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Secrets Revealed: 47 Closely Guarded
Facebook Ad Tips

The nice thing about marketing is that there’s always room for improvement. You can optimize your website, SEO, and PPC ads; and see your engagement and conversion rates skyrocket.
 
But success comes with skills. So here’s a question to you: On a scale of 1-10, how highly would you rate your Facebook advertising skills?
 
If you’re the guy who thought “TEN!!!… ok … maybe nine…” we designate you the title of the Grand Master and leave you to work your magic.
 
But if you want to improve your Facebook Ads ROI and create ads that  people can’t help but click, this is the right place to be.
 
We welcome you to the treasure trove of Facebook advertising gems, featuring a collection of closely guarded secrets that have been discovered the hard way, by seamless A/B testing and campaign optimization.
 
But bear in mind that no Facebook advertising tip is 100% bulletproof.
 
So go ahead and take these hacks to a test drive to find out what works for your campaigns!
 

Facebook Ad Tip #1: Lay the Groundwork and Find Inspiration

Imagine you start to set up a new Facebook ad campaign. You go to the Facebook Ads Manager and insert some messages, choose images, and fill in the rest. In 20 minutes, you’ve got an up-and-running ad campaign.
 
Do you know what’s missing from this picture? – Research.
 
After creating tens of Facebook campaigns for our company Scoro, I’ve found that a 60-minute brainstorming session can make a HUGE difference in the campaign ROI.
 
During this 60-minute brainstorming session, you’ll turn into this guy:
 

Leave giving that look to a co-worker for another time – image source


 
Think of this brainstorming session as your chance to spy on your competitors, collect the best practices from all around the web, and add a layer of your authentic ideas.canvas
 
My two favourite places to seek inspiration? AdEspresso ad gallery and Moat display ads search.
 
If you’re looking for untraditional sources of inspiration, check out this guide with my fave brainstorming ideas: 12 Unexpected Places to Find Inspiration for Your Facebook Ads.
 
To get into the flow and come up with good ideas, answer these five questions:

  1. What’s going to be the angle of your ad messages (what UVP are you promoting)?
  2. What are the best examples of ads/websites that are delivering a similar message?
  3. What are others doing well that you might have overlooked?
  4. What are your competitors and other similar products doing better than you in terms of marketing and design?
  5. What cool examples could you apply to your next ad campaign?

 
After a 60-minute brainstorming session, underline the best ideas and proceed with creating your ad images and a must-click-and-buy value offer. 
 
In my experience, it has proven beneficial to keep a notebook or Google Doc. full of promising ideas. Later on, the ideas that didn’t initially make the cut can serve as the ammunition for A/B testing or help to fight the ad fatigue.
 
If your first ad campaign fails to kickstart, you can use your other ideas to come up with the plan B.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #2: Become the Master A/B Tester

As in life in general, it pays to be patient and hold back on the instant gratification (checking your Facebook A/B test results immediately after publishing).
 
The more ad variations you’ve got, the more impressions you need to gather for the results to be statistically significant.
 
Here’s a great article by ConversionXL, explaining how to get statistically valid A/B testing results.
 

AB test options

No need to start with 625 ad variations, 2 is enough – image source


 
Wait at least 24 hours after publishing before evaluating your split test results. This gives Facebook algorithms time to optimize your campaign.
 
In Facebook’s own words:
 
“It takes our ad delivery system 24 hours to adjust the performance level for your ad. It can take longer when you edit your ad frequently. To fix it, let your ad run for at least 24 hours before you edit it again. “
 
Don’t evaluate your A/B test results solely based on the time that your campaign has been running. The relevance of results depends on the amount of impressions and clicks, affected by your budget and audience size.
 
In my personal experience, I’d recommend that you collect at least 500 clicks to your ads and reach at least 10 000 impressions before drawing any conclusions.
 
Don’t go with your gut, use this calculator to determine if your split testing results are valid or not:
 
Always evaluate your A/B tests by the final conversion in the funnel. If you’re aiming to get people to sign up or purchase something, use cost-per-conversion as the metric for evaluating your split test’s performance.
 
In Facebook ads A/B tests, a lower cost-per-click does not automatically mean a lower cost-per-conversion.
 
not enough impressions

Collect at least 10 000 ad impressions before concluding your A/B test


 
Facebook ads split tests are pure marketer’s gold. By running A/B tests, we’ve discovered fascinating stuff. And I’m going to share the results with you! Kaching!
 

How about winning the Facebook Ads jackpot with THE best campaign? – image source


 

Facebook Ad Tip #3: Write an Irresistible Headline

Here are some troubling statistics:
 
A study showed that 70% of people actually never read more than the headline of a facebook share before commenting and sharing.
 
What if 70% only read your ad’s headline before deciding whether to click on it or not?
 
That’s sooo unfair!
 
Luckily, you’re able to conduct multiple A/B tests to find the headline that makes people want to read the rest of the ad.
 
Your ad headline can make a huge difference in the click-through rate and the cost-per-click of your Facebook ads. Here’s an example of a split test we conducted in Scoro to find out which type of headline works better: the one starting with an action verb of the one listing our product features.
 

AB testing headline

The ads with higher CTR usually have a lower cost-per-click ? – Source: Scoro


 
Some of our best-performing ad headlines have been pre-qualified with extensive A/B testing of 4-6 various headlines.
 
We’ve noticed a pattern that the best results often show when ad text, image text, and headline all deliver the same messager and sometimes even repeat the same things in different words.
 
