It is totally scary the way online businesses can track your every move, know what you click on, almost bought and actually purchased, and then harass you with ads later.
This is all a part of a complex digital marketing strategy to get keep you consuming, engaged, and buying with these brands.
And I can’t help myself. All the big business leaders are stalking me, and I am just stalking them right back.
Over the last few months I’ve been studying their ad designs and thinking about what works, what doesn’t and mostly what I can do for my clients.
Now I talk about Facebook ads in my Digital Media VA Crash Course and how they fit into marketing funnels. You can learn about Facebook ads in any number of other successful pros to learn; you don’t have to take my course. There are so many resources out there… free and paid for. So if it interests you, LEARN MORE. I teach my VAs to be UNICORNS so they know and understand all of the components of digital marketing. That way they aren’t forgetting anything while leading their clients to success. But what I do find is many Facebook ads “strategists” aren’t great at design. So to be great unicorns, for now, I want just concentrate on the designs.
I’ve broken it down to five different “purpose” types of ads below. These are all ads that are RETARGETING ME. Meaning I am already on their email list and/or have visited their website.
Now keep in mind, Facebook has many rules for designs and wording and text overlays. You’ll want to learn that too.
1. The New Product Intro
Tailwind is a company I already work with (and love), and they have expanded their product mix and want me to try it out… so that I will buy eventually. This is more or less a freebie email opt-in because they want to tag me as interested and get me to buy their Instagram Scheduler down the road. I bet I am even on an “un-opened email list” so they are trying to let me know about their new product via ads.
Rachel has introduced a new product to her email list. This one catches my eye quickly because it’s a person … WITH TWO EYES LOOKING AT ME. Seems simple right? Just like in my days of being a newspaper editor, two eyes are always better than one in photos. I love that it’s simple and the square size stands out in my mobile feed. There is not a lot of action and the ad depends on her brand image … which is strong!
So simple. So effective. And this company has the brand recognition & authority to pull it off, get my attention and make me click.
2. The Product Reminder
This one is reminding me to buy. In case I delayed purchasing it for whatever reason. It’s trying to remind me of allllll the goodies in the offer but honestly, it doesn’t create a sense of urgency for me to buy now. Also, I already forgot what content and bonuses were included … and can’t tell by the ad. The design is simple and on point for her branding … but to me this feminine style is becoming overused.
This is a better example of showing me a product that I am missing out on. I recently had a Flapper Costume party and almost bought this exact dress. And now they’re showing me the exact dress reminding me of what I am missing out on…. and giving me other dress options to shop via a carousel ad. So that sales page with this dress was specifically pixeled and followed up with this ad for the very same dress. Can you imagine how many of these they have set up! Honestly, it almost worked on me because as a busy mom, I just needed to be reminded to buy the dang costume. I ended up getting one from Amazon because of PRIME, and because I waited too long.
A strong colorful photo that stand out in my feed. Plus simple branding. Love it. Of course Sea World is retargeting my family because we looked into tickets for the summer. My husband was trying to surprise us with a family vacation to Orlando (we live 4 hours away) and I’m chuckling because he can never seem to pull off a surprise. Especially when I’ve been hyper paying attention to Facebook ads and I’ve been working on blog for two weeks!!!! It’s a great reminder Facebook ad and the water ride was a great choice this time of year.
This is A FABULOUS product reminder ad because it is a VIDEO. It’s showing me exactly how easy it is to use this tech solution. It’s only 1 minute long and text overlay make it easy to understand with no volume. Bravo! (I still haven’t bought this yet…. lol)
3. The Event Invite
The sole purpose is to get me staying engaged with this brand. Think of it as just warming the pot because a launch is coming soon….
This ad is inviting me to a webinar/workshop. She is giving me free content based off an email list I am already on. And she’s hoping I will buy after the webinar. The simplicity of the ad is eye-catching. Yellow is not too commonly used and it stands out because it’s different from her regular branding. (Which oddly enough looks like the previous ad, so good on her for changing it up!) I would rather have an ad that catches eyes than one that is dedicated 100% to branding and “scroll-on-by-able.”
Again with the two eyes … she’s caught in the fake action pose but still she catches my eye!! She is inviting me to her event aka her free class.. The bright coral really pops in my feed even though because it’s so different than Facebook’s colors. I can read it so much better than the yellow.
Emily’s Design Advice: Notice how these graphics have a “fake button” in the design. Genius because it’s an extra subtle Call to Action to the brain when in fact the entire image is clickable/linkable!
It can be really really hard to take a busy photo and put a legible text overlay over it. Not every VA (or even graphic designer or wanna be) has a talent for it. I see it all the time on cursive memes with sideways text. Keep it simple. Even the big wigs keep it simple. Let me show you an example …
This is a great example of a webinar because the font is readable and it creates a sense of urgency with the time & date. Yes, it’s a pretty boring, basic design, BUT it’s going to appeal to a creative hobbyist looking to start a business. The audience is obvious. The painting people will associate themselves with this lady, even if she only has ONE EYE. LOL.
4. Launch Ads
The goal is to BUY RIGHT NOW. Notice how everyone is doing VIDEO. It works.
He’s trying to entice me to take a course and use his affiliate link. It’s a product he believes in, he’s probably targeting me because I’ve already consumed a certain percentage of his Facebook videos already …
This video ad is using personal testimony to get me to buy a course RIGHT NOW. Her bright neon shirt popped in my feed and she was someone “normal” so it caught my eye. I want to point this one out because SUBTITLES ARE A MUST with videos. So many of us watch them without sound!!!!
This is one of my favorite launch ads. If you know my sense of humor and taste, I like different things that stand out. Appropriate funny always works. It is so stupid simple BUT I CAN READ THE WORDS. The call to action and the whole point is super clear in the design. The doors are open. I love that the ad incorporates the course’s name… Moolah. The red stands out. The dog has nothing to do with anything except it’s the “weird” thing in the feed that will capture the eye. Next to video — a pretty good option!
5. The Brand Warmer
I already use this tool and this company wants to give me advice on how to write better emails. Kind of nice, right? The sole purpose is to get me staying engaged with this brand. Think of it as just warming the pot because a launch or new product is coming soon…. or this company just wants to keep satisfied and content-consuming costumers!!
Hey don’t forget about us in this crazy overwhelming social media & advertising world.
Emily’s Advice: Don’t get caught in sell sell sell — remember the brand warmer ads!!! Think of it as giving back, especially as Facebook feeds get even more restrictive.
Emily’s Design Advice: Notice the thin wonky text overlay that is sideways? I have noticed in my designs that the font can be bigger than Facebook’s 20% text rule! So if you’re looking for a way to fudge slightly bigger text try handwritten and tilted. You’re welcome!
That’s all the stalking I have in me this week. I hope this ads analysis helps you with design ideas. There’s nothing worse than when a client wants an ad and then doesn’t help with content, images, or ideas!!!! But I know you can come up with something fun.
-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant …)
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