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6 Tips for Creating Facebook Ads that Convert

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Facebook ads can be a great tool to help any small business get more followers, increase visibility, and generate sales.

However, just throwing words with an image and slapping a link on it won’t get you clicks—or if it does, they won’t be clicks that translate to more customers.

This guest post, from ChamberofCommerce’s Megan Totka, will give you the Facebook ad best practices that will help you design and launch social media ads that reach the right audiences and deliver results for your campaigns.

Opt for News Feed over Column Ads


If you have a personal Facebook account, how often do you look at the ads that populate the right-hand column of the page? Most Facebook users concentrate on their news feeds—and with Facebook news feed ads you’ll have more eyeballs on your posts as well as a higher click-through rate.

What’s the difference between news feed and column ads on Facebook?

Aside from appearing in the main section of the page, news feed ads allow for larger images and more content than column ads.

They’re more visible, and more trusted than sidebar ads, which many Facebook users view as scams.

Another great benefit to news feed ads is mobile visibility. According to the latest statistics from Facebook, 654 million of its 829 million active daily users—or nearly 79 percent—access the social network from mobile devices. And on a mobile interface, the right-hand column containing ads isn’t shown at all.

A recent study from SocialCode shows that mobile advertising on Facebook generates up to 2.5 times more revenue than desktop-only feeds. With news feed and Sponsored Post ads, you can choose to push your ads to both desktop and mobile feeds for maximum results.

Grow Your Facebook Followers with “Like” Ads


While news feed ads typically deliver the best results, the new Facebook “Like” ads can perform equally well in news feeds and sidebars. Like ads are designed to help businesses expand their Facebook fan bases in a way that attracts quality leads—potential customers who will be interested in and engage with your business.

Whether you’re just starting out on Facebook or looking to increase your social presence, Like ads can help. They’re simple and straightforward for Facebook users: If they’re interested, they can Like your business page just by clicking on the ad. It’s the only action they have to take, and it places them in your network so they’ll start seeing your posts.

Short videos perform well in Facebook Like ads. You can also use a strong image and brief, compelling headline to attract potential customers and get them engaged with your page.

Take Advantage of Facebook Offers


Another type of Facebook ad that can be very effective for small businesses is Facebook Offers. The social network has expanded this service from brick-and-mortar stores only to any type of business. Facebook Offers allow you to send a special offer directly to your fans and followers via email. One of the best ways to use this type of advertising on Facebook is to build your email subscriber lists by offering a free giveaway in exchange for email addresses.

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You can set up a simple landing page that collects names and email addresses, and then create a Promoted Post on Facebook that links to your landing page. This way, you’ll not only reach your fans directly with the Offers email, but you’ll also increase the number of users who see your giveaway post and click through to sign up.

Set Up Your Content for Success


With news feed ads, you’re allowed to use more text and larger images than sidebar ads. However, only the first 5 to 6 lines of your text will show in the news feed, while the rest is truncated and hidden behind a “Read More” button. This means you need to make those first few lines count.

Your “above the fold” content, or the text that appears without clicking the Read More button, should contain your main offer and explain how it solves a problem for the viewer. Keep it brief, compelling, and to the point.

Your ad image will also show up above the fold—Facebook currently recommends an ideal image size of 1200 by 627 pixels for news feed promoted posts.

Unlike most other types of ads, the best place for the call-to-action in a Facebook news feed ad is below the fold, so it only shows up when the Read More button is clicked. You can also include additional details about your offer in this area, before your call to action.

Top Tip: Placing the call to action last helps you improve the quality of your ad results—because the people who click “Read More” are genuinely interested in what you have to offer them.

Choose the Right Image


The image may be the most important part of your Facebook ad. Users will notice your image first, and if they’re drawn to what they see, they’ll read more. Using the right image is crucial to the success of your Facebook ad.

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Several studies have shown that photos of people perform best overall in Facebook ads—specifically, images of faces rather than full-length shots. Animals and pets also get a lot of clicks, and striking or unexpected images can also perform well. This Wishpond guide covers some Facebook ad image best practices you can use to exponentially increase your results.

Also, keep the 20 percent rule in mind when you’re creating images for your Facebook ads. Images can include text, but the text can’t take up more than 20 percent of the image, or your ad will be rejected.

The easiest way to make sure your images meet this requirement is with the Facebook grid tool, which automatically calculates the percentage of text on an image.

Test, Test, and Test Again


Following best practices for Facebook ads can help you improve your ROI—but like any marketing campaign, you need a way to analyze your results and make effective improvements. This is the value of split testing, sometimes called A/B testing.

Facebook makes it easy to perform split tests for your ads. You can run multiple versions of an ad, with the same defined audience parameters, and see at a glance which version gets more clicks. For successful split testing, use two versions with only one different element, and monitor which one drives more engagement.

Some of the elements you can test include:

  • Ad images

  • Title or opening line of text

  • Audience benefits

  • Call to action

Implementing Facebook ad best practices and performing diligent split testing can help you put Facebook to work for your small business and expand your online audience, while you generate more leads and increase sales.

Image courtesy of Gerd Altmann

About the Author : Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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