As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. On social media, pictures are worth ten times more. With so much content vying for attention on a Facebook page, the most critical element of your Facebook ad is the image that you use. Although attention-grabbing headlines are extremely important in an ad, it’s the actual image you use in the ad that will entice most users to read the ad’s headline in the first place.
The fact is, if the image does not resonate with the user, they will not even bother to read the headline. Facebook is all about people, so using a compelling image that is interesting, engaging and stands out from the crowd significantly increases the likelihood of your ad being engaged with.
There’s a lot of different opinions on what types of images work best on Facebook. Whatever image you choose to use has to be eye catching and unique. Keep in mind that people go to Facebook to be entertained. They are not thinking about business, and they are not looking for professionalism.
This means you can really push the envelope by testing bizarre, funky and, depending on your niche, even crazy and silly ads. Remember, you want your ad to stand out visually. Boring ads with images that look exactly like ads will get ignored. You really need to think outside the box here. With this in mind, you’ll want to test out different images to see which ones get the results you are looking for.
According to research, images that convert best on Facebook are those of attractive, happy, smiling women generally in the mid-twenties to mid-thirties age range who look “free, overjoyed and are looking directly at the viewer.
Images are more effective at interrupting when they are looking directly at you. These types of pictures tend to give personality to an ad, which is why they are so successful.
In addition, photos of women who joyfully have their arms in the air are known to work very well, particularly with women. It is significant to note that the image of a happy women can effectively be tied into almost any product or service.
Consider this: men look at women. Women look at women. Women also look at children. No matter who you are targeting, it is hard to go wrong with pictures of women.
Selling to Married Couples
If you are selling to married couples, test pictures of happily married couples doing adventurous activities together. Use pictures that will create an emotional connection with your target audience. It doesn’t always have to be pictures of smiling couples.
It could be a picture of an angry couple arguing. Remember, you’re looking to interrupt the user, and a strong, emotional image is more likely to get attention.
Selling to Moms
If you’re selling to moms, test pictures of young children. Try out pictures of happy kids as well as crying or screaming kids. Pictures of crying and screaming kids evoke a strong emotional reaction that interrupts, because every mom immediately relates to a crying child.
Here are a few additional guidelines to stick to when choosing an image for your ad:
- Choose an image that reflects the actual demographic you’re targeting. This is because people like to see people that look like themselves.
- Test different images with the same copy so you can identify the best performing image, and use that in your ads. Some of your prospects will be interrupted by people smiling, others will be interrupted by crazy ads and yet others will be drawn to specific objects. You need to test all kinds of images to identify your best performers.
- Images that are too generic are more difficult to relate to, and won’t attract attention as much as real people. They look too much like ads. For this reason, you’ll want to avoid typical stock photos and use more natural photos with colors that contrast with the blue and white color scheme of Facebook, such as red, yellow and orange.
- Consider making your image stand out with vibrant colors and a nice, decorative border around it. For instance, if its Christmas season and you’re targeting Christians, use a border that represents Christmas. If you are targeting the general public, then use a fun, decorative border.
- Whenever possible, try to use an image that relates directly to the text, although this isn’t always critically important especially if you’re simply looking to grab attention. For example, if you’re selling massages, use an image of someone getting a massage. That image will trigger pleasant memories in anyone who’s ever had a massage.
- Test as many as 7 – 10 images per campaign until you are able to identify the specific image that works best for your campaign. Bear in mind that Facebook requires your image to be relevant to what you are selling.
Pictures of Things
According to studies, logos for well-known brands such as Apple, Coca Cola, Microsoft and Nike have worked really well on Facebook. Before considering using your logo as your image however, you need to keep in mind that if the logo doesn’t mean anything to users, they are not likely to click the ad. For this reason, using your logos if you are an unknown or less well-known brand is not a great choice unless your logo is highly striking and really strikes a chord with an extremely well targeted audience.
If you are selling things such as mortgages, holidays or car insurance, it is not enough to use just any image. The image you use will need to be compelling enough to interrupt the user enough to click on your ad. If you are selling mortgages, test different pictures of happy couples with children superimposed against a beautiful home. If you are selling car insurance, test the picture of a wrecked car. If you are advertising a restaurant, test the image of a sumptuous looking meal. If you’re selling ladies shoes, use the image of a gorgeous designer shoe such as Prada or Louboutin.
Where To Find Images
Copyright is a huge issue on the web, and it is critically important that you have permission to use the image you are using in your ad. You’ll want to avoid using just any image you find on the web unless its license allows you to use it in an ad. Make sure you understand the image’s usage rights. If they are not royalty free for commercial use, then you cannot use them without permission from the owner of the image.
