There are several factors that go into executing a successful campaign – but one of the most crucial? Your Creative – especially on Facebook. Think about it… not only is it how you communicate what you're selling, but it’s the tool you use to get people to click on your ad and ultimately purchase what you're selling. When your creative is captivating, it allows you to catch the scroller's eye (here at New Engen, we refer to that as "Thumb-stopping”) in a fast-paced newsfeed. So, if there’s one thing you want to make certain – it’s that your creative better be working for you.
In line with our mission to elevate all marketers, we have compiled a list of the top 10 common creative mistakes we see advertisers make on Facebook.
1. Not rotating in new creative often enough
Facebook constantly needs to be fed with new creative because ads, even ones that worked once upon a time, can go from 60-0 quickly – sometimes even within a day or two. But stay calm! The way to win is to always keep assets in your creative pipeline ready to go so you can swap in a new ad the second one shows signs of fatigue.
We created these quick tactics for you to try should you ever need it (fingers crossed you won’t – but always good to have!).
2. Not being mobile-first
Being mobile-first means designing your ads in a way that appears best on mobile. According to Statista, it projected that in 2018, 75% of Facebook users are accessing the platform via mobile devices. Do we need to say more? By designing without mobile in mind, you're excluding most of the audience – and this isn’t Mean Girls, we want them to sit (and shop) with us.
Good ad, bad size for mobile screens:
Good ad, perfect size to utilize screen real estate:
3. Using bad or stock photography
When using photography, make sure your images don't appear to be grainy or of low quality – major fauxpas-graphy. When possible, we suggest you crop images tightly, especially if they feature a product, so the scroller knows what you're selling. And as a best practice, generic stock photos don't typically work, except in some cases where they are only part of an ad and not the main feature.
Here are some examples of New Engen's in-house photography:
4. Relying on overly designed ads
You don't always need a highly designed ad in order to win on Facebook – and we’re going to hit you with a hard truth… sometimes, it won’t even work. It's always a great idea to test simple product images or studio shots that might live on a product page. They don't always work for everyone but, because you already have them, they're low cost to test, and are simple enough to not confuse the scroller about what you're selling.
5. Not going big
Less isn’t always more… especially when it comes to ad campaigns. The bigger the ad, the better. The more screen your ad takes up, the more likely you are to catch a scrollers eye, and the more room you have to communicate your value prop. We recommend using vertical ads wherever possible – take advantage of that prime mobile screen real estate! Use this chart to get some good general background on to the more commonly used ad sizes:
6. Not running a variety of ad formats
No one ad format works solely across an entire account - this is true for all ad formats, including single image, video, carousels, etc. Sometimes a carousel might work better than a single image. Or vice versa. The point is, it's equally as important to test different creative concepts as it is to test those concepts across multiple formats. Sometimes you'll be surprised by what works.
7. Not experimenting with motion
Many people shy away from motion. Why? So glad you asked. The first reason is they believe it has to be incredibly expensive and secondly, they believe it has to be left to the pros. A quick way to get started on motion: have your designer take a quick class on after effects! It's a very small investment and will long pay for itself. Invest in yourself and your team!
8. ...not experimenting enough
At New Engen, we know from experience that the path toward unlocking scale is experimentation. A lot. There are all sorts of variables on Facebook, most of which can and should be tried, especially on the creative side. We’re talking on vs. off model images, closely cropped products vs. wider shots, single image vs. video vs. carousel vs. collections ads, length and tone of messaging, emojis in copy, checklists in copy, etc. The list goes on forever! Bottom line - put together a list of all of the variables you want to experiment with and begin testing them. Like, yesterday.
9. Not expediting the creative review process
For most of us, creative needs to be reviewed by someone before pushing it live. One of the worst killers to a full creative pipeline and regular testing is a backlog of creative awaiting approval. Our recommendation: Veer toward a creative review process that encourages trying new things, limiting revision rounds to what is absolutely necessary and bias toward “Let’s try it!” Keep in mind, some of the best ad creative fatigues quickly, so don’t get caught up spending a month on revisions for one ad that you will pull in two days with nothing to replace it.
10. Not reading this article
Well, enough said.