facebook advertising

How to Select Images for your Facebook Ads

We looked at tips for creating video ads last week. Running a video ad need not be an advanced strategy, but it is a step up from the kind of ad that comprises 99% of my campaigns: a simple static ad, with an image and some carefully crafted copy. We will look at copy next week, but today it's all about the art.

how to choose your facebook ad image

My cover designer, Stuart Bache, has worked at some of the biggest publishers in the UK, and at senior levels. He has recently gone freelance, and will be working with me as we relaunch the full SPF course - without going into too many details, he will be offering to design FB ad images at a deep discount for our new students. In the meantime, if you want a new cover, I wholeheartedly recommend him. You can get him at Books Covered, and at this email address: mail@stuartbache.co.uk.

You can see a couple of Stu's ad images that I'm using at the moment below. They are both taken from the new covers that Stu has designed for my Milton series. They are performing very well, too.

And with that, over to Stu.

Top Tips for Designing Facebook Ads

  • Think of your ad as a movie poster for your novel, that way you won’t be constrained by the format and can create something new which attracts the consumer. But remember...
  • Familiarity is the most important aspect of commercial book cover design, the more links to your cover and brand you have the better. So...
  • Don’t just stretch your design to fit the width and height, tweak it and move elements of the cover until it fits comfortably.
Selecting images for your facebook ad
  • You’ve written your novel and understandably you want to shout about it. But bear in mind that good design doesn’t need to shout to grab attention, often something simple and well-designed is much more effective at catching the eye. Speaking of which...
  • Try to keep the information on your ad down to a minimum. As well as Facebook’s issues with the amount of text used, the fewer pieces of information a prospective buyer has to read the better – in fact, if you’re feeling confident don’t use any text in at all.
Selecting images for your facebook ad
  • Finally, don’t overthink it. Remember: people make instant decisions all the time without needing any information at all. All you need to do is catch their attention, the blurb will do the rest.

If you have any questions about high converting images, you can drop Stu or me an email (or you can ask me live during Friday's Q&A on Periscope). In the meantime, we are working hard to update the full course. We are having great success with Twitter ads, and will be providing a full bonus module on how to use their excellent Lead Cards to send new subscribers to your list without the need for a landing page. It's seriously cool stuff. I've also just finished re-recording all of the course screencasts to take into account the newly designed interfaces inside the FB ads platforms. Lots of work, but totally worth it.

Art or Business? You need both.

Art or Business? You need both.

Amazon asked me (and a couple of other successful self-published authors) to speak on a panel at the London Book Fair this year. It was a fun event; there was a large crowd in the room to hear us give our opinions on indie publishing, and then we were swamped on the KDP booth afterwards as writers came up to ask us questions.

Facebook: To Boost or Not To Boost?

You’ll have seen it pretty much every time you create a post in Facebook: that little button that invites you to ‘Boost Post’.  Because of its positioning it’s become the default option for many of us who want to better target our post. But you know what? It’s not that effective.

Think carefully about the variety of marketing characteristics your target audience is made up of and then take a look at the targeting options for boosting posts to them. You’ll find that the options are really rather limited: basic choices regarding gender, age etc. and then a measly selection of between 4 and 10 interests. I suspect this is why people struggle to succeed with advertising on Facebook. A lack of results and that empty wallet feeling make for a lot of disillusionment.

But I’ve found a far more effective way  of marketing my books to the Facebook community and that’s by using Page Post Ads and the glorious Power Editor. This offers up a far more comprehensive set of choices to enable you to super fine tune your ads to ensure they’re seen in the right places and by the right audience. Options on offer include calibration of elements such as interests (but way more than 10!), behaviours, placement, categories and a whole lot more.  

But that’s not all.  You can also plant cheeky conversion tracking pixels to make it easy to figure which of your ads are leading to conversions as well as create custom ‘unpublished’ page post ads. These will allow you to share messages with your targeted audience through your channel without using the News Feed distribution or Timeline route.

So do all the extra bells and whistles of Page Post Ads and the muscle of the Power Editor actually translate into something profitable? In my own experience that was what happened: after monitoring my campaign very closely, I came out with a ROI of  a staggering 150% and up. (Although please tread carefully with ads - they are not guaranteed to work, and they need a LOT of calibration and monitoring to ensure that they are operating as expected).

There’s an opportunity here for all authors to accelerate their sales with a bit of careful thought and management of their campaign. I’m more than happy to share my insights on the subject with a series of three videos that I’ve put together: feel free to sign up - just hit the button below - and I’ll make sure they get shipped to your inbox. We can do this!