Advertising on Facebook is a must for any marketer. First of all, it’s a goldmine when it comes to users. As of June 2017, the channel boasts more than 2 billion monthly active users and an impressive 1 billion+ daily users. That’s an extremely powerful channel to tap into, but in order to reach those masses, businesses have to advertise.

Following Facebook’s latest algorithm update, it’s harder than ever for businesses to reach users organically. Even before the latest update, brand’s organic reach sat at an unimpressive 2 percent on average.

Luckily, Facebook ad’s reach is greater than ever. Time and again it proves to be the most popular social media advertising channel, with 93 percent of social media advertisers using Facebook ads.

The key takeaway here: your target audience is likely on Facebook, but to reach them, you need to advertise.

Related: How to Choose the Best of 3 Facebook Ad Campaign Objectives

Key elements of a great Facebook ad.

Now that you know that you need a Facebook ad, the next logical step is making that ad great. To do so, there are a few elements every ad must have.

1. It’s visual.

When it comes to social media, visual content is 40 percent more likely to get shared than other types of content. And that extends to advertisements. In fact, images account for 75-90 percent of Facebook advertising effectivity and performance. Simply put, an effective ad must have an effective visual.

So what makes an image effective?

  • It takes up the majority of your screen
  • It features your product or service, either stand alone or in use
  • Any text is simple and legible
  • Backgrounds are bold to attract attention

2. It’s short and concise.

Your ad isn’t what sells your product; it’s what catches potential customer’s intrigue. And you only need a few words to do so. The most effective length for an ad title on Facebook is just four words — and 15 words for a link description. This tells us that users don’t want to read paragraphs and full product descriptions; they want to immediately know what you’re selling and where you’re trying to send them.

They do, however, want to know what your product or service will do for them and how it’s different from anything else on the market. That’s your value proposition, and it needs to be clear to your readers.

3. It has a clear call to action.

You may have created the most visually stunning ad of the year, but it won’t lead customers anywhere if you don’t tell them where to go. That’s where a clear call to action (CTA) comes in. Tell your users you want them to click, download or call today. And because a CTA takes up precious text, it’s okay to think outside the box. Get creative with your CTA, and give users an even bigger reason to pursue your product.

Introducing Facebook’s Mobile Studio.

Now that we have the basics down, it’s time to put them together into an ad that turns heads. And thanks to Facebook, it is simpler than it sounds. All it takes is a mobile phone.

As Facebook says, it’s a “small but mighty tool. It houses everything you need, from a brilliant camera, to a ton of easy to use apps that empower you to make world-class advertising for your business.” These apps can transform your otherwise stale ads into something eye-catching and creative, and it takes zero design experience or knowledge. The best part? You can remix your existing assets, or start from scratch.

Here are a few ways you can use apps to transform your ads.

1. Create gifs.

Fun fact: 47 percent of the value of Facebook ads happens in the first 3 seconds. Nothing will capture that attention quicker than a gif.

First, select images from your website that you’d like to use. Then, download the GifLab app to turn your pictures into a gif. Keep in mind, your gif doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Select even one photo and make the colors change or have it fade in and out. It’s simple, but will still catch attention.

2. Create pop-ups.

Pop-ups are another attention-catcher. And again, there’s an app for that. This time, select your image and download VideoShop. Through it, you can add movement to your ad, add in text pop-ups, and play with different backgrounds.

3. Tell a story.

These days, an ad can do more than advertise a product; it can tell a story. Bring that story to life through videos, text overlays and before and after photos. Apps like Legend and Snapspeed can help.

4. Use your resources.

Not a lot to work with? No problem. Sometimes the key is just to fake it ‘til you make it. Shooting a short video or product photo doesn’t mean fancy equipment and sets.

In an example video from Facebook, the advertiser creates the illusion of a kitchen by using foam boards for marble countertops and a simple phone tripod to capture the shots. The result? A slew of Boomerang videos that show off what the product can do.

Related: The 3-Step Formula for Successful Facebook Video Ads

4. Improve your images.

Adding effects to images can help take your ad from ordinary to extraordinary. All it takes is one image — no matter how bland — and an app called Layout. By rotating and playing with the picture’s position, you can create incredible visual effects.

Take this ad by Pescaria, a fish restaurant. They started with one image of a fish, and ended with this.

Facebook’s top 10 apps for creating ads.

These days, there’s no end to the number of design apps out there. And while many have their merits, Facebook’s done the work for you on this one and chosen their top 10 apps most useful for business. The winners are:

For photo enhancing:

For video enhancing:

Tips for creating a great ad on Facebook.

While the existence of apps certainly makes the process easier, it’s important to keep in mind that any effects or add-ins still have to support your overall goal. Beyond just catching attention, images or videos you choose need to support what you’re trying to sell and relate well to your overall brand, as well as the audience you’re trying to reach. All creatives must tie-in and support your goal.

Facebook has a few tips for you as well:

  • Select an app based on your ad idea
  • Use your best photos/videos
  • Combine multiple apps

If shooting a video:

  • Find natural lighting
  • Use an inexpensive tripod
  • Use foam core to bounce light

Related: How to Make Money With Facebook Ads

Start creating great ads on Facebook.

Apps have made a major impact on the way we market — straight down to how we advertise.

Remember, always keep the core principles in mind. Your ad needs a great visual, call to action and value proposition. Then you can add a little life with visuals, videos and effects through apps.

Which ones will you be using?

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