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Kim Walsh-Phillips: How To Create A Facebook Ad That Sells


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Seeing so many ads in your news feed, Facebook marketing appears easy.  And to most it is. They are easily losing buckets of money.  They focus on “engagement” and “Likes” instead of profit-driven measurement.

My firm places thousands of dollars in ads for our clients each day.  We split test everything and optimize ads, not daily but hourly. What we know is that there are no absolutes when it comes to Facebook marketing.  But we have developed some best practices to follow when placing an ad, such as…

  1. Write a headline that addresses the “you.”  You want the person looking at the ad to feel like you are speaking directly to them.
  2. Be willing to be controversial.  Tell the prospect why they should pay attention. Remember, you are competing against the other messaging in their news feed from people your prospects actually know and probably like.
  3. Speak to your perfect prospect. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Tell them what makes you different than your competitors and worth their time.
  4. Use Open Loop and Ad Congruency strategies.  Your copy below your ad image should utilize two different strategies. One, it should include an “open loop” so that the text is running off of the page.  This entices the reader to click to see the rest of the content. Secondly, it should have the same exact copy as you would see on the landing page when they click on the ad. This is called ad congruency.  It ensures a higher likelihood of opt-ins and sales conversions.
  5. Look at the camera and smile pretty. If you are featuring a person in your ad image, the ad image that tests best for us is one where the person is looking straight at the camera with a smile.
  6. Try a red shirt.  We have also tested different color of clothing and have found our red shirt strategy to work 75% of the time.  Red shirts seem to test better than any other color of clothing. (Good advice if you are single and dating as well…)
  7. Be clear and concise.  Use your text to tell your target prospect what the outcome will be if they click your ad.  But, make sure your image follows Facebook’s guideline of no more than 20% text.
  8. Show the reward.  Include a photo of the free report, coupon, video or whatever they will get once they click through to the next page.  Place this same image on your landing page to increase conversions.
  9. Build proof with your link.  Facebook allows you to change the URL display that you are showing in your ads. Match it to your brand and your website to give confidence to the viewer.
  10. Tell them exactly what you want them to do.  Use your link to give a clear call to action telling your viewer exactly what you want them to do with your ad.

Most importantly, don’t follow the herd. Be strategic, calculated and diligent with your measurement.  As is the same with any type of marketing, the only thing that should count is results.

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