How to Design Facebook Ads that Work

Regardless of your product, target market, or how you choose to run your ad (some prefer to boost posts directly on the page, others will try their hand at Power Editor, while some prefer using the easy-to-navigate Ads Manager) – there are a few basics you must know if you want your ad to work. 

Show, Don’t Tell

 A picture is worth a thousand words – those same one thousand words that no one wants to read anymore!

To capture your audience’s attention, you have to use powerful visuals. I can't stress this enough. I advise our clients to use professional or stock photography only. Not only will they represent your brand in a more flattering light, you’ll get way more clicks and bang for your buck.

Facebook makes it easy to use great photos now – on many ad options, they even provide stock photography for you to choose from. You can also subscribe to special graphic design apps, like Canva (one of my personal favourites) where you can access tons of great images for only $1 USD a pop.

When you’re sourcing photos, look for images with some contrast, brightness, and of course - one that's relevant to what your ad is about.

Real Estate Marketing Tip: Your ad visual should be attractive yet still relatable to your audience and locale. For example, if you’re selling Miami real estate, look for a photo of a home that is suggestive of the locale - but perhaps within the higher-end range of what could be afforded by your target audience.

You want to inspire - but within reach. 

The formula is simple. Great visuals for your FB ads = better ROI! 

Visual extras

Next, you can think of the "extras" a bit of catchy text, call to action, or a strategically placed logo - but keep it within 20% of your overall image to keep within Facebook's advertising regulations. 

Recent articles have shown that posts and ads with emoticons generate higher engagement - so experiment with these, too. They give brands the ability to seem like they're "texting" with their fans and can be eye-catching. 

Insider Tip - I watch the use of emoticons very closely. What's hot and works today - could be spammy and overdone tomorrow. Always be ready to evolve! 


Relevance is everything for success with Facebook/Instagram ads. Remember, you’re spending money every time someone views or clicks on your ad – so if you’re showing them ads that aren’t relevant, you’re simply wasting your time and money!

If you’re not familiar with the relevance score on Facebook ads, be sure to check it out. The more relevant your ad image, copy, and destination is to your target audience, the higher your score will be. A higher score results in better favour from Facebook, showing it to more and more people.

After you’ve captured your audience’s attention with a great photo, you have less than a second to excite, entertain, and direct them to where you want them to go. Good copywriting is a guide. Use it to filter out only the leads you want, provide value, and tell them where to go.

This is how you convert.


A beautiful and relevant ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your audience might not know what to do next - and it's up to you to tell them. Believe it or not, people like being told what to do - some direction is refreshing in our over-saturated feeds. 

Your CTA should encourage people to click, sign up, register, or contact you, or perform whichever action it is you desire. Providing a sense of urgency (ex. saying “Claim Yours Now” vs. “Sign Up”) implies there is only a limited quantity –without implicitly saying so. It’s all about suggestion.

If engagement is what you’re after, be sure to ask people to do what you want. Asking someone to “Like,” “Leave a Comment,” “Share this Post,” or “Tag Someone" can be very effective social media–specific calls to action. You’ll notice a huge difference when you simply ask!

This is a great example of an ad that converts!

This is a great example of an ad that converts!

That simply covers how to design your Facebook ad - but don't start just yet.

In our next blog post, I'll cover the other crucial components of a great Facebook ad - how to choose the right type of ad, targeting, and placement - all very important if you want your ad to work!

Did this help? Or do you want help creating your next Facebook ad? Contact me today!