5 tips for creating profitable ads

Great ads are more than just pretty pictures. In this post, we’re zooming in on what makes a truly eye-catching creative (and one that sells, at that). 

You don’t have to be a designer-photographer-stylist extraordinaire to get a positive return on your ad creatives. You just need to know the guidelines while sprinkling in a few of the tips below to produce something your potential customers will love!

Through this series of tips, we’ll show you how to stop the endless social media scroll and awe your audience. Think about when you’re checking in on the goings-on, scrolling through your Instagram like a madwoman, when something flashy catches your eye. This is what you, as an advertiser, need to be aware of and emulate to create a great ad. 

Keep your customer in mind and ask thyself when creating ads, “What stops thee in scrolling, and therefore, what will stop thy in scrolling?”

1. Interaction and movement

This could be in the form of a Facebook carousel, poll, or augmented reality ad. Or, you may  create movement with slideshows and video creatives. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a videographer! You can use Facebook’s ad creation tool to simply upload photos to make a slideshow or a video with text overlay.
 

2. Color and contrast

Bright colors stop users from scrolling but so does negative space. Play around with both, but don’t stray too far away from your existing brand’s attributes.

We’ve found that high-contrast and slightly over-saturated photos tend to out-compete others. Turn up the contrast and saturation ever so slightly to make your ad POP!

3. Emphasize text

Text matters. When you see something while scrolling that your brain wants to process, it can be more efficiently understood depending on its size
 
Highlight triggering words that you’d like to get across to your audience quickly by increasing their size. Be highly selective when you do so, adding emphasis to one spot rather than every bit of text on an ad. 
 
Be sure and use   Facebook’s Image Text Check  to ensure your ad’s compliant!
Pro tip: create folders in Instagram to save any ads or imagery that stopped you in your tracks (scroll).

4. Size matters

We’ve all heard it, and we’re here to tell you – it’s true. When creating an ad, keep in mind the platform(s) you’ll be running it on. This way you can size and resize your creatives to take up maximum space, and therefore exposure, in the feed!
 
Here are the most popular ad types and platforms, and they’re preferred sizes.
 
  • Facebook Feed Desktop/Mobile: 1200px by 628px OR 1080px by 1080px
  • Carousel Ad: 1080px by 1080px
  • Instagram Feed: 1080px by 1080px
  • Facebook or Instagram Story: 1080px by 1920px
  • Video Ratio: 16:9 to 9:16
 Or take a look at this full list and specs from Facebook:
 
Facebook now lets you upload different creatives for different platforms. That way you can customize each ad to perform its best.
Simply click “Select a placement to customize” to upload different creative sizes for different platforms.
 
Here’s our last tip!

5. Don’t be a hero: use tools 

Here’s some of our favorites:

  • Canva – free and user-friendly
  • Pexels or Unsplash – free stock images
  • Adobe Spark – a tool in Adobe Suite, so it’ll cost you
  • Cut Story – intuitive phone editing app
  • Instagram Story – create an Instagram Story full of stickers + other fun movement, then download for free (easiest video ad
Now there’s nothing standing in the way of your brand and profitable ads! Get creative and seek feedback from your teammates or influencers in your field.
 
Before we forget, Happy Holidays! While you’re tying up this year’s loose ends, how about you let us save you some time. Check out our   Holiday Backgrounds + Step-by-Step Instructions – this education includes 10 unique holiday-themed graphics in all + four versions of each for a total of 40 visual assets (transparent PNG files).
 
Honestly, launching ad campaigns can be scary. You don’t want to waste a bunch of money on ads that don’t convert. 
 
Our first piece of advice? Don’t reinvent the wheel. The smartest marketer in the room knows what their competition is up to. Pull existing inspiration from your industry to educate yourself on what’s already working. Now, here’s how we’d recommend you spy on your competitors.
Find the Competition
If you don’t already know who your competitors are, here is a simple way you can find them. 
 
Go to your Instagram profile, then click the arrow next to “Contact”. Instagram should populate with various accounts that are similar to yours. Go through them to find some direct competitors. Then repeat this process on those competitors’ profiles to find more competitors.
Find your competitors on Instagram
Make a List
 
Make a list of 3-5 top competitors you admire in your space. We like to add ours to a spreadsheet that lists the competitor’s assets like Instagram, their following and website. That way, we can quickly check up on these accounts.
Make a list of your competition
Spy on their Marketing 
 
Your next step is to see what type of ads your competition is running. Never copy and paste their work. That’s not only plagiarism, but your audience will see right through it. 
 
