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We Spent $250k to Learn What Images Work Best For Facebook Ads [Video]

Josh Sturgeon
Last Updated May 14, 2021

How Can You Pick the Best Images for Facebook Ads?

The ad image is one of the most important elements of any advertising campaign, particularly on Facebook.

But what kind of images drive the most engagement?

We spent about $250k to find out. 




One of the most important decisions that you're going to make about your Facebook advertisement campaign is the image that you use in your ads. And there's a lot of advice out there that we don't think is actually that helpful.

We want to clear it up in this video.

One of the most common pieces of advice is to choose an image for your Facebook ad that's really high resolution, beautifully produced but we found that that's actually been hurtful to our campaigns in the past.

💩 Think ugly ads don't perform? Think again! 

Now you're going to think about really where people are seeing your ad, like any type of advertising. On Facebook, although there are many different placements for your ads, the most common one that gets the most traffic is in the news feed.

But what else happens in a person's news feed?

People are looking at pictures of their friend's kids or of pets or trips and most of the content there isn't overproduced.

Images of Facebook Ads

So when they see something that's overproduced, really beautiful, it tends to be screaming "I'm an ad."

And we know that people just tune out ads. We get better and better at it all the time and your ad will be ignored.
And so, what we did is we ran a task with a client who is spending a lot more money per month so we had a nice statistically significant pool to work with.

What we've found works best...

And we tested two things:

We tested the ads that we spent a lot of time designing


Ads that were like taken from an iPhone (You know, lower quality, not overproduced).

And as you could probably guess, the lower fidelity ads were actually way outperforming the professionally designed ones.

By a factor of usually 200% on click-through rates.

Ad Images for Facebook

We continued to run these tests and across the board, the ones that were of lower quality continue to outperform the ones that were higher quality.

Now we pride ourselves in putting good work to our creative and we believe that creative is important but in this case, you really have to match the context of where you're showing your ads. And it was really important for us to blend in to the environment.

So I guess the main takeaway here is to question the best practices that you've been given.

Including this advice. Right?

You should test what's going to work for your business or for your clients.

But if anything, I'm hoping that this little example gives you some ideas of things that you might need to challenge, things that you heard and just taking to back.

Let me give you one other tip on what we've learned about the ads, particularly on Facebook.

So when you're using images of people versus inanimate objects, that can be a very helpful way to connect too.

And I know that there's a psychological principle at play here that we tend to connect with eye contact and people.

So that's probably part of how this works.

But try mixing in people to your ads whenever possible and if you're a software business or what you do is a little bit more abstract, just try to include those human subjects in the shot whenever possible.

That could be a person holding a laptop or a mobile device but the more you can get people into your ads, the better chance that you'll probably have to connect with other people and get the click-through.

Best Images for Facebook Ads

But again, test what's going to work for you.

If you just take anything away from this little quick tip, it's that you should question the best practices and when you're running ads on Facebook, give the lower quality shots a shot.

🔍Want more tips, tricks, and insider info about social media advertising?

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