Best Practices For Creating a Facebook Single Image Ad

By: Patricia Poblete

With an estimate of 1.47 billion people logging in to Facebook every single day, it comes as no surprise to find Facebook as the top social media marketing hub in the industry. And with Facebook giving you all the power to track and reach your core audience and other potential customers with the same interest (in spite of your low-budget/high-budget marketing strategy), there’s no other reasons why you shouldn’t use Facebook for marketing. So as Facebook Ads becoming a standardized marketing leverage for many small to large businesses it’s easy to see the dramatic growth in competition for eyeballs and clicks.

The result of this competition upsurge is one of many reasons why Facebook has been perpetually changing its ad serving algorithms and landscape; to cut down the overwhelming amount of content (posts from businesses, brands, and media) in users’ News Feed—especially in the past few months. These News Feed “changes,” were carried to minimize public content (i.e., advertising or news) which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, described as, “passive experience” and show more personalized content. Zuckerberg stated that the Facebook’s “measures of engagement will go down,” but each content will consequently be more of value to every user if public content is reduced.

How this affects Facebook ads?

To make sense of where you stand in all of these “changes,” Adam Mosseri, the Head of Facebook News Feed, clarified that Facebook won’t remove public content nor ads (not even close)—Facebook so far has generated $13.2 billion revenue on its second-quarter in advertising alone; ads give Facebook money, so undeniably ads will stay—but instead, Facebook will only highlight content depending on the level of engagement the content receives. Facebook’s method of “measuring” the level of engagement of Ads is through its Relevance Score system. Since the space of News Feed will become more restrictive, Facebook’s algorithm will prioritize posts that generate conversations or posts that often lead to discussions. In that case, you’ll need to step up your game on the content you’ll be advertising because the more positive interactions your ad receives, the higher the relevance score—which can impact your ad’s distribution among users’ News Feeds. This fundamental News Feed shift is Zuckerberg’s way of steering Facebook into a platform that serves “more meaningful social interactions.” Amazing news for everyday users, but not so amazing news for brands.

How does this impact the way marketers create and implement Facebook Ads?

In this blog post, we will discuss 4 best practices when creating a Facebook Single Image Ad, adopting the updates of Facebook’s new News Feed. But before we jump into it, why are we focusing on single image format? Apart from the fact that single image ad format is the most basic Facebook ad you can use to kick off your brand’s marketing presence (especially for small to medium-sized businesses), single image ads can also be used across most of the Ad Placements on Facebook. Ad Placements on Facebook include: News Feed, Right Column, Instant Articles, In-stream Videos, Stories, and Marketplace.

Indeed the right ad format (Single Image, Video, Carousel, Slideshow, Collection, and Messenger) highly depends on your brand’s campaign objectives, but according to a study conducted by Facebook, including a single image ad in marketing campaigns drove more “unique traffic” and “unique conversions".

Hence, here are 4 practices that you should keep in mind before starting or growing your brand’s marketing presence on Facebook:
  1. Choose a creative image

  2. Without question, visual content is an important element of the overall advert. Not only do visuals capture user attention, but also play a role in determining your ad’s presence within the new Facebook News Feed. How? Having a visually appealing image for your ad is no joke on Facebook, or on any social media platforms. Most social media sites are visual platforms; visual content is what drives many users to come back. In that case, despite of your brand’s campaign objectives, your image must be eye-catching and high-resolution or else people will just scroll past your ad. Art direction is not everyone’s forte, but here’s a helpful tip: your image’s relevancy matters, but not as much as creativity. Note that the relevance of your image in your ad doesn’t affect your Relevancy Score, it’s the engagement and interactions. So as long as you use creative components in your image that will connect it with your brand’s main marketing objectives; such as, the text used in an image (as shown in the following example). Therefore, use an image with playful elements and use the ad’s copy for the literal intent of your ad. Let your image do the “pulling” for the attention and let your copy do the “explaining” of what your ad is all about.

    Abitibi Dental Centre Ad Copy: Get a FREE Consultation now and learn more about the Teeth Whitening: Opalescence Go

    For example, one of UpOnline’s Facebook Ads with Abitibi Dental Centre uses a bright and clear image with playful colours, but the intent of the ad is to build brand awareness and advertise Opalescence Go. There is no indication of the actual product, Opalescence Go, in the image aside from the text. The copy, however, is straightforward and demonstrates the ad’s intent. The contrast between the image and the copy is what will make your content more interesting and engaging. If the ad image and ad copy was literal and straightforward, the advert would be completely different. For instance, the following is an ad sample created by Stealth Seminar:

    Notice the difference between the Abitibi Dental Centre ad and Stealth Seminar’s Facebook ad.

