Every day, more than 2 billion people are active on at least one of the Facebook family of apps and services, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.


These 2 billion people are scrolling through their feeds, inboxes and Stories. Your job as a small business owner is to get your content in front of the exact right audience and stop them in their tracks. You want your ads to be absolutely ‘thumb-stopping!’


My three secrets to creating irresistible ads:


  1. Refine your audience targeting.
  2. Use compelling messages and creative.
  3. Choose the right placement.


Let’s break them down.


1. Refine your audience targeting


Let’s face it, you can have the most amazing ad with gorgeous creative and a super-compelling offer, but, if it’s placed in front of the wrong target audience, your ad will fall on deaf ears and you won’t get the results you want. In fact, you could even yield negative results with the wrong audience reporting your ad as spam.


I see this time and again as I study the ads across the Facebook app ecosystem. I see ads shown to me for something that is totally irrelevant.


Refining your target audience before launching your ads can make all the difference between a very successful ad campaign or a total dud.


Tap into the power of Facebook Audience Insights to define your target demographic. Here’s a helpful article by AdEspresso: How To Find The Best Audiences On Facebook.


RELATED CONTENT The Power of Facebook – with Mari Smith (Video)


2. Use compelling messages and creative


So, here’s where we get to the ‘irresistible’ part. With so much noise across all social networks, it’s important that you find a way to cut through the noise to capture potential clients’ attention. We must also recognize that the nature of social media content has shortened attention spans, so your imagery needs to be vibrant and your text brief.


Use vibrant images


It’s true that a picture says a thousand words. Instagram, in particular, is an entirely visual platform. Keep text overlay to a minimum and say what you need to say in the description/caption of your ad.


Embrace short-form video ads


Facebook recommends 5-15 seconds for the ideal video ad. Facebook’s studies have shown that retention rates start to taper off even with a 15-second video. But that’s the ideal max length for both ads and organic videos. I call these ‘teaser’ videos, which are ideal for driving traffic to your blog posts, for example.


I recommend creating 15-second videos in square format with a short description and publishing to your Facebook Business Page as an organic post. Then turn the post into an ad (using the Boost button or Ads Manager). Once you’re in the process of boosting the post you’ll have the option to add a call to action. Put the URL of your blog post or squeeze page in there and start driving traffic to your site.


I recently hosted an educational Facebook Live with my friends at Wave.video to teach this process and you can find that here. (Wave.video just released a free forever plan with no watermark for 15-second videos. Plus they have several very affordable plans with more features for small business owners). See this helpful article - Facebook Video Ads: 10 Examples to Help You Beat Your Competition


You’ll also want to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website in order to retarget visitors with other ads.


It’s always worth giving Lead Ads a try for conversion-level results. This is a great tutorial: How to Create Jaw-Dropping Facebook Lead Ads That Convert


3. Choose the right placement.


Small businesses can create ads using Facebook’s Ads Manager (or Business Manager). When you leave the default setting for automatic placements, Facebook’s algorithms choose the most optimized platforms for your ads.


“Use automatic placements to maximize your budget and help show your ads to more people. Facebook's delivery system will allocate your ad set's budget across multiple placements based on where they're likely to perform best.”


Learn more about automatic vs. manual placement here.


Yes, we’re talking predominantly about Facebook ads in this article. However, most advertisers tend to leave the automatic placements enabled by default. You may think you’re just advertising on Facebook, but if the placement option is selected your ads may be showing up on/in the following places:


  • The Facebook feed
  • Facebook videos (as pre-roll ads)
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • The Instagram feed
  • Stories on Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger
  • Messenger home screen
  • Throughout Facebook’s Audience Network


To clarify on that last placement, Audience Network allows advertisers to extend Facebook and Instagram campaigns across the internet - onto thousands of high-quality websites and apps. People spend a lot of their time on Facebook and Instagram. But they are also spending time on other apps and sites. Audience Network helps advertisers reach more of the people they care about in the other places where they're spending their time.

Place Stories ads on both Instagram & Facebook


There are currently 500M daily active users on Instagram Stories and 300M on Facebook, and you can tap into this highly engaged audience.


RELATED CONTENT: Instagram and Facebook Story Ads: How to Make Stories Work for your Small Business


Many advertisers may not even realize they are already placing ads into the Stories feed on both Facebook and Instagram because of the automatic placement feature mentioned above.


Although Facebook’s delivery system does do the hard work for you, it’s worth it to spend a little extra time and create individual ads for placement in the Instagram Stories format, for example.


To really optimize your Stories ads, it’s best to create for the native environment. And that is 9:16 vertical video – it is full screen and immersive. Strive for big bold creative, thumb-stopping images and creative stickers and GIFs.


Utilizing all of the steps above can help make sure the dollars you’re putting toward promoting your small business on social media are working as hard for you as possible.


You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here


About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Similar Content