Simply go to  The Facebook Ad Library and type in your first competitor’s name. Facebook will populate all the ads this page has run. Take note of the following.
Use the Facebook Ad Library to see what ads your competition is running
1. How long has the ad been running:
  • Usually, longevity means it’s a winner.
Facebook Ad Library
2.  What creative is being used:
  • Do they have lots of videos? If so, are they educational videos, testimonials, slideshows? Do they run carousel ads? Catalog campaigns?
Facebook Ads Library Your Competitions Ads
3.  What copy works:
  • Is their copy short or long? Are they offering discounts or coupon codes? Are they educating in the copy of going straight to the offer?
Long versus short copy Facebook Ads
4.  See where people are being sent:
  • Click their CTA buttons to view their landing page. Are they sending customers straight to a product page on their website or to a longer sales page (to warm up leads)?
Checkout where your competition is sending their traffic, Facebook Ad Library
5. See who’s being targeted:
  • Click on the CTA button and learn more about who they’re targeting by looking at their UTMs.
Checkout your competitions UTMs to see who they are targeting
6. Get on the list:
  • Sign up for their email list to see what their opt-in flow is like. Do they send educational content? Do they run promos? What type of ads do they serve you after you’re on their list?
7. Abandon checkout:
  • Go to your competitor’s site and move through their checkout flow. Enter all your information then abandon your cart. See what type of abandoned cart email sequence and ad campaign you get. Do they offer a coupon code? Do they push any type of scarcity (Ex. “This offer is ending soon!”)

And that’s how you can easily spy on your competition and launch better Facebook ads!

Of course, you could always off load the ad work. Schedule a free strategy call with our team to discuss social media advertising that stacks up to the competition.

Ever heard of the Facebook Catalog? Often called a Dynamic Product Ad (DPA), it’s basically a database of your products ready to advertise and sell.
facebook catalog Dynamic Product Ads
Ad features clothing brand Lou & Grey, a fave among our team for standout fashion pieces.
 
 It connects directly to your site to collect information on your inventory, like whether a product is stocked and if a price or description changes. Your catalog can even pull information from your store on a daily basis in order so your catalog ad campaigns stay up to date.
 
Your Facebook catalog allows you to dynamically retarget users based on the product they viewed and deep link them directly back to that product page. When you connect your catalog to your Instagram account and Facebook page, those users can shop your profiles directly. You can even create multiple product sets in your catalog to create specific upsells and cross-sells based on what a user did or didn’t do on your site.
 
The Facebook catalog is so great because it’s an adaptable tool. It’s generally the first ad campaign we recommend launching as it can retarget users that are the lowest hanging fruit – you can send people who’ve clicked into or abandoned their cart directly back to the product pages they first viewed. In this way, these ads tend to yield the highest returns for one’s business.
 
So without further ado, we’re going to show you our favorite ways to spice up your catalog to get even more bang for your buck!
1. Stand out with a frame
dynamic product ad facebook creative examples
A video ad we made for Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi – illustrates this product’s probiotic pop with a super simple frame-by-frame animation!
 
We already know color can help catch the attention of a scrolling user, so adding a colorful frame to your product catalog to show off that mouthwatering deal will almost certainly seal the sale.
2. Be relevant
facebook advertising targeting copywriting social media
If you wanna recipe for Chocolate Banana Pancakes with Bone Broth Protein, you gotta check out Ancient Nutrition.
 
In your catalog, you can dynamically retarget people that abandoned their cart and be super relevant when you speak to them through ad copy.
3. Make a slideshow
You must have multiple photos in your Shopify product page for this one to work – great way to showcase lifestyle product photos along with your run-of-the-mill product photos! 
 
If you’ve got several product photos for each product, create a product catalog – this way, each frame is its own slideshow and catches the attention even more from the scroller!
4. Get creative
facebook slideshow example baby food
Playful catalog ad for Serenity Kids – can’t resist a cute little veggie garden.
 
Get creative and interactive by making a wide motif with copy they’ll want to read until the end. Here, the labels each have a clear subject that highlights what sets the brand apart to naturally entice the reader to continue a story or idea by clicking through the entire carousel. Try publishing the same ad with different subject lines and copy to see which tests better with your audience.
We hope you enjoyed some of our favorite ways to spice up your Facebook catalog. If you’re not constantly looking for ways to entertain your audience, you’re not doing it right. For more inspo, browse Facebook’s Ad Library or read another one of our related blog posts: 5 Key Tips to Producing  Profitable Facebook & Instagram Ads.
 

Y’all, we’re excited about this one! We’ve seen amazing returns on landing pages that follow these techniques.

First, let’s define a Landing Page (LP): It’s a stand-alone page where someone “lands” after they click on an ad or a marketing campaign. A landing page is not usually found anywhere on your main site, as it generally contains a really great  offer that you wouldn’t want just anyone to see. 

Now, here’s  10 best practices to creating landing pages that we keep in mind. 

