How to Improve Your Facebook Ad Images

Facebook advertising seems pretty simple at first.

All you need to do is write an engaging post – maybe a couple of lines long. You use Facebook’s epic targeting tools to make sure you’re reaching the right audience and throw some money into the campaign. Eventually, you’re sure to get some results, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple (few things are).

Facebook is an incredible platform for brand growth, with over 1 billion users.

However, it’s also a pretty challenging space.

It’s no secret that the right Facebook ads will help your company to earn more customers, and more revenue. That’s why there are already millions of companies, just like yours, advertising on FB.

So, how do you stand out from the crowd?

The right images can help.

The Value of Visuals on Facebook

Capturing attention on Facebook is tough for a few reasons.

First, there’s tons of commercial competition out there from other companies. Secondly, you’re also trying to grab your audience’s attention when they could be looking at their best friend’s puppy pics.

Images are part of how you can make your ads almost as enticing as posts from your customer’s friends. Just look at the difference between this:

And this:

Which one grab your attention more?

Not only is visual content more eye-catching, it’s more memorable too.

Research tells us that we process visual content up to 60,000 times faster than text. Plus, we remember images for longer than text or audio information.

Facebook Ad Image Sizes: The Basics

Using pictures successfully on Facebook starts with knowing the basics.

Every type of image you can see on Facebook, from a basic news feed post, to a carousel ad, comes with strict guidelines to follow. Following these rules is how you ensure that you deliver a great user experience, without getting on Facebook’s bad side.

So, what are the rules?

  • Facebook news feed posts: For a Facebook news feed post, the optimal ad size is 940 x 788 pixels. For a feed ad, you can use an image up to 1200 x 628 pixels big. The image ratio should be 1.91:1.
  • Facebook stories pictures: For Facebook stories (those raw/live videos on the news feed), your best picture size is 1080 x1920 pixels.
  • Facebook event cover pictures: If you’re planning on launching an event and you’ve decided to build a full page for it, your cover picture can be 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s also worth using those same sizes for your brand page cover photo.
  • Carousel ads: If you’re running a carousel ad, your image size needs to be 1,080 x 1,080. The ratio should be 1:1.
  • Slideshow ads: For slideshow ads, stick to 1,280 x 720 pixels, with an image ratio of 16:9, 1:1, or 2:3.

There are instances where you can go outside of the image guidelines, but this could end up annoying your audience:

Best Practices for Your Facebook Ad Images

Now you know the rules around sizes and ratios, you can begin to think about the kinds of images you’re going to use.

In other words, what makes a “good” picture for your Facebook ad?

The answer to that question depends heavily on your brand and audience. However, here are some top tips to get you started:

1. Use Happy People

Human beings are automatically attracted to other people. We can relate to the people that we see, and instantly feel more comfortable visualizing ourselves using a product or service if we can see someone else doing it.

If you want to immediately grab your audience’s attention, start with a picture of a real human being. Ideally, it should be someone who’s happy, and using your product. Check this example out from Tableau software, for instance:

Although sometimes, animations and graphs can attract your audience when they’re looking for specific answers to their questions, people are more likely to have an impact in the news feed. Humanize your company with a few smiling faces.

2. Make Sure Your Images are High Quality

Every post and ad you publish on Facebook tells your customer something about your brand. The images that you use on your social profile will either set you apart as a professional company, or a cheap amateur.

It sounds harsh, but a low-quality stock photo, or an image that clearly came from a smartphone with terrible lighting is going to scare your customers off. If you can’t afford to have a professional photographer come and create some images for you, then you could consider stock images. Just make sure that the pictures you pick don’t look too fake.

Alternatively, you could consider experimenting with animations from time to time. An in-house graphic designer should be able to whip you up some graphics in no time:

3. Pick the Right Color Combo

Unfortunately, most of your customer’s aren’t logging onto Facebook for a chance to see some ads. That means that you’re going to need to ensure your ad stands out if you want to convince clients to pay attention. A pop of color is great at instantly pulling eyes to your campaign.

Ideally, you want to choose something that’s not going to blend in with the rest of Facebook. In other words, blue is a great color – but it’s not going to make you stand out. Pick bright colors that resonate with your brand and are great for grabbing attention.

At the same time, remember to make sure that any hues you’re going to use will work well together. You can use websites like Coolors to generate palettes that are visually appealing.

4. Keep it Simple

Facebook is all about scrolling. In a world where most of your customers are going to be flicking through their feed on their phone, you don’t want to overwhelm them. Having too many things going on in your image at once could mean that your customers ignore it completely.

Instead, you want to make sure that your customers are 100% clear on what you’re offering. Avoid any clutter in your photo, and don’t add tons of extra text to the image if you can afford it. The photo should capture your customer’s attention, then you can use the caption in your ad or post to tell the client what to do next.

The same applies to thumbnails for videos. Make sure that they’re not unnecessarily confusing. Check out this example from the Content Creators Planner for an insight into an attractive thumbnail:

5. Create Different Images for Different Personas

If you haven’t created a persona for your Facebook ads yet, do it now. You can’t afford to guess at what your customers want from you. Personas will give you the tools you need to speak your audience’s language.

When you have your personas, you’ll see that some people in your audience are likely to respond to different ads in different ways. This means that you can experiment with serving different images to specific people online.

You might find that pictures with certain colors appeal to people of a certain age. You may notice that photos that include graphs and statistics are more appealing to B2B clients than B2C customers. Don’t underestimate the power of customizing an ad to suit your audience.

Just look at this ad from the HOTH, it’s clearly catering to business professionals interested in marketing:

6. Avoid Unnecessary Text

When you’re advertising something, it’s tempting to add extra text to your campaign, so you can explain the benefits of your offer to your clients. However, remember that people on Facebook don’t have a massive attention span. You can only really afford to use a small amount of text.

Remember, Facebook will restrict the reach of your ads if you use too much text. In the past, Facebook used to refuse to approve any image which was more than 20% text. Now, ads that are heavier on text may be approved, but the reach of your campaign will differ depending on the text.

You can check out Facebook’s guide for more info on how much text you should use. Our advice is to stick to maybe 6-7 words. Keep it short and sweet.

7. Use the Right Tools

Finally, remember that you might need a little help when designing the ideal Facebook ad images. This could include reaching out to a photographer to help you snap some great pictures. Alternatively, it might mean working with a graphic designer.

Tools like Canva are excellent for companies on a small budget who need to design their ads and Facebook images with stock photos. The Canva site comes with free templates that are already pre-sized to suit Facebook’s guidelines.

Don’t forget another essential tool for your ad images too: Your Facebook Insights. Using your social media marketing analytics to determine which of your ads gained the most attention will help you to decide what kind of photos to use in the future.

Make Those Ads Picture Perfect

Facebook is an incredible tool for marketing and branding.

However, you’re not the only one that’s going to be competing for attention on this platform. That means that you need to grab every opportunity to stand out.

Using the right Facebook ad images in your posts will give you more of an impact on your audience. Remember, learn as you go, and use what you know about your customer’s preferences to guide you.

Alternatively, reach out to The Graygency for extra help. We’ll make sure your ads are picture perfect in no time.

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