7 tips for successful Facebook Ads

Björn Tantau

How to optimize your Facebook advertising for maximum ROI

It is common knowledge amongst most advertisers that Facebook is one of the most successful ways of gaining awareness about your product or brand online. The success of mobile Facebook Ads alone speaks volume and these ads form a very large part of Facebook's total turnover.

Ideally then, for anyone wanting to increase their reach or sell products and services. Despite this, Facebook Ads do not guarantee success — quite the opposite, in fact!

Much depends on how the ads are designed. If you want to get the most out of them and maximize your ROI, then you may find the following tips interesting!

1. Show the people who use your product

Your advert has to compete with all the other content appearing in Facebook users' news feeds, including a lot of content that comes directly from friends, family and acquaintances.

Understandably, content shared by friends and family very often contains images and photos that feature people. To really be seen by users, your own ads need to have a human touch: the chance of users seeing an image that features no people is much, much lower.

Show your products or service in action and emphasize the fact that the people shown in the image are happy when they use your product. Do the people look happy and/or content?

Facebook ist dank mobiler Werbung immer erfolgreicher

Thanks to mobile advertising, Facebook is enjoying increasing success (Source)

Is it clear that your product brings people closer to their personal goal or solves a concrete problem? The direct benefit of your product or service must be immediately obvious: you can then be sure, at the very least, that potential customers from the right target group are engaging with your ad and clicking on the link that takes them to your landing page.

2. Only use images with the highest possible resolution

The image or photo used forms the visual core of your Facebook ad: the better the quality of this image, the greater the chance that users will notice it quickly.

Many users have now become accustomed to Facebook Ads, and so capturing their attention with conventional images has become more difficult.

So regardless of the image you use, make sure that the quality is good. Better quality shows that the ad concerns a high-quality product or service: this factor alone makes it more likely that users will engage with your advertising and that the advert will be noticed.

3. Keep your images simple and uncomplicated

Remember that your advert has to penetrate users' news feeds and is competing with a lot of other non-advertising content that can do this more easily. Often advertisers are not trusted as much: this is perfectly normal as you “only” make adverts.

This is not a reason to give up, however. You can make sure that the people your advert addresses do not experience further confusion by failing to understand the ad. Use clear images and photos that answer any questions your potential customers might have.

The more quickly and easily your Facebook advert can be grasped and understood, the sooner potential customers will begin to engage with it and its underlying aim.

Simple images are more effective and tempt the user to stop scrolling through their news feed. This is particularly important for mobile Facebook advertising. The less complicated your advert is and the simpler and clearer the story told by your image, the more successful you will be.

4. Enhance your image with bold but simple text

Sometimes even the best image is not enough. This is most often the case when an additional call to action needs to be integrated into the ad.

If your Facebook advert asks users to download something or carry out another action, then it is wise to integrate this request into your image. This text should not dominate the image and take away from it, however. If this occurs, you will have the opposite effect and your advert is very likely to be misunderstood (when Facebook approves an advert in general, the image cannot contain more than 20% text).

Die positive Message der Bildsprache wird durch den Text verstärkt

The text strengthens the positive message of the image

Overall, your message should either be fundamentally positive or be designed to promote something. For this reason, words such as “free” work well for the download options previously mentioned for Facebook Ads. But don't be shy: when you have something to sell, then say so using phrases such as “Buy now!”

5. Choose positive images if your products aren't attractive

Not every product comes across well in a picture. Think about a cat's litter tray, for instance. This is a useful product for any household that has a cat as a pet, but do you really think images of a litter tray help to advertise it?

Regardless of whether the litter tray has been used or not, most people just don't want to see these kinds of images.

Abstrakte und/oder erklärungsbedürftige Produkte werden mit positiven Bilder leichter verständlich

Positive images make abstract products or products that need an explanation easier to understand

Use an image of a clean, well-cared-for, happy cat, however, and it's a different matter entirely! Naturally, this kind of photo is simply made for a litter tray advert as the image gives the impression that the cat looks the way it does because the litter tray is perfectly fit for purpose.

The principle is simple: the visuals used to advertise products that are not “attractive” have to create a positive association for the potential customer. Once this positive association has been created, these products are also much easier to sell on Facebook.

6. Reinforce images and photos with the right headline and caption

Additional text can pay off in advertising material as an image or photo then becomes more firmly integrated into the advertising process itself. But you do have other choices when it comes to Facebook Ads.

Users naturally notice an image in their news feed first as it catches their eye. As a rule, however, users do not click on a post because of the image: it depends on whether the rest of the ad fits in with that image.

As with any other Facebook post, you can use a text in your ad, which highlights the actual purpose of the advert. In other words, tell potential customers why they should click on your advert in particular, by writing clearly and understandably in an attractive and convincing style.

In this respect, Facebook advertising is no different from any other form of advertising. Your advert creates interest: the more successfully you do that, the more clicks your ad will get. It is not just the image that achieves this but the text as well.

After clicking on your advert, your potential customer still has to reach the associated landing page so that that click becomes a conversion. The more effectively the landing page reflects the statements used in the ad, the more likely a conversion.

7. Design, test, optimize – repeat

Facebook Ads do not stay effective forever. During a campaign, users become fatigued and the advert receives fewer and fewer clicks, whilst the cost per click continues to go up.

Continually producing new ads and testing them against existing ads, or other new ones, can only tackle this development. Traditional A/B tests are the best way of determining quickly which ads perform well and which ads do not.

And the process is always the same: you create two different ads for the same product or service and make small changes to each. All other variables, such as budget or target group, stay the same.

After a little time has passed, you can compare the success of these adverts on Facebook. The advert that has performed worse is scrapped. The other, better performing advert is used again, and you produce another new advert in parallel, based on this better performing one.

If you continue to use this process, you will always end up with the ad that gets the best results. You will also preserve your budget and reach more Facebook users, ultimately having a positive impact on your ROI.


Facebook Ads are perfect for achieving your advertising objectives. Thanks to high reach and its variety of themes, Facebook is suitable for any advertiser who wants to reach their target group.

You need to optimize your advertising material constantly for your campaigns to be successful. At the same time, make sure that your adverts are coherent and that your landing page follows through on the promise made in your advert.

By directly comparing individual Facebook Ads with each other and focusing on the actual results throughout your campaign, you will gain valuable insights that will help you use your budget in a more targeted manner. And with the right tool, you will also be able to plan, monitor and optimize all your activity on Facebook and other social networks.

Title image: Twin Design, Shutterstock.com

Björn Tantau