There are a lot of moving parts with Facebook Ads. It’s a powerful channel for physical products businesses, but can also be a bit confusing. Don’t expect to get amazing results when half-assing your ads. Unless you want to waste money, you better take some time to make some good ads.
The creative element of the ad (the image / video) is what catches your prospects eye. You want to make an ad that gets people to stop scrolling through Facebook/Instagram and listen to what you have to offer.
What kind of ad creative is best for selling Amazon products? Well, there are certainly some best practices that generally work better than others (which we will discuss below). But, at the end of the day, the best approach is to experiment and use data to continually improve upon your ads (and overall marketing communications).
Digital marketing has given businesses the tools to actually test what works, instead of just throwing money into ads without a clear understanding of return. You can create multiple versions of your ads and collect data to determine which version performs the best, continually experimenting and improving your campaigns over time.
In this article, we will go over 3 ad formats available in Facebook Ad Manager, and then discuss 5 things to split test within an image ad (just one of several things to test with Facebook Ads, along with copy, targeting audience, placement, etc).
After reading this article, you will have more ideas on how to create Facebook Ads that actually convert and help you make sales on Amazon and grow your brand.
Split Testing Facebook Ad Formats
Facebook gives you 5 different options for Ad Formats.
You can test which formats work best for your ads, by creating multiple versions of ads with different formats.
In general, video ads tend to perform better than single image ads. Videos are just more engaging than images. Remember, your first goal is to stop someone from scrolling. And our eyes are attracted to movement. So videos have a natural leg-up in that regard. Also, Facebook is currently in a “video war” with Youtube. They are trying to fill video ad spots, whereas image ad spots are overcrowded.
Investing in a quality-produced video of your product being used, showing its value and culminating in a clear call-to-action is the absolute best way to get potential customers to engage with you and click-through to a landing page.
Bonus tip: As a video (or image) ad gets more engagement, Facebook shows it to more people and your cost per impression drops. So encouraging comments and responding to comments will help your ad be seen more without costing you a dime.
You can get a quality video ad made for under $50 using freelance services like Fiverr, Upwork, or our favorite FreeeUp (FreeeUp is specifically for e-commerce companies, and they do the work for you in finding quality freelancers).
Carousel ads take multiple images or videos that people can scroll through.
You can keep it super simple and just use some or all of your Amazon product images.
You can create a more traditional ad for the first image, then show regular product images for the remaining images in the carousel.
Carousel ads are especially good if you have different colors or other types of variations.
Carousels are also useful for displaying explanations for your products, breaking down components and showing everything that is featured in your package.
This ad below, for instance, uses all the Amazon product images in the carousel. The first image simply shows the main product. The second image highlights the features. And subsequent images show how the product works and other bonus components included in the package.
Using multiple images is a great way to tell a story about your product (the main benefits, pain points it helps overcome, and how it works).
You can also test different orders of your images. Or just have Facebook “Automatically show the best performing cards first,” a built in split testing feature to optimize your carousel’s performance.
Image ads, as the name suggests, uses just one image. Of course, there are several ways of going about this.
The simplest format would just be using one of your Amazon product images as your ad image.
This is the least time and resource intensive format. And it may well be enough if your image is attractive and you do a great job on the copy and targeting.
However, if you’re going to be spending money on buying ads, you might as well spend some time/money on creative specifically for your advertising campaign.
For example, creating this ad took me about 5 minutes on Canva.com:
Will this convert better than the plain image ad? Well, the only way to truly know is to run both ads and collect data. But chances are it will. Why?
- It is more eye catching.
- It highlights a benefit (cuddle buddy)
- It reinforces the great deal ($0.99)
- Provides the social proof of Amazon.com
This was completely free to make. And it does not take sophisticated design skills. Although hiring a designer to create a bunch of ads to test may well be worth it.
So that brings me to my next point about different things to test within an image ad.
Testing the image itself
This Amazon product has other images on its listing. You can test using any of these images, as well as other images specifically made for the ad.
What kinds of images typically work best? Images that show your product being used by real people. Ideally, it would convey the main benefit that consumers get from your product.
But again, we are suggesting that you TEST. Obviously, you can’t test everything. Be reasonable about it, given your resources & time. But don’t assume you KNOW which image will work best before collecting data.
