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| 11 min read

How To Make Facebook Creative That Converts Into Customers

Written by Daniel Watts

So you’re looking to make better ads. Ads that attract the right customers, help convince people to buy from you, and ultimately grow your business.

And there’s a lot of advice out there. You’ve probably seen, read or heard it from forums, podcasts or even YouTube.

Trouble is, it’s often given out one piece of the puzzle at a time. Useful but fragmented. And that makes things confusing. I’m sure you know the feeling.

It’s tricky to find something in one place that attempts to break things down succinctly and practically.

This is our attempt. Attempt #1. 

We’re fortunate enough to work with a lot of DTC ecommerce brands and manage significant budgets on direct response ads every day, which makes spotting patterns and trends in effective paid social creative quite straightforward.

A QUICK OVERVIEW

Thankfully, it’s clear that making great creative that helps convert traffic from Facebook is a little more science than art. It’s more objective than you might think.

We don’t need to get into direct response creative psychology, but essentially there are a few key things your creative needs to do in the mind of a prospective buyer if it’s going to help convince them to buy.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary of the practical tips we’re going to go through:

> Put together creative that’s eye-catching from the start. Stop people scrolling.

> Keep your product the focus. Clearly show what your product is or what your service does. 

> Think in angles. Make sure your creative is speaking directly to your prospect in a way which either highlights their pain point and positions your product or service as the solution; or highlights their desires and positions your product as the route to achieve them.

> Test a wide variety of creative styles and formats. What appeals to one person doesn’t appeal to everyone.

When you distill all the advice out there, these really are the core elements you need to focus on if you want to put together effective creative for paid social. 

Let’s go into a little more detail and share some simple, proven, practical formulas. Read on…

STOP PEOPLE SCROLLING

“People won’t buy your product if they can’t see your product”.

When putting together an image, make sure it stands out in someone’s busy newsfeed. If you’re not sure what might stand out, scroll through your own feed quickly and only stop when something catches your eye. What is it that stopped you? Colour, copy, product size? Replicate it.

When putting together a video, make sure the first 1-2 seconds have movement to grab attention, and articulate your core value proposition. You can have the most convincing video in the world but without getting people to watch it, you’re not going to sell much. The first 1-3 seconds are key.

If this is all you do with your video, you’re streets ahead of most advertisers.

CLEARLY SHOW YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE

This is the most important one and where most go wrong. In fact, when you boil it down, this is the fundamental difference between good and bad creative.

Leave nothing to the imagination: have your product fill the screen, or have your service being clearly demonstrated. Remove any other distractions.

You can’t convince a prospect to buy your product or service if it’s not the main focus of your creative.

Sharing just one real life example, we recently took over the ad account for Kidslox – the #1 parental control app on the App Store – and needed to quickly bring down their cost per acquisition to prove that Facebook could be a viable customer acquisition channel at scale.

Their previous partner tried all sorts of technical wizardry inside the ad account but glossed over creative that simply showed the product or service in action, ie what the prospective customer actually sees, and the end result they achieve.

So the team briefed in Viktor, the founder, to record a very simple 10 second video demonstrating the app, how simple it is to use and the end result for the user – the core value proposition. 

All shot on his phone with no fancy edits, text overlays or music. A super rough and ready test.

The result?

An overnight drop in CPA by over 68%, which has continued to improve more since then. Simply by pivoting the creative to show the product in action.

THINK IN ANGLES

An angle is simply the topic of your ad, or the particular problem you’re trying to solve. 

A lot of the time it’s an insight from your customers – a burning pain point or a desire – something important to them.

Using a juice cleanse as an example, here are a few potential angles you could explore:

> Weight loss

> Reducing inflammation

> Curb sugar cravings

> Detox

> Kickstart healthier lifestyle

You can then build your creatives around these individual angles to see what resonates best with your audiences.

Why’s this important? Different customers respond to different pain points or desires, so having a variety of angles enables you to reach more customers and resonate with their needs as you scale.

Approaching your creative in angles also makes the production far more straightforward and enables you to repurpose existing content, making the most of what you have with very little additional overhead.

Effective angles almost always come from really understanding what drives your customer and articulating that clearly in your messaging.

TEST A VARIETY OF STYLES AND FORMATS

So you’ve chosen your angle, now what’s the creative approach? Here are a few we see work regularly.

> Product shots

Show your product. Plain and simple. Eg, for a juice cleanse: it could be the juices on a white background; it could be the juices in-situ on a table; it could be juice being poured into a bottle; it could even be the juices surrounded by their ingredients.

> User/ influencer generated content

UGC/IGC = your product in the hands of your customers, influencers, employees or partners. Or your service being spoken about and/or demonstrated by those same people.

