A Cheat Sheet to High-Converting Facebook Ad Creative

By Today’s Industry Insider


An AdWords text ad looks exactly the same on mobile as it does on desktop.

You don’t have to worry about the difference. And besides, it only takes a few characters anyway. There’s little room for error.

Now contrast that with a Facebook ad creative, where you’re juggling different headline, image, text and CTA options for different placements, across different devices.

What looks great for one will almost certainly not work for another.

Fortunately, there are a few general rules of thumb to start with that can make your life a lot easier (and not to mention, save you a bunch of money).

Here’s a cheat sheet to creating your own high-converting Facebook ad creative.

How to Decide Between Facebook’s Three Major Ad Placements

An image that’s perfect for the Desktop News Feed won’t cut it on a tiny mobile ad.

And therein lies the dilemma.

Facebook ads are a delicate balance, where you have to weigh up so many different objectives, ad types, placements, and sizes in order to get the creative just right.

One of the first places to start, well before considering an image or headline, is the platform and device placement.

Here’s how to choose between the three options.

Placement #1. Desktop News Feed

The standard Desktop, News Feed placement is your first go-to option.

As a general rule, the priority placement here gets you better-than-average conversion odds.

And you get more room to make your case, with a larger image, longer copy, and additional link description area.

The only problem?

It’s competitive. And it’s expensive (relatively speaking).

You’re paying for the extra emphasis. So while that’s great if your goals include engagement or generating leads and sales, it’s not-so-great for discovery and brand awareness.

Placement #2. Desktop Right Column


Right Column ads typically take a back seat to News Feed ones because they’re slightly out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

Not to mention, your ability to captivate with a smaller image and little-to-no text area becomes a little diluted.


If someone already knows who you are and what you have to offer (i.e. you’re retargeting previous website visitors or past customers with custom audiences), your ads can grab their attention at a more cost-effective price point (per impression or click).

Just make sure you’re creating ads specifically for the Right Column placement, and not simply regurgitating and force-feeding News Feed ads into the smaller placement. Otherwise, this will happen:


These ads are from the Right Column, but written and designed for the News Feed.

So good try, but wrong placement.

That means the design objects and copy in the image are too small to be legible. And their ad text headlines and descriptions get truncated, too.

Which then means they end paying more for this ad, overspending and wasting precious ad dollars because they got only one of the variables wrong.

Placement #3. Mobile


Contra-competitive timing refers to sending email messages, for example, over the weekends when you have less competition to go up against.

Similarly, you can start audience-building on Facebook by specifically targeting mobile devices, where discovery and initial engagement can often be had for much cheaper (than desktop).

According to Massimo from AdEspresso, “Users will discover your product on their phones… then buy it the next day on their desktop.”

Perfect. That’s what we want. Use mobile, awareness-building campaigns to create an audience that we can later target based on previous website visits or Facebook page engagement.

(There is one caveat, however. Facebook’s Lead Ads, which integrate with most major email marketing services, can deliver great conversions on mobile. As always, test for yourself.)


  1. Desktop News Feed: Use for conversions (but can be cost prohibitive for other objectives).
  2. Desktop Right Column: Reserve for retargeting & remarketing to brand-aware people.
  3. Mobile: Use primarily for driving discovery and brand awareness.

Perfect. Now on to the creative and design portion.

Let’s kick things off easy with the single image ad creative.

Three Major Steps to Nail a Single-Image Ad Creative

An AdWords ad might take you all of five minutes to create. Throw in a ~25 character headline, add another line or two, and call it a day. Time for happy hour.

Unfortunately, creating Facebook ads might make you miss that golden social hour.

‘Cause you’ve got longer headlines and text to create. Not to mention, selecting the picture-perfect image that will jump off the page for viewers.

It ain’t easy. But it can be easier if you start here.


Here’s what an image ad looks like:

  • Optimized for Placement: Takes advantage of larger image and longer copy on Desktop News Feed.
  • Strong Value Prop Angle: Answers the nagging question ‘why’ someone should click.
  • Short & Sweet Headline: Direct and to-the-point in under five words or less.
  • Visceral, Communicative Image: Bright colors jump out, with realistic view of what this ad is selling.
  • Evidence of Social Proof: If your peers like it, so will you.
  • Action-Oriented CTA: Uses a verb to hint at what you’re going to get when you click.

Step #1. Start with a Strong Value Prop Angle

Your Facebook ad creative all starts with the value proposition.

But not for the reason you might think.

Sure, the objective is critical. If you’re going for discovery, something attention-worthy is critical. While if you’re looking for conversions, subtlety and understatement are key.

However there’s something else to consider first.

On Facebook, audience targeting is more important than ad creative.

In other words, better audience targeting with an average ad will almost always outperform an amazing ad creative with average audience targeting.

The reason comes down to Facebook’s Relevance Score, which acts a lot like the AdWords Quality Score; determining, filtering, and suppressing ads with little-to-no relevance to a particular group of people (based largely on their interests).

So your ad’s value prop construction should begin with those oft-mentioned and equally oft-ignored buyer personas.

If you’re gonna waste time A/B testing anything, it should be macro-elements like which messaging appeals to which audiences (and not the …read more

Read more here:: KISSmetrics

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