1. Know your audience

Before you do anything, get to know your customers. Seriously! 

Yes, keep your brand guidelines in mind when creating your landing page. But, also remember who this page is for. It’s not for you, it’s for your customer. Speak to them by using colors and language that they resonate with.

2. Provide a great offer 

This may be a no brainer, but make sure you’ve got a killer offer. 
 
If this is your entry offer, are you offering a really bad ass mini course, an ebook, or a free-plus-shipping product offer? How can you sweeten the deal? 
 
Consider bundling multiple deals. Don’t get too caught up on if you’ll break even or lose a little on your first offer. You can always add an upsell on the next page!
landing page tips that actually work
You can see here that Winc offered customers (directed from a Facebook ad) 4 bottles of wine for $39. By contrast, users shopping on their website rather than this landing page would only receive 35% off.

3. Clear offer above “the fold”

Users should come to your landing page and immediately know the offer they’re getting. 

Your offer’s language should be clear and concise + fit on the screen (of any device) without a user needing to scroll to see it.

above the fold landing pages

4. Find social proof

Social proof is so important in helping secure the sale. Customers raving about your product on Twitter? Add it to your landing page! 

According to WebDam, testimonial videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%. So, when someone tags you in a video Instagram Story, hit screen record and save for later. Always ask for their permission before use.

5. Address pain points

Know what pain points your offer is solving for the customer. 

Before you start, list out the top three pain points that your landing page offer will resolve to keep your landing page focused when building it out.
pain points marketing tips
Pain point: a number of factors get in the way when shoppers are buying a product online. Solution: Bolt seeks to eradicate those distractions to increase sales and presents a number of studies to prove their methods do just that.
 

6. Less asks, the better

Don’t ask for too much on the first page. 

If you do require a lot of information, like a mailing address or phone number, take care to make it a two-step form where you are sure to at least secure name + email from step one in case the user drops off. This way, you can follow up via email.
landing page examples that work
Daily Harvest’s page is bright, white and clean! Products are clearly presented and both pages ask for minimal info to start so they can always follow up with email marketing if the customer doesn’t decide to purchase right away. 

7. Put their blinders on

This means no menus or links that lead away – all clickable assets lead directly to your goal. There’s no way for us to be clearer on this one. 😉
landing pages that sell
Every click leads to HelloFresh’s delicious offer. Also, that initial pop-up message is a little tricky with a reverse yes-means-no tactic.

8. Brighten button colors

 Your CTA (call-to-action) button should be a contrasting, attractive color that screams “click here!” Our favorite button colors are green, blue, yellow, and orange.  


If your brand is design heavy, feel free to use colors that match your branded color scheme, but do try to make the button pop in other ways. You can make your buttons stand out by –

  • only using a specific color for CTA buttons and not anywhere else on the screen.
  • making your CTA buttons animated: add a button hover or wiggle to make your CTA draw attention.
  • using large text, a drop shadow, or arrows pointing toward your button. 
CTA button color call to action

9. Is it mobile friendly?

Cause it really does matter: “40% of users turn to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience,” (Compuware). Now think of that in terms of people – if 430 people visited your site (nice!) and had a bad time, you could lose out on as many as 172 purchases (not so nice).

Guesty’s page isn’t just mobile friendly – it’s color coordinated! Bright illustration’s make their objectives clear to understand with just a quick glance.

10. Track conversions and optimize

What’s your goal? Leads, sales, registrations, or otherwise?

Be sure to set and track your goals. That way, you’ve got a benchmark for success and can properly determine if your offer + landing page is converting well. Once you know your benchmark, you can do things like A/B test your landing page design, your CTA button’s text or color, or your landing page offer all to optimize for a better cost to acquire a customer.

How can you use these strategies to put together a great landing page that entices customers to your brand? Take these recommendations and run with it! 

If the process seems a bit much, that’s because it is – but, it gets easier over time! If you’d like a second pair of eyes,   schedule a free strategy call with our team.

As advertisers, we’re always looking for new ways to delight and “WOW” our audiences. The best way to do that? Through ad creatives!

Creating interesting, educational and eye-catching ads is one thing, but adding an interactive element will take your ads to the next level.

In this post, we’re talking polls. If you haven’t heard of or seen Facebook’s poll feature, here’s what it looks like:

Emmy’s Organics is using a Facebook poll to ask their audience which flavor they’d choose!

Facebook implemented the ability to add polls to video ads at the end of 2019.

It’s so important to connect and engage with your audience, and polls are helping you do just that.

Facebook ran a study testing their new poll feature for video ads, with pretty great results… They said, “For example, in 5 out of 9 brand lift studies, we observed poll ads increased brand awareness compared to video ads.”

