The Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Advertising Creative Strategy

Aug 18, 2020

In today’s world, saying that Facebook is wildly popular is an understatement. The social media giant is here to stay, and the best news is that it’s a great place to advertise.

It can be difficult to know how to go about creating great Facebook ads, avoiding common pitfalls and developing a creative strategy that works.

Lauren is the super talented ad designer I’ve partnered with to create most of my client’s ad creatives. I was lucky to get to know Lauren during our two years working together at a digital marketing agency.  We have worked together on creating literally thousands of social media ads for e-commerce companies in various industries (apparel, makeup, accessories, shoes, etc.) Lauren and I collaborate on ad creative ideas and strategies to produce the best results for my clients.

We believe that having a volume of effective ad creatives is the only way to scale an ad account. It’s not about any media buying hacks or crazy tactics. It all boils down to doing weekly creative testing and learning from those so you know what works and what doesn’t.

The more creatives you put into the account, the better your testing methodology is and that will allow you to scale.

We’ve been able to scale brands very quickly by implementing a rapid creative testing process.

3 Crucial Insights I’ve Learned From Creating Facebook Ads

Here are three key takeaways I’ve learned from my years of Facebook ad creation...

1. Video is Bigger Than Ever

Video is exploding (in a good way) on mobile. In 2020, it’s estimated that 78% of all mobile data traffic will be from video.

No matter what platform you’re on, video drives more engagement for your creative. Facebook is no exception.

In this day and age, video should be at the forefront of your creative strategy.

Video doesn’t mean that you need to have a big production shoot. Creating engaging video can be as simple as picking up your iPhone, filming some quick UGC (that’s user generated content, for those of you who don’t know) or a video of your product.

2. Mobile Optimization is Key

Ads from my client Leaf Shave

When designing for mobile, there are a couple of key things to keep in mind. Mobile ads need to work well with the sound off and get to the point quickly.

The two most important questions to ask yourself when creating a mobile ad are “how can I capture someone within the first 3 seconds?” and “does my ad make sense with the sound off?”

Those two things are crucial for designing mobile feed ads that users are going to want to engage with and feel impacted by.

Now, let me elaborate on the importance of the video making sense with the sound off. If your ad relies on sound to get the point across, you’re isolating a big portion of your audience who may not regularly have their sound on or may be caught without headphones somewhere where having the sound on wouldn't be appropriate.

As you probably know from your own social media usage, there is so much content to be consumed that people are looking at their feeds almost 24/7 and being bombarded with content they follow and ad content so it’s very important to capture attention quickly with your ad.

Your number one goal should be to intrigue users almost instantly so they swipe up or click to your website. Capturing their attention within the first three seconds of the ad is ideal. This is as crucial for Facebook as it is with any other platform.

Now, with all this talk of being quick and intriguing, I do want to state that you don’t need to tell your entire brand story within a few seconds. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to do that. All you need to do is get a user’s attention, and then you can use your website to share more about your brand story, product benefits, company beliefs, etc.

3. Static Images Might Work for Your Brand

Ads from my client Pela Vision


People look at video five times longer than static images on Facebook and Instagram. It’s not surprising that video ads have the highest levels of engagement.

However, static image ads are still around for a reason. They can garner some good engagement, especially if your product doesn’t need an educational video. Apparel is a good example of a product that can sell very well just from images.

Although it’s important to note that video will most definitely result in more engagement and a higher ROAS (return on ad spend), the short answer is that static images are still kind of relevant.

If you’re dead set on using still images, that’s okay! However, we do highly recommend adding some sort of animation, like a slideshow. Animation can really bring some otherwise dull images to life.

4 Quick Tips for Creating Better Facebook Ads

Like any creative endeavor, ad creation has some pitfalls. Here are some tips to help you avoid mucking up your Facebook ads...

1. Always Have Captions

I’ve seen ads where the viewer (including myself) has no idea what’s going on when they have the sound off. Rather than expecting every viewer to turn their sound on, just add captions.

Ad from my client Peel

2. Get to the Point in the First 3 Seconds

This one is self explanatory. Your ad needs to get to the point, quickly, if you want to keep the viewer from getting bored.

Ad From My Client Kitch

3. Be Clear, Rather Than Clever

If you can come up with a witty ad that also gets the point across without wasting time, then that’s awesome! Just make sure you’re not sacrificing the clarity of your message for some cute or funny spectacle.


Ad From My Client Peel

4. Keep it concise

I think we’ve all seen ads that are close to two minutes (or longer, egads!) that are a total drag to sit through. What’s worse is when you can’t even tell what the product is. Keep your ads clear and concise. To put a timebox on it, ads should ideally be less than 30 seconds.

Ad from my client Outer

Those Are the Golden Rules

Just like everything in life that’s worthwhile, learning how to create fun, engaging ads while remaining clear and concise takes time.

I, and Lauren, hope that these tips will help you navigate the world of Facebook ads with more confidence and creativity.

If you have any questions or feedback for us, or if you’d like to work together on your ad strategy, feel free to contact me here.