Facebook Ads creative guide & inspiration 🎨
Great SEO title, huh?
We've actually used another title (Create Creative Creatives) for the last year or so when we've done workshops, webinars, seminars (yada yada) on creatives for Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.
This subject is quite big, and there are constantly new guidelines. These are the basics, but for what basic goes; it's still a lot of information to process. Facebook Ads isn't a walk in the park, no one ever said so, but here's probably a few learnings that can make things a little bit easier for you. Our experience is that about 95% isn't completely aligned with this. So if this is news to you; don't worry, you're in good company 😊.
Executive summary (for the lazy ones 😉) 🔖
Studies show that mobile first users are consuming content at a much higher pace than desktop (1.7 seconds vs 2.5 seconds) and also remember the content they consume at the blink of an eye (0.25 seconds). This puts a lot of pressure on advertisers to deliver a value proposition and in the end making that consumer to a customer.
💡 Make sure that you showcase your brand early, and make eye catching content where you deliver your message for both sound on and off.
📱 Optimize everything (ads, website etc.) for mobile since it's the primary way that people consume everything today.
⏳ Deliver this experience in 15 seconds at most, but preferably in between six to eight seconds.
The world at your fingertips
I think Apple usually goes for that one a lot when launching new iPhones. This is where we're at (actually pictured with old iPhones). We've gone from desktop to handheld and from the classical TV sets to mobile video. And the next big shift (which we've actually talked about for two years or so) is from feed to Stories. All the intel that we got from Facebook as a Facebook Marketing Partner and all projections from other parties show that the news feed is slowly moving towards Stories.
Rather unsurprisingly, mobile is rapidly increasing as our top device for consuming everything from news, books, blogs, Stranger Things and Facetimeing the birth of your best friends child. The key take away here is to optimize whatever it is your doing and whatever it is that you want to communicate for mobile. This goes for ads, your website or your app.
Mobile consumers are faster
when.... Yes, consuming content. Global studies from Facebook show that the mobile consumer do this at a rate of 1.7 seconds, while desktop users consume at 2.5 seconds. Mobile consumers are also scrolling more than 100 meters - daily. They also remember graphical content after viewing it for just 0.25 seconds. And in addition to this, mobile consumers spend 5x more time watching video content than static images. So if you're not already making great video content, your chance of being a brand that's top of mind as well as getting an engaged and purchase driven group of consumers are low.
How you should adapt
Get personal 👥
To elevate your brand, and stand out from competition, it's of great importance that your brand is relatable for the people you're trying to reach. It's about sparking an emotion that's recognized by consumers and adaptable to their real life. Since advertising is so close up, tailored and personal today, consumers are expecting a lot more than general content to purchase your product or download your app. Get in the head of your target audience and find out what makes them tick and then create that piece of content. Test, analyze and iterate - always. What makes your consumers tick can change from day-to-day, so make sure that this is an ongoing process.
Catch attention - faster 👁
You saw the insights from the previous section, right? If you've given that any thought in the back of your head - this headline shouldn't come as a surprise. If it is, then go back and read it again 😉. Much of the research, conducted by Facebook, points to the fact that consumers are extremely demanding and very much use to consuming a lot of content at a high pace. That means that you have to be sharp, and fast, in delivering your message (e.g. the value proposition) and make sure to present it in an attention catching way to make that customer stop scrolling to engage with your beautiful content. Be sure to deliver your message in three seconds at latest. And in case you forgot, make sure that content is video.
Think global, not local 🌏>🏘
I only advertise in Sweden and haven't thought about going global, so why should I have multi language support on my website or my ads? Well, if Sweden is the example in this scenario, I can tell you that about 80 million people worldwide are in some extent connected to companies in Sweden. Why? Because many companies are creating an experience that resonate with people outside of Sweden and since you're in a business that wants to make money (yes, that's a fact if you're reading this) you never know where you can grow your business. And if you have a product or service which is of huge value and interest in a neighboring country, you don't want to have a bunch of obstacles to make them your customers.
What you should do
Showcase your brand 🖼
A very important first move is to make sure the consumer knows your brand. Not by making a two minute ad where your CEO tells the story of how he quit his job to start this new venture. Not by making a long video with a bunch of smiling employees telling their stories about how it's the best workplace in the world. And definitely, NOT by pushing products in the face of consumers that hasn't got a clue of who you are and what value you're delivering. What you want to do is to show your brand in the first 1.5 seconds of your ad, and maybe even make a book ending where you end up showing it in the last 1.5 seconds of the ad as well. It's the first thing that consumers will see and it's therefor crucial that they store your logo top of mind, no matter if they convert straight away or further down the funnel.
Design for sound on (and) off 🔊
This is something that differs from channel to channel, where some formats are forcing users to have sound on. But if you're making a Stories ad for example, users can be exposed to it without sound and also make the choice of not turning it on. Do not deliver that important message that you want to convey verbally in an ad without subtitles. You want to make sure that anyone watching have the possibility of understanding your value proposition.
Time is of the essence ⏳
We keep coming back to the initial information up top, which is reasonable, since I want to make sure that you kept on reading. In regard to the speed in which mobile users consume content you'd probably drawn to the conclusion that any kind of ad above 15 seconds in length is out of the question. Ten seconds is almost too long, if you can make it in six to eight seconds you're gold! If you have a two minute long brand (or straight up product focused) ad that you spent a lot of money making, break it down and shorten it to make it optimal for the different placements.
Don't just grab, claim attention 💥
Since people are scrolling more than 100 meters a day (which is about the height of the Statue of Liberty 🗽) and are consuming each piece for about 1.7 seconds you must create content that is eye catching and scroll preventative. Facebook are pushing all advertisers to make video and reward those who do, by making them more relevant in their auction. And since people spend 5x more time consuming video than static images or content; you'd want that thumb stopping ad to be video. A real attention grabber is to make sure to put your most eye catching piece first. Don't give the consumer a reason to keep scrolling, reward them for reaching your relevant and awesome content.
Be mobile 📲
"Don't just think mobile, be mobile." Kidding, already pulled that punchline above. This last tip is the most important one. Mobile is where everything is headed, and when you've made that perfect attention grabbing creative; where you showcase your brand, deliver your value proposition in a personal way in just the perfect time and length, with both those with and without sound in mind - you don't want them to click your ad and end up at your website that you haven't optimized for mobile. Trust us, we've been there (although that was waaay back 😉). Make sure that everything from creative to checkout at your website is optimized for mobile consumers, because they are the consumers of today, and tomorrow.
Creative nuggets 🎨
Puh, that's a lot to process. To make sure that you don't need to go back and forth to this post everytime you're looking to make new ads and creatives, I'm leaving a little treat for you. This is a plain picture with some creative bullets, optimized for you to save straight to your mobile (yes, we live as we learn and optimize for mobile readers) or desktop (but probably there's more of you consuming this on mobile).