We ran an experiment of our own testing a poll video ad versus a regular video. In the last two weeks, our poll video converted completely cold audiences at a ROAS of 6.30 – outperforming the other non-poll video ad.

That’s huge! Video ads have always been queen. 👑 So now just think what you can do with video plus a poll! 👑👑👑

The poll possibilities are endless. Try using polls to:

  • Ask the audience which variation or different flavor of a product they would like best!
  • Learn more about your audience by asking them a question about themselves or their interests
  • Ask if your audience liked the information you provided in the video or if it was helpful!
  • Discover your customers’ biggest pain point by asking them questions
  • Find out which new flavor or variation to launch by getting your audience to choose in the poll

Enough chatter, let’s walk through how to launch your first poll ad:

  1.  Hop inside your Facebook Ads Manager and create a new campaign
  2.  Poll Ads are only supported with the following objectives, so be to sure to choose: Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, App Installs or Conversions in your ad set
  3.  After you’ve uploaded your Video click “Add Poll”

          4.  Enter your Poll Question and your 2 Choices 

           5.  Pro-tip: add specific URLs for each choice that the user can visit after they’ve made their                                   selection!

P.S. Facebook only shows your polls on your video ads in the Facebook mobile feed, but will play your video without the poll in other placements.

You’ll quickly start to collect valuable poll data, here’s how to view your poll results:

  1.  Go to your Facebook Ads Manager
  2.  Select your ad with the poll on it
  3.  Click on “See Charts”
  4.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to see Interactivity Results

We’re curious: Are you testing video poll ads? Let us know how they’re working for you!

If the process seems a bit much, we’re here to help! If you’d like us to run profitable campaigns for you, learn more by scheduling a free strategy call with our team.

During a livestream on May 19, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s newest feature: Facebook Shops. A free way for businesses to set up product listings on their Facebook Page, Instagram profile, Stories, or in ads.

This really could not have come at a better time as small businesses continue to struggle in light of COVID-19 closures, stay-at-home orders, and sustained social distancing. A new way for these businesses to market their goods and services online could quite frankly change the game.

What Will Facebook Shops Look Like?

There will be a dedicated section for your shop on Facebook where you can catalog inventory. Similar to Facebook Groups, you’ll be able to add a cover image and accent colors for that extra branded touch. Users will have the option to purchase, save, or share items. Or, select inventory may be attached to ads, posts, Instagram Live, and Instagram Stories to divert users to your shop.

Zuckerberg reassured audiences that this tool will be an easy one to use: “It’s one simple and consistent experience across [our] family of apps.” Basically, a lifeline for brands that are masters at their craft but aren’t so tech savvy – if you’re already familiar with Facebook, using this tool may come naturally.

They’re Still Refining Checkout

Though, you won’t be able to complete the entire transaction on Facebook just yet. Users will be prompted to go to a business’s website to complete purchases. 

Facebook has launched an invitation-only beta program for Checkout that is currently being tested. This would make it possible to complete a transaction from start to finish on Facebook. But, they do plan to charge a selling fee and haven’t yet disclosed how much cash this will tack on to each purchase.

This means third-party partnerships are still entirely necessary. Facebook is currently working alongside Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics. Businesses may use these platforms to manage their Facebook Shop as well as their Facebook Shop ads.

Shopify paints a clearer picture of how all this will work: “Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify.”

We still recommend you diversify by selling your goods or services on other competitive platforms, like Amazon or your own website. Basically, be everywhere if you can. 

Try Before You Buy With Augmented Reality

Another Facebook feature rolled out recently: Augmented Reality (AR). Yep – the future is basically here folks, and it means you can actually see if that blush and your skin tone are a match made with the help of Facebook AR.

Not sure which shade best complements your eyes? You can now use Facebook’s new augmented reality feature in Facebook Shops or ask for help through a customer service inquiry within Facebook Shops – you’ll be able to message businesses through various channels, like WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct.

Final Thoughts

As usual, this will not only be a benefit to small businesses – it’ll be a huge moneymaker for Facebook as an increase in ad spend is likely to follow. 

Facebook does plan to charge a small fee on each purchase made through Shops, but no specific details regarding this rate have been released.

There’s also talk of eventual loyalty programs to encourage repeat purchases. Such programs could increase customer advocacy and lead to greater brand awareness, so fingers crossed.

We’re excited for Facebook to step it up with these new e-commerce features, connecting more users with small businesses. Though, we’re unsure how many people will actually want to complete purchases directly on Facebook. We’ll be following along closely and monitoring analytics during this beta phase to see what’s best for our clients’ sales in the future with or without this tool.

Leave a Reply

Sign up below to subscribe to our newsletter and get free marketing guides + how-tos!