Anatomy of a Successful Facebook Ad and Know Why It Works
Since its founding (Year 2004), Facebook has grown from a socializing platform for college goers into a global powerhouse that affects the day-to-day lives of almost every individual. The fuel behind this remarkable rise has been advertising.
With over 2.2 billion monthly active and close to 1.5 billion daily active users, Facebook is a major part of people’s lives. This is an important trend that is not going to change any time soon as we continue to ride the waves of the information era.
Every business should be using Facebook Marketing considering there are a billion potential customers. Facebook is indeed one of the top advertising channels online, and digital ad spend accounts for a whopping 51% of total advertising spend in the US.
Common users of Facebook Marketing
• Brands: Home goods, Food, electronics, restaurants—almost any kind of brand can be promoted through Facebook, turning passive customers into active fans who follow news of promotions and developments, and who share with their own friends.
• Personalities: Musicians, celebrities, authors, syndicated columnists—anybody who makes money through popularity wants to be known by as many people as they can on Facebook.
• Local businesses: Whether a business is family-owned, or a franchise of a larger company, a Facebook page can be used to turn a local customer base into a fan base.
• Non-profit organizations: Charities and public service campaigns can all leverage the natural sharing capabilities of Facebook.
For brands, posting on Facebook is not enough anymore. One can use paid promotions in order to drive people to your Facebook Page and website along with organic reach. One way is to create Facebook advertising strategy that is an optimized Facebook Ad targeted at the right audience. Optimized ads can help plan the PPC budget wisely and see a positive return on investment.
Facebook paid advertising- The most targeted form of advertising
A major benefit of Facebook advertising is its ability to reach the exact audience. The advertisements can be targeted to people by age, interests, behavior, and location.
A look at different Facebook Ad Formats
Format 1: Photo Ad
Photo Ads are still images that help to promote a product or event. If there is a special promotion going on, for example, this ad format puts an image of the product or venue at the center of the ad.
They are be used by product brands, personalities, local businesses as well as non-profit organizations to reach out to wider audience.
Format 2: Video Ad
Video Ads have a video as the centerpiece of the advertisement for demonstration of the product or event. Video Ads help you form stronger connections with your audience by aligning the brand with interesting content (According to a Facebook study, approximately 80% of all data consumed on mobile devices would be in video form by 2021).
There are six types of video ads on Facebook:
- Short Videos and GIFs
- Vertical Videos
- Instagram Stories
- Video Carousels
- Video Collections
- In-stream Videos
Example of a video ad
IGP.com, formerly known as IndianGiftsPortal.com, is a Mumbai-based online retailer that sells Indian ethnic products suited for personal occasions and Indian festivals. IGP wanted to let its audience know about a special discount for an upcoming Indian festival. It decided to forego its usual carousel format photo ads and try short, mobile-friendly video ads.
After being adapted for varying aspect ratios and screens, the team tested these video ads across placements such as Facebook News Feed, Instagram feed and Instagram Stories, using placement asset optimization to deliver tailored creative to each. The 15-second video emphasized the discount and the discount code, as well as the various products that it could be applied to.
For this first experiment with video creative, IGP targeted the ads to its existing international consumer base.
Shuttlerock produced the video ads via its Video-in-a-box service achieved significantly better results than IGP’s previous photo ad campaign. When the ads were delivered across Facebook’s family of apps and services, they resulted in:
• 54% increase in return on ad spend
• 32% decrease in cost per acquisition
• 2.3X increase in post-click conversion rate
Format 3: Stories Ad
Stories Ads, a part of Facebook Stories, are one of the latest content types introduced by Facebook that allows users to post temporary video clips and images of their day for the viewers. This kind of ad is fitted to the dimensions of a mobile device and can be played on both mobile and desktop. These ads appear in the same format inside a stream of Stories.
These are usually used by personalities who upload a series of stories of them at shoots or events. It can also be used by FMCG brands when they upload tutorial (how to use) stories.
Format 4: Carousel Ad
Carousel Ads consists of a series of images or videos that users can rotate through. All of them describe a single product, service, or event that the ad is promoting. Each Carousel Ad can contain up to 10 images or videos at a time and link to their own individual webpages. Because these ads contain so much media, according to Facebook, they are ideal for:
• Endorsing multiple products.
• Promoting multiple features of the same product.
• Telling a story or sequence of events that unfolds over the course of multiple pictures or videos.
• Explaining a process to potential customers.
They are used by electronics industry where they want to show the various features of the product in one go yet explain each feature in detail. It can also be used by ecommerce industry and tourism industry.
