6 Key Characteristics Your Facebook Ad Images Should Have to Be Effective When you're choosing images or creating videos for your Facebook ads, be sure you think about these six things if you want them to be successful.

By Perry Marshall

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Keith Krance and Thomas Meloche's book Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising with guest writer Molly Pittman. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

When it comes to the creative aspect of your Facebook ads, it's important to note that it doesn't necessarily need to be all about the offer. Make sure your creative reflects the marketing message or hook -- the message you're using to sell or to get someone to take action on -- that's in your copy.

A lot of people mess up on this aspect of the creative by setting up an ad campaign and telling their designer that they need an image of the product or something that just looks good. While using an image of the product may work in some cases, that's not always what's needed for a high-converting campaign. You want to start getting into the mindset that the image and video creatives are just the visual elements that should be supporting the rest of your campaign as a whole.

There's a lot of thought that goes into this process, and there are six important things to think about whenever you're working on your creatives. All of them don't have to exist in every creative, but number one definitely does.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

1. Reflect your hook with your creative.

Your hook isn't your offer. Whatever you're trying to get your customer to do, whether it's download a lead magnet or buy a product, that's the offer. The hook is the way you sell and market your offer. One offer could have 10 hooks if you're testing 10 different marketing messages to get someone to take action. Your creative should always convey the marketing message or the hook.

If your image isn't doing that, you're just using your image to catch eyeballs. Using a puppy or a pretty woman might get a bunch of clicks, but they'll likely be from people who don't care about what's on the other side. Don't use an image simply to try to draw attention or clicks. It's just not going to work because the ad scent will be terrible once they get to your page or wherever you're sending traffic.

2. Tell a story.

Try to tell a story about how your offer can change or affect their life. Carousel ads are a great way to tell a story using your creatives.

Related: 4 Ways to Market Your Business for Free

3. Display the product.

If you're selling physical products or something you can literally demonstrate, it's acceptable to show the product. Those are the easiest images to create because, for example, if you sell makeup brushes, you can demonstrate what your makeup brushes do.

4. Stand out in the newsfeed.

Although you don't want to use creatives that stand out for the sole purpose of standing out, there are some ways to stand out in the newsfeed. Our designer uses contrasting colors, so whenever she's creating an ad, she makes sure that whatever colors she uses contrast one another because that catches people's attention. Video ads or gifs can also be used to catch people's attention because they move. If you convey the marketing message while making it a little flashy, but still on brand, that's great. If you're running an image in the newsfeed and it doesn't stand out, you're probably going to have trouble because it's going to blend in with everything else.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

5. Be on brand.

We have a really simple style guide at Digital Marketer with the fonts and different colors we use for our brand. The more campaigns you run, the more people are going to start recognizing your brand, so if you make sure your images have something that really stands out and it's something that's across all images, that's really helpful. At Digital Marketer, we use a flat cartoon style. The ads and colors may be a little different, but when you see the ad, you know "That's Digital Marketer." That's brand recognition. Make sure you establish that because if you start running completely different ads that look different across different campaigns, people aren't going to recognize your brand and that's important for your campaigns.

6. Play off of emotions already associated with an image

This is something we've found works well, and it's done by figuring out what associations people already have in common that we can play off of. What icons or images do people already have a relationship with?

For example, we ran an ad showing an iPhone battery that was low. If you have an iPhone, which most people do, you have an emotion associated to that battery being low. You know you need to plug in your phone. If you can use different icons or images that we're all familiar with and use every day, it's really helpful because people already have an emotion associated with it.

Perry Marshall

Author, Sales and Traffic Expert, CEO and Founder of Perry S. Marshall & Associates

Perry Marshall is the president of Perry S. Marshall & Associates, a Chicago-based company that consults both online and brick-and-mortar companies on generating sales leads, web traffic and maximizing advertising results. He has written seven books including his most recent, 80/20 Sales and Marketing (Entrepreneur Press, 2013), Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising (Enterpreneur Press, 2014), Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords (Entrepreneur Press, 2014), and Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing (Entrepreneur Press, 2016). He blogs at perrymarshall.com.

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