First impressions matter, and when it comes to your Facebook ad, your first impression is the image. Before you can convince your viewers to click on your ad, you have to convince them to look at it, and the thing that will capture their attention and tempt them to read your text is your ad image.
It may seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create an appealing Facebook ad image. With a tool like¬†Canva¬†and these best practices, you can create eye-catching images that will capture people’s attention.
[Want to learn more about advertising your veterinary practice on Facebook? Download our comprehensive Guide to Facebook Advertising]

Image size

The first thing you need to know is what size your image is going to be. If you use the wrong image size, it could appear warped or pixelated in your ad.Luckily, the Facebook guidelines for image dimensions are pretty standard across the board. Whether you’re creating an ad to generate website conversions or increase local awareness, the recommended image size is 1200 x 628 pixels. Of course, there are (as always) exceptions to this rule. For boosted posts, the recommended image size is 1200 x 900 pixels, and for event responses or getting more Page likes, images should be 1200 x 444 pixels. For more details about your ad image size and to see what your ad image will look like on desktop and mobile, visit the Facebook Ads Guide.
Canva tip:¬†¬†Canva has a number of predetermined canvas sizes that you can choose from, and one of them conveniently happens to be the dimensions of a Facebok ad. Scroll through the predetermined canvas sizes to find the Facebook Ad canvas; it’s the second last item on the list. Or, if you’d prefer to set your own image dimensions, you can do so by selecting “Use custom dimensions” and entering your own numbers.

Don’t use blue and white

In keeping with their branding, the majority of Facebook’s design elements are blue and white. Avoid blending in with the rest of the page by picking images that feature other colors. Some marketers recommend using orange because it’s a complementary color to blue, while others say that red and green is the ideal combination. Whatever you pick, go with colors that will pop against the overwhelmingly blue and white background of Facebook.
Canva tip: You can add any color of background you would like in the Background section of the tool bar.
You can also pick from a number of textures or patterns. Many of them are free, but if one of the priced backgrounds catches your fancy, they’re only $1.
If you don’t like the color of your selected background and want to change it, select the background, click on the color circle, and choose another color. There are some pre-selected colors, but you can also create your own by choosing the plus symbol. You’ll be able to preview any color change as you select it.

Add pets

Great news! Images of pets are very popular on social media. Take advantage of the popularity of your cuddly clientele by featuring pictures of pets in your Facebook ads. If you want to make your image even more effective, include a picture of a person as well. Having people in your images gives personality to your practice, allowing viewers to imagine interacting with you.
Canva tip:¬† To add your own images (or pictures you found on a free image site), go to the Uploads section of the toolbar.¬†Click on “Upload your own images” to upload any image you would like. You can then drag your selected image onto the canvas. You can also see and use any previous uploads by clicking “Uploads”.
If your picture doesn’t perfectly fit the canvas dimensions (and it probably won’t), you can drag on the corners to make it larger or smaller. The image won’t stretch or lose its shape unless you hit shift while dragging.
One cool feature to experiment with is Frames. Go to the Search section of the tool bar and select “Frames.”
Drag the frame of your choice into the image.
Now go back to Uploads and drag your desired photo into the frame.
Ta da! You’ve got an image in the size and shape of your frame. You can adjust the size of the frame by clicking on it, and if you want to adjust the position or size of the photo in the frame, double click, and then drag the picture around to where you want it. Select the checkmark to confirm your changes.

No more than 20% text

Facebook does not allow advertisers to have more than 20% of their ad image overlayed with text. You can check if your image abides by this rule by using Facebook’s Grid Tool.¬†You may have to adjust your text slightly to make sure it fits within the grids properly.

Too much text

Too much text

The same amount of text fits when lined up with the grid

The same amount of text fits when lined up with the grid

Sometimes, when boosting posts, you can get away with more text, and sometimes Facebook doesn’t count logos as text, but it’s impossible to predict what will work and what won’t, so to be on the safe side, just stick to the 20% rule.
Canva tip: To add text to your image, visit the Text section of the toolbar.
You can add basic text through the top three default options or you can take advantage of Canva’s pre-designed banners. Whichever you choose, double click on the text to change the color, the size, the font, or what the text says.

Avoid small details

Your image will likely appear quite small when viewed on mobile and even smaller if you decide to use right column ads. With this in mind, try to avoid images with too much detail, which will be harder to see at small sizes. Additionally, on Facebook’s busy News Feed, simple images tend to pop out. In the cram of pictures and text, a simple image can really separate itself from the crowd.
If you have a simple logo, you could add it to your ad image, but if your logo contains any small complicated details, you may want to consider leaving it off.
Canva tip:¬†You should check what your image looks like when it’s considerably smaller, especially if your ad contains any text. You can zoom away from your image by using the zoom tool at the bottom of the toolbar.

Have 6 images

You can add up to 6 different images to a single ad. Facebook will rotate which image appears, and will automatically put more of your budget towards the image that performs the best. With this option available, why wouldn’t you try several different images to find the most effective one? Mix things up and try a variety of different designs to figure out what style resonates best with your audience.
Canva tip: You can replicate the image canvas by selecting the overlapping rectangles on the right hand side of the canvas.
This will produce an identical image, which you can then fiddle around with. Or you can select “+Add a new page” to replicate the canvas and its background, but leave off all additional elements. If you’re looking to design another image from a blank slate, this is the option to choose (you can easily delete the background and start from scratch).
When you’re happy with how your images look, go to the right side of the top bar, and select download.
Armed with this information, you’re ready to tap into your creative side and produce attractive images for your Facebook ads. So head on over to Canva¬†to get started!

Want to become an expert on Facebook ads? Check out our comprehensive guide to Facebook Advertising.

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