16/05/2023 • Andrew Lowdon
In this article you’ll learn all about how the creative used in Facebook ads:
Consumers are being served thousands of ads a day and it’s becoming harder and harder for businesses to stand out in such a crowded market. With more and more brands vying for attention on social media and the targeting challenges of a post-iOS 14 world, it can be difficult for businesses to make their mark.
Social media platforms such as Meta allow you to set a campaign objective of ‘brand awareness’, but this alone doesn’t mean a campaign will achieve that objective for your brand. There is a significant untapped opportunity for brands to capture users' attention and stand out in the market through smarter work and better leveraging of creative in their ads, and the good news is that this potential is waiting to be unlocked.
So how do we go about getting your brand in front of potential customers and grabbing their all-important attention ahead of other brands?
Here are 3 key benefits that striking high-impact Facebook ads can provide when we want to stand out to potential customers.
When consumers are exposed to anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 ads a day, your ad needs to stand out to have any chance at grabbing their attention. You have 2 seconds before they move on. If your approach is to put an image here and a bit of text at the top, you’re on a hiding to nothing.
This is your chance to tell a consumer about why you can help them identify a problem they didn’t realise they had or even better, solve the problem for them, with the ultimate goal of showing why your product or service is the perfect fit for them.
An example of a brand who have done this to great effect is True Classic Tees. Their ads use humorous, attention-grabbing visuals, user-generated content and side-by-side comparisons to educate users on how their products solve common problems that their targeted customer faces. The creative may change but all their ads are geared to stand out in the newsfeed by showing a deep level of empathy with their customer and the problems they face, coupled with clear messaging and strong call-to-actions.
The role of ads is to reach users who are unaware of your brand, build awareness with them and educate the consumer on your product and why it's right for them. That’s exactly what these ads do.
Branding provides consumers with the opportunity to create an identity and allow others to see the type of person they want to be seen as. For brands this means that the success and failure of brands hinges not on how the brand sees themselves, but on how consumers and their peers perceive the brand. Whilst a brand may want its products to be used by a certain demographic or audience cohort, it’s ultimately the decision of the consumer as to whether the brand fits with their identification and attachment needs.
The best example of this is the problem Burberry had with being linked to chav culture in the early 2000s. The brand positioned itself as a luxury brand, but their distinct plaid check pattern was adopted by elements of the British working class, and seen as the symbol of chav culture. As a result, sales plummeted to an all-time low and the consumer perception completely switched from high end to low end.
The creative and messaging used in ads have a clear influence on how a consumer perceives a brand. Ads that are visually appealing, emotionally resonant, and differentiated can help to reinforce the brand's messaging and values, as well as create a positive association with the brand. This helps to build trust and loyalty among potential customers, as well as improve the brand's reputation.
What does that look like in practice? Well, breakfast is often seen as a quick meal to get out of the way, with cereal the most practical and functional way to do this. Very few people would consider paying £6 for a box of cereal.
Surreal has done a fantastic job of using the creative in their ads to showcase their unique value proposition which creates a positive brand perception, making it easy for the target audience to see themselves in the creative and push past the price objections that would come with a high priced breakfast cereal product.
Facebook & Instagram aren’t platforms where the core purpose of visiting is to buy a product. Brands need to be conscious of why consumers are on the platform and adapt their activity accordingly.
Facebook is a content-rich platform where users have constant access to new content. The fastest growing area of content usage on Facebook is Reels, which get played over 140 billion times every day. With access to such a wide stream of content, it’s not enough to simply launch an ad and expect the sales to roll in. Ad creative needs to be relevant and engaging enough to add to but also interrupt the user experience with the goal of stopping the scroll.
To do this, ads need to feel native to a user. With consumers exposed to so many ads, they know when they are being sold to. Simply showing them your product isn’t enough. Ads need to add to their browsing experience on social platforms, rather than distracting them from what they were looking to do. Ads should entertain or educate rather than sell. If you can help a user identify a problem and show there is an easy way to solve it, rather than feeling sold to, they see a clear value transfer increasing the likelihood of getting that all-important sale.
Huel does this really well. The examples below identify the problem of having access to a healthy lunch quickly which impacts pretty much anyone who works full-time and wants to stay healthy. It’s a simple execution that educates the user on an easy way to make their lunch more healthy whilst not overpromising the impact it will have.
The creative elements of Facebook ads provide an essential underutilised lever to help brands stand out to their prospective customers. By creating visually striking ads with clear messaging and a strong call-to-action, businesses will capture their audience's attention and increase purchase intent. The creative elements will change, but the premise will always be the same. Use your ads to clearly show consumers how you can help them in a way that they want to see and differentiates your brand from the competition.
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