7 Insanely Clever Ways To Get Users To Click Your Ads

What I learned from analyzing over 250,000 Facebook Ads.

In the past couple years, self-serve advertising on Facebook has become significantly more competitive as thousands of advertisers compete for impressions and clicks. To maintain a high click through rate and keep costs down, advertisers need to use creative, attention grabbing images to stand out from the pack. The insight in this article comes from analyzing over 250,000 Facebook ads.

Here are just a few techniques Facebook advertisers are using to get more clicks:

Colorful Backgrounds

The gradient background is a classic, time tested social advertising technique. It may not work for all niches, but it can be extremely effective in getting the attention of certain demographics. And anything bright and colorful will stand out among Facebook’s drab, pale blue interface.

Banners And Badges

I love the use of the word New! in the following ad. Not only is saying “New” a classic marketing technique, but the its design and placement in the lower right corner cleverly draws the eye towards the body of the ad.

Mimic UI Elements

Years of using modern operating systems have conditioned most people to respond in a very specific way to certain graphical elements. For example, we’re trained to draw our attention to a small mouse cursor on the screen. These techniques are controversial, but if you can get them approved, you can benefit from a dramatic increase in CTR. People routinely accomplished 30-50 percent increases in CTR just by overlaying a picture of a small Play arrow(like a YouTube video) on their image. When people see a play button, they just want to click it.

Use buttons and strong calls to action

Even something as simple as adding the text “click here” to an ad image will increase clicks. Having a call to action telling the user what to do next and a (fake) button that lets them do it will all be effective.

Faces are very effective, but sex always sells

In the early days of Facebook Ads, all you had to do was present a picture showing a little cleavage to get massive clicks. They’ve cracked down on how much skin you can show since then, but don’t worry- the right picture of a face can be just as appealing as the sluttiest softcore porn pics. Closeups, especially those images that seem to be staring straight at the user from the page look very effective.

Pictures of cute girls for the men, and of babies for the women work very well. We’re just biologically hardwired by millions of years of evolution to respond to them.

Using Text for the image

It can often be very effective to simply treat the image as more space for your text headline, particularly if you have a strong, clear value proposition with universal appeal that can be expressed in just a few words.

7. Shocking or creepy images

Like a tabloid, you can always rely on shock value. Assuming you can get creepy or weird ads approved, you can get a very good CTR for certain demographics very quickly. These ads probably won’t convert very well, but for some offers or sites where getting clicks as cheap as possible is the objective, this is a valid strategy.

Ilya Lichtenstein is the founder of insight.io, an online advertising intelligence company.