striking images and clear messages.
Compared to image ads, video ads are a stealth conversion tool. People enjoy the video without pressure. Don’t try to sell them anything here. Then use Facebook remarketing ads to double back for a conversion. This 1-2 combo is often much more effective than either is alone.
But what are remarketing ads? Let’s look at that next.
e. Remarketing Ads
The average person will encounter your brand 7-13 times before converting. Remarketing is a tool that gives you the control. You can speed up the touch points and retarget your audience network to get to a conversion faster and more efficiently.
Reduce the chances that someone defects to another brand somewhere in the middle. Lead a person toward a certain product or service you know they’ll like based on past touch points.
Graphic courtesy of Neil Patel
Remarketing can increase click-through-rates by 400%, according to a CMO study. It can double revenues. It’s surprisingly affordable.
Remarket in Facebook to:
- A contact list that you upload
- Existing followers
- People who’ve visited your profile
- People who’ve watched videos or clicked ads in the past
- People who have visited your website
- And more
Now, let’s look at the ad itself.
3. Create Resonating Graphics & Message
What is a resonating ad? How do you create a Facebook ad that resonates?
Connect (Right Person, Right Message, Right Time)
To do this, you must know what’s important to your target audience. Learning how to create a Facebook ad is all about creating each ad for each audience you’re trying to reach.
Evoke Emotion (“Good or Bad”)
Here are some positive emotions your ad can tap into:
- Excitement (This is the latest and greatest must-have X. Just think about how great you’ll feel to own it)
- Curiosity (Want to know how to solve that problem? Here’s the answer)
- Peace of mind (Imagine how you’ll feel knowing your family is taken care of because you bought life insurance)
- Strong desire for something (This will help you fit in. This is the gadget you’ve wanted. Get your weekend back. etc)
Depending on your brand, you can also play on negative emotions like:
- Fear (Alarm systems, insurance and other things a person may buy out of fear)
- FOMO — Fear of missing out (Don’t miss this chance to get X 20% off)
- Sadness/Despair (dating service advertising to a person who’s marked “it’s complicated” or a rehab facility advertising to someone with a history of addiction.
- Jealousy (keeping up with the Jones)
Focus on Visual Impact
Your visuals are the difference between someone pausing a split second to take a closer look and scrolling by. People don’t pause for great text as a general rule.
Visual content is not only encouraged by Facebook. It’s required. Facebook doesn’t allow ads that have a high text to visual ratio. It treats more visual ads favorably when placing ads.
On top of this, people are much more likely to share visual content.
One good tip when deciding on what visuals to use is to avoid stock images. These can make your ads look generic, and keep your audience network from really connecting with your brand.
Entice with a Value Proposition
Think about it. Why should someone click your ad versus a competitor that sells the same thing? Why should they click now? Why should they give you their email address?
Coming up with a value proposition requires taking off your “I need to sell more” hat for a second. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What do they want?
Use your visuals and message to convey this value. Great visuals are the secret to how to create a Facebook ad.
Be Clear with Your Call to Action
What do you want people to do? To effectively measure the success of your ad, it needs one objective. This objective should be tied to the call to action.
Having a clear CTA increases click-through-rates nearly 3X.
Chart Courtesy of Adroll
Without a clear call to action, people will do various things with the ad. Some will share. Some will visit your website. Some will buy something, probably small.
You end up trying to compare apples to oranges to determine if it was a success.
Give clear guidance to the potential customer. That’s the way to demonstrate that you are capturing attention and getting results.
These calls to action are how to create a Facebook ad that helps you achieve your ultimate goals like increased revenues and growing your business.
Follow the Rules
Use Facebook’s Text Overlay tool to ensure you your text to visual ratio is acceptable.
Facebook is very clear about the consequences of too much text.
Facebook gives very clear instructions regarding ad specs.
They recommend a resolution of no less than 1,200 x 628 pixels. You can adjust the ad size in most image editing programs. Too few pixels will lead to a grainy image. Grainy images only capture the wrong kind of attention on Facebook.
They make your brand seem unprofessional, lacking basic tech savviness. If you’re okay with showing a grainy ad, they wonder if you care about customer experience or quality control.
Facebook’s Ads Guide offers you additional information on ad specs. Be sure to review it before you begin creating ads. Or you could make things a whole lot easier by hiring one of our digital marketing professionals to create your Facebook ads for you.