Scoro ad example

Your product features can work magic in a Facebook ad headline


 
Here’s another great example of an ad with a powerful headline by Shopify:
 
Shopify ad example

A good headline can leave you haunted with the idea


 
In a recent AMA on Inbound.org, CRO experts unanimously agreed on one thing: Good copy matters.
 
Here’s Peep Laja’s answer to the question “What’s the most common [website] mistake that you see people making?
 
Peep said: “They [marketers] don’t focus on communicating a compelling value proposition on all key entry pages, terrible copywriting.
 
Don’t make the same mistake in your Facebook ads. Write. Good. Copy.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #4: Keep Your Ad Headline Short

According to Copyblogger, 80% of readers never make it past the headline.
 
The shorter and catchier you keep your Facebook ad headlines, the more likely people are to read it.
 
A study by Outbrain found that headlines with 60-100 characters earn the highest click-through rates and the rates decline as headlines decrease below 60 characters or increase beyond 100 characters.
 

English Headline Legnth and CTR Characters1

Mostly, shorter headlines perform better – Source: Outbrain


 
Facebook recommends that you keep your ad headlines as short as 25-40 characters in length.
 
The main reason short headlines work is that you need to deliver a compelling message in a compressed format. Which means that you’ll spend more time thinking what really matters to your audience.
 
Here’s a good example by Frontier Airlines: Their headline “Fall Travel – 2 Day Sale!” is short, creates a sense of urgency, and includes a number.
 
Frontier

It’s impossible to misunderstand this proposal


 

Facebook Ad Tip #5: Test Including Testimonials

According to McKinsey, testimonials and word-of-mouth are driving about 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.
 
An article in Econsultancy pointed out that when a website has customer reviews, 63% of visitors are more likely to buy something.
 
I guess we can jump to a quick conclusion that client testimonials bring about a substantial increase in sales.
 

reviews sales uplift

User reviews lifted sales by 18% – Source: Econsultancy


 
Here’s an A/B test from ConversionXL blog, proving the magic of testimonials.
 
WikiJob conducted a split test where they added only three testimonials to a test page to compete against their original version.
 
The testimonials said:
 
“Good training for the work environment in Europe.”
 
“Very useful for practice!”
 
“Almost a carbon copy for the real aptitude test.”
 
WikiJob

Everyone can get a couple of testimonials from clients and test these – Source: ConversionXL


 
Here are the results:
 
(Notice that the testimonials don’t even include names or a source and aren’t over the top by any means.)
 
Version B, the page with testimonial still surprisingly increased WikiJob’s conversions by an impressive 34%.
 
Next time you’re brainstorming ad copy, include a client testimonial in your above-the-image ad text.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #6: Create a Compelling Value Offer

Easier said than done, a good value offer always boosts the CTR of your ads.
 
For people to click on your ads, you need to offer something awesome in exchange.
 
Don’t just create an ad saying “That’s my product and it does A and B”.
 
Instead, bring out the benefit of using your product.
 

LinkedIn value offer

Short but concise


 
LinkedIn’s ad hits the nail: it says I can reach 433m professionals, build our brand, raise awareness, and generate leads. I’m in!
 

Facebook Ad Tip #7: Ask a question. The right question.

Humans are curious creatures.
 
And if you manage to ask them the right question, they’ll also be curious to learn more about your offer.
 
Here’s an awesome example by HubSpot:
 

Hubspot

A little random question if you start to think about it


 
What makes this ad so good?

  1. It asks a question marketers are curious to find out
  2. It offers to answer the question for free
  3. It has proof by numbers (check the text on top of the image)
  4. It shows a clear benefit (Improve your SEO)
  5. It says you can get a free 30-day trial (another free offer)

If you’re able to apply all these tips to one ad campaign, you’re onto something!
 
Here’s another great Facebook ad that got more drivers sign up to drive a Uber car. What started as a sheer curiosity could simply turn into a long-term partnership.
 

Uber question ad

Even people not interested in driving have taken this test


 
Test asking questions in your ads that people are dying to get an answer to. Don’t forget to provide the answer on your landing page!
 

Facebook Ad Tip #8: Create a Sense of Urgency

As mentioned before, sometimes all it takes is a little nudge.
 
If people are given lots of time to decide, they’re going to postpone the decision and likely forget about it.
 
That’s why you need to create a sense of urgency.
 
If you doubt in this method’s efficiency, read this: Using scarcity and urgency helped an entrepreneur increase sales by 332%.
 
Here’s an A/B test they ran: Variation A included a discount offer and plain text while variation B showed a timer counting the time left until the end of the deal.
 

Test Without Urgency 1

Source: ConversionXL


 
Test With Urgency 1

This change increased sales by 332% – Source: ConversionXL


 
Here’s what happened to the conversion rate as the team gradually rolled out variation B to all users. The site’s conversion rate went from ~3.5% to ~10%.
 
Conversion Jump 1

That’s pretty impressive – Source: ConversionXL


 
 Here’s the verdict: people can’t resist a good offer when the time’s running out.
 
Groupon

Groupon’s 4-hour flash sale leaves you little time for doubt


 

Facebook Ad Tip #9: Offer a Prize, and Make it a Good One

Sometimes, all it takes is a small nudge.
 
Someone who already knows that they like your product but is still hesitating whether they’re ready to commit to a long-term relationship, needs a tiny nudge.
 
A nudge helps your prospect take the last step you need them to make.
 
And often, the nudge you need is a prize.
 

SurveyMonkey 2

Offer a prize you know that your audience wants


 
SurveyMonkey wants you to take their surveys. And in return, they’re offering a chance to win a $300 Playstation Gift Card.
 
That’s just a big enough nudge to engage people who already were slightly interested in your offer in the first place.
 
