What Is Facebook Creative & Why Is It So Important?

App developers use Facebook creative to acquire new users from among Facebook’s 2.3 billion members worldwide (over 229 million in the U.S.). Facebook creative can take a variety of forms and be broadly or narrowly targeted based on users’ geographic locations and past activity in advertisers’ apps or similar apps.

Facebook creative has become a key differentiator for social advertisers, particularly since Facebook introduced new adtech tools in 2018 that leveled the playing field.

No matter how ambitious an advertiser’s goal or how complex the campaign strategy, executing on Facebook is becoming increasingly easy. Startups, SMBs, and established companies can now fine-tune their Facebook creative campaigns with expert-level precision and spend more time focusing on creative ad quality, where the battle for new users is won.

 

Here’s a brief overview of Facebook Creative and how you can maximize return on advertising spend (ROAS).

 

Facebook Creative Ad Types

Facebook creative offers social advertisers tremendous flexibility. They can test and deploy a wide array of ad types and elements to break through the clutter, engage audiences in distinct ways, and combat creative fatigue.

 

Video Ads

Facebook video ads appear in the user’s newsfeed along with a clickable link. Videos (120 minutes max) can be looped continuously. Short videos that are 15-30 seconds in length tend to perform best.

 

Carousel Ads

Facebook carousel ads can rotate up to 10 separate items. Advertisers can use these ads to determine which photos or videos, headlines with links, or calls to action drive the strongest response.

 

Dynamic Product Ads

Dynamic product ads are simply display ads that Facebook retargets automatically based on user activity on the advertiser’s website or inside an app.

 

Facebook Lead Ads

Advertisers use Facebook Lead Ads to generate leads and capture email addresses. Lead ads allow users to sign up for offers and download content on Facebook.

 

Instant Experience

Instant Experience ads, formerly known as Canvas ads, appear only on mobile devices and are interactive. They can include text, links, images, and/or auto-play videos. Users can swipe through multiple images and manipulate sizes and viewing angles.

 

Collection Ads

Facebook Collection ads allow users to scroll through various images of products available for purchase on an advertiser’s website. When users click on a particular image to buy, they’re taken to the website to complete the transaction.

 

Facebook Ad Creative Specs

To ensure the best possible user experience and response, make sure your Facebook ad elements adhere to these creative specs.

 

Single Image Ads

  • Width: 1200
  • Height: 628
  • Aspect: 1.19:1
  • Format: jpg or png
  • Copy: 125 characters for text, 35 for headline, 30 for link description

 

Single Video Ads

  • Vertical 2:3 – 1000 x 628, 2:3 aspect
  • Vertical 4:5 – 1080 x 1080, 4:5 aspect
  • Full Portrait/Vertical – 1200 x 628, 9:16 aspect
  • Square – 1080 x 1080, 1:1 aspect
  • Landscape – 1200 x 628, 16:9 aspect
  • Format: mp4, mov, gif
  • Copy: 125 characters for text, 25 for headline, 30 for link description

 

Slideshow Ads

  • Type: image or video
  • Width: 1280
  • Height: 720
  • Aspect: 16:9, 1:1, or 2:3
  • Video format: mp4, mov
  • Copy: 125 characters for text, 25 for headline, 30 for description

 

Canvas Ads

  • Type: image or video
  • Width: 1200
  • Height: 628
  • Copy: 90 characters for text, 45 for headline

 

Carousel Ads

  • Type: image or video
  • Width: 1080
  • Height: 1080
  • Aspect: 1:1
  • Format: jpg or png for images; mp4, mov, and gif for video
  • Copy: 125 characters for text, 40 for headline, 20 for description

 

Creative Ideas for Facebook Advertisers

Any element of a Facebook ad, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, can have an outsized impact on the ad’s success (good or bad). All Facebook creative options should be weighed in terms of quality and style as well as audience characteristics and expectations.

 

Optimize ads for how prospects use Facebook

There are three main types of Facebook users: those who are “on the go” (check for updates via mobile), those who “lean forward” (desktop viewers), and those who “lean back” (settle in to watch long-form videos).

Facebook ad creative should be designed to accommodate these groups’ varying attention spans and screen views.

Make ads simple and clear

Facebook ad copy should be easy to digest and relevant to the image(s)/video(s) featured. Be sure to include a clear call to action.

 

Double down on winning concepts

The most successful Facebook advertisers don’t continually reinvent the wheel. They largely stick with concepts that have proven effective and swap out various elements to help original ads stay profitable for a long period of time.

 

How to Test Your Facebook Creative

Quantitative creative testing of Facebook ads can include new concepts, minor variations, and creative refreshes. Changing concepts can produce big wins, but also big failures. Variations in color, headline, CTA, etc. tend to generate smaller, more incremental returns. Creative refreshes retain basic elements and themes of winning ads but switch out main content (images and videos).

To replace a single winning ad each week—before the ad starts to grow stale with users—you’ll need 20 pieces of new creative, as most ads are destined to fail. It’s important to systematically test ad elements, even minor ones, to keep Facebook ad campaigns fresh.

Your best bet is to spend about 80% of your time optimizing your best ads and creating new variations. The remaining 20% should be spent on new concept ideation.

Once you’ve performed competitive analysis, begin testing minor elements so you can create a “best practices” template for future ads. Then you’ll be ready to move into advanced variation testing, which might include the following:

Ad Copy

  • With or without copy, placement of copy, colors and fonts

Colors

  • Muted or bold, primary or other (bold primary colors tend to work best)

CTAs

  • Size, location, and text of CTA buttons

Images

  • Square, horizontal, vertical, or stories format; user-generated vs. stock photos; mobile device shown or hidden; one product vs. multiple displayed; simple vs. complex background (simpler backgrounds perform better overall)

Layout

  • Split screen, vertical or horizontal split, image grid; logo and brand placement or exclusion

Video Length

  • Lengths of 6, 10, or 15 seconds

 

Examples of High-Performing Facebook Creative

Many Facebook advertisers have achieved impressive ROAS by optimizing their creative and maximizing campaign efficiency. With access to high-level, cost-effective creative capacity and talent, even startups and SMBs can succeed and scale with ease.

 

Design Home

 

App developer Glu hoped to achieve mass worldwide distribution of its new interior design gaming platform Design Home. Through aggressive creative development and testing of 40+ video concepts and 150+ variations, Glu saw a 70% increase in ROAS. The company scaled quickly and saw its business transform month over month.

 

Ebates

Shopping rewards provider Ebates sought to reduce its mobile app user acquisition costs on Facebook while scaling significantly. More than 70 videos and 100 text variations were A/B tested for mobile app install ads, and efficient creative wins allowed Ebates to reduce the cost per install (CPI) by up to 43% and its cost per mobile app registration by up to 64%.

 

June’s Journey

For its flagship hidden object game June’s Journey, Wooga sought to profitably scale ROI. After creating 150+ creative concepts and variations for 140+ custom and lookalike audiences, Wooga realized a 180% ROI on its mobile app install ads and a 300% increase in user volume.

 

How to Make Facebook Creative Affordable

For large Facebook advertisers, and small and midsize companies competing with them, tiered managed services offer both world-class creative capabilities and efficient advertising spend.

 

To learn more about this new industry offering, and how you get a running start with Facebook Creative, contact us today.

READ OUR whitepapers for creative best practices for Facebook & Google social advertising.