1. It's visual. Visual content is not only treated more favorably in the Facebook algorithm, but it's also more likely to be shared and remembered than written content. The lesson for Facebook marketers? No matter what type of ad you create, your image needs to be visually appealing. Check out this blog post for a detailed guide to image sizes for various ad units on Facebook along with some tips on posting visual content. 2. It's relevant. Relevance is critical for success when using Facebook advertising. Remember, you are spending money when someone views or clicks on your ad (depending on the settings you use). If you're showing ads that aren't relevant to your target audience, you're wasting your time and money and will likely not see success with any kind of advertising. Back in February 2015, Facebook launched a feature in the Facebook advertising platform that rates your ads and gives you a relevance score, similar to Ad Rank in Google AdWords. The more relevant your ad image, ad copy, and destination page is to your audience, the higher your score is -- and the more favorably Facebook will treat your ads. 3. It includes an enticing value proposition. A value proposition tells the reader why they should click on your ad to learn more about your product. How is your product or service different from any other? Why should the viewer click on your ad to see your website? Your value proposition should be believable. For example, saying you have the greatest sandwiches in the world will not make people come to your business's Page, but maybe offering 20% off will. Or, perhaps adding social proof will help -- something like, "Sandwiches loved by over one million people every year! Come try yours today and get 20% off your order with this coupon." 4. It has a clear call-to-action. A beautiful and relevant ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your viewer might not know what to do next. Add a CTA like “Buy now and save X%,” or “Offer ends soon” and add a sense of urgency to your viewer. Your CTA should encourage people to click on your ad now. How do Facebook Ads work? Facebook Ads work by targeting a group of Facebook users that all share similar characteristics, and placing your ad on these users' News Feeds or right column. There are eight different ad formats you can choose from, each catering to the specific goals you might want your ad to accomplish. To invest in Facebook Ads effectively, you first need to know whom your ads are directed toward. When creating a new ad on Facebook, you can create a new audience that includes many customizable characteristics. Among them are: Location. Age. Sex. Languages spoken. Interests and behaviors. Their connections to your other business-related pages on Facebook. You can also create what's called a Lookalike Audience, which permits Facebook to create an audience for you that best resembles a particular "source." This source can include some or all the information listed above. After customizing your ad's audience, you need to consider how the ad will look on both desktop and mobile. This ensures you design your ad for easy viewing no matter where it appears on Facebook. Here are three different places you can see your Facebook Ads show up: Facebook Ad Placements Placement 1: Right Column Right Column Facebook Placement.png Image via Facebook This type of ad is the most traditional on Facebook, it appears on the right side of a user's Facebook News Feed. This is the first type of advertising Facebook had, and it still exists today. Although ads in the News Feed are likely to get higher engagement metrics due to its native advertising features, right column ads shouldn't be forgotten. We often see less expensive clicks and conversions when using these ads. In order for a right column ad to be successful, it needs to be relevant, have a value proposition, a good visual, and have a call-to-action. Placement 2: Desktop News Feed Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 1.16.38 PM.png Image via Facebook This type of ad appears directly in a user's News Feed when they access Facebook on a desktop computer, and it looks more like native advertising. In our experience, these ads have a higher engagement rate than right column ads, but they can also be more expensive. These ads must follow organic Facebook posts best practices and be both engaging and visual. Placement 3: Mobile News Feed Mobile Facebook Ad Placement.png Image via Facebook Like the desktop News Feed ad, this type of ad appears in the user's mobile News Feed and displays like an organic post from the people and Pages they follow. Facebook Ad Formats Next, you'll choose a format for your Facebook Ad, and there are eight options to choose from: Format 1: Photo Ad Photo Ads are still images that can help to promote a product or event you want to specifically call attention to. If you have a special promotion going on, for example, this ad format puts a crisp snapshot of your product or venue at the center of your ad. For ads shown in a Facebook News Feed, the recommended