The more aligned everything is, the more relevant you’ll be. People will see your ad. The right people will click it.
Work to align your:
- Message with Visuals — They should both convey the same message
- Ad with the target — You may have several ads. One or more for each target connects on a deeper level with that target
- Ad with your brand — Developing a certain branded look for your ads, makes them more visible to people who know your brand.
- Ad with your objectives — The ad should clearly work toward your goal
- Objectives with overarching goals — Whatever your campaign objective is, understand how it fits into the bigger picture.
4. Be Honest About Your Objectives
Facebook wants your ad to succeed. That’s how they make money.
They give you a series of objectives to choose from. Select the one that best aligns with your campaign objective.
5. Choose a Timespan for an Ad
A major part of learning how to create a Facebook ad is giving your creation a proper time span.
You put a lot into your ads. You build it around your audience. You use A/B testing and analytics to make it amazing (or you should because we do).
You realize that you can’t get complacent. But you may think all the hard work is done. You can just let it run indefinitely.
Here’s why that’s not a great idea, and all of our ad specialists would tell you this.
Running an ad too long diminishes return significantly. Your impressions, clicks and conversion rate go down. On top of this, you can receive negative feedback from people who see your ads. They can hide them, indicating that they don’t want to see it anymore.
Allowing this to happen impacts your ad Relevance Score. As that score goes down, your ad costs go up.
To understand this better, let’s look at 2 things that are happening on the audience side when ads run too long.
Audience Ad Fatigue
The same people see the same ad over and over. Maybe they already clicked it. They may have already purchased. Now, they’re regretting that.
Ads have a finite shelf life. Running ads for too long, at best, leads to eye rolls and exasperation. At worst, it actually influences negative brand perception and unfavorable mentions.
It feels like harassment or stalking. The best way to fix this? Determine a specific end date for your ad or set up an ad with a frequency cap and Facebook will only show that ad to the same person for the maximum number of times you tell them to in a specified time frame.
Audience Ad Blindness
Ad blindness occurs both when you run your ad too long and when your ad isn’t distinct enough to get noticed. That’s the opposite of capturing attention. Learning how to write a Facebook ad will help fix that part of it.
People are inundated with ads. When they see them on their news feeds or amid other posts, they’ve learned to tune them out. Instead of allowing ad fatigue to ruin their experience, they may just ignore everything.
How Long Should You Run a Facebook Ad
On average, run an ad for about 2-4 weeks before fatigue and blindness set in depending on the size of your audience and the focus of your ad. Sometimes 7 days is the optimal time for an ad to run. But other times, it may take that long just for your ad to complete the learning phase it goes through on Facebook.
Stay on top of your analytics. Make note of performance declines. Analytics will help you understand if you should leave the ad up longer or pull it down early.
How fast fatigue and blindness occur depends on some factors:
- You’re working on a really tight budget — Are you trying to squeeze water out of a stone? Are you paying as little as possible for ads? Your thrift is commendable. But you’ll run into a scenario where the ads are being shown to a very small group of “less desirable” potential customers within your broader target customer range. They’re seeing it many more times per person because the sampling is so small.
- You’ve got a really niche audience — We definitely recommend targeting narrowly on Facebook to maximize relevance. But if that audience is too small, then a very small group of people are seeing the ad over and over.
- You’ve got copycats — To make matters worse, competitors may even copy your message, color scheme, fonts and visual style. That speeds up how fast the ad goes stale.
- You’ve added variety — Are you using a Facebook carousel ad that rotates the first image people see as they scroll? Or are you alternating several graphics to help keep the ad fresh? Your ad may be able to last an extra week or so.
This Is How to Create a Facebook Ad That Gets Results
Target to maximize relevance. Pay attention to that Relevance Score in Facebook reporting. Consider how different types of ads help you meet different objectives.
Create very visual content that connects on an emotional level. Don’t underestimate the power of a great call to action.
Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there (like Facebook Ads Manager) that can help you create ads, choose the right ad placements, and explore your audience targeting options.
To learn more about how to create a Facebook ad and other ad campaigns that work, follow our blog. Ready to start running Facebook ads now? Well then let’s get to work! Contact us today to start planning your Facebook ad campaign.
If you have any additional tips on how to create a Facebook ad that gets results, we’d love to hear them! Still have questions about Facebook ads? Drop them below in the comments, and we’ll play a little Q&A.