Facebook Ads… You’re Using Them, Right?

Whether you've never dabbled in Facebook ads or are a pro, don't miss this post!

If you have a business, there’s a high likelihood that you’ve contemplated trying out Facebook Ads. For some, Facebook Ads are the answer to the dream of really hitting their engagement out of the park. For others, they’re the key to bringing in a flow of new fans, and still for others, Facebook Ads could be their last hope to selling their overstocked inventory.

Whatever the reason is, we all have heard that Facebook Ads are useful, and I venture to say that we’ve also all—at least at one time— encountered that feeling of, ‘Do I have the skillset to really do this?’

The answer to that is, ‘yes.’ While it will take time and energy to be a pro at crafting Facebook Ads, you do have the ability to take that step to do your first or second or third ad and to make it successful. 

That’s what we’ll talk about today. While this isn’t a step-by-step instructional article (there are many of those out there, like this one and this one), you’ll leave here with some really valuable tips and insight into what makes up a healthy ad. Let’s get into it!

The Facebook Advantage

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start our chat with the “why” behind being on Facebook in the first place. With over 2 million monthly active users, Facebook is not only the most populated platform, but it’s also the most developed and long-standing. Perhaps because of those things, Facebook is one of the most popular places for brands to spend their advertising money.

Audience Diversity

For instance, if you find a diverse of audience an important attribute, Facebook has that for you.

Facebook Ads chart of demographics

Users Across the Globe

Below you’ll find the leading countries based on number of Facebook users as of October 2018 (in millions).

Facebook Ads chart of demographics

Constant Improvement

Ads are Facebook’s bread-and-butter. The more impactful and robust they make them, the more cash that flows in for them. Thus, we benefit! We have the most advanced ads features and innovation at our fingertips within Facebook. If you’re curious for more, check-out some of the 2018 Facebook Ads improvements AdEspresso highlighted here in their blog post.

5 Types of Facebook Ads and Why to Use Them

1. Video Facebook Ads

It likely comes as no surprise that video is a really enticing way to engage prospective customers and keep their attention (at least for a few seconds). While it’s more of a medium than a method, since Facebook prioritizes video at the top of their algorithm, it’s an important one to highlight. 

I have an example of an entertaining video for you below from Wistia. It’s a Facebook video ad about video-creation software (using their own software, Soapbox, of course!) Here’s a .gif of much of it. Beware of big (and fun) personalities:

Wistia Facebook Ad Video

Facebook does have a few pieces of advice for all of us who would like to use videos as ads:

  • Video Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
  • Resolution: Upload the highest resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits
  • File Size: 4GB Max
  • Minimum Video Length: 1 second
  • Maximum Video Length: 240 Minutes
  • Captions: Optional but recommended
  • Sound: Optional but recommended
  • Ad Post Text: 125 characters
  • Thumbnail Image Text: Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery. Learn more about text in images here.
  • Vertical Videos: Videos with an aspect ratio taller than 2:3 may be masked to 2:3

Video’s Pretty Little Stepsister: The Slideshow

Alternative to video, you can still gain a lot of interest by using a series of 3 to 7 images as a slideshow. This will autoplay as a video in your target market’s News Feeds.

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> Bombas

I saw a slideshow Facebook Ad from Bombas–an increasingly popular sock brand–pop up in my Facebook News Feed today. As you peek at their ad below, notice the different background and foreground color choices.

Whether you’re selling and advertising food, toys, notebooks, clothes, or anything else, keep color choice in mind. The visuals you use in your slideshow are what will keep your target market enthralled with your ad, potentially leading to that click.

Facebook Ads Bombas

You’ll find the option to add a slideshow within your Facebook Ads Manager here. The arrows indicate the options that will allow you slideshow capability.

Facebook Ads Slideshow selector

Next, just make sure to select “Slideshow” from the drop-down.

Facebook Ads Slideshow selector

2. Testimonial Facebook Ads

Right from the horses customer’s mouth, a testimonial–even if shared by you– can work wonders! Think about when you’ve hired a contractor, a babysitter or a dog trainer… you likely wanted to know how their previous customers felt about working with them.

Chances are that if testimonials are are thrown at you (even ones for your local burger joint or an online tie store), your initial perception of that brand would start to be formed into believing what that testimonial projected, no matter how strong-willed you are.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

> Hungryroot

Not only can food-based Facebook Ads be really eye-popping (and theirs is), but the first line of Hungryroot’s ad text is, “This has changed my life!” Wow! That’s quite the affirming statement in favor of Hungryroot! If you let yourself, a powerful statement like that has the ability to make you stop and think (and maybe even click!)

Facebook Ads Hungryroot

> ThirdLove

This is another really powerful testimonial. For someone to mention that this is the third bra they’ve purchased from this company is impactful! You wouldn’t continue to return if it wasn’t great, right? Then, they mention that they’re getting rid of all of their other bras as a result, alluding to the fact that ThirdLove is the best they’ve ever used.

Choosing strongly worded testimonials like this one are key to really getting your desired impact.

ThirdLove Facebook Ad

3. Storytelling Facebook Ads

Some marketers prefer the storytelling method. Although it won’t attract everyone (due to some being scared off by the length), if your storytelling ad reaches a person who is experiencing pain in the area you are posing a solution for, there’s a chance they’ll really resonate with it.

> Connectio.io

Wilco wrote some pretty complex ad copy here. He not only works to convince his audience that they’re making a mistake that they probably don’t even know they’re making, but he also shared a bit of his own story (which started explaining the solution… just enough to get us interested.)

So, he gave more than we normally give in Facebook Ads, but taking this risk had the chance to really pull in the interest of his target market, resulting in that ad click we all covet.

Facebook Ads Connectio.io

4. Promotions or Coupon Facebook Ads

Relationships between marketers and prospects tend to grow when it feels mutual. Because of that, offering a free gift, a discount, a free e-book, or anything else can show that you’re looking not only to bring in the sale, but to give to them, as well. If your target market feels that authentic and mutual give-and-take relationship, their trust can build. Let’s take a look at some examples:

> Sun Basket

Their 50% discount is front and center here in Sun Basket’s ad. That’s kind of mind-blowing, right? A 50% discount is very generous, and has the chance to get a high number of clicks.

If this discount turns out to be legit, our love for Sun Basket could blossom. However, if we later find that they’re offering 50% off of one item within a box of four items, our trust could deplete a bit, backfiring on them. The point is: if you’re willing to offer a discount, think through what your customer will expect from you; my advice would be to lean into generosity.

The more generosity from you = the less risk for your prospective customers = more sales for you! And, assuming they like your product or service now that they had the catalyst (your 50% discount) to try it, you just secured a strong customer!

Facebook Ads Sun Basket

> EveryPlate

Another generous company is EveryPlate, and their ad is spelled out so nicely. For all of you really organized folks, this ad could feel a bit like eye-candy to you. It answers all of your immediate questions, and it also provides 50% off!

Lastly, the visual they provide is pretty great, because it forces you to put things into the perspective they want you to have. They not only want you to see the price, but they want you to be shocked that a full meal could cost less than one latte (that is pretty shocking!)

Facebook Ads EveryPlate

> KOS Naturals

Taking advantage of the season, KOS Naturals offers two really nice discounts: 20% off of orders and free shipping. They don’t leave it at that, though. Instead of letting their discount carry the ad, they also use the themes of the current season to spice up their text. So, even if you aren’t pulled in by the money savings, you might find yourself connecting nicely to their brand personality.

Facebook Ads KOS Naturals

5. Facebook Ads that Highlight Need 

Have you ever been scrolling through your Facebook News Feed and you see something that makes you think, ‘How did they know that? That’s exactly what I need!’ I sure have!

Those marketers are doing a great job. They pinpointed a target market for their ad, and you fell into that group. They hit the nail on the head, but how did they do it?

To discover some which folks we should target, we’ll want to think through some questions. Let’s just take a moment to think through three:

  • There are people out there who need your product or service.
    • Who are they?
  • Your product or service exists to solve a problem.
    • What is it?
  • There’s a chance there’s a right time to tell them about your solution.
    • When is that?

Using the answers to these questions to fill out the details in your Facebook Ads Manager can get your followers to feel just as you and I have felt in the past – like you jumped in to relieve them of their pains at just the right time.

Before we head out for the day, take a look at a some ads I found that highlight a need.

> Ritual

I didn’t even realize there was a need, and in this case, Ritual let me know! Apparently, 90% of women aren’t getting all the nutrients they need. Sheesh, that’s a lot of women. Chances are that I’m one of them, right?

I now have the thought that there is a need for these additional nutrients. Five minutes ago, I had no idea that need even existed. Kudos to Ritual for that!

Facebook Ads Ritual

> Biteable

Biteable is right. They knew that I had been looking at different video creation applications online lately. By targeting their competitors’ fans, they ended up in my News Feed, and the first question in their post really resonated for me! Thus, I’m enthralled and ready to learn more about their solution.

Facebook Ads Biteable

> Freshly

Wow, Freshly knows that I’ve felt an unending cycle of meal prepping, cooking and cleaning, and they are posing a solid solution to rid me of that routine. Depending on how I feel that day, I might just be inclined enough to click over to their website to see if their solution will soothe my woes. Once on their website, they’ve got me right where they need me to make that sale.

Facebook Ads Freshly

It’s your turn

Facebook makes it really easy for us to use Facebook Ads to increase our results on social media. The biggest hurdle to get over is to know what to post, and you now have many ideas at your fingertips. To get started, pick the example that resonates most (or the one that feels the easiest to execute), and go for it!

Then, in the comments below, let us know how you prevail!