What Images Work Best With Facebook Ads

Hello! How you doing today?

I’m about to give you a little gem about getting Facebook Ads to hopefully perform a little better for you and that means, hopefully getting a better return on every dollar you spend.

A big chunk of our business (at the time of writing this is Jan, 2018) is sales lead generation for companies that are Small to Medium Enterprises and Bigger Corporations too. So every hour of every day we have advertisements running on Facebook, Google and all the other main avenues.

The Ads we run, will attract the attention of our clients target audience, the ad will give them some info and ultimately get some of these people to enter their name, number and whatever other info is needed – this info is then sent to our Client, and their sales team calls them directly on the phone to talk about whatever it was the Ad mentioned.

That is a Sales Lead.

There’s a lot of companies who are fantastic at what they do, but they have not been able to crack the code of getting people interested enough to have a conversation on the phone, or to enter their email address for more information.

So they outsource the front level marketing to companies like ours.

We work with a range of different industries.

We run health related advertisements targeting mature age women, to be lined up with a free consultation with a Doctor, that’s a National campaign across Australia.

We’ve ran lots of credit card application campaigns, and Personal Loan campaigns. These are licensed lenders of course who paid us a fee in exchange for the basic application details for a new customer. We send them the sales leads name, number, etc, and also their salary info and so on.

Also other finance related products, Education and Diploma registered trainers, Solar Power installers and the list goes on.

We’ve spent several million dollars in running Ads on Facebook alone and have created over a thousand ads. Analysing the results closely as we do, tells us a lot about what works and what doesn’t work on Facebook. Also on Google and all the others.

For this post I want to just focus on Facebook. Also, I want to focus on the IMAGES portion of the Ad… and what image types we’ve found to work better than others.

To be honest, we’d have to be absolute idiots not to see some trends.

Trend like what image types are more commonly found on a profitable Facebook campaign, and the type of image that is usually being used when the advertising campaign is NOT profitable.

Of course, there are other elements to every Ad on Facebook and not just the picture, but I will just focus on the image for this episode because it can the be difference between a profitable ad an a non-profitable ad.
The image is a BIG important element of the Ad on Facebook.

I’ve seen marketing campaigns on Facebook spend $2,000 with no profit, but then when we step in and test an alternative 2 or 3 images, the next $2,000 we spend has turned into $4,000. Doubling your money on Facebook is possible.

That’s no guarantee of course, but it is possible.

We’ve noticed what types of images generally work best no matter what it is your marketing or trying to sell on Facebook.

Of course if you’re trying to sell a car holder for a smartphone for example.. It pays to include the actual item itself..

.. or if you’re trying to get people to take a free consultation with a Doctor, a picture of a Doctor or something related will likely work well.

I’m not talking about what is IN the picture as much as I am talking about the the type of picture,  or the styling of the picture.

Ok, here are the pictures:


What Images Work Best on Facebook

You will see that both pictures are of a middle aged couple.

Example A, the first image is of a middle aged couple sitting down at what looks like a Typewriter, but I think it’s a 3dD Printer. The woman is standing behind the man who is sitting down looking at the thing. They are both smiling, it’s a very professional staged photo. It’s kind of obvious that this is a studio shot.

It’s not a real image that you would find of a couple. But it is the kind of photo that you would find in the showreel of a model; “oh here’s a studio shot of me playing with a 3D printer”. That’s the kind of feeling this picture gives off.

Ok, that’s the first image; Example A .

The 2nd image is Example B.

This is an image of a middle aged couple sitting down on a park bench. The man is reading a newspaper and the woman is reading a magazine. It is very obvious that this is not a studio photo, it’s a real photo. Neither of the two people are looking at the camera, nor are they probably aware that they’re photo has even been taken.

Imagine you’re at an amusement park and you see two parents who are tired and sitting down on a bench having a rest, and you walked up and took a photo. That’s what it looks like. A very rough, natural photo. The type of photo you’d see in someones phone if you were swiping through it.


What Images Work Best on Facebook

Which Image Works Best On Facebook?

From the thousands of ads that we’ve ran on Facebook I can tell you which of these two photos are more likely to get a better result, and it may surprise you.

First you need to imagine that you are running an advertisement to middle aged people who are in a relationship (just for example). That would generally be what marketing campaign you’d expect either of these images to be used  in. Agreed?

If you were to launch an ad on Facebook, and you created two identical ads, except one had Example A image, and the other has Example B image, which image do you think would generate you better results?

Assuming of course, that everything else with your marketing campaign was in order.

Which Ad would get better results?

A professional studio shot, or a candid non-studio shot?

Based on the thousands of Ads we’ve run and the millions we’ve spent on Facebook running Ads, we would guess that the Example B, which is the more non-professional image would outperform the professional studio image very easily.

I don’t even think it would be close.

And yes I know.. It all depends on a number of factors but generally speaking i’d put my money on Example B if I had to choose one.

The question now of course is WHY?

I think it’s much more important for you to know WHY something will perform better on Facebook, over just knowing which one will perform better. The WHY is the lesson, behind the result.

So I think, once you learn the lesson. you can apply it to your industry, and your ad campaigns on Facebook, to see how it works for you.

So why do we think non-professional images generally work better than professional images, on Facebook?
The clue is the word “Facebook”. It’s important that when you are advertising anywhere, you take into consideration the space that you are advertising.

It usually helps to blend in with the environment.

But that does not mean ‘be boring’ and don’t stand out. That’s the trap a lot of people fall into when they hear something like this.

You might of heard me or other marketing professionals say something like “try and make your Ad look NOT like an Ad”. That is true, and it’s a great tip. But it can not be at the expense of your Ad being boring and not being noticed.

It’s a delicate balancing act and you’ll get better with practice.

So let me sum this up for you: When you run your first Ad on Facebook, or even your 1000th Ad on Facebook, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Keep the image relevant to what you’re selling or offering on Facebook.
  2. As of late 2017, Facebook are really really cracking down on Advertisers who try and make their users feel bad, through negative tones and references in their Ads. So keep the image positive and focus on the ‘after affects’ of your product or service, and not the ‘before’ state.
  3. Use an ‘everyday image’. A image that you would find in someones phone. And not a “professional” stock image.
  4. Showing people, and their faces in Facebook Ads works well.

Another tip would be to say, think about what Facebook is… it’s a Social Network. Think about what are the types of images you see on Facebook.

Pictures from your Aunt’s holiday, from your cousin’s birthday party and your workmates having too many drinks on the weekend. Try and make your image fit in amongst all of that so it doesn’t stand out as an advertisement. But it still has to gets noticed.

This could easily be a 1 hour episode or more. Going deep into the philosophy of image choice and structure, and the emotions that different images will create, and that is all good stuff.

But to get your Ad campaign working and profitable on Facebook just focus on the basics and you should be able to get there if you’re selling the right product to the right people.

The business owners I talk to and work with are often focused on getting the most customers at the lowest cost, on the surface this makes sense.

Although when you push this to the extreme and focus on lower costs and lower costs, that starts to cost you more money overall.

I’m going to cover this with you in the next post.

I hope you enjoyed this episode on the the types of images that we’ve found to work best on Facebook for us. I think it’s definitely worth a test on your end to see how it compares to other images you have used in the past.
Thanks for tuning in, and enjoy the rest of your day.
Speak soon.

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