What does a really successful Facebook ad look like?
To figure out how Facebook's algorithms for ads affects the success of ads, social media management agency Consumer Acquisiton "analyzed 100,000 Facebook ads and shared its findings to marketers who are desperate for some understanding of the minutiae that determine whether Facebook ads fail or succeed," according to Amanda Walgrove in a Contently article.
Based on the research, Walgrove put together seven tips for making the most of your advertising efforts on Facebook.
1. Take image testing seriously
"Consumer Acquisition found that images are responsible for more than 75% of ad performance, so it's crucial that you choose the most dynamic images possible," according to Walgrove.
How should you do this? Test 10 to 15 images with the same ad copy with a single audience. What do people click on? "It's also best to boost each ad with a small budget-like $15-to a large audience so you have more performance data to look at. Ideally, you should expect to spend about 10 percent of your monthly budget on testing alone," writes Walgrove.
2. And copy testing too
"After you select a strong image, create 5 to 10 ads with variations of different copy to find the one that generates the most engagement," writes Walgrove.
A/B testing to create the best headline can increase your engagement by 25% and click-through-rate by 50%, according to the study.
"The sweet spot for Facebook text length is 40 characters," writes Walgrove. Be brief and to the point.
3. Keep visuals simple
Less is more, especially when it comes to backgrounds in images. "Plain, white, or blurred image backgrounds work best," writes Walgrove. They show the eye were to focus. "On a related note, it's better to feature one product than to cram a bunch into the frame," writes Walgrove.
Keep text looking simple as well. Consumer Acquisitions found that "text often performs best when positioned in a horizontal or vertical copy bar, with a background color that increases contrast, and, of course, strong calls-to-action."
4. Incorporate vibrant colors
"While blues tend to blend too much with Facebook's theme colors, and blacks and grays are visually recessive (meaning the eye ignores them), vibrant colors like red, yellow, orange, and green appear in some of the most successful ads," writes Walgrove. Vibrant, contrasting colors will make your ad pop in the news feed.
5. Take advantage of user-generated content
Walgrove says that user-generated images tend to outperform professional photos. As the report states, "Facebook is a user-created content environment, where users are more likely to trust ads that feel like what they're already finding in their newsfeed. In other words, successful ads feel organic."
Avoid obvious stock photos or images with models. "Including "real" people who actually understand and use your product-like your company's employees or customers-will make for a more relatable ad message," writes Walgrove.
6. Use images of happy women and children
"Consumer Acquisition found that both men and women prefer to see ads featuring women and children, particularly if they're happy and looking straight into the camera," writes Walgrove.
7. Keep refreshing your strategy
"Once you've found the most effective images and copy for your ads, run them for about a week," writes Walgrove. Then performance will drop and you'll need to start over.
The study states, "Expect more failure than success, and realize that each failed test will cost money before it offers a result. You may feel like you're 'wasting' a lot of money for the testing process alone, but that's the price of knowledge and success."