Hand-held, shot with their phone, rustic and organic. 

Continuing with the juice cleanse theme, it could be a customer unboxing the juices they’ve received, an influencer holding the juices up and talking about them or even a customer sharing a testimonial about the whole experience, ensuring the products are in-shot.

Lots of brands have reservations over this kind of content because it’s not “polished” enough. But remember, your brand isn’t an ivory tower and it needs to meet people where they’re at.

Your target market isn’t on Facebook or Instagram to be sold to in the same way as they are in a magazine. They’re there to engage with people and see what everyone else is doing. UGC & IGC humanises your brand and allows you to do just that – meet your potential customers where they’re at.

If you can’t clearly articulate why something’s off-brand, don’t rule it out. Let the data do the decision making.

> Native

Content that doesn’t immediately look like an ad. No text overlays, branding, etc. It should look like an organic post that anyone could have shared on Social.

This often works because people don’t realise they’re being served an ad. Again, using a juice cleanse as an example, it could be a picture of juice in a glass beside a pool – a holiday style photo that anyone could have taken.

VIDEO FRAMEWORKS YOU CAN USE

It can be daunting putting a video together for direct response paid social. There are so many variables in play and an endless amount of possibilities. 

The key high-level things to be aware of are:

  1. Assume it’ll be watched on mobile with sound off. Optimise appropriately.
  2. Have a catchy introduction to grab attention.
  3. Show your core value proposition within the first 3 seconds.
  4. Make your product/ service the visual focus of the ad. 

With that in mind, here are three simple practical frameworks you can use to put together effective Facebook video creative that stands a chance of converting.

> Core benefits video

  • Start with something eye-catching or in motion. Stop the scroll.
  • Demonstrate your product/ service in action whilst highlighting consumer pain points/ problems your product solves. 
  • Clearly articulate your product/ service benefits.
  • Re-demonstrate the product/ service in action and show it solving the core problem faced by your prospect.
  • Stack cool features, reviews, social proof.
  • Finish with your brand logo and a strong call to action (CTA).

Quick cuts keep viewer attention. Length: 15 seconds – 45 seconds.

> Education video

  • Start with something eye-catching or in motion. Stop the scroll.
  • Highlight benefits.
  • Stack reviews, social proof, press.
  • Educate prospects on what your product is and what it does – why it’s worth paying attention to.
  • Re-stack benefits + other benefits.
  • Finish with a testimonial quote or clip accompanied by a CTA.

Quick cuts keep viewer attention. Length: 30 seconds – 1 minute.

> Show me video

  • Open with a question. A relevant hook that’ll stop your target prospect from scrolling.
  • Highlight benefits with the product clearly in use.
  • Continue to highlight benefits.
  • Finish with a CTA that is benefit laden.

Quick cuts keep viewer attention. Length: 15 seconds – 30 seconds.

There are many other video frameworks you can use but these are just 3 simple ones. Notice the common themes of stopping the scroll, highlighting benefits, incorporating social proof and finishing with a CTA.

Your best bet is to create one master shell of each, then switch up the introductions and content to quickly churn out multiple variants to test on the cheap.

It’s tricky to give set metrics to look for here – so much depends on your audience size, saturation, product and spend – but as a good guide for most businesses, your videos should get a click through rate (CTR All) above 1% as a bare minimum indicator of people’s interest. 

Look at your video metrics to understand where people drop-off and adjust your video accordingly. 

IMAGE FRAMEWORKS

Don’t neglect images. We actually see them convert better than videos in a number of accounts, particularly for products that need little explaining. 

Chances are you’ve already got some image assets you can repurpose using this as a basic guideline:

> Test different colour backgrounds. This sounds trivial but it can make a big difference in catching attention.

> Use text overlays: core value proposition, benefits, USPs, reviews, press quotes, logos, customer testimonials, offers etc. Pick whatever is most appropriate for your business.

> Crop and remove clutter to focus on the core element of the image. People scroll fast so give them no option but to see your product or service in action.

TO WRAP IT UP

> Put together creative that’s genuinely eye catching. 

> Clearly show what your product or service is and what it does.

> Think in angles. 

> Regularly test various creative styles and formats.

> Use simple, proven formulas for your creative, then iterate.

So there you have it. How to make better creative for your ads. Ads that are likely to convert well on Facebook & Instagram.

Would love to know whether this attempt to quickly deconstruct effective direct response paid social creative has helped you at all? Or maybe it’s just complicated things further?

We’ve covered a lot so if you’ve got any questions or just want some real examples then drop me a line on daniel@bark.london – really, do.

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