Test prize offers in remarketing campaigns and ads with low commitment barrier.
 
By the way, “nudge marketing” used to be a thing. Read a 2013 article from New York Times here.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #10: Use a Cliffhanger

This hack’s best applicable to ads promoting your ebooks and blog content.
 
The cliffhanger.
 

Cliffhanger Starring Sylvester Stallone 570x293

A must-watch for all Sylvester Stallone fans – image source


 
But nope. We’re not suggesting that you place Sylvester Stallone into your ads. (On the second thought, it might work…)
 
A cliffhanger is an information gap that people can’t resist but explore.
 
George Loewenstein’s proved in the ‘90s with his “information-gap” theory that:
 
“Information gaps produce the feeling of deprivation labeled curiosity. The curious individual is motivated to obtain the missing information to reduce or eliminate the feeling of deprivation.”
 
The recipe to an effective cliffhanger is simple: Tell people an awesome story but leave the best part untold. Until they can’t help but click on your ad and find out about the rest.
 
A great place to use a cliffhanger is your ad’s headline.
 
Cliffhanger ad example

Now wouldn’t you like to know – Source: AdEspresso


 
Do you know the reason why you’re reading this post? Maybe it has to do something with the fact that it has a cliffhanger in the title…
 

Facebook Ad Tip #11: Use Numbers

Everyone know that numbers in headlines work.
 
But how big a difference using a number actually gives?
 
A blogger studied his articles’ engagement and discovered that posts that had a number in the headline got in between 2.5-8 times more traffic (and more referrals from sites like Digg or Stumble).
 
This 5 times higher engagement could save you thousands of dollars in ad spend.
 

oh wow

Wow such news this is


 
A study presented by ConversionXL pointed out that when given multiple options, most people (36%) prefered a headline starting with a number.
 
Overall Headline Preferences

36% of people like to see numbers in headlines – image source


 
Numbers work best if they’re at the beginning of your ad headlines.
 
Some numbers to include in your Facebook ads:

  1. Amount of discount
  2. Length of the free trial period
  3. Number of people trusting your product
  4. Calories in a box of ice cream (forget about that, never use numbers with a negative connotation)

 

Facebook Ad Tip #12: Use the Power Words

While there’s more to good copywriting than beautiful words, they certainly help.
 
Your Facebook ads can always benefit from a couple of power words.
 
David Ogilvy, the advertising Grand Master, published a list of influential words, that’s still relevant today.
 
Glad you asked. Here they are:

  1. suddenly
  2. now
  3. announcing
  4. introducing
  5. improvement
  6. amazing
  7. sensational
  8. remarkable
  9. revolutionary
  10. startling
  11. miracle
  12. magic
  13. offer
  14. quick
  15. easy
  16. wanted
  17. challenge
  18. compare
  19. bargain
  20. hurry

 
If you want more, here’s a list of 898 power words by Buffer.
 
We’ve seen some success in using power words when promoting our blog content (yes, Facebook’s a great place to distribute your content, especially if you retarget the right audience)
 

Scoro ad example 2

Efficiently, perfect, reasonable, on time – all these power words contribute to higher CTR


 

Facebook Ad Tip #13: Eliminate All Objections

You know the feeling when you’re about to buy a Ben & Jerry’s but then change your mind because you know it’s not very healthy to eat two jars of B&J per evening.
 

Ben Jerrys

The tough decisions in life…


 
The reason you put the jar back on the shelf is that you came across an objection – a reason not to buy ice cream.
 
As a marketer, it’s your job to prevent all the objections.
 
Here are the three most common objections you can easily avoid by using the right ad copy:
 
I don’t have the time right now – ensure it only takes a few minutes to sign up / buy. E.g. “Set up a trial account in 2 minutes!”
 
I’m not sure whether it’s worth my money – give something away for free, e.g. “Get 14-day free trial”
 
I don’t know if I can trust you – show social proof, e.g. “200 happy clients trust KlientBoost with their PPC campaigns”
 
Victory for Ben Jerry s in three year legal wrangle over all natural ice cream with alkalized cocoa strict xxl

B&J’s ad removes the five biggest objections buyers have – image source


 

Facebook Ad Tip #14: Use Social Proof

When you look at a Facebook ad in your News Feed, you probably don’t have anyone to ask for a review or feedback on the promoted product.
 
So you’re not exactly sure whether you’re getting a good deal.
 
One of the ways to solve this issue and prevent potential customers leaving because of doubt is to use social proof in your ad copy.
 
ConversionXL tested which types of social proof work best.
 
Here’s what they found:
 
“Out of the 8 treatments (plus control), viewers were significantly more likely to remember high profile client logos (not low profile), testimonials with photos (not testimonials without photos) and press mentions.”
 

social proof case study

People remember high profile client logos – Source: ConversionXL


 
If you have great client testimonials (especially from well-known people/companies), use them in your ad copy.
 
Hired social proof

Use testimonials from real people and always include their image


 

Facebook Ad Tip #15: Show Your Expertise

If you’re in a competitive industry, it means that your potential customers might also be seeing your competitor’s ads.
 
This means that you need to somehow convince people that you’re the best company to buy from.
 
A great way to earn people’s trust is by showing your expertise in your product-related field (think of it as content marketing in Facebook ads).
 
Here’s an interesting ad example by Growth Geeks.
 

Expertise FB ads

Social proof works like hell


 
The ad is built up as a self-promotion for Vincent, a growth hacker you can hire via a marketer’s network called Growth Geeks.
 
The line in the ad image reads: “I managed Facebook ads for Udemy” which proves that he’s highly qualified and experienced to help you with your Facebook ads as well.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #16: Make FOMO Your Best Friend

This hack rests on people’s fear of missing out on cool things – FOMO.
 
