Little Known Ways To Make Good Facebook Ads Images That Convert

Perfect picture for advertising

According to Facebook & Nielsen, image is the most important element in advertising. An eye-catching or the must-watch video photo makes people want to stop scrolling and spend some more time with your ad. 

Nielsen’s 2017 study into the impact of each advertising element on sales

With 2,5 billion users on Facebook, it is possible to reach out to almost ⅓ world population.  The average consumer clicks on 11 ads per month. However, you have only 1-2 seconds to capture your potential user’s attention:

 Expert Insight: Facebook on capturing attention in feed

According to Fors Marsh group tests, it takes only 0.25 seconds of exposure for people to recall mobile feed content at a statistically significant rate. 

And in News Feed on Facebook, we’re seeing people spend, on average, 1.7 seconds with a piece of content on mobile compared to 2.5 seconds on desktop

Facebook Ad Structure

In accordance to the placement ( where your ad is displayed), your ad will consist at least 2 of the 5 following features:

Source: Facebook 

Here’s a test for you, where you can see for yourself what you will look at first:

This is a well-known meme, but we’re not 100% sure who originated it. Source of the image

As Billy Carlson mentioned:

Lack of visual hierarchy and poorly aligned content interrupts your brain’s ability to scan and zone-in on areas of interest. If we cannot quickly understand what we see, we become frustrated and will likely leave the experience.

How to Use Visual Hierarchy

9 rules on advertising from David Ogilvy

We are a big fan of advertising legend, David Ogilvy (1911–1999) who was a business executive who founded the advertising, marketing, and PR agency Ogilvy & Mather in 1948. 

Throughout his illustrious career, the mogul Time magazine called “the most sought-after wizard in the business” shared his knowledge of the industry in the books Ogilvy on Advertising and the bestselling Confessions of an Advertising Man.

His advice is timeless and works nowadays and works with any type of advertisement. We implemented his advice with more research from today’s world. 

1. Arouse the reader’s curiosity

The kind of photographs that work the most are those that arouse the reader’s interest. Reader looks at photography and thinks: “What’s going on here?”.

Then the reader reads a text to find out:

“Harold Rudplph called this magic element ‘Story Appeal’ and demonstrated that the more of it you inject into your photographs, the more people look at your advertisements” 

The eyepatch injects the magic element of ’story appeal’.

2. Illustrate the end-result of using your product 

It’s worth taking the end-result pictures. Before and after images seem to fascinate people: 

“In a study of 70 campaigns whose sales results were known, Gallup did not find a single before-and-after campaign that did not increase sales” 

End-result pictures are a part of social proof. As mentioned in this article,

Since birth we are looking for proof that the behaviors we exhibit fit in with society. This in-built craving for guidance never leaves us. It gives them the sense of comfort that if they choose your product, they will not stand out from their peers. They can comfort themselves with this social proof that it’s OK to use this product.

3. Keep focus

“Keep your illustrations as simple as possible, with the focus of interest on one person. Crowd scenes don’t pull”. 

Images of happy women (like in the picture above), babies and animals works

“My brother Francis once asked a Cockney editor of Daily Mirror (UK) what kind of photographs most interest his readers. He answered: ‘Babies with an eart-throb, animals with an eart-throb, and what you might call sex.’ This is still true today.”

According to Mona Elleseily 2 types of facebook images images ads that work are: 

  1. Happy women- The image that has proved to convert best in Facebook ads is of a happy woman looking directly at the camera. 
  1. Headshots- happy pictures where people are looking directly at the camera work best. 

According to AdEspresso

We have a specific part of the brain that responds only to faces. Cells in the Fusiform Gyrus, sometimes called the fusiform face area, only fire when they see a face. No other object can get them to respond. In 2005, a study from Caltech showed that people have specific cells that only respond to individual people  

4. It’s all about being social

You should remember that Facebook is above all a social platform, where people break away from their daily duties to make their time more pleasant. Therefore, everything that seems fun, odd or exciting has the potential to be used in advertising on Facebook. 

5. Logo in advertising

“I cannot resist the temptation to quote a verse which gives valuable advice on illustration: 

When the client moans and sighs,

Make his logo twice the size. 

If he still should prove refractory

Show a picture of his factory.

Only in the gravest cases

Should you show the client’s faces. 

If your brand is not yet recognizable, start in small steps: always attach your logo to your advertising campaign so that people can slowly identify you.

6. Don’t even try to buy people

“You cannot bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them in buying it”. 

That’s why we talk so much in our work about desires, problems & pains of people. People will buy only if this is something for them.

“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.”

Joanna Wiebe

Founder of Copyhackers.