Also, be mindful of who you are targeting. Different images will work better for different audiences. Who they are, what they like, pain points, desires, and especially where they are in the buyer journey (are they just discovering your product or are they well aware and closer to purchasing?).
Testing Colors in Facebook Ads
Note that the background color for this image was different, so I changed the background color of the ad. I matched the ad background to the image background using this free tool.
You can test different colors on all elements of the ad
- Callouts (like the pink bubble)
Using different colored fonts can be a great way to draw attention to a particular aspect of your ad, for instance, the price or the value proposition. You can also make your text attractive by trying out different font styles – bold, italic, or underlined. This can help make your message stand out and help draw readers in.
In the case of this ad, I used a bright pink bubble to draw attention to the price point and its availability on Amazon.com.
Testing Call-outs in Facebook Ads
By call-outs, we are referring to text displayed in the ad image itself. The copy accompanying the creative is a horse of another color, worthy of an article in itself.
You can experiment with including any, all or none of these types of call-outs.
Value Prop Call-out
- Maybe the “Your New Cuddle Buddy” call-out doesn’t work.
- You can test using different words “Happy Birthday from Pusheen”
- You can test using no value-prop call-out
- For this product shown, the $0.99 price point is a very enticing offer. However, for some products it’s better to show a percentage discount. You can test this.
- You can also test using 45% Discount vs 45% off vs Save 45%
- You can include a call-to-action within your image.
- Buy Now, Get Yours, I Want It
Testing Fonts in Facebook Ads
Testing different fonts within the ad can make a difference. Doing so can add emphasis and guide your prospect’s focus toward different segments of your ad.
And different fonts evoke different emotional responses. For example, in the image above, “Your New Cuddle Buddy” uses a font that is cute and playful. Whereas the $0.99 is bold and direct.
WARNING: Don’t include too much text.
Facebook does not like too much text in image ads. If you have too much text in your ads, you will pay more for less impressions.
Use Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool to make sure your ad will run normally
This ad has too much text:
However, this next one is fine. Just deleting the “Only 25 for” was enough.
Testing Arrangement of Facebook Image Ads
Re-arranging the elements of the ads can make a big difference in the way prospects perceive the ad.
In general, people will read left to right. So the way we set up the ad tells a story. You see the cute doll, then read that it can be “Your New Cuddle Buddy” and finally see that it is only $0.99 on Amazon.
However, some people are drawn more to images than text (our brains process images much, much quicker). And bright colors, like the pink bubble shown in the image above, focus our attention.
Testing Creative Within Facebook Ad Manager
So now that you have a basic understanding of different elements to test in an ad creative, let’s take a look in Facebook Ad Manager and show how to create multiple versions of your ad.
Let’s assume you have created one ad already that will serve as the base. To create new variations, navigate to that particular ad in the Ads tab inside Ad Manager. Hover over the ad name and the option to Duplicate the ad will appear. Click on Duplicate.
This box will appear.
You want to choose the same Campaign and Ad Set that your “base” ad is in. That is because we are only testing the creative. If you want to test the targeting or placement, you can create a new ad set, but that is beyond the scope of this article.
Then you will choose how many copies of the ad you want to make. Choose as many variations as you’d like to test.
When creating your new ads, make sure to use some sort of naming convention.
In this case, we are testing different main images, tag-lines & colors. So we might have other variations with the following names
- Image 2 – Happy Birthday – Pink
- Image 2 – Cuddle Buddy – Pink
- Image 2 – Cuddle Buddy – Purple
After naming your ad, scroll down and change the base image.
And, finally, upload the appropriate image (to match your naming convention).
Repeat for all your variations.
Test, Test, Test Your Facebook Ads
After reading this, you should have a better understanding of testing different Facebook Ad creatives. You can test everything. Should you test everything? Well that depends on your budget and your bandwidth. If you were a running an ad campaign with a budget of $100,000 and you had a team of designers, advertisers and analysts…then yes, you would test A LOT.
But if you are just working with a few hundred dollars, it is still worth testing at bare minimum the image and the value proposition in the ad. Then, as you collect data, you pause the ad variations that are underperforming. Put more money into the variations that are performing well. And even take the good performing ads and create new versions of them (for example, with different copy or targeting) to continually improve.
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