Format 5: Slideshow Ad
Slideshow Ads segment the ad into individual images that users view one after another. The difference between carousel ads and slideshow ads is that the latter only play images (not videos), and the ad compiles these images into a slideshow that plays automatically in the form of a video.
These Ads are ideal for:
• Creating a video-like experience for users quickly and with a small budget.
• Advertisers who want to choose from a library of pre-created images and music (an advantage of Facebook's Slideshow Ad).
• Simplifying a complicated concept or process for potential customers.
• Reaching people who have slower internet connections (Slideshow Ads use five times less data than video ads on Facebook).
Format 6: Collection Ad
A Collection Ad brings the buying process directly into Facebook, so potential customers can move from "discovery" to "purchase" more easily when they see a product they like. This ad format features a central image or video promoting a product, with a collection of four smaller images below it that viewers can click on to learn more about the product.
The four different types of Collection Ads the advertiser can invest in are:
• Instant Storefront: This ad is ideal for displaying multiple products as part of the same ad campaign, and driving traffic to each product's respective product page.
• Instant Lookbook: This ad is ideal for demonstrating or modeling a product in different contexts for the audience.
• Instant Customer Acquisition: This ad is ideal for driving traffic to as well as a specific action on, a product's landing page.
• Instant Storytelling: This ad is ideal for telling a story about your brand or educating the audience more about the business.
Format 7: Messenger Ad
A Messenger Ad appears as a direct message in a user's message list when they are using the Facebook's Messenger app. These ads allow direct interaction with the specific audience. It helps in showing them offers in response to their specific requirements or interests.
For example, the ad's first message is "What product might you be interested in?" The user can then select from three different responses, triggering the ad to produce a more specific product offer directly in the message thread.
Format 8: Playables
Playables cater specifically to app developers. This ad format allows audience to watch, preview, and even play an abbreviated version of your new app directly from inside the ad.
These ads work as a “try before you buy” type ad unit. It allows users to interact with an app’s main features before installing it. The users who end up installing the app after playing the game for a few seconds, they become more likely to open the app later and continue engaging with it over time.
Lets Now Understand How Placements Affect Creative
The advertising placement affects how the ad appears. Different Facebook ad placements change the content structure, appearance and visibility of the ads. Knowing these changes will ensure the design is apt ad for the right placement.
In-Feed Placement – Desktop
This is the normal Facebook ad placement. All parts of the ad are visible.
In-Feed Placement – Mobile
There are slight variations with mobile. The post text is slightly larger, no preview text appears and proportionally the button is much larger on the screen.
Be aware that smaller more detailed parts of your image may not be visible on mobile.
This placement removes even more content from appearing. The image is much less visible. Text on image or intricate images are harder to see, even more so than on mobile.
The post text appears under the URL and its also cut off much sooner, and there is no description text visible. Buttons are also hidden.
Tip – If you plan to use this placement, we recommend creating a separate ad set, since this location may require different images or copy.
Tips for a successful ad:
• Be helpful: Do not let the ad look and feel like an ad. One can use explainer and how-to videos to answer questions and help people understand the product.
• Avoid using call-to-action buttons as much as possible: They make your ads look like ads! Keep in mind you are required to include a CTA button when using video or dynamic creative. That’s okay, just make sure to follow the other best practices!
• Square: Use a square format—video, single image, slideshows. The reason being the 1:1 ratio takes up more screen real estate—especially on mobile. According to Facebook, videos that are mobile optimized increase brand awareness by up to 67%. If squared, there is no need to split out placements and ad spend.
• Be authentic: Don’t use overstated images or videos. User Generated Content (UGC) is now becoming a big trend to use in ads because the images and videos are real. The end users can more easily relate the ad to themselves when it’s authentic.
• Little or no text: Try to avoid text on images.
• Be Colorful: Carefully select colors that are on the brand and will stand out.
• Stay on brand: Maintain your brand look and feel. The ads should look like they fit in the page feed. Don’t create ads that look 180 degrees away from your brand feed and grid.
• Engage with people: They will be asking questions and commenting if done right. If people see unanswered comments, they will start to think/know it’s an ad and also assume that your digital customer service is poor.
• Politely brag: If you have press mentions and awards, use them. They help to give instant credibility.
• Use Captions: Always make sure to use captions. Even if the video ad is only 20 seconds. Many times people don’t have their sound on and so captions are needed to send your message across.
• Put Call to Action buttons: They are pre-created buttons provided by Facebook that can be added to any advertisement. They are:-
- Apply Now
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Donate Now
- Request Time
- See Menu
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch More
- Buy Now
- Get Offer
- Play Game
- Use App
- Get Quote