To put FOMO to good use, write Facebook ad copy that makes the reader think that everyone else is already using your product and they’re the last ones out.
 
You can easily play on people’s FOMO by using ad copy such as “Already 20 000 teams across the world use Slack” or “Only 300 pieces left”.
 
Nobody wants to be left out of the cool kids crowd, and good marketers know how to play on this emotion.
 

SumoMe

Over 150,000 websites grow traffic with SumoMe? I’m in.


 
We tested asking the question “Still using multiple tools for project management, …” in our ad copy and the results were great: We saw up to 40% increase in click-through rates compared to our other ad texts.
 
FOMO in Facebook ad

Still not testing FOMO in your Facebook ad campaigns?


 

Facebook Ad Tip #17: Give it Away for FREE

I hate free stuff. Said no one ever.
 
Free giveaways and trial periods are a great way to get people engage with your product.
 
Later, if they like what they saw, they’re more likely to switch to a paid version.
 

Audible

Not my kind of genre, but cool still


 
For example, Amazon’ offers a free audiobook download in exchange for creating a first-time Audible trial.
 
Did you notice another cool thing they’ve done?
 
The short story’s only available as an audio file. Doesn’t it feel like an exclusive offer?
 

Facebook Ad Tip #18. Use Clear Call-To-Actions and Action Verbs

According to Wingify and ConversionXL, almost 30% of all A/B tests marketers are running are call to action button tests.
 
Only one in seven A/B test campaigns produces a statistically significant improvement. But when it does produce a significant improvement; the average increase is 49%.
 
So as you might have guessed, a well-chosen call-to-action can make a huge difference in your Facebook ad campaign results.
 
The best place to place your call to action is in the ad’s headline.
 
That’s where people are most likely to see it.
 
For those thinking about adding a call-to-action button to the ad image, here’s a little case study.
 
In Scoro, we created an A/B test with two ads: ad image with a red call to action vs. ad image with no CTA button.
 

With CTA

Surprisingly, the A/B test variation with the CTA performed worse


 
Exclamation mark

Sometimes, less is more


 
The results were surprising: The ad without the red CTA button performed a lot better, both in terms of conversions and the cost-per-click (CPC $2.64 vs. $3.17).
 
How to write a good call-to-action text:

  • Use an action verb (get, do, try, start, find)
  • Be relevant (if you promote a writing tool, test CTAs like “Start writing today”, etc.)
  • Be specific about what they’ll get (Get your 14-day free trial)

 

Facebook Ad Tip #19: Play on People’s Emotions

Don’t get us wrong.
 
We’re not implying that you should become a master manipulator to create ads that convert.
 
But read this:
 
Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He made a fascinating discovery: people who can’t feel emotions can’t make decisions.
 
Emotions are a crucial part of our decision-making process. And you’ll want to use this knowledge when creating Facebook ad campaigns.
 

Eventbrite ad

These guys seem to have lots of fun


 
Human emotion is based on four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.
 
When writing ad copy, try to make people think they need what you’re advertising because it makes them feel in a certain way.
 
Some work better to get attention, others to make people spend their time and money on your product.
 
If you think about it, you could even create a Facebook ad A/B test to see which emotions work best on your target audience.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #20: Use Exclamation Marks and Emojis!!!

Research by Outbrain has shown that article titles ending with a question mark tend to have a higher click-through rate than those ending with an exclamation mark or full stop.
 
But you can boost your click rates even further. The folks at Outbrain also discovered that headlines using three exclamation marks (!!!) instead of just one received almost twice as many clicks as those with other punctuation marks.
 
Here’s another hack for you: Facebook allows publishers to use emojis in all parts of the ad copy.
 
We recently ran a small test with Scoro to test whether emojis have any effect on the click-through and engagement rates.
 

Scoro ad AB test variation 1

Guess what we found…


 
Scoro ad AB test variation 2

Guess what we found…


 
The ad with a red flag emoji in the headline had the CTR of 0.846% and while the ad with no emoji had the CTR of 0.351%.
 
Full disclosure: We didn’t have 10 000+ impressions and a sufficient amount of click-throughs to say this A/B test is 100% statistically significant. So look at it as a fun test to replicate.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #21: Keep it Simple

Sometimes, less is more.
 
The more text you include in your ad copy, the bigger the likelihood of people skipping it.
 
So if you want to get your message across to the maximum amount of ad viewers, keep your text short but sweet.
 

Uber simple ad

Uber’s ad is straight to the point


 
Four things that make this ad by Uber good:

  1. Ad copy is short, clear, and easy to follow
  2. The text on ad image presents a clear benefit
  3. There’s an actionable call to action in the headline
  4. Ad text explains the nature of Uber’s business model for those not yet familiar with it.

 

Facebook Ad Tip #22: Include a Pricing Point

If you’re new to a crowded market and one of your key selling points is good pricing, don’t be shy to include it in your Facebook ads.
 
Telling your product’s price in the ad copy/image gives people a quick overview of what they’ll get.
 
Moreover, if your target audience is familiar with your well-known competitor’s pricing (or using their product), they’ll have a great moment of comparison.
 
In Fiverr’s example, $5 for a custom logo seems like a great deal (compared to higher fares charged by design agencies).
 

Fiverr ad pricing

Sharing your pricing in Facebook ads can be a good idea


 
Avoid sharing your pricing if it’s significantly higher than that of your competitors (even if your product is more high-quality), focus on showing your product’s unique value instead.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #23: Create Seasonal Ads

Have you ever seen a Christmas ad by John Lewis, a UK department store chain?
 
