I have met many marketers telling me, “My ads doesn’t seem to be getting the same reach and impression as it did in the past! It must be because Facebook is getting too saturated”.

But honestly, it’s just an excuse. No doubt, Facebook is reaching its maximum number of ads they can display. But how is it possible that some companies are still writing their success story. Case in point: We have helped a company earned up to 1,200 leads solely through Facebook ads.

Why Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Getting The Same Reach

The problem lies in the fact that marketers don’t know how to design their ads in a straightforward and clear manner to fit current user’s surfing behaviours. They try to be creative, designing quirky puns inside ads that require users to stop and ponder. But how many people actually stop to stare at an ad for more than 3 seconds. So when they post up these ads, they are naturally not going to get enough impressions on their campaign.

So how do you create an ad that attracts the attention of users and gets your message across fast?

Element 1: Convey Your Message Through Text in the Ad

The best way to bring your point across fast is to include your message in your Facebook ad itself. Naturally, your message has to be short and sweet — less than 10 words. You wouldn’t want users to squint just to read your ad. Heck, they wouldn’t even bother to stop.

Here is an ad example designed for one of our blog article. Short and sweet.

Facebook had a 20% text rule in the past which restricted advertisers to the amount of space your text can take up in your ad. Today, Facebook allows us to exceed the space constraint, but once you hit past the limit, they are less likely to promote your ad.

An example of an image which probably isn’t a good ad to run since the words take up 8 boxes and have exceeded the 20% rule (5 box only).

Element 2: Use Emotion-Evoking Photo/Illustration

Everyone loves a good story. Adding emotion-evoking images helps you to create a story. These can be images of people displaying an expression or illustration that paints your user’s desired or painful situation.

For example, if your ad message is “ 30% Promotion for Chinese New Year”, your image can be a lady with a shocked expression. This captures user’s attention. At first glance, it will spark their curiosity and make them read.

Do the illustrated women in the image make you feel like she is telling you a secret? It reinforces the word “… that you (probably) didn’t know”.

Another tip is to use your image to direct the eyes of your users. So if you want the user to read the text on ad image, you can add an image of a man who is looking at the text. This directs the user to look at the text and you get my point across faster.


Look at this adCompare it with this, does this ad feels weird?Lastly, keep your image simple with a maximum of two focal points. Notice all the ads shown above either make you concentrate on the words for the human figure? If there is a background, blur it out so that the eyes can easily navigate to the specific points we want them to. Why should you do this? Facebook is already clustered with photos and videos shared by your friends and families, you are doing your users a favour by creating a clean-looking ad.

While we are on the topic of ad images, here are five websites where you can download free stock photos.

Element 3: Add in Easy-To-Read Design Element

Use bright colours for your ad message. Based our split-testing, we found that primary colors are the most effective in an ad, namely red, blue, yellow. If you want an extra impact, contrast your message with a black background. It really stands out in front of Facebook’s white newsfeed.

Another tip in designing ads is to use san serif fonts rather than serif fonts. Serif fonts are easier to read because it doesn’t have any “tails” or decorative details at the end of each alphabet.

Source: highlighted in red are the tails of serif font.

Some examples of my favourite sans serif fonts are Oswald and Roboto Condense. Occasionally I would use serif fonts as well to create a certain feeling, like the “content marketing strategy” and “unusual Facebook targeting” ads seen above.

With that said, don’t forget the design rule to keep to a maximum of two fonts in an ad. Any more than 2 font types will turn your ad into an eyesore.

Also, bigger font size does result in higher conversion rate. As a standard practice, use font size 16 and above. Just make sure that it fits in your 20% space constraint.

Here is an example of a clean, sans serif font – Roboto Condense – with size 16 font.

In Summary…

We have gained many successful Facebook campaigns just using these three elements. I am sure it will increase Facebook ad reach for you. Go ahead and try them out today.

After you have improved your reach, the next step is to increase conversion. That involves a good understanding of your buyers – your buyer persona. We have an eBook just for that:

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Shirley Yam
Shirley specialises in Facebook marketing and lead generation. Under Tangylab, she has helped local and international companies to achieve their marketing and sales goals through various advertisements and campaigns. She actively seeks to understand customer’s digital behaviour and is interested to share what she has learnt with others to help them optimise their digital efforts.