image resolution is at least 1080 x 1080. Format 2: Video Ad Video Ads have a GIF or video as the centerpiece of the advertisement, and can be used to demonstrate a product or event. Video Ads help you form deeper connections with your audience by aligning your brand with a type of content online users are quickly consuming more of (nearly 80% of all data consumed on mobile devices will be in video form by 2021, according to a Facebook study). There are six types of video ads you can invest in on Facebook: Short Videos and GIFs Vertical Videos Instagram Stories Video Carousels Video Collections In-stream Videos Format 3: Stories Ad Stories Ads are a part of Facebook Stories, one of the newest content types rolled out by Facebook that allows users to post temporary clips and images of their day for their friends to see. This type of ad is fitted to the dimensions of a mobile device, and can be played on both mobile and desktop. As users browse their friends' Stories, these ads can appear in the same format inside a stream of Stories. For this reason, it's best to create Stories Ads that reflect the same candid and entertaining look and feel that people see from their friends. Stories Ads can be placed on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Format 4: Messenger Ad A Messenger Ad appears as a direct message in a user's message list when they're inside Facebook's Messenger app. These ads allow you to interact with your audience, showing them offers you think they would like and listening to their responses so you can better tailor your next message to their interests. Let's say your ad's first message is "What product might you be interested in?" The user can then select from three different responses, triggering your ad to produce a more specific product offer directly in the message thread. Format 5: Carousel Ad Carousel Ads contain a series of images or videos that users can rotate through, all of them helping to describe a single product, service, or event the ad is promoting. Each Carousel Ad can contain to 10 images or videos at a time and link to their own individual webpages. Because these ads carry so much media, according to Facebook, they're ideal for: Endorsing multiple products. Promoting multiple features of the same product. Telling a story or sequence of events that unfolds over the course of multiple pictures or videos. Explaining a process to potential customers. Format 6: Slideshow Ad Similar to Carousel Ads, explained above, Slideshow Ads segment your ad into individual images that users view one after another. The difference between these two ad formats is that Slideshow Ads only play images (not videos), and the ad compiles these images into a slideshow that plays automatically in the form of a video. According to Facebook, Carousel Ads are ideal for: Creating a video-like experience for users quickly and with a small budget. Advertisers who want to choose from a library of pre-created images and music (a unique perk of Facebook's Slideshow Ad). Simplifying an otherwise complicated concept or process for potential customers. Reaching people who have slower internet connections (Slideshow Ads use five times less data than video ads on Facebook). Format 7: Collection Ad A Collection Ad allows advertisers to bring the buying process directly into Facebook, so potential customers can move from "discovery" to "purchase" more easily when they see a product they like. This ad format features a central image or video promoting a product, with a collection of four smaller images below it that viewers can click on to learn more about the product. There are four types of Collection Ads you can invest in: Instant Storefront: This ad is ideal for displaying multiple products as part of the same ad campaign, and driving traffic to each product's respective product page. Instant Lookbook: This ad is ideal for demonstrating or modeling a product in various contexts for your audience. Instant Customer Acquisition: This ad is ideal for driving traffic to, and a specific action on, a product's landing page. Instant Storytelling: This ad is ideal for telling a story about your brand or helping your audience learn more about the business. Format 8: Playables Playables cater specifically to app developers. This ad format allows your audience to watch, preview, and even play an abbreviated version of your new app directly from inside the ad. 8 Facebook Ad Templates Facebook Ads can be used to accomplish a number of different goals for your business. Here are a few real ads that you can use as templates of inspiration when creating an ad that targets the same goal: Template 1: Video Product Demo Ad Facebook ad template for video Image via Facebook Video ads appear fairly large in the user's New Feed and offer more engaging content than static posts. And with 8 billion videos being watched on Facebook every day, it serves as an interesting -- and potentially profitable -- ad type for marketers to try out. How can you create your own video ad? First, understand Facebook video ad