If you haven’t, it’s a must-watch. Go do it now!
 

john lewis christmas advert 2015 screencap

John Lewis’s latest ad was a huge viral success – image source


 
The point is that every Christmas, the company creates a heartbreakingly lovely video ad that millions of people all around the world watch.
 
Why? Because it’s Christmas and everybody’s in the mood for an ingenious story.
 
But Christmas isn’t the only event you can build your seasonal campaigns around.
 
There’s Super Bowl, New Year’s eve, Easter, Halloween… The list is long.
 
In fact, Nemo Chu, formerly from Kissmetrics, came up with over 15 events that you can create a campaign or sale around. You can see his entire conference presentation deck here.
 
List of events

How about a Awesome Marketers Day Sale? – image source


 
If you manage to hit the nerve and create an ad that’s catchy and seasonal, it will distribute itself via virality.
 
Snickers has done a great job centering their campaign around Halloween. You’ve still got time to try a Halloween campaign this year!
 
Snickers seasonal ad

Take a Snickers, don’t be a loopy


 

Facebook Ad Tip #24: Keep Your Head and Ad Quality High

Every experienced marketer knows that trust is the groundwork of successful long-term customer relationships.
 
Put plainly: If people trust you, they’ll buy from you.
 
But as you start advertising on Facebook, chances are people don’t know your brand yet.
 
So you don’t want to spoil the first impression with a low-quality ad image.
 
Make sure that your Facebook ad design is at least 1200 x 628 pixels wide, and that the colors look good on every screen.
 
You don’t need to be a design wizard to create a decent-looking ad, especially when using a product screenshot or photo.
 

Asana ad

Creating a similar ad image takes 3 icons and 10 minutes


 

Facebook Ad Tip #25: A/B Test – Find the Perfect Ad Design

Your ad image is the first touching point between the Facebook ad and people.
 
After someone notices your ad in their News Feed, you have about 10-15 seconds to earn their attention. On a crowded News Feed, it’s more like 3-5 seconds.
 
So you want your ad image to be perfect.
 
While the entire design process starts with a brainstorming session and you should put in some effort to coming up with an eye-catching ad design, A/B testing is what leads you to the final verdict.
 
When we started Facebook advertising at Scoro, we tested lots of ad variations. And I mean a lot.
 
Here’s a selection of our first ad designs:
 

Scoro ads

We we’re really into finding THE Ad Image


 
Yeah, we were super focused on testing different designs… Because we believed that the choice of image could make a huge difference.
 
And it did.
 
Let’s play a guessing game.
 
What do you think: which ad performed better: White or red background?
 
light vs red ad

Do you vote for the white or red ad image?


 
Drumroll, please…
 
It was the red one. It performed 38.5% better in terms of CTR and 90% better in terms of CPC. Discovering this difference early on the campaign trail is a huge win.
 
Ad image comparison

This discovery saved us thousands of dollars of advertising budget


 

Facebook Ad Tip #26: Explore Audience Insights & Custom Audiences

Facebook’s Audience Insights is like having a portal to your audience demographic info, where you can uncover and select from interest and behavior categories.
 
You can see how your custom audiences are made up and also find new audiences to target.
 
Here’s an example of an Age and Gender graph makeup for one of our custom audiences:
 

audience insights in fb ads

Broken down into women, men and age groupings


 
You can dive deeper and check out Lifestyle demographic info, which Facebook will start to categorize from your visitors.
 
With Custom Audiences, there are several ways you can target using these categories:

  • App user IDs
  • Converters/non-converters
  • Email addresses
  • Engagement targeting
  • Phone numbers
  • Specific web pages

 
And you can also link to your own data to identify prospects on Facebook’s Audience Network.
 
Words of wisdom from KlientBoost’s Johnathan Dane:

“The best thing and bottom-line to why we see Custom Audiences continually outperform regular Facebook ad targeting, is because the people you’re targeting have already shown an interest in what you have to offer.”

Take it a step further and create a Lookalike Audience. This is where you can target a much broader Facebook user base, where demographic info like age, gender or interests are matched up to smaller audiences you’ve already identified.
 

audiences in facebook targeting

You can even choose the percentage of match rate for your Lookalike Audiences


 

Facebook Ad Tip #27: Granulate Your Audiences Over Time

Ever wonder if certain parts of your audience ad sets aren’t performing that well?
 
Maybe a large part of your behavior or interest targeting isn’t doing anything for you, but you can’t see that since you can’t break down that level of performance.
 
This is called the Iceberg Effect – where the stuff you see above the water in your PPC account doesn’t match up with what you can’t control below the surface.
 

the iceberg effect 1024x1024

For PPC campaigns, the solution to the Iceberg Effect is to create Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs).


 
How does this translate to Facebook?
 
