5 Fundamental Principles to Create Stunning Facebook Ads

Did you know that red is so attention-grabbing because of the implications it had to our hunter-gather ancestors?

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By Sam Oh


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Facebook is the unrivaled king of social media advertising. How could it not be? In terms of features, insights and targeting, it is unparalleled in the online world, making it the ideal platform to advertise your brand's products and services.

However, its greatness comes at a cost. For the average entrepreneur, the challenge of designing ads that stand out amid the glut of content littering their audiences' newsfeed requires an almost herculean effort.

If you are one of these entrepreneurs, I can offer some simple hacks to make it easy to create ads that stand out, excite viewers and leave them eager to click "Buy Now." Here are those hacks:

1. Understand the psychology of color.

According to a study in Management Decision, 90 percent of all split-second judgments that we make about a product are a result of the product's color. If you extend this statistic into the realm of advertising, you'll quickly realize that the colors you select for your ads can make or break a campaign. Consider these science-backed observations regarding the public's response to different colors.

  • Blue, purple and green are more heavily favored by older individuals. Younger people, on the other hand, tend to prefer yellow, orange and red.

  • According to a poll by Joe Hallock, comparing results from 232 people across 22 countries, orange is the most disliked color, with purple, yellow and brown trailing closely behind.

  • Red is one of the most attention-grabbing colors, apparently due to the implications (food or danger) it had during our ancestors' hunter-gatherer days.

While you should use this information to improve the visual appeal of your ads, realize that the above statements are generalizations. There is no "one size fits all," and the biggest factor in the success of your selected color scheme is whether or not it complements what you are trying to sell.

Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding

2. Avoid hyperbole and overly bold claims

If your audience members stumble across one of your ads without prior knowledge of your company, one of the first questions they ask will be, "Is this brand credible?" And whether you realize it or not, the design of your ad will have a significant impact on how they answer that question.

Too many marketers rely on hyperbole, exaggerated claims and emotional manipulation. This has made it increasingly difficult for honest brands to make bold statements about their products or services without inviting public scrutiny.

While I am not suggesting that you dilute truthful ads to avoid the wrath of incredulous viewers, you need to be aware of the realities of online advertising and ensure that all of your ads appear professional and credible.

3. Leverage the power of social proof.

One of the most powerful tools in your advertising arsenal is the intentional use of social proof. People's fears are triggered whenever they purchase a brand's product for the first time. This fear is largely due to the risk associated with a new purchase and has resulted in countless lost sales throughout the centuries.

One of the quickest ways to alleviate your customers' fears is to eradicate their perceived risk by providing social proof that reaffirms the quality of your product. Integrating client testimonials, case studies or user metrics (e.g., the number of subscribers/customers) can increase the power of your ads exponentially.

Using Facebook's retargeting technology with social proof might be the secret ingredient to turning incidents of visitor abandonment into paying leads.

4. Use compelling calls to action.

Implementing calls to action (CTAs) into your advertisements has a very unique effect on your Facebook campaigns. While they will not increase your click-through rate or deepen user engagement, what they will do is eliminate friction and ambiguity, resulting in a higher conversion rate.

What that means is that if a viewer sees an ad for your brand without a clear CTA and then clicks through, he or she will be taken to a sales or landing page without a clear idea of what is going on, and that will likely result in the loss of a lead. However, if that same viewer sees an ad with a CTA saying "Join our email list for your free video," the process of clicking and converting becomes seamless.

This simple trick will allow you to massively boost your conversion rate while simultaneously reducing the number of clicks generated by unqualified leads.

5. ABT: Always be testing.

While this point may not directly pertain to improving the design of your Facebook ads, the importance of testing cannot be understated. If you want to generate a high ROI through Facebook advertising, then you are going to need to test, and test a lot.

It is essential to your success that you implement the previous four tips and then test them against your previous results to determine what's working and what's not. Test everything: the colors of your ads, the headlines, various methods of social proof and different calls to action.


Designing incredible Facebook ads is not as difficult as you might have thought. While it will take months, possibly even years, of tweaking and testing before you have a fully optimized campaign, you'll find the effort worth it. By implementing these simple techniques, you'll see your Facebook campaigns and, by extension, your business, flourish.

Sam Oh

Founder of Money Journal

Sam Oh is a web strategist, digital marketer and founder of Money Journal. There he publishes in-depth guides to help entrepreneurs gain traction and grow by leveraging online marketing tactics. Oh has also created profitable businesses on Amazon, eBay and has sold multiple businesses since 2009.

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