The Anatomy of a Successful Facebook Ad

Sometimes, when businesses don’t see instant results with Facebook they dismiss it as ineffective. Having hit ‘boost’ several times, spent hundreds and got no sales, it’s little wonder why people get frustrated.

However,  advertising on Facebook is far more scientific than it may seem on the surface so when you get the formula right, you can achieve serious results. Like any scientific process, finding the right formula can take a great deal of trial and error. But, when you hit on it, you won’t look back. 

If you’re going to make Facebook work for you, you’ll now need a far more strategic approach. As the cost of advertising on Facebook is still cheap compared to other channels, competition for clicks and interaction is fierce.

In order to stand out, you have to take a number of things into account. To help, here’s a handy guide on the anatomy of a successful Facebook ad.


Think visual

As a Facebook user, you’ll know it takes a lot for adverts to stop you in your tracks whilst scrolling through your news feed. Dull, uninspiring content doesn’t cut it, does it?

Whether you’re using an image(s) or video, make sure it’s vibrant and visually appealing. You have a very limited time to grab your audience’s attention so make it count. It’s also important to remember that the more visually appealing an ad is, the more likely it is to be shared.

Plus, it’s not just your audience that prefers this type of content, Facebook algorithms love it too. 

To help get this right, here’s a handy guide on optimising your images.


Solve problems

People are far more likely to react to an ad that appears to solve a problem they’re facing (whether they knew about the problem before they saw the ad or not!)

The beauty industry has this technique down to a tee. They firstly tell women about the problems they’ll face if they don’t look after their skin, for example. Then they’ll introduce the ‘wonder cream’ that reduces wrinkles and boosts collagen.

This is just one example of problem-solving in an add. When creating your own, you have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What problems can you solve? Make this crystal clear.


Be relevant

Facebook now shows you a ‘relevance score’ on all of your ads. This is a key insight into understanding whether you are targeting the right people or not.

If your audience is too broad or not engaged, you’ll waste money on clicks from users who are never going to convert.

Really think about this when choosing your targeting criteria. Look at your page insights to find the demographics that are most engaged with your content. This will help you to refine your selection and avoid showing your ad to people who will probably just hide your posts or ignore them.


Think value

What is going to make your target market click? What are you offering that competitors aren’t? It’s no good just introducing yourself and talking about how great your products or services are – that’s not going to get people excited.

Think about the problems you are solving and offer added value to that. A coupon, voucher or offer is something to consider, especially when promoting products to a cold audience. They have never shopped with you so what makes them trust that what you’re selling is all that good? Provide an incentive, like a discount code, and they’re far more likely to give you a try.


What’s the call to action?

You may have created a masterpiece of an add that even Gary Vaynerchuk would be proud of but without a clear CTA, it won’t work. People need things spelling out in black and white. They don’t have time to search for your offer or website so make your call to action crystal clear. There’s really no excuse not to with the amount of buttons Facebook offer.

When adding your CTA make sure the link leads directly to the product or landing page you’re promoting. Do not just take them to your home page – this is a waste of an ad. If they’re taken to a generic place, they’ll probably bounce straight off.


What do good Facebook ads look like?


Hello Fresh

Is it visual?

Yes, the add uses two vibrant videos, designed to appeal directly to their millennial audience. The top video shows a couple using the ingredients to quickly and easily whip up a delicious meal. The bottom video shows what comes in the box.

Does it solve problems?

This is targeted at a busy generation with limited time to create tasty meals. The ad touches on this by using the phrases ‘pre-portioned’ and ‘easy’ solving the time issue.

What’s the value?

A 50% discount on the first two boxes.

Is there a strong call to action?

Yes, a ‘Get offer’ button takes users directly to the shop page where they can redeem the offer.


Google Ads

Is it visual?

Yes, the add uses a clean crisp image of a work space, directly relating to the target audience.

Does it solve problems?

The ad is targeted to business owners or marketers who are not yet Google Ads customers. It breaks down any concerns about the complexity of the platform by simply saying ‘Just write your ad, decide who to reach and go live. Plus you only pay for results.’

What’s the value?

A £75 coupon to get started.

Is there a strong call to action?

Yes, ‘sign up to reach thousands of potential new customers’ with a clear ‘sign up button.


To Sum up

Facebook advertising now requires a more scientific approach than it once did. Businesses must really think about the audience and come up with novel ways to attract attention. By taking into the account the above pointers, you should be well on your way to creating a successful Facebook ad.


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