requirements including length and video size. We suggest keeping your video as short as possible, even though Facebook allows you to upload a much larger video. Create a video that displays your product or service, and upload directly to the Facebook ads manager by following these instructions. Template 2: Photo Model Ad Facebook ad template for photo Image via Facebook Another type of rich media advertising on Facebook is a post of an image. This is one of the most popular types of ads ever since Facebook began favoring visual content. The optimal size for News Feed photo ads is at least 1080 x 1080 pixels, otherwise your image will get cropped. Adjust your image based on the target audience's needs and by what will appeal to them the most. Template 3: Multi-product Ad Facebook ad template for multi-product Image via Facebook Multi-product ads allow advertisers to showcase multiple products within one ad. Viewers can scroll through the images and click on individual links to each product. You can promote multiple of anything, not just products -- like different blog posts, ebooks, or webinars. These ads can be created in the Facebook Power Editor. Template 4: Reach Ad Facebook ad template for reach ad and local awarenessImage via Facebook Reach ads on Facebook are designed for to grow your local awareness. They only work if your business has a physical location to which you're trying to drive real foot traffic. If you fall into this category, locally targeted Facebook ads might be a great fit for you, as you can hyper-target on Facebook down to the mile. If your business has an offer or event going on at your store, set up a few Facebook Reach ads that appear only to people within a short distance of your store. Have these ads appear a few days prior to the event and on mobile devices while the event is happening. You may want to reach some people the day of the event who happen to be in the area and checking their Facebook account on their smartphones. Template 5: Special Offer Ad Facebook ad template for offerImage via Facebook An offer ad is a form of Facebook advertising wherein a business can promote a discount on a product or service that can be redeemed on Facebook. The benefit of this? It eliminates one step in the buyer's journey, which ultimately increases sales. The offer ad has many benefits. First, it drives the user directly to the offer. The user claims it directly on Facebook, removing any added friction of needing to go to your website for the offer. You also can reach any type of audience that you want, as all the Facebook targeting options are possible. Finally, you can include all the information needed for the user to decide if they want it or not, including the time period it is usable, the number of people who has already claimed it, and the exact amount the offer is. This will eliminate any unqualified clicks, which cost you money. Template 6: Event Ad Facebook ad template for event Event ads promote a specific event. The CTA on these ads usually send users directly to the ticket purchase page, wherever that happens to be hosted. Using this type of ad will help drive a targeted group of people to attend your event. These will show up in the News Feed of the specific audience you've chosen. Events are a big part of most businesses, but getting people to attend even a small event, can be tricky. Promoting your event to a targeted specific audience on Facebook can help drive the right kind of attendees. A good ad in this format will clearly show the benefit of attending the event: the price, dates, and a clear CTA to purchase a ticket. Template 7: Boosted Ad Facebook ad template for boosted postImage via Stealth Seminar A boosted post is an organic Facebook post that was originally on the homepage of a company's Facebook, and that later was boosted with advertising money. This is different from the above ads because it's not created in the Facebook Ads Manager. You can include more in the description, as there is no limit to word count on boosted posts like there is in ads. You can also have a link in the copy. The cons? Boosted posts leave you fewer options for bidding, targeting, and pricing. You also cannot run any types of A/B tests because you're promoting a post that has already been created; you're not creating one from scratch. Template 8: Retargeting Ad A retargeting ad promotes an ad to a specific list of previously identified people. Have you ever seen ads follow you across the internet after visiting a certain website? Then you've seen a retargeting ad. Facebook has the same capability. An advertiser can advertise to a list of leads or customers by uploading a list of email addresses it already has into the Power Editor to make a custom audience. A good retargeting ad acknowledges that the brand knows you're already interested in its product. (Because, let's face it ... retargeting can be a little creepy.) Now that we've covered the main ad best practices, formats, and templates, let's dig into a sampling of the best Facebook ads that embrace the above guidelines.