Despite a much-publicized Millennial exodus to younger social platforms, and ongoing issues with privacy, Facebook still remains the giant among social media networks. And that’s exactly why you gotta know how to market on this platform—with 1.5 billion daily users, your business can’t afford not to.
In this article we’ll take a look at the three most popular image-based ads, and offer some ideas for how to create them on PicMonkey.com when you’re at your computer, and on the PicMonkey app when you’re on the go.
Facebook ad types
There are a number of specific ad formats available to marketers via the Facebook Ads Guide. Generally, they break down into video ads and image ads. Because we’re PicMonkey and all about photo editing and design, we’re focusing on how to create the image ad types: Single Image, Carousel, and Slideshow. While you will build the actual ad in Facebook, you can first create your ad assets in PicMonkey so they’re the right size and they look great. Below we’ll walk you through each ad style with tips and ideas for creating and optimizing your designs.
Tips for single image Facebook ads
Sometimes one great photo is all it takes to spread your marketing message. This simple ad format couples your image with a short bit of copy, and it’s arguably the easiest type of Facebook ad to create. If you choose to keep it simple by using just one pic, give it a polish first with a few essential edits in the PicMonkey editor, or on the PicMonkey mobile app. Play around with photo effects, touch-up tools (if you’re using a people picture), graphics, and text until you achieve design perfection.
Tips for optimizing your single image ads:
- Image files must be JPG or PNG.
- Upload at the highest resolution possible, minimum 1200 x 628 px.
- The image ratio should be 9:16 or 16:9.
- Keep your text-to-image ratio in check (see below for tips).
Tips for Facebook carousel ads
Carousel Facebook ads feature 2-10 images and/or videos with individual headlines and links for each image. Viewers can scroll through the cards by clicking the arrows that appear if they’re on a computer, or by swiping if they’re on a mobile device. This ad type is great for: telling a story, displaying multiple products or showing step-by-step instructions.
Check out Facebook’s carousel format example page and see how a whole mess of creative uses for the carousel format, and then check out our collection of Facebook Carousel Ad Templates to get designing quickly.
To create a series of carousel ad images, keep these specs in mind:
- Each image should be 1080 x 1080 px minimum.
- The max file size per image is 30MB.
- The text at the top of your ad (just below your business name) can be 125 characters or less.
- The headline (the bold words under the image) can be up to 40 characters.
- The Link description (just under the headline) can be 20 characters max.
The key to crafting an effective, polished carousel Facebook ad is consistency—nobody wants to look at a disjointed assemblage of random images. To make your images look like they go together, try using the same photo effect, photography style, background color, and/or font on all of them.
One popular technique involves breaking one image into multiple cards. This not only ensures consistency, but also makes viewers want to see the next part of your picture. (You can crop an image into multiple cards super quick with the Crop tool in the Editor).
Tips for Facebook Slideshow ads
Facebook touts Slideshow Facebook Ads as a great option for advertisers who wanna get in on the benefits of video without acquiring the necessary skills and/or production costs, and as an alternative to traditional video if your ad is going to run in parts of the world where connection speeds make video problematic. This so-called “video lite” ad format is easy to create and perfect for storytelling, so think of ways to visually tell your brand story or customer success stories. It’s also frequently used to showcase new products and show off product features.
For slideshow ads, you don’t actually create the moving sequence of images, instead you create the still images that make up the ad, and then upload to Facebook. We made these three images with the text in the exact same spot so when the pictures animate, it appears that the text is remaining stationary.
To make sure your slideshow Facebook ad looks high-end, make the images you’re going to use look their best with basic edits and photo effects, and make sure they’re all the same size. If your images aren’t the same size, Facebook will crop your slideshow into a square. If you wanna resize your pics without cropping, head to Resize in the Basic Edits tab in the PicMonkey Editor.
PRO TIP: Facebook recommends using product shots if you’re targeting high-intent customers (people who have been to your site or store and are already familiar with your products), and lifestyle imagery that represents your brand ethos if you’re trying to snag new visitors.
Creating your ad with PicMonkey mobile
Make a Facebook ad from scratch on desktop
Sure, we have a lot of pre-designed templates that make design as easy as click-and-replace, but sometimes you have a whole vision and need to start from scratch. We get it. You can start with a blank canvas template that is already the right size for whatcha need.
Quick steps for creating a Facebook ad from scratch:
- Head to PicMonkey.com and click Create New.
- Choose Blank Canvas, and then Facebook Page Cover.
- In the editor, experiment with background colors and fonts.
- Add your own images and logo to the layout.
- Check out our graphics library to bedazzle your banner.
- When you’re ready to share to Facebook, click Share to save directly to your Facebook account.
- Or, Download the design to your computer and upload to Facebook.
Make a Facebook ad from a design template
If you’d prefer for your Facebook ad to have a little more design (think: shapes, logo, text in addition to your image), we have loads of pre-made Facebook ad templates (1200 x 628 px) ready for you to customize.
Go to Templates and search the Facebook Ad options available. These are all sized correctly for the single image ad format. Browse the templates, click one to open in the editor, and then get started on clicking-and-replacing the existing layers with your own images, or words.
To replace the existing template images with your own, simply right-click on the image and select Replace image from the pop-up menu. You can also change the fonts, the colors, and add textures or effects to your images. From the Text palette, you can choose a different font, change the text size, add a drop shadow, and curve or space your text.
Open the Graphics panel to browse over 6,000 vector-based graphic overlays. You can stretch or shrink them and they will maintain their resolution. if it makes sense in your design, use a graphic or two, or you can also upload your own—like a logo—to add the finishing touch. Just click Add your own image from the top of the graphics panel.
When you’re done customizing your template and ready to build your ad in Facebook, export your image to your computer from Hub, PicMonkey’s cloud-based storage.
Check your text-to-ad ratio
If you choose to overlay text on your ad, keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm your design with it, and less is best. It used to be that Facebook would outright reject ads when more than 20% of the area contained text. That infamous 20% rule is now defunct, but not much has changed. Before you place your ad order, make sure that the amount of text on your ad won’t affect its reach. Upload your ad image to Facebook’s Image Text Check tool to find out how Facebook will judge your ad.
Facebook now has four categories to measure the amount of text on an ad: OK, Low, Medium, and High. The more text you have, the closer you get to High, and the less reach your ad will see (even though you’re paying for it). So let the image do (most of) the messaging.
Upload your ad to Facebook
When you’re ready to upload your design assets (a fancy way of saying “edited images”) to Facebook in order to create your ad, these are the steps to follow. Fortunately, Facebook makes the process pretty simple, so really all you have to do is get your images ready to go.
- Head to Facebook Ads Manager on your desktop or use the Ads Manager mobile app.
- Upload your images to create your ad on Facebook. The process will vary slightly depending on the ad format you chose. Facebook will walk you through it all.
- Choose your ad placements (desktop newsfeed, mobile newsfeed, right column, Instagram, etc.) You can also select Automatic Placements and let Facebook do this for you.
- Preview your ad and place your order. Facebook will review your ad and send you a confirmation email when it’s live.
Track your Facebook ad’s performance
Once your beautiful ad ventures out into the wild and starts singing its siren song to Facebookers everywhere, it’s time to pat yourself on the back and start monitoring its performance. Facebook’s Ads Manager provides all kinds of data and reports to help you understand how your ad is doing with categories like “Engagement” and “Conversions.”
As you create more Facebook ads, experiment with different fonts, colors, images to learn what works best and receives the most attention. You may also want to try split testing to gain valuable audience insights.
Turn inspiration into action. Join now, and treat yourself to the PicMonkey creative toolkit.