    Aside from your ad’s content, make sure your image meets the Single Image Ad requirements. The minimum image width is 600px and the minimum height is 600px. Note that Facebook has a 20% in-image text rule, requiring little to no text within the image. Before running your ad, use Facebook’s tool as a guide to determine whether your ad may reach less audience due to the amount of text on your ad.

    Related article: 4 Free Visual Content Tools Every Digital Marketer Should Know

  3. Include a clear and inviting Value Proposition

  4. Despite what your business entails, the purpose of your ad shouldn’t be to sell your product or service, it should be to build awareness and acquire new customers. Encouraging people to sign up or make a purchase comes after a few clear and inviting words—that’s your ad’s value proposition. Your value proposition is what makes your product or service desirable to customers; it’s what can help you distinguish yourself from competitors and what can ultimately give people the "push" to take action.

    How can you create the perfect value proposition without killing your conversions and sales, or weakening the value of your ad?

    • Make your value proposition short and concise
    • Give a reason why customers should choose you over your competitors
    • Be specific of the benefits the customer will receive
    Your value proposition can be placed as a headline, a text within the image, or as a sub-headline/text of your Facebook Ad.

    Here is an example of the Value Proposition of Abitibi Dental Centre, “Free Dental Consultation.”

    Before crafting your value proposition, let’s talk about what value of proposition should NOT be:
    • A tagline, motto, or slogan
    • Engagement Bait: a marketing tactic used in Facebook to “take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach”. For example, “Share this post with 20 friends for a chance to win a free all-inclusive vacation in Bali.”

    Make sure you research and generate an authentic value proposition in order to follow Facebook’s updated “no clickbait headlines” regulation.

  5. Include a relevant and simple CTA

  6. Already have an eye-catching image and clear relevant copy? Great. Have an evident Value Proposition that makes your brand recognizable and distinct from competitors? Great. Will the potential customers know what to do next? Maybe not.

    CTA (or Call to Action) is of great importance on ads. It’s an opportunity for you to lead your customers in the direction you want them to go. Whether you want them to purchase, install, book, watch, sign up, or use your products or service, the ad’s CTA offers a sense of urgency to take action. There are abundant CTA to choose from but remember to make it as relevant to your business objective as possible. Your CTA should be simple and direct. For example, if you are promoting your new gaming app, your CTA should not steer too far away from, “Install Now,” “Use App,” or “Play Game.” Understand your marketing objectives and research CTA that aligns with those objectives. There is no magic formula that will work for every business. However, one effective way to capture the “perfect” CTA for your brand is to test its metric performance after publishing.

  7. Use a targeting strategy that will narrow down your audience

  8. Why is this important?

    Since the recent changes to Facebook’s feed and ad serving algorithms, the amount of people that will see your ad will likely be reduced. You will no longer be able to target audience based on their income, spending methods, purchase behavior, etc. So how can your ad be shown to the right audience that can lead to conversions? Always refine and update your ad’s targeting strategy; this can help your ad stay focused on your intended audience despite of new algorithm changes.
But don’t fret, Facebook continues to offer several audience- targeting features for marketers’ advantage.

If your campaign objective is to increase brand awareness, Facebook continues to allow marketers to target users based on their:

  • Interests
  • life events (i.e., profile status: married or engaged)
  • age and gender
  • location
  • spoken language
  • Lookalike Audiences (a way to show ads to users who “look” like you current customers)

Facebook’s Audience Insight Tool can also help you adjust your audience targeting strategy.

On top of that, using retargeted traffic can further help refine you audience. Retargeted traffic in Facebook includes:

  • Past website visitors
  • Users that engaged with your organic posts or ads
  • Users that liked your page
  • Users that watched your video

Facebook Pixel is another targeting tool that can assist your ads to be shown to the right audience.

Related Article: 3 Rules for Creating Interactive Content

And there you have it! These are some of the best practices you need to know about Facebook Single Image Ads in order to maximize your ad spend and help grow your business. The most effective ads that drive results need more than just attractive photos. They require strategy, research, and creativity! Creating a Facebook Ad is not easy—especially with the constant algorithm changes. Take the time to understand Facebook Ads to make sure you stay on top of competition. If you’re interested in learning other marketing strategies, check out our blogposts. Need help in boosting your brand, social media, or website? Check out our services.