The idea is to break up and granulate your audience over time so you can have more control over your campaigns. Ditch what’s not working, and bump up ad spend on what is. With granularity you can pinpoint who you want to reach and who you don’t want to reach.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #28: Experiment With Different Ad Types

Test out different types of ads to find out what works best for your audience. Here are a few ad types to experiment with:

  • Newsfeed Ad – newsfeed ads are more common and do what the name says: they show up in your newsfeed.
  • Right Column Ad – this is one of the most basic and first types of Facebook ads with a headline, description and single image. Works on desktop.
  • Lead Ads – lead ads give people a quick way to opt into things like newsletters, quotes and offers straight from their mobile devices. The contact info form fields are also auto-populated, too.
  • Multi-Product Ads – also known as Carousel ads, you can showcase up to 10 images and links with each ad.
  • Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) – these remarketing ads target users based on past actions or inactions on your site, and are timed to a tee.
  • Page Post Link – this is the most common Facebook ad type and ideal for promoting your external website. You can include a large feature image, post text and link description to explain your offer.
  • Canvas Ads – another mobile-optimized option. Canvas ads are an animated storytelling ad type. Check it out:

 

canvas ad fb

Full-screen ad experience – image source


 

  • Event Ads – promote your specific event with an event ad, which works well across devices.
  • Offer Ads – these are ideal across devices and can help you increase your redemption rates.
  • Mobile App Install Ads – promote your app install on mobile with a mobile app install ad and connect your Apple App Store or Google Play account.
  • Desktop App Install Ads – the app install version for desktop Facebook apps.
  • GIF Ads – get fun and fancy with GIF ads. They work similar to a standard newsfeed ad but with the GIF fun.

 

Facebook Ad Tip #29: Use Complementary Colors

While it’s important that you keep to your brand colors, there’s a simple hack to brighten up your ad design.
 
Use both your branded tones and complement these with their opposite colors.
 
Quoting Jeff Zych, Optimizely’s Design Manager:
 
“Use a bright color that contrasts from a muted background to highlight the element you want visitors to focus on. This might be your brand color, or a color that directly opposes your brand color on a color wheel.”
 

colourwheel01

What’s your branded color’s complementary color? – image source


 
HubSpot ran an A/B test on two various call-to-action buttons. The version with the red button outperformed green button by 21%.
 
Wait until your run into the conclusion that red is the best color to use in your CTAs. Look at the main colors of the page: it’s green. So the reason the red button won is that it contrasted with the rest of the website.
 
hubspot colour test

With green being the main color, the red CTA is a sure winner – image source


 
Using contrasting colors in both ad visuals and call-to-actions can lead to a significant increase in your ad’s click-through-rates.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #30: Master the Color Psychology

We hope you’ve never seen a Facebook ad that makes you cry.
 
But we have to admit that emotions get people to buy.
 
According to Psychology Today, emotions are the primary reason why consumers prefer brand name products.
 
Here’s more:
 
“Advertising research reveals that emotional response to an ad has far greater influence on a consumer’s reported intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials and 2-to-1 for print ads.”
 

colours and emotions

Which emotions do your favorite brands bet on? – image source


 
If you want to master the color psychology, here’s a guide by Helpscout to start with.
 
Don’t forget to complement your colorful ad design with the right messages, igniting the same emotions!
 

Facebook Ad Tip #31: Be Careful with Stock Images

Stock photos are a marketer’s guilty pleasure.
 
They’re easy to obtain and look nice.
 
But after you’ve hit the publish button and had the sense of victory, you realize that your ad’s engagement is surprisingly low. Then, the guilt arrives.
 

Guilty

The moment someone points out you’re using a stock image –


 
Marketing Experiments tested a real photo of their client vs. their top-performing stock photo.
 
Generic Banner Design

Here, you can see a generic stock photo


 
Real Person Design

An image of a real person contributed to a 35% increase in conversions – image source


 
What they found is that nearly 35% of website visitors were more likely to sign up when they saw the real image.
 
Test Results1 1024x250

Using an authentic image led to a 35% higher conversion rate – image source


 
Still unsure? Check out these A/B test results:
 
AB test stock image Scoro

A/B testing ad image can give you fast results – Source: Scoro


 
The ad with stock image with some additional text performed 38% worse than the ad showing the product in terms of CTR.
 
Ad with stock image Scoro

Using a stock image isn’t always the best choice


 
Look at this image. It would make a fine ad image, right?
 
stock photo example

Generic stock photos are generally a bad choice – image source


 
You can get a free download here.
 
But before you click on the free download link, there’s something you should see.
 
SERP results for stock image

Guess you’re not the only one who liked this photo.


 
But there are also good examples.
 
For example, take a look at this ad by Pact Coffee.
 
Pact Coffee ad

You can almost smell it


 
And the Google image search results?
 
Pact coffee serp results

Low number of image search results = auhtenticity


 
This photo’s unique!
 
The time you spend on finding the right ad image has a huge ROI. You can find great photos on sites like Flickr and Stocksy.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #32: Start Using Carousel Ads

Carousel ads often go unused.
 
They’re the hidden treasure waiting yet to be discovered.
 
Like the example from Shutterstock in the previous point proved, carousel ads + creativity = awesomeness.
 

Carousel ads have up to 10 times higher CPC


 
A report by Kinetic Social revealed that carousel ads are 10 times better at getting people to click through compared to static sponsored posts on Facebook.
 
Carousel ads performance

Looks like a no-brainer to me – image source


 
Before you put your magic creative helmet on and create a set of amazing carousel ads, here are a few tips to take with you.
 
How to create great carousel ad:

  1. Tell a consistent story throughout the slides
  2. Make the first slide so good people want to see the rest
  3. Include a clear call to action (Get, Try, Learn, etc.)

Pssst! Carousel ads are also a great way to promote your monthly top blog posts.
 

Facebook ad for content

No wonder Loomer’s a Facebook marketing expert


 

Facebook Ad Tip #33: Be Consistent in Your Ad Design

Think about a famous and successful brand.
 
With 99% certainty, you know what their logo looks like and what’s their main branded color.
 
Would people recognize the logo and branded colors of your company?
 

Seth Godin

This guy knows what he’s talking about – image source


 
The happy fellow above is Seth Godin. He’s a super bright guy, author of multiple bestsellers and a successful entrepreneur.
 
He once said something that has been with me ever since: “If I can substitute one company for another and have the ad still make sense, it’s not a good ad.
 
