Facebook advertising works for businesses large and small, and there is no doubt that the accompanying images play a crucial role in the effectiveness of the ad. However, Facebook ad images are up against some stiff competition, as they are sandwiched between images of friends, pets, cute kids, and cool places. While there are some general guidelines for a successful Facebook ad image, there is no one formula that fits all businesses.
Depending upon the product or service you provide, the audience you’re trying to target, and the objective of your ad, there are different types of successful Facebook ad images. This post describes six ways to improve the effectiveness of your Facebook ad images, and some businesses to which they are most applicable.
Show people engaging with your product or service as much as possible. People like attractive, happy faces—women in particular —so it’s a good idea to include them in your Facebook ad images. If you run a fashion boutique, for example, instead of showing just clothes in your Facebook ad image, show smiling people wearing them. Rather than just standing and modeling off the clothing, you might show them doing something typical of your target customer, such as walking to the train or grabbing coffee with a friend. If you’re a plumber, you might even try a photo of a happy customer standing in her bathroom. A computer repair service could use a picture of a person working on a computer or showing a client something on their computer.
Include people in your Facebook ad images only if they will supplement your image. If you’re a landscaping business, real estate agent, interior designer, or cake decorator, pictures of your products will speak for themselves. In these cases, adding people to your Facebook ad images may detract from the impression made by the photo or distract viewers from the message it’s conveying.
Use Your Personas
People like familiarity and are attracted to that which they can relate to. So, if you are going to use people in your Facebook ad images, don’t just use anyone; use your buyer personas.
For example, if you are a yoga instructor and the buyer persona you are targeting is middle-aged women in suburbia, show a photo of middle aged women doing yoga in a park. A picture of young females carrying yoga mats through a city doing yoga after work is not the best Facebook ad image for your business. Whomever you are targeting in your Facebook ad, those are the people to include in your image.
Facebook ad targeting enables you to identify very specific groups of people based on a number of factors, so this will make it easier for you to identify the types of people to include in your Facebook ad images.
Capture the Experience
Rather than just simply showing your product or service, your Facebook ad image should convey the experience around it. Give people a taste of what it’s like to enjoy your business, and you will increase their desire to experience it.
For example, if you run a coffee shop, you may think that a photo of a person drinking coffee is a good Facebook ad image. But unless your cup of coffee looks vastly different from the next, your image won’t stand out. A photo of a person in your shop, reading or talking with others, or receiving their latte from a smiling barista shows the type of experience that a customer at your shop can expect. An ad image like this reflects the atmosphere of your coffee shop and will attract the people most likely to enjoy it. It also captures a positive experience that people will want to pursue.
For businesses where atmosphere isn’t important, such as financial planners, you can focus on the experience that someone wants to achieve through your services like a happy family or a retired couple on vacation. Highlight the results that your business can provide.
Demystify Your Business
Decreasing the uncertainty of an experience increases the chances of a passive viewer becoming an active customer. People like predictability, so the more clearly person a can picture themselves using your product or service, the more likely they are to actually use it. Improve the effectiveness of your Facebook ad image by supplying as much information as possible with it.
If you run a preschool, for example, a picture of a cute kid is a good Facebook ad image, but an image of an adult helping a child write their name, with another adult in the background and with artwork and alphabet letters on the walls, is a better one. It supplies the parent with more information about the preschool—highlighting one-on-one time with students and a structured learning environment. Use your Facebook ad images to demystify the experience of your business as much as possible, and you will attract more customers.
Emphasize the Outcome
For some businesses, it may be less important to capture the experience of your business as it is to capture the final outcome. For example, if you run a hair salon, people are less concerned with the experience as they are with the end result. In this case, a good Facebook ad image would be a smiling woman walking out of a salon with a new hairstyle, rather than an image of a stylist with shears. If your business is event planning, a picture of a busy party with people having fun will have more impact than a photo of someone organizing the party.
Appeal to the Emotions
Emotional experiences are more powerful and memorable, so increase and prolong the impact of your Facebook ad image by eliciting emotions – good or bad. For example, if you are an auto mechanic, a picture of a car or a wrench in your Facebook ad image gets the message across, but it won’t be memorable. Instead, appeal to the emotions of your customers: use an image of a professional dressed for work, on the side of the road, staring with defeat at a smoking hood will resonate more clearly with your audience. Looking at this type of photo, you can almost feel the stress yourself. It grabs your attention and has an emotional impact.
The best Facebook ad images take into account what is psychologically more attractive and appealing to the human brain. However, depending upon your product or service, the industry you’re in, and your target audience, some methods will be more applicable than others. Don’t be afraid to experiment and test out different Facebook ad images to see which ones work best for your business. What kinds of images have worked for your Facebook ads? Let us know in the comments below.