Ok, I have to admit, I despised the Facebook ads text rule. I would have the best ad and then Facebook would shut me down by saying it was more than 20% text.
But, as of March 22, 2016, the 20% rule no longer applies. Exciting, right? That’s what I thought until I explored the new Facebook ads text rules.
New Facebook ads: 4 categories of text
The grid that long helped us decide what 20% text looked like is gone and now we have 4 categories of text:
- Image Text: OK
- Image Text: Low
- Image Text: Medium
- Image Text: High
While Facebook will let any of these ads be published, anything above “OK” reaches a limited audience. “Low” means your ad may have restricted reach, “Medium” means you will have less than optimal reach and “High” means your ad will likely not be displayed.
What counts as text and what doesn’t
Not only is it now a guessing game get an “OK” amount of text, but to add to the confusion, Social Media Examiner reports that there are lists of what counts as text and what doesn’t.
These DO NOT count as text:
- Movie posters
- Book covers
- Album covers
- Product Images – Where an entire product can be seen, and not just a zoomed in image of the product.
- Posters for concerts/music Festivals, Comedy Shows or Sporting Events
- Text-based Businesses Calligraphy, cartoon/comic strips, etc.
- App & game screenshots
- Legal text
These DO count as text:
- Logos – Any text-based logo is counted as text regardless of its size or alignment
- Watermark – Watermarks are considered as text, even if they’re mandatory
- Numbers – All numbers are considered as text
What this means for marketers
This Facebook ads change just requires us to do what we know we should be doing already – using more compelling images in our ads that require little explanation and use the headline and display text areas wisely.
In case you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the change, here are a few tips to make the most of the text areas:
- Use one CTA – While it is tempