Curious about the latest Facebook ad changes? Wondering how to take your Facebook ads to the next level?
Lately Facebook has gone all in to provide businesses with tools and targeting options to connect with customers and prospects when it matters.
In this article I’ll share six tips for creating super eye-catching, effective Facebook ads using recent updates and features.
1. Call Now Button Connects You to Mobile Users
Facebook launched a local awareness initiative in 2014 that gave advertisers the option to add a Get Directions call-to-action button to their ads. This year Facebook took it up a notch with the Call Now button.
This is an important lead generation tool for businesses of all kinds, but especially local businesses. It basically takes an entire stage right out of the funnel. Rather than send people to your website or Facebook page hoping they’ll contact you, the Call Now button allows you to let people call you directly from your ad.
2. Dynamic Product Ads Sync With Sales Catalogs
As powerful as Google Shopping ads are, it only made sense that Facebook would enter this arena, too.
Though they serve a similar purpose, Facebook’s product ads do not work in the same way as Google’s product listing ads. Facebook’s product ads are actually more like Google’s dynamic remarketing display ads. They use Facebook’s targeting parameters, or the consumer’s history on your site or in your app to serve ads.
The ads are template-based, meaning you don’t have to spend time on new creative for each ad. The templates pull images, product names, pricing and other attributes from your catalog, based on the keywords you’ve provided. This catalog integration also means your ads will stop running once your product is out of stock.
Best of all, these templates work for news feed and sidebar ads across all displays, so you don’t need separate ads for desktop, tablet and mobile.
3. Carousel Ads Come to Mobile
Facebook launched carousel ads last year, but this summer they extended the option to mobile. This format has a lot of interesting possibilities, thanks to its ability to display multiple images with different links within one ad unit.
This mobile carousel ad from Tinker Crate spotlights different features and views of their product.
This spring, Neiman Marcus used carousel ads to showcase shoe and handbag collections and reported three times more conversions and 85% higher click-through rates, compared to standard ad units. The average lift in conversion across early testers was 12%.
Given the natural inclination to swipe sideways on mobile, carousel ads are an intuitive, seamless ad format for mobile users that gives you a creative, engaging way to tell stories.
4. Updated Ad Tools Boost Productivity
A June overhaul gave Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor facelifts, as well as added functionality.
On the Power Editor side, this release offers a more logical interface, but also enhances bulk editing and advanced search capabilities.
Ads Manager has a more streamlined feel, with performance metrics featured more prominently. Facebook said the update means “advertisers can quickly reference how their ads are performing in the same environment where they create and edit them.” Essentially, you now create your ads and manage them in one place.
What’s particularly awesome about this update is that you can bulk-edit the targeting and budgets for several ads at once and use the Create Similar option to duplicate ads and campaigns.
If you aren’t seeing these new features yet, don’t worry. They’re rolling out globally in the coming months.
5. Ads Manager App Brings Campaign Management to Mobile
Small- and medium-sized advertisers rejoiced earlier this year when Facebook released the stand-alone Ads Manager app. You can now track ad performance,edit ads, revise budgets, adjust scheduling and create ads, right from the app. (You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play).
The stand-alone app also lets you receive push notifications, save new ad drafts,create ads using photos from your phone and more.
Now, you can be as mobile as the people you’re trying to reach and not feel chained to a desktop computer to monitor your ad campaigns.
Look to See These Ad Formats in the Future
Prefill Form Fields with Lead Ads
This summer, Facebook announced they’re testing a new mobile ad format called lead ads. These ads auto-populate some form fields on mobile devices using information that’s already known about the person. This makes the submission process much easier, as the user can just verify the accuracy of the information and click through.
Lead ads might be a good option if you want people to sign up for your company’s newsletter, request a follow-up phone call or receive a price estimate. Once you get in front of motivated consumers on their mobile devices, you don’t want to risk losing them by asking them to type in a bunch of information.
Facebook has promised to share the results of their early testing.
Design Immersive Mobile Ads
This summer at Cannes Lions (an annual ad industry festival), Facebook gave a sneak peek at an immersive mobile ad format they’re working on.
Basically, the ad takes over the screen when a user clicks it in his or her news feed. When it expands to full screen, the ad becomes a browsable microsite, but it keeps the user within the Facebook ecosystem.
This ad format will demand a great deal of creative and will probably suit larger brands, at least in its early days.
6. Animated GIFs Add Visual Impact
Mark Zuckerberg was of the longstanding opinion that GIFs were a disruption to the user experience, which was a pretty poor excuse for keeping the old ban in place for so long. How many times have we seen GIF content go viral on Twitter? Even Google+ supported GIFs. Facebook itself supported auto-play videos, which really made the “but UX” excuse ring hollow.
We’ve found that adding video in Facebook News Feed Ads increases post engagement by 3-5x, on average, but often by even more. Even a stupid, boring post can be made interesting using moving imagery, via a video or GIF. See the example above; no matter how hard you try, you just can’t make a salad “look” as good with a few lines of text and a static picture. The GIF makes it eye-catching, but also shows off the layers that go into the making the salad - use your imagination and apply this technique to your products.
Ideally, you’ll have tons of video in your Facebook advertising arsenal, but one of the challenges there is the time, effort and cost required to produce great video. It’s way easier to simply find an animated GIF on Google Images:
Let’s face it, people just love GIFs. They want to 'Like' them, comment on them to tell you how cool they are, and share them with their friends. Try to find GIFs that are funny and original and somehow align with your messaging, or create your own.
If you use these in your Page posts and pay to promote the update, those higher engagement rates will increase your Facebook Relevance Score, which will increase your impression share dramatically, reducing your cost per engagement by 5-10x. It’s a win-win.
Ready to get started with GIFs on your company’s Facebook Page and in Ads? Here’s what you need to know:
- You can only use GIFs in Page Posts and Boosted Newsfeed Ads -- they won’t work in the sidebar.
- As much as I know you want to run out and try them right now, you’re going to have to wait for this functionality to gradually roll out. Facebook told TechCrunch: “GIFs can be a fun and compelling way to communicate, so we’ve started testing GIF support in posts and boosted posts for a small percentage of Facebook Pages. We will evaluate whether it drives a great experience for people before rolling it out to more Pages.”
- If you’re using other people’s GIFs in your advertising, if possible, property attribute the creator!