To help you get the best high-quality images for your Facebook Ads, check out this list of free pictures for Facebook.
Google Images License Search
It is important to use the right search tools when searching for an image to use on Google Image Search. This is because many of the images are protected by copyright and cannot be used. When searching on Google, filter the images by “Usage rights” and then select “Labelled for reuse”. This will show you images that you can use without requiring any modifications or licenses.
Pixabay is fantastic for finding free, high quality images that you can use for anything you like. Pixabay allows you to find everything from animals to people yelling at each other to garden gnomes that would be perfect for Facebook. They stock graphics, photographs, and illustrations. Note that some of the images are not royalty-free, so make sure that the image allows for license-free usage.
Gratisography provides free, high-resolution images that you can use in your Facebook ads, posts or personal website without risking copyright violation.
Pexels offers a diverse variety of images that are free, with new photos being added on a weekly basis. As the name suggests, these are high resolution photos of different dog breeds that you can use for your dog-related projects.
Freeimages currently stock over 389,317 free images that you can use for your Facebook ads and other marketing projects. These images include photographs and illustrations, and they are free of license restrictions. If you’re looking for more, note that Freeimages offers a paid membership that provides access to 2.4 million premium photos and illustrations.
New Old Stock
New Old Stock provides classic, vintage collections of photographs that are free of any copyright restrictions. They include black and white photographs that you can download in jpg format.
Keep in mind though, that while black and white photographs may make excellent images for blog posts, they may not be striking enough or jump out at Facebook users when they see an ad with such images in their Newsfeed, especially if your target market are young people.
Unsplash provide stunning, high-quality images that are also free, and would be great for Facebook Ads. If you’re looking for beautiful images that you can legally use, this is one of the sites you’ll want to check out first.
Picjumbo provides a diverse variety of delightful images that are all free to use for your Facebook marketing and other projects. Having said that, the site also offers a premium membership which provides unlimited downloads. However, you’ll find that in most cases, the free images will be adequate for your needs.
Life of Pix
Life of Pix provides free high-resolution photos with no copyright restrictions. The images are donated to the public domain by a network of talented photographers, which allows free access to anyone.
Creative Commons is a fully functional creative commons images search engine. It provides access to copyright-free images provided by other independent organizations including Flickr and Google Images.
It enables you to easily search for suitable images across different sites so that you don’t have to visit each site individually. You will need to make sure to unselect “modify, adapt, or build upon” if you want to use a particular image without any amendments.
Adding Text to Your Image
Adding some readable text to your image tends to add a certain personality to your image. The actual words you use is extremely important because it will be read first, even before the headline. Pay attention to the contrast between the background color and the text color. The contrast needs to be high so that the text can be easily read.
Another technique you could test is to simply make the entire image a word that is a trigger word for your target audience.
For example, if you are a math tutor, you could use the following words as your actual ad: f you are selling a language tool, your image could be:
Tagging Your Photos
On Facebook, tagging someone in a photo identifies and labels the person in photos, videos, or notes. When you tag someone, it directly links that person to your Page. It also links to that person’s profile, which means everyone who has access to the photo can learn more about the person via their profile. The person who’s tagged then receives a Facebook notification or an e-mail notification, or both, depending on their profile settings. That user has the option to approve the tag.
Note that you can tag Facebook users when you are logged in as your profile, not your Page. Furthermore, being able to tag a specific Facebook user depends mostly on how their own privacy settings are configured.
Tags can help add depth and information to photos. When you tag someone, you create a link to their Timeline. The post you tag the person in may also be added to that person’s Timeline. For example, you can tag a photo to show who’s in the photo or post a status update and say who you’re with. You can also add a comment or even share where the photo was taken by adding a place tag.
Not only can you tag your own photos, you can also tag the photos of others. Depending on their privacy settings, the tag will be published automatically or go into review. In any case, your name will be associated with the tag you added.
When logged in as your Page, you can tag Pages you’ve liked, but not profiles in photos and videos that you’ve posted on your timeline.
To tag a user in a photo or video, log in as a profile or Page, and display the photo or video you want to use to tag the user, and follow these steps:
- To start tagging a particular user, log in as your Page. To do so, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the page. The drop-down menu displays all the Pages you manage. Click the Page that you want to log in as.
- Click the Tag Photo (or Video) button to the right of the image. The cursor turns into a plus sign (+) if you’re tagging a photo. The tagging field opens under the description if you’re tagging a video.
- Click the photo to begin tagging. A box appears below the cursor, where you can start typing the name of a friend or a Page (if you’re logged in as a Page).
When you tag a fan in a photo, note that the person can hide the photo from his timeline by clicking the Remove Tag link next to the profile name.