How to Craft the Perfect Facebook Image For Your Ad
With the average consumer in the US spending 40 minutes on Facebook each day, you can certainly see why marketers continue to focus on this avenue.
In fact, Facebook is the social media platform where users spend the most time, far and away.
Not even Twitter or up-and-comer Instagram can compete.
Meanwhile, as we’ve been enhancing our social media marketing skills, we’re learning how to take advantage of all that opportunity really.
In our last chapter of this Facebook Ad Series, we saw how we can really enhance our ad content.
In addition to learning how to write killer headlines, we also carved into some larger perspectives and principles for getting the most out of our copy.
And better content is an enormous step in the right direction for pulling away from the pack in your industry.
Nevertheless, what’s out-of-this-world ad content without a well-chosen image?
Just some nice sounding words. Sure, those words alone might catch the attention of a person or two.
But when paired with an unbelievable image, they’ll really send your conversion rate flying.
I know all of you love the sound of that.
So now, we’re adding another piece to the puzzle.
Today, we’re going to explore exactly how you can choose the best image for your next Facebook Ad.
Going Beyond a Mere Image
Previously, we talked about how to use your copy to tell a story, even at the single ad level.
But how’s that saying go? Is a picture worth a thousand words?
Your ad photos tell just as much of a story as your words do (maybe not 1,000 words, but they at least say plenty).
Because of this fact, we want to go beyond merely grabbing any old image that looks good. Instead, we want to choose the images for our ads that also tell a story.
And here’s how you do it…
Decide Your Message and the Experience
If you’ve already written your ad copy, you probably have a great idea of what your overall message is. When you’re ironing out your campaign, this goal is always a central one. But when it comes to your ad image, don’t just compliment that message. On the contrary, create an experience and inspire some feelings in your audience. Whether you choose an image that compels them to feel warm inside or excited, the idea is the same. Spend time determining what emotional tone you need your image to convey.
Match Your Image to Your Product or Service Too
Of course, it’s rather obvious that your image should correlate to your content. Otherwise, you might confuse your audience and lower your conversion rates. But your image should also pair well with your product and service. When you do this matching, it doesn’t mean you should necessarily have an exact duplication. For example, if you sell luxury watches, nothing says you must have pictures of luxury watches. (Perhaps, you simply want to show someone in a jewelry store, for example). Yet, you do want something that keys the viewer into what they’re getting themselves into when they click your ad.
Consider the Larger Trends and Context
This point in our series is a more subtle and advanced point. But I really want to be arming you with the very best when it comes to choosing your ad images. Context is everything, and in today’s tech-driven world, a trend can completely reshape the meaning of your ad image. For example, maybe you’ve recently seen something negative that’s gone viral. On its own, an image of that something negative would be totally innocuous. However, with this new context, you’d likely want to avoid using any images that contain it for the time being.
Protip: Keep in mind, even though these rules hold true in the majority of cases, don’t forget that “confusion marketing” and “negative marketing” might work for your brand. Just remember to tread carefully.
Capture Their Attention
All you need is a pretty picture, and you’ll have them looking, right?
Not by a long shot.
As advertisers find ever more clever ways to serve us up to their wares, the average consumer is being engulfed in marketing.
From image ads on Pinterest to bulletin boards at lunch, there probably hasn’t been a time in history when we’re constantly seeing so much advertisements.
Another nice image isn’t going to cut it. At the same time, I’m going to let you in on some secrets that professional marketers use to stand out even in the most media-saturated environments.
Tailor Your Images for Your Audiences
That’s right, I said images, not just image. With the flexibility that Facebook Ads provides, you can better get the attention of your audiences by using different images for different groups. Even if the ads have the same overall intent and message, swapping the image out can make it appeal to an entirely new group. For example, a more controversial image might work wonders for male demographics, but not so much for women. Also, check out our article on addressing human behavior for even more.
Add a Little Color
Although it’s not a hard, fast rule, overall, you want a vibrant image. Black and white photos, unless they’re staggeringly dramatic, won’t catch the eye like one that has rich greens or stunning reds. This rule also holds true regarding how much color your image has. A touch of color is good, but a big splash of electrifying hues is far more intense.
Use People, Landscapes, and Action
We’ve seen in the past how it’s necessary to choose these sorts of images to increase your conversion. Each one of them has been shown time and time again to improve conversion rates. And when we stop and think about it, it makes sense. Using people functions as an indispensable form of social proof. Whether they’re showcased in old paintings or computer backgrounds, humans are obsessed with landscapes, likely because of their calming effect. Finally, images with action are more dynamic, tell a better story, and are more eye-catching.
Only Use a Minimal Amount of Words
If you’ve launched a Facebook Ad before, you know that the social media giant has text requirements for images. These requirements are separate from your copy length criteria and exist for some very good reasons. Images with too much text are too often cluttered, messy, and out-of-whack. Survey the professional ad images you see throughout your day, and you’ll see that in the overwhelming amount of cases, any words overlaid on them are sparse and simple.
Protip: One final (and somewhat overlooked) tip on using color images. Steer away from images that are primarily blues and whites. What’s the thinking here? Because Facebook’s colors are blue and white, your image will be more disposed to fading into the background and being overlooked.
Completely Master the Process
Once you’ve got the hang of our steps above, you’re ready to move onto some advanced image selecting skills.
Most of these are more sophisticated, but really, after you’ve put them to use a few times, you’ll find that they’re not hard to gain control of.
Plus, when they’re combined, they’ll let you outpace your competitors like you can’t even imagine.
Decide Between Using Stock Photos or Hiring a Pro
Photography and graphic design really are crafts unto themselves. While there’s nothing wrong with using stock photography, there’re a few frustrating aspects to it. First, you have less control over the image perspective. Second, there’s probably nothing more frustrating than seeing the same stock photo used in another ad on Facebook after you’ve launched your own. Stock photos do have to go for them that they’re cheaper and quicker but consider which is right for your sales funnel.
Review More than One Version of the Image
If you’re going with stock photos, you’ll still notice that many images have more than one version. Instead of just grabbing one and going, sift through the different perspectives and shots. This simple step can mean the difference between an image that works and an image that hits the bullseye for clicks.
Avoid Images with Finer Details
Those images with small detail or complex aspects tend to confuse the eye more. Remember, less is more. Check the image to ensure that those details aren’t muddying the overall effect. Although a little detail is fine in small doses, you don’t want a labyrinth for the eye. This is especially true on mobile, where such details can become hazy.
Adapting Your Image to Your Ad Size
Facebook Ads come in a variety of form factors. Which is right for your funnel will be different every time. But when you know which size you’ll be choosing first, you can select your images with this in mind. This helps guarantee you’re getting the very most from any image you select. It also makes the process of selecting an image way easier. Check out this excellent image size resource to get started.
Use an Image to Guide the Eye
This trick is probably one of the best ones, and it’s taught to professional graphic designers every year. You see, when you’re choosing your image, you have a chance to select one that “points” to other parts of your ad. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you’re looking through stock images, and you find one of someone celebrating with their hands in the air. They also happen to be pointing one of their fingers to the sky in their happiness. Expand your thinking a little bit.
Is it possible to word your Facebook headline copy so that the person in the image is pointing at an important word in your ad? If it is, your potential leads will have their eye naturally guided to the most meaningful part of your content. Neat trick!
Protip: We’ve probably all heard of “photoshop disasters.” Whether you’ve hired a pro or grabbed some stock images, always review them one last time to make sure that there isn’t anything awkward in the image.
I’m sure you’ve seen your own fair share of ad images.
Whether it was a photoshop disaster or a touching piece of photojournalism, what images had you doing a double take?