Facebook ads are now an essential tool in a successful marketing strategy, while the platform does offer businesses the opportunity to reach a global audience.
Almost 62% of marketers say that Facebook is a ‘pay to play’ platform and ends up missing their target market. That’s not necessarily true.
A Facebook ad’s success hinges on far more than how much money you bid. Big brands know it, smart marketers know it, and now you’ll learn it.
I took a look at the top 10 best Facebook ads, what they’re doing right and how you can apply the same tactics to your Facebook ads.
Let’s dive in…
1. Facebook Ad: Sephora
It’s now the norm for marketers to use video content. So it came as no surprise when Buffer found that 81% of businesses prefer to use Facebook for their video marketing.
Video content has continued to prove itself as the dominant form of online consumption. It’s also the easiest and fastest way to advertise your message and products while keeping your customers engaged.
Sephora is known for selling quality skincare and beauty products, so product-based content and ads are vital to the brand’s success. Their video is quick and has an effortless transition. It starts immediately by introducing the product, Amore Pacific’s face cream, in a friendly and open fashion. Even at first glance, while the viewer is scrolling by, we see the model presenting the product in a friendly but straightforward way. It feels more like a friend showing you a product, rather than a brand shoving it in your face.
The model then does a mini step by step tutorial on how to apply the product and ends with a smile. The actor in the ad uses a soft-sell approach, almost mimicking a YouTube-like tutorial. Since 86% of women use social media for shopping advice, the ad feels more like everyday content rather than an ad itself. They see someone using the product rather than just the product.
The art of making your ads feel — well, less like ads — is a delicate one. But why go through all the trouble? Because thousands of Facebook ads are promoted every day, and without taking a creative approach, you’ll easily get lost in the noise. Your Facebook videos need to stand out.
Showcase your products in a lifestyle setting. Sephora, for example, used a beautiful bathroom. When customers can see a product that matches their aspirations, ideals, or style, it allows them to imagine that product in their own life more easily. This makes them much more likely to make a purchase.
2. Facebook Ad: Squarespace
Squarespace is a brand I love to watch on social media, especially Facebook ads.
From first glance, the ad starts with an artist and bold text across the screen that says, “A website makes it real.” From there we instantly we know what this ad is about without second-guessing: making a website with Squarespace.
The ad transitions through showcasing ideas for your site, layouts to choose from, added features and plans. It presents Squarespace as the solution to all your website needs, driving home the call to action to start a free trial.
Smart marketers know that an ad isn’t just eye-catching, but it presents a solution to a customer’s problem in a personable way, saying we’re the brand for you.
What makes a good Facebook ad? It’s the type of ad that converts viewers into buyers by solidifying the fact that your brand offers them a solution that’s quick and easy.
People have a fear of missing out, a fear of losing a good bargain, and the list goes on. Squarespace played on the fear of missing out because you haven’t created a website as yet. =
Show them you can improve their lives. Use your ad to show people how easy their life can be with your product around. Again, another opportunity to incorporate lifestyle marketing in your ads.
Testimonials are one of the oldest and most effective marketing methods to date. 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. Include your favorite customers or written reviews in your ads to spark an interest in potential customers.
3. Facebook Ad: AirBnB
You can spot an Air BnB ad from a mile away.
Their brand colors! But let’s not boil down their Facebook ad success to just brand colors. It’s all because they know who their target audience is when they create ads.
There are two types of Airbnb social media accounts, one for travelers (guest) and one for the hosts (Airbnb owners).
This account is for (potential) Airbnb hosts. The screen goes to pink ( or if we’re being technical about colors, salmon) and opens with the line “Want to make more money?”
After Airbnb promotes, it’s calculated so that you can learn how much you can earn with your potential Airbnb.
This opening line works so well because right off the bat you know what this ad is about, and the problem that it’s solving: making you more money.
People lose interest in things quickly, especially ads, people have an attention span of about eight seconds.
You don’t have the luxury of spending more than 8 seconds to explain your message unless you’ve mastered the art of suspense.
Don’t believe me? Check out these 13 Facebook Ads We Got That Were Right on the Money (and Why)
Airbnb also made sure to add a link to their calculator to their CTA button, so the viewer can instantly experience the calculator and sign up as an Airbnb host, removing steps that would cause friction and creating an uncomplicated and smooth marketing funnel.
Let’s dive in deep and see the key features that you can implement in your own ads.
You must be tired of hearing this, but it’s because it’s so important: know your audience! Airbnb clearly knows who they’re targeting. When you have a specific Facebook target audience, your ads have more impact because it’s not one size fits all. That means defining your target audience down to the “T.” This can also mean the use of geotargeted ads for particular areas.
Keep your ads short, after going over the most brilliant Facebook ads and what most Facebook video ads have in common; they run between 5 to 35 seconds. Additional seconds and it’s a stretch. Viewers might lose interest unless you already have strong brand loyalty.
Throw in a unique CTA. As a marketer, I can’t tell you how boring it is to write or see, “Click here to learn more.” Throw that CTA out the window and give viewers something they want for free. Airbnb offered a “free calculator.” Free stuff can be hard to resist and increase sales by up to 2000 percent; it gives people an incentive to try your product or consider upgrading.
Need help crafting your Facebook ads CTA? Here are 25 Proven Call-to-Action Words to Maximize Conversions.
4. Facebook Ad: Adobe Photoshop
Adobe decided to take a different approach. Instead of promoting their products, they released a series of short tutorials on Adobe Photoshop’s tools and features.
An outstanding graphic designer never stops learning, just as marketers have to stay up to date with new trends, tools, and the latest “growth hack,” the same can be said for creatives. Learning about new design methods and tools helps to advance your career and allows you to stay ahead of the curve. The creative world is competitive.
Adobe understands their audience; they know that whether they’re a young or well-seasoned designer, using their ads to teach viewers about new tools would be relevant.
They used Adobe icons, and bold and colorful examples to keep the viewer engaged and ended with a CTA that pushed them to create their own, whether they have Adobe or were considering installing the software.
If you’ve read any of my articles, you’ll realize I’m always advocating for brands to focus more on the customer than selling the products.
Ray Kroc said, “If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”
Whether or not you believe that, your ads should reflect that. After you hone in on who your target audience is, it’s time to use your ads to reflect their needs.
Follow in Adobe’s steps: if you have a product or software, show off its best features. Do a quick step by step tutorial from start to finish. Take it a step further and have a representative from your team to host the tutorial. These simple things go a long way with potential customers. It allows your brand to feel and look credible, informed, and start the first stage of your awareness marketing funnel.
5. Facebook Ad: Headspace
Headspace is a popular meditation app that offers guided and unguided meditation for a monthly subscription.
The copy of the ad stands out against the contrast color of the backdrop. Catching the eye of anyone looking for a quick mental reset, from there, the viewer can press play and sample the Headspace app for 20 seconds. After, they can decide to sign up with a whopping 40% discount on Headspace Plus.
In the sub-text of the Facebook ad we see a little sense of urgency, hinting that the viewer only has a few hours left to redeem their 40% discount before it’s gone.
Every now and then you’ll see a Headspace ad pop-up with a discount, mainly used for retargeting ads for users who fell off in the buyer’s journey or seasonal discounts.
Earlier, we spoke about how Airbnb and Squarespace ads both gave viewers something to sample or experience (visually or personally).
Here are three proven ways to influence your buyer’s decision with your Facebook Ad.
Understand your buyer’s journey. It’s easy to jump ahead of yourself and create an ad. Think about what happens before and after your viewer sees your ad. This lets you lead your buyer to the place you want them to be, think about your landing page, and link (even tracking your link).
Make them an offer they can’t refuse. An offer doesn’t have to mean a discount. It could be sampling your product or service for a few seconds. It could also mean a free trial for a limited time.
Educate your buyers. Inform them about what your products can do for them, and why you should be considered above your competitors.
For more on creating a buyer’s journey and influencing buyers’ decisions, use this detailed guide on the Buyer’s Journey 101: Steps to Selling Online.
6. Facebook Ad: Saloman
Saloman is a brand that’s known for capturing the outdoors in real time.
Their ad makes this list because it tells the story of how Salomon products open the door to unexpected journeys in surprising places. Ultimately, it’s not about buying stuff; it’s about buying the stuff you need for an unforgettable adventure.
Without words or sounds, it captures the euphoric feeling of the outdoors. So even if you aren’t an outdoors person, you’re drawn in by the vivid imagery. The mountain captures the audience’s attention from the start and leaves them wanting more at the end.
Use emotion and community to tie your product and your potential customers together in a neat little bow. Why? It works! Look back on the best ads of all time, like Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad.
Emotion tells a compelling story in video ads because photos don’t easily capture (most) emotions in ads.
The next key takeaway is to use professional shots for your videos, especially if they’re about the great outdoors or for product shoots. You want to make sure that your viewers’ first impression of you is the best.
7. Facebook Ad: MailChimp
MailChimp doesn’t shy away from the unusual when it comes to their branding, website, and marketing. In 2018 Mailchimp decided to do a full brand refresh.
The ad starts with a majestic cat on a pyramid (and we all know the internet loves cats). As the colorful cat transitions into a postcard, landing page and social media, it shows the audience how much flexibility and functionality MailChimp has to offer their customers in a 25-second timeframe.
As weird as it is, let’s admit it. You couldn’t take your eyes off that swanky cat during the entire video. That’s MailChimp for you, brand authenticity at its finest.
If there’s anything you can take away from our pyramid cat, it’s that you should be your authentic self, let your brand run wild (well maybe not wild).
Brand authenticity allows your niche target audience to find you, buy from you, and build a community around you. It provides your business with continuity, credibility, integrity, and if done right, powerful symbolism even if your logo isn’t present.
So how do you find your brand authenticity to put it in your Facebook ads in the first place?
8. Facebook Ad: Ikea
This summer, Ikea launched a campaign called “Good Night Sleep, Build Your Sanctuary.” A good night’s sleep is important to anyone, Ikea should know. Using storytelling with images, they show different lifestyles and families all in one bed.
They create a strong personal connection, linking their beds to enjoying those lovable moments and building your happy place with the people you love.
Whether you have a family of six or a bed for one, it translates to each target market while soft-selling the products and prices in the image.
The carousel ad format is available for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and allowing you to showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad. That’s more space to show off your brand’s creativity, products, and various ads.
Use up as much Facebook ad features as you can. Try using a wide variety of Facebook ad features. If you do decide to use images for your Facebook ad here are some best practices:
- Choose an image that is directly relevant to your product or service
- Use an image that is bright and eye-catching, even when viewed at a small size
- Avoid images that have many little details or text and opt for something simple instead
- Facebook recommends your image be 1200 pixels wide, and no smaller than 600
- Place your logo or brand colors so people can quickly identify your brand
9. Facebook Ad: Dairy Queen
DQ is a fan favorite for ice cream and sweet treat lovers. They have a cult following for some of their most signature frozen treats. So when they alerted their fans that their Snickers Blizzard Treat was back by popular demand, they ditched the pictures and did this video ad instead for their #HappyTastesGood campaign.
The DQ ad jumps right by telling you about the treats release with a quirky DQ fan enjoying the sweet treat. The ad ends by pushing for social engagement via emoji with DQ, which helps to measure the ROI of the ad.
Sometimes we have to take a different approach to your ads to avoid Facebook ad fatigue.
You can minimize ad fatigue among your own audience by doing the following:
- Rotate your ads to combat Ad Fatigue
- Change up the colors to make sure you stand out
- Change up or reword your offer and CTA
- Target a more detailed audience
Add that to this detailed guide on How to Combat Facebook Ad Fatigue, and your ad should see a boost in clicks.
10. Facebook Ad: Wishpond
Now that you’ve taken a look at what we can do, let’s talk about what we can do for you!
Click here to book a free 1-on-1 personalized webinar for expert marketing help and tips to grow your business.
There you have it: 10 of the best Facebook ads changing the game. It’s time to stop reading about Facebook ads and start making or improving your own.
Here’s a mini-guide to run through when you’re creating your ad:
- Showcase your products in a lifestyle setting.
- Keep in mind your customer’s fears or wants: focus on them, not you.
- Show them you can improve their lives with your product.
- Try to use testimonials, especially from your favorite customers or written reviews in your ads.
- Know your audience! Start by defining your target audience down to the “T.”
- Keep your ads short: between 5 to 35 seconds is the sweet spot.
- Throw in a unique CTA, and an offer they can’t refuse.
Liked the article? Share with your team, a friend, or a fellow marketer, also feel free to comment below and tell me your favorite Facebook ad from the list.