4 Tips To Upgrade Your Facebook Ad Visual Strategy


What is a prospective customer going to see first when they scroll through their Facebook feed?

It is not going to be your ad copy or the headline you crafted so carefully? No. Not at first.

It’s the ad image that catches their eye.

There are millions of ads and posts pumping through Facebook and, without an optimized visual, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Not optimizing your ad’s visual with the tenacity that you approach your ad’s copy is the biggest mistake you can make with Facebook Ads.

But, because I’m guessing you don’t have the budget or time to run a bunch of tests, we did it for you!

Over the past few months, the team at the Venngage Infographic Maker tested 35 different Facebook ads to find out what visual elements drove the most clicks at the lowest cost.

This article is a preview of just 4 quick tips. To see the full findings please Download the Ebook

Let The Product Shine

I know what you’re thinking, this is an entry level tip.

I mean if you are trying to sell a product it probably should be in the ad, right?

You would not believe the number of companies that forget this simple fact or are not sure how to show off their product, because it’s digital or virtual.

In this day and age many marketers are trying to sell products that you can not hold in your hands or see.

So they just avoid including their product in a Facebook ad all together.

And take the easy way out by using an underwhelming stock image:

facebook ad visual strategy

I am very aware of this struggle, especially because we were promoting an eBook in these tests.

So the team at Venngage, a digital company, was promoting a virtual product.

It was a double whammy.

facebook ad visual strategy

But that means we just had to be extra creative when it came to producing our Facebook Ad visual.

For example, we took our virtual ebook cover and made it look like a book you could hold in your hand:

facebook ad visual strategy

Including a product shot like this is essential when you are trying to sell our audience on a product that exists exclusively on their computer.

In this format the eBook looks like a formidable guide full of interesting ideas instead of just a blog post.

Also you can sneak a little more text into your ad if you use a product shot like in this example:

facebook ad visual strategy

It turned out that this Facebook Ad visual was one of the most popular in the whole campaign.

Oh, and you can use that template here to create your own winning visual.

Use Icons & Illustrations

Creating the perfect Facebook Ad visual can be a bit overwhelming .

But I know how to make even the simplest visual a winner.

It honestly takes just takes one thing.


Yes, icons. They may be one of the unsung heroes of the design world.

There are millions of different icons and they can be used in just as many ways or situations.

Icons are a perfect way to convey information and get around Facebook’s pesky text limitations on ads.

Plus icons and illustrations have already taken over graphic design in 2017.

So I know that there will be at least a few that will fit your ideas.

Plus they can be used by non-designers to spice up their design work almost instantly:

facebook ad visual strategy

For example, a simple icon can transform an entire Facebook Ad image by giving the viewer some important context about your product. Or they can be used to draw your eye to a certain idea or block of text.

And when you are fighting thousands of other distractions on social media for the attention of your audience, simple things like that can help in a big way.

Dark & Bold Backgrounds Pop On Facebook

Most of the popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn utilize a very light color or even white scheme.

This helps it look great on nearly every screen but also limits the colors you can use in a Facebook visual.

If you are using a light Facebook ad image it is just going to blend into the background.

And your user will not even see it as they scroll through their feed.

Like this example from a company that really should know better:

facebook ad visual strategy

The most eye catching color there is a blue that is way too similar to Facebook’s own blue.

This ad is likely to be completely glossed over by their target audience on Facebook.

Instead you want to use a dark or bold background.

facebook ad visual strategy

Ads like this one (dark bold), will pop off the Facebook feed and grab a user’s attention like no other light background ad could.

And we have the proof.

Download the ebook to see exactly how well dark backgrounds performed.

Use A Simple Call To Action

Another thing that many Facebook ad rookies forget to include is a small call to action.

This should be something simple that tells your user exactly what they should do.

Use it to speak directly to our audience.

Otherwise they will be a little confused on what they should be doing.

For example, in the ad below I have no idea why I should click the ad.

Is it going to be free, can I sign up in seconds or even is it perfect for marketers?

facebook ad visual strategy

It’s hard to say without talking to the creator.

Those examples all are concise call to actions that this ad could have used to make a better ad.

It does not have to be anything fancy, just something that pushes a user in the right direction.

Like this brief CTA in the example below tells the user that they can download the ebook right now.

facebook ad visual strategy

And that immediate gratification is very powerful, especially because it signals that the product could be free.

People love free things that also provide immediate gratification.

That is why I think that this ad performed so well:

facebook ad visual strategy

It was a top ad in our experiment by a large margin and I think I know why…

Not only did it use a great call to action, it also took all the tips we outlined above and smashed them into one ad.

This ad has a dark background, a product shot and an eye catching icon.

It gave us a great template for Facebook Ad visual success, which you can also use here!

Wrapping it Up

If you want to see what makes our other Facebook ad visuals so successful, download the ebook below.

In addition to showing how and why we created each Facebook ad visual, it also is filled with templates that you can use right now!

To get the full picture of Venngage’s Facebook ad design research and see the results, download their 27-page ebook “How to Design Facebook Images Which Get More Clicks.”

About the Author:

Nadya Khoja is the Head of Marketing at “Venngage Infographic Maker“, an online design software for those who are lacking professional design skills. She likes to educate her readers on how to create better content and also speaks frequently on the topics of Content Marketing, Design and SEO. In her spare time she runs a YouTube series, “Drunk Entrepreneurs”.


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