7. Big idea & brand image 

As Ogilvy mentioned,

You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the marketplace. The personality of a product is an amalgam of many things, and, above all, the nature of the product itsef. (…) 

Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the brand image. It follows that your advertising should consistently project the same image, year after year. This is difficult to achieve, because there are always forces at work to change the advertising- like a new agency, or a new Marketing Director who wants to make his mark. 

It pays to give most products an image of quality- a First Class ticket. This is particularly true of products whose brand-name is visible to your friends: products you ‘wear’. 

Few examples: 

  1. Commander Whitehead for Schweppes 

An essay in the art of image-building. For 18 years I used the face of my client Commander Whiteheads as the symbol of his own product. It worked to beat the band on a peppercorn budget. 

  1. Jack Bateman for Jack Daniels 

Take whiskey. Why do some people choose Jack Daniel’s, while others choose Grand Dad or Taylor? Have they tried all 3 and compared the taste? Don’t make me laugh. The reality is that these 3 brands have different images which appeals to different kinds of people. It isn’t the whiskey they choose, it’s the image. The brand image is 90% of what the distirrer want to sell. 

  1. Man in a Hathaway Shirt

This ad campaign, with the mysterious character in the eye patch, instantly catapulted Hathaway as the #1 selling dress shirts in the world. 

  1. Leo Burnett- Marlboro Man 
Marlboro Man

Leo Burnett’s campaign for Marlboro projects an image which has made it the biggest-selling cigarette in the world. It has been running, almost without a change, from 1954 to 1999. 

8. How to recognise a big idea? 

It will help you recognize a big idea if you ask yourself 5 questions:

  1. Did it make me gasp when I first saw it? 
  2. Do I wish I had thought of it myself? 
  3. Is it unique? 
  4. Does it fit the strategy to perfection? 
  5. Could it be used for 30 years? 

9. Make the product hero 

Whenever you can, make the product itself the hero of your advertising. If you think the product is too dull, I have the news for you: there are no dull products, only dull writers. I never assign a product to a writer unless I know that he is personally interested in it.

A problem with confronts agencies is that so many products are no different from their competitors. Manufacturers have access to the same technology; marketing people use the same research procedures to determine consumer preferences, color, size, taste and so on. 

Good ideas come from the unconscious. The author dreamed about an old baker driving his horse and wagon along a country lane on his way to deliver Pepperidge Farm Bread. 25 years later the horse and wagon are still in the commercials. 

The key to a successful advertising on Facebook 

Why do people fail with Facebook ads? Sam Ovens, CEO of answers this question: 

Facebook’s algorithm is a natural selection machine that’s constantly optimizing. In order to optimize, the algorithm needs variation. 

Without variation the algorithm will jam and your ads will stop getting traffic, and fail faster than you can imagine. This is why everyone fails for Facebook ads. 

People write one angle and then they have one image for that. Then they select one audience, and typically it’s an audience with hardly anyone in it, and then that’s what they have. They have one possible combination of variables. One. 

Variation is the key

So when it comes to Facebook ads, like I’ve said, variation is key. Within each ad angle, we want to have different images to go with it, because this means that we’ve got multiple images for an ad and then multiple ads for each audience. It gives us three layers of variation. 

So when it comes to Facebook ads, like I’ve said, variation is key. Within each ad angle, we want to have different images to go with it, because this means that we’ve got multiple images for an ad and then multiple ads for each audience. It gives us three layers of variation. 

Here is a screenshot from the campaign for one of our clients. The test phase consists of checking which image, copy and audience work best, allowing for quick optimisation.

Photography tips for Facebook ads

Here are some tips from Facebook and other sources to take better images for your ads. Let’s dive into it!

Think mobile-first

Look at images on a mobile device and make sure that the main subject is clear and any text is legible.

Keep it simple

You don’t need a tonne of props or complicated staging to create a compelling image.

Follow the rule of thirds

Don’t centre your subject. Instead, your subject should be closer to either side or along the top or bottom of your image. Exception: Faces can be anywhere in the frame and bigger is often better.

Try varied perspectives and watch your edges

Mix big and small things and try different perspectives to create contrast.

Use interesting layouts

Consider organising multiple objects neatly to create an appealing design and photograph the display from above.

Add a focal point and varied textures

Make sure that you have a clear subject in the image and play with texture to create an interesting contrast.

Light and shadow create a nice contrast

Bright light and deep shadows create a stark contrast that can make your photos more interesting.

Use attractive colour combinations

Keep a colour wheel handy and use it to create interesting colour combinations when selecting subjects for a photo.

Here you can find a colour wheel to know what colors look good together. 

It won’t come as a surprise that Facebook colors are blue and white. If you choose the same colours, your ad will mix into the News Feed and people will skip it.