There’s a lot that goes into a single Facebook Ad. You need to have a strong strategy, an understanding of who your audience is and what targeting options to use, and know what objectives and goals you want to optimize your campaigns for. There’s so much that goes into the strategy upfront that sometimes people forget about one of the parts that matters most: the creative.
We want to help with that. The visuals that you choose for your ad (whether they’re videos or images) make an enormous impact on the success of your campaigns. The copy does matter a great deal, too, persuading users to click and convert, but it’s the image that first grabs user attention and convinces them to even read the copy.
In this post, we’re going to look at some strong Facebook Ad examples and best design practices for images, helping you to create stronger, higher-performing ad campaigns.
What Does a Facebook Ad Image Need to Do?
Facebook Ad images are typically going to be responsible for grabbing the users’ attention. More users than ever before are now jumping on their phones and scrolling idly through their Facebook feed without even thinking about it, waiting for something (anything) to grab their attention.
Your image needs to do exactly that. You also want your image to be an accurate representation of what you want to sell, and ideally to convey value if possible. Ideally, customers won’t think twice about what you’re selling.
A great example of why this is important is the below ad selling expensive, reusable shower caps. The image doesn’t really show the product in its full glory, hindering the potential of the campaign.
Compare it to this ad from the same company, and it’s easy to see why the images you choose for your ads is so crucial to success:
Telling stories with your images is also a great choice, especially when it’s supported by the copy. Your Facebook Ad images need to be visually interesting, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to focus on and discern. We’re going to take you through a few Facebook ad examples and design best practices to show you exactly how you can create successful images, too.
As a note, we’re looking exclusively at images in this post; videos, though a visual component, have their own distinct set of best practices that you should consider. You can read more about these Facebook Ad best practices and ad sizes here.
1. Keep The Text to 20% of The Image
Using on-image ad text can really help your ad campaign, especially when you’re using it to explain why users should care about the ad itself. In some cases, this text will elaborate on what it is that you’re selling, adding valuable context, and in others (like the example below!) it will focus on driving interest in sales or promotions.
Text overlay is exceptionally easy to add onto your Facebook Ad images with tools like Snappa. All you need to do is add a logo and the text of your choice, and drag and drop it on the image. For best results, use contrasting colors.
One thing you need to note, however, is that the text on an image should never take up more than 20% of the image’s space. This is a conventional Facebook rule, and while they won’t automatically reject all ads that go slightly over, it can affect your placement. To play it safe, check every image you’re using for Facebook Ads with their native tool here.
2. Use Context to Tell a Story
Not all ad images will tell elaborate stories, and that’s ok. That being said, storytelling can be a powerful selling tool when it comes to Facebook Ads, so when considering the design of your ad images, this is something to be intentional about testing.
If you’re selling a portable fire pit for camping, for example, which do you think customers would respond to best? A still image of the product, unlit, with a white background, or a family sitting around the fireplace in the great outdoors, roasting fish they caught themselves?
These stories don’t have to be complex, but they should be effective. They can really help evoke the emotion that you want users to have when viewing your ad, increasing the ad’s overall impact and increasing the likelihood of purchase.
You can see a great example here from Draper James. They want you to picture yourself wearing this dress while you’re hosting a holiday party, pouring a glass of something delicious for your guests and looking radiant. It’s simple, but it is a story, and it makes customers think “maybe I’d look great in that at this year’s holiday party, too.”
3. Use Contrasting Colors to Draw Viewer’s Gaze to the Product
Contrasting colors are going to be one of the best design tips there are when it comes to Facebook Ad. You want your product to jump off the screen, and ensuring that it stands out from its own background (which, in many cases like the example below, will benefit from some white space) means that users are more likely to notice it.
One thing to note, though, is that you don’t just want the product itself to be immediately visible. In this example from PajamaGram, it’s a super cute idea that don’t translate well because of the design of the image. The point isn’t just the pajamas, it’s the dog wearing the pajama, but he’s so dark that he completely blends in with the background. You need your subjects, to stand out, too; a lighter colored dog (like one with grey, light brown, or reddish brown fur) would have been a good choice here.
4. Test a Split-Screen Approach
Sometimes using a split-screen design can be a great way to add more context than you could have with just a single image for whatever reason. In these cases, you can use contrasting colors to clearly split your single image into two.
This design tip can work well for before and after images, like you often see with haircare or skincare products to demonstrate their impact. Another great and slightly more unconventional example can be seen here:
In this ad, the dual images show a picture of a specific (and very happy) puppy, and said puppy appearing on socks. It’s a great way to show users exactly what they can expect from the product in a funny way.
The split screen approach is a popular one for right column ads, which have now taken on an elongated format. Here, Rex uses two different images to show the exterior and interior of the home, which is more effective than just showing one or the other.
5. Go for a Crisp, Clean Look
This partially comes down to contrasting colors and partially comes down to whitespace. Using crisp, clean designs and color palettes will help your ad stand out and look high quality.
It’s not uncommon, unfortunately, for plenty of ads to just look overly cluttered or a little underwhelming. Too many products in a single picture is a common one, but sometimes just not having clean lines can be the culprit, too.
Crisp-looking ads will not only register faster when the user is processing what they’re seeing, but they also stand out more and look more professional. This is exactly what you want on all accounts, so choose a simple background if relevant and make sure that the image is simple in terms of composition. Clean lines and clear organization are a plus.
So much goes into your Facebook Ad campaigns, and you don’t want to undue all that hard work by ending up with images that aren’t as strong as all the other components. Creating well-designed Facebook Ads isn’t difficult, especially with intuitive, drag-and-drop design tools like Snappa and an understanding of a few best design practices.
One thing to note, though, is that it’s important to always test all the images you create. Test at least three at once, if possible, and see what your audience responds to most. Look at subject, design style, and even the color scheme. All of these factors can play a big role in whether or not users click, and the only way to find out what works is to dig in and try it all out.
Need a little help creating well-designed Facebook Ads? Start your free trial with Snappa, which uses drag-and-drop technology and comes with a full library of stock photos and graphics that you can use to create stunning ads.
What do you think? Which Facebook Ad examples are your favorites, and what design best practices do you use to drive conversions? Share your thoughts, experiences, and best tips in the comments below!