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Facebook Ad Creative Best Practices That Drive Results


June 23, 2021


January 19, 2022

Right Side Up recently hosted a webinar focused on what’s driving successful B2B and B2C Facebooks ads today. Kevin Lord Barry, co-founder of Right Percent, and Kyle Sherin, senior growth marketing consultant at Right Side Up discussed creative best practices and critiqued real-life ads to examine what’s working in the current Facebook ad landscape. Read on for key takeaways from the webinar.

With more than 2.8 billion monthly users, Facebook is a great way to advertise your business and scale your growth. To utilize the social media giant’s ad platform most effectively, you need to understand which levers are available to you and how to prioritize your efforts within each of those levers. The most important lever is your creative—both imagery and copy.

In this article, we’ll focus on Facebook ad creative and share the tips and tricks we’ve learned from working with brands like DoorDash, Zenefits, Allbirds, and Netflix. But if you’re looking for information about the other levers at your disposal, check out our B2C and B2B Facebook ad overviews.

Focus on Visuals for Effective B2C Ads 

When advertising directly to consumers, it’s all about catching their attention and seamlessly guiding them into the purchase funnel. But that doesn’t mean you need anything fancy or over-the-top for your ads. In fact, there’s been a shift in the B2C landscape over the past few years to favor simple, authentic, and personal-feeling imagery for ads. 

Videos tend to work best for B2C businesses. Although videos cost more to produce, they have better longevity, better chance for engagement, and a better shot at going viral. However, you should also test static images, especially if you’re experimenting with a new visual style or want to find the most effective style before committing time and resources to producing videos.

Facebook ad featuring Allbirds shoes with arrows and descriptions of each part of the ad

To get the most out of your video ads:

  • Keep video between 7–15 seconds
  • Pay attention to sizing across different Facebook placements (4:5 works for most)
  • Choose an appealing thumbnail that draws users in
  • Use high-resolution assets with a bright color scheme
  • Highlight the product clearly; ad copy doesn’t show up on all placements

There are also other ad formats worth testing:

  • Carousel ads—great for ecommerce products, especially when using a video as the first slide
  • Dynamic product ads (DPA)—showcase an entire suite of products without creating individual ads for each item
  • Facebook and Instagram Stories—use “Swipe Up” copy or links and Placement Asset Customization
  • Slideshows—repurpose old static ads
  • HTML5 “playable” ads—can be expensive, but offer solid results, especially for gaming
Facebook ad showing a person wearing a hat and another person wearing a t-shirt

Using B2C Ad Copy to Add Value

Although the visuals of your Facebook ad creative are most important, ad copy can be a powerful secondary element that captures potential customers. Copy should always be kept short and sweet—most people won’t expand the top text. And considering the short attention span of social media users, keep your unique selling propositions, promos, or key points at the front of your copy.

Depending on your business and how strictly you adhere to brand guidelines, adding flair like emojis, exclamation marks, bright colors, capitalization, and links can help your ad stand out in people’s feeds. 

If you’re not sure which copy approach to use, Facebook’s Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) feature lets you test different text with your best creative to determine which combinations drive the results you want.

No matter what your copy says, remember that the rest of your ad must be effective enough on its own to grab users. Many people won’t read it at all and some Facebook ad placements don’t show copy.

Prioritize Visual Headlines for B2B Ads

Just like B2C ads, visual elements should be a strong part of your B2B Facebook ad. But unlike B2C ads, which tend to avoid placing text in images, the visual headline of your B2B ad is the most important component. With consumer-based businesses, the product is often a highly tangible item that speaks for itself, whereas B2B products are typically more difficult to visually represent.

The visual headline should be as big as reasonably possible (the 20% rule is no longer a hard requirement) and placed on a high-contrast area in your image or video. You can even utilize open or white space in your visual by placing the headline on a blank t-shirt, screen, or book. Having a prominent, compelling visual headline is key for grabbing the attention of business decision makers.

Facebook ad for Zenefits showing person sitting in a chair with arrows and descriptions of the parts of the ad

And while video can be great for B2C brands, which often have an actual product to show, it can be a tough format to nail for B2B. If you do choose to use video ads, we recommend starting with static ads to nail down your visual headline. Once you find a headline that’s performing well, you can then convert it to a video ad.

When crafting a B2B ad, we like to keep the SUCCES Framework in mind. This idea was outlined in the book Made to Stick and was formed based on peer-reviewed research that found that ads performed better when two or three of the following aspects were incorporated:

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Credible
  • Concrete
  • Emotional
  • Stories

Supporting Elements for B2B Ads

Because B2B ads are mainly driven by visual headlines, it’s important to get the copy right. Focus on showcasing the types of products, features, and benefits that most effectively convert new customers. And be sure to keep your headline concise and direct—if you have a specific target audience, include it in your copy. 

Facebook ad for Zenefits showing a person wearing a t-shirt with ad copy on it

The main copy and sub-headline should be more basic and straightforward, since they’re less likely to be read. Be sure to pay attention to character limits and consider testing different CTA buttons.

For visuals, we’ve found that these types of images work best for B2B Facebook ads:

  • Metaphorical images
  • Customer images
  • Basic SaaS ad
  • Before/After
  • Client-related imagery
  • Explainer video
  • Crisp video overlay
  • The no image ad
  • Big text
  • Checklists
Facebook ad showing a person touching their phone
Two Facebook ads with before and after messages
Facebook ad showing a video for a food delivery app
Facebook ad with just text, no images
Two Facebook ads that use metaphorical imagery

When it comes to finding success with Facebook ads for your B2B or B2C brand, following creative best practices is the first step. Once you find the basic formula that works for your business, you can test different types of Facebook ad creative and formats to get the specific results you need. If you don’t know where to start or feel like you’re in a rut, Right Side Up’s team of Facebook ad experts can help!

Want to learn more about scaling your B2C or B2B business with Facebook ads? Right Side Up is here to help! Send a note to hello@rightsideup.co and we’ll be in touch!

Kevin Lord Barry co-founded Right Percent, a Right Side Up venture that focuses on scaling fast-growing B2B companies in every vertical. Over the past 10 years, he’s managed millions in ROI-positive ad spend for brands like DoorDash, Zenefits, Masterclass, Segment, OnDeck, and more.

Kyle Sherin is a seasoned digital media professional with over 10 years of experience. Prior to joining Right Side Up, Kyle led performance marketing at Allbirds and Netflix, and he’s now consulting for firms at all levels of growth that need permanent or temporary senior marketing leadership.

Jes Parker is a writer and content marketer with experience creating B2B and consumer-facing assets that build brands and make complex concepts more human. She has worked with companies and nonprofits like Highstead Foundation, Trust for Public Land, Harvard University, the Museum of the City of New York, and Times Square Alliance to craft accessible and engaging content strategies.

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Let's talk growth

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