And that’s it!
 
All your ads should speak the language of your company, and use the same design guidelines as your website and print materials.
 
Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a huge amount of dollars on zero brand recognition. And that’s a serious loss, isn’t it?
 
Asana ad 1 copy

Asana’s ad uses the same color code as its website


 
Always align your ad design with your brand’s design guidelines!
 

Facebook Ad Tip #34: Use Location-Specific Images

To understand the upcoming story, you need to know a little fact about me: I’m from Estonia, the tiny startup paradise on the shores of the Nordic Sea.
 
One day, scrolling my Facebook News Feed, I saw this ad:
 

location based tageting and images

It featured other Estonians attending the conference.


 
Did it catch my attention? Yes. Did I click on it? Yes.
 
Mazda in collaboration with Merchenta created customized ads based on geographic radius to target people who are likely to go to a specific Mazda dealership. They dynamically inserted the specific Mazda model(s) the site visitor was interested in (from their website activity) and matched the inventory with dealerships.
 
The results were staggering: Visitors who saw these ads converted at a 53% higher rate than the control group. Almost 1 in 5 consumers interacted with the personalized ad.
 
mazda retargeting case study

A casual after-work test drive? Why not – image source


 
Here’s the verdict: Location specific ads work like crazy.
 
All you need to do is to create ads that feature offers related to specific location, and target audiences  living in/visiting the area.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #35: Be the Right Amount of Fun

Do you remember the guy from college who everyone liked, just because he was so good at cracking jokes?
 
Being just the right amount funny can be the golden nugget to high CTRs.
 
Slack seems to be getting the Fun Tribe rules.
 

facebook ad examples slack

Not 100% sure whether we want Slack or the pony


 
But before you create a funny ad, test it on some people who don’t know you and your product so well.
 

Hopefully, that’s not what people think about your jokes


 

Facebook Ad Tip #36: Show Your Product on Your Ad

There are several reasons why ads with product images work so well:

  1. If your product looks great, your ad looks great
  2. It helps to increase brand awareness
  3. It gives people an instant overview of what the ad’s about
  4. It helps adjust people’s expectations to what they’ll see on your landing page

No matter whether you work in a SaaS company of import teas, product-centered ads pretty much always return a good result.
 
Even better if you can make your product look especially tempting.
 

Show your product

Seeing some products makes you instantly want them…


 
If you’re planning to use a product photo on your ad, it’s best to have these taken by a professional photographer or a member of your design team.
 
Remember: Never sacrifice the quality of your ad images over faster process!
 

Facebook Ad Tip #37: Use Visual Contrast

Being mainstream feels nice and safe.
 
You’re in your soft cocoon, and nothing can happen to you.
 
Not even clicks and ad conversions. And that’s a problem if you want your sales to grow.
 
Using visual contrast is a great way to attract people’s attention to your ads. A high-contrast ad image will shine out in the (mostly boring) News Feed.
 

Try the world high contrast ad

Try The World’s contrasted ad is likely to be noticed


 

Facebook Ad Tip #38: Let Your Ads Tell a Story

For over 27,000 years, since the first cave paintings were discovered, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods.
 
Basically, the human evolution goes like this:
 

Human evolution

Human evolution in 5 stages


 
According to Uri Hasson from Princeton:
 
“A story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.”
 
So basically, a good story can help people relate to your product and see themselves using it.
 
Carousel ads are a great way to tell stories.
 
This ad by Shutterstock consists of three images making up an airplane.
 
Creative carousel ad 2

The most perfect carousel ad I’ve ever seen


 
creative carousel ad

Tail end, with the editor viewable


 
Moreover, the ad shows Shutterstock’s product and places it in the right context (see point 17 in this guide).
 

Facebook Ad Tip #39: Use Videos Instead of Images

If images speak a thousand words, videos tell a novel-worthy story.
 
According to Adobe, shoppers that watch videos are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-video viewers.
 
That’s an almost 85% increase in your advertising ROI.
 
But there’s more to it. A report by Kinetic Social showed that video ads have the lowest eCPC, with an average eCPC of $0.18
 

Facebook Video performance

Video ads have consistently the lowest eCPC – image source


 
If you’ve got a cool product that you’d like to show in action, video ads are a good way to do that.
 
Video ads are just as easy to create as the regular image ads.
 
Simply go to Facebook Ads Manager, create a new campaign, and upload a video instead of images.
 
create a video ad in Ads Manager

Adding video to your ad takes a single click


 

Facebook Ad Tip #40: Show Videos That Don’t Require Sound (Add Subtitles)

According to Facebook, captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.
 
Moreover, Facebook’s research shows that:
 
“In mobile-feed environments, people prefer having the choice to opt in to sound. When feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80% react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser.”
 
That’s why all the videos in our News Feed are soundless by default.
 
Imagine a person notices your video, it starts playing, but they’re not yet sure whether they want to click on it and watch it with sound.
 
If you don’t have captions, people will never click on your ad as they don’t even get the first message.
 
In one study of Facebook video ads, 41% of videos were basically meaningless without sound.
 
So, always add a caption to your video ads.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #41: Get to Your Point Quickly

After analyzing millions of videos, Wistia discovered that on average, people watch more than 80% of a video shorter than 30 seconds.
 
But as the video length increases, the engagement drops.
 

facebook video ad length data

In Facebook Ads, the length matters


 
Keep your video ads under 2 minutes, and do your best to make the first 30 seconds so good that people will want to see the rest.
 
According to SocialMedia Examiner, the most top reasons for low video engagement are:

  • Including an intro
  • Using logos or credits at the beginning
  • Trying to tell too much in the video
  • Having a person talking to the camera without context

 

Facebook Ad Tip #42: Surprise People

Who wouldn’t love surprises.
 
Sometimes, all it takes to create high-conversion Facebook ads is creativity.
 
Do something that nobody’s done before.
 
We know. Easier said than done. But totally worth it!
 
StackSocial’s offer to “Name your own price” seems unbelievable at first. Who’d do that?
 
But it definitely attracts attention and makes people want to try it out – can I get it for $1?
 

StackSocial ad

Wondering how low would they go…


 
So roll up your sleeves, get your king size coffee, and get those creating juices flowing.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #43: A/B Test – Find the Best Placement for Your Ads

Choosing between Facebook’s ad placement options is like being a kid in a candy shop.
 
There are so many options and each one seems good.
 

Facebook ad placements

Which ad placements do you use?


 
An overview by AdEspresso on 2016 Q2 Facebook advertising costs showed that CPC in most placements has increased.
 
So you need to choose wisely which horse to bid your money on.
 
facebook ads cost cpc placement 2016 Q2.004

Choose your ad placement wisely as there’s lots of money on the table – image source


 
It’s wise to test the maximum of 2-3 ad placements at once. Otherwise, you’ll probably have a too small sample size for drawing results.
 
Here are the results of a split test between Facebook News Feed and Mobile ad placement.
 
In this case, Desktop placement performed by far better, both in terms of conversions and cost-per-click.
 
Mobile vs desktop feed

Mobile + Audience Network vs. Desktop placement


 
But before you conclude that one ad placement’s better than others, ensure that your landing page experience has the same quality both on desktop and mobile.
 
News Feed placement works better for more complex products while the Audience Network and Instagram need a smaller commitment from the prospect.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #44: Find Your Core Audience

When was the last time you created a new Facebook audience for your campaigns?
 
One week ago? Two weeks ago?

Now answer this: When was the last time you A/B tested your Facebook ad targeting?
  

No worries, we all forget about it sometimes


 
AdEspresso analysed milions of dollars worth of A/B tests, and listed the ad elements that had the biggest impact on results.
 
Here are the four things that provides the biggest gains in the ad targeting:

  1. Country
  2. Gender
  3. Interests
  4. Age

These elements were followed by:

  1. Custom Audiences
  2. Relationship Status
  3. Purchase Behaviors
  4. Education Level

Split testing various genders and interests is a good place to start your next A/B testing campaign.
 
The nice thing about AdEspresso is that they show you all the elements that contribute to the variations in your CPCs.
 
Which makes it easy to test multiple ad elements together.
 

AdEspresso AB test reporting

Good thing we didn’t use the blue image without testing it – Source: AdEspresso


 
Here’s a real goodie for you:
 
Johnathan, right here from KlientBoost, put together a massive guide of 49 Facebook targeting tips.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #45: Define the Right Budget and Betting Method

According to AdEspresso, there are many factors that affect your ad cost:

  1. The audience you’re targeting
  2. Quality of your ad
  3. Time of the year
  4. Ad placement

Surely, there are plenty more, but these are the most important ones.
 
If you have a look at Facebook Ads Manager’s ad bidding options, it can get a little confusing.
 

Facebook ad bidding

Bidding options in Facebook Ads Manager


 
There are so many options to choose from!
 
Here are all the bidding options explained:
 
Conversions: Facebook delivers your ad to people who are most likely to complete the designated action you’ve chosen (such as a purchase from your site).
 
Impressions: Facebook will deliver your ad to as many people as possible, getting as many views on your ad that they can. And you’re paying for impressions (CPM = cost per 1000 impressions).
 
Link clicks: Facebook will deliver your ad to the people who are most likely to click on your ad. You’re paying per click.
 
Daily Unique Reach: Facebook focuses on delivering your ads to people up to once a day. You’re paying for impressions (cost per mile).
 

Facebook Ad Tip #46: Never Run Out of Split Testing Ideas

What if we told you that there’s alway room for more A/B tests.
 
Want to see the treasure chest full of those hidden gems of ideas?
 
After looking at millions of dollars worth of A/B tests, AdEspresso put together a list of factors that contribute to the CPC and CTR of Facebook ads.
 
Voila – here it is:
 

AB tests list

We should spend more time on testing ad images – image source


 
Start with the top ones as they had the highest impact on the results.
 

Facebook Ad Tip #47: Test, Test, Test ‘Til You Drop

There are multiple shortcuts in optimizing your Facebook ads for greater conversions. But A/B testing’s not one of them.
 
A study of 37,259 Facebook ads found that most companies only have a single ad, but the TOP best-performers have hundreds.
 

Nr of ads per company

Where is your company on this chart? – image source


 
That’s pretty logical, if you come to think of it. The more you test what works, the less you spend your advertising dollars on ads with little or no potential.
 

Closing Thoughts

 
Creating irresistible Facebook ads is an ongoing process of learning – about your advertising metrics, target audiences, ad design, copywriting, and many more factors.
 
Don’t go with the first ad variation that comes to mind and then run it for 3 consecutive months. Optimize your Facebook campaigns like you’d optimize your website.
 
Before you close this window and return to your work, schedule 3 hours somewhere around the next week to review all your Facebook ad campaigns with a fresh look.
 
You can use this guide as a checklist for both the reviewing process and for coming up with new campaign ideas.
 
If there any awesome Facebook advertising hacks we forgot to mention, we’d appreciate you sharing these (and your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor) in the comments!

Klientboost Blog Author Karola Karlson

Karola Karlson

Founder @ Aggregate blog

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