You only get a couple of milliseconds to make an impression on a prospect through Facebook, so you better make them count. Since user attention spans are super short, ads need to jump out at them immediately—like the Jack in the Box from Elf. Luckily, Facebook gives you multiple opportunities to catch your target’s eye within those milliseconds. Elements like the ad image and headline can each strike an immediate impression. Here’s how to optimize a Facebook ad:
The image is the most important factor in a user’s decision to click or scroll past a Facebook advertisement. The photo takes up a vast majority of the ad space, so it’s the first thing consumers will notice. Maximize this space by featuring an image that stands out. Don’t be afraid to do something bold. If you can tie a picture of a juggling monkey on a unicycle back to your brand, for example, go for it. Social media users are immune to all things passé, and likely won’t stop to click on a boring ad. Facebook isn’t TV; nobody has to look at advertisements. You have to make them want to view your content. Additionally, make sure you’re using a high-resolution photo. Nothing turns users off more than a grainy picture.
The Post Text
Post text refers to the field above your image where you can describe what your product or service is about (i.e. the same space you would use to update your status on a personal account). Put only the most essential information here. Facebook caps post text at 90 characters, so you need to immediately get to the point. According to AdEspresso, the ideal post text is 14 words long. Words like “free” and “new” are click magnets. Keep in mind that the post text should speak to the consumer, not at him or her. Use “you” to hit them on a personal level, and talk about something they care about.
The headline is the bolded text just below the image that tells consumers what you’re offering. Make it explicitly clear what’s being promoted. Confusing advertisements can be a death sentence for social media campaigns. Like in the post text, you should only strive to capture the essential information; short headlines are more effective than long ones. You can also use the headline to prompt consumers to take an action. Although Facebook provides a CTA button, it might be worth asking an engaging question or giving a (friendly) command in the headline. Creating that sense of urgency gives users the push they need to take the next step.
The CTA button is the final step of getting users to click through, so it has to be juicy. Some of the most common CTAs are the most effective, such as “learn more” and “sign up.” Consumers understand what simple calls like these are asking of them, so they may feel more comfortable making the click. Whatever CTA you choose, make sure it makes the most sense for what you’re advertising. If you’re inviting people to check out an online store, for example, “shop now” might work better than “learn more.”
Make sure your ad directs users to the best landing page. This page should be specific to what the ad promotes, fulfilling its promise. It’s not typically wise to link to a homepage, as users won’t be prompted to take a specific action. Before finalizing your Facebook ad, make sure it’s well coordinated with the landing page.
Creating Facebook advertisements is a complex process. Even the slightest change in presentation can dramatically impact its effectiveness. Take the opportunity to do some A/B testing. Run multiple ads and figure out where the differences in performance lie. Although your ad will be looked at for a fraction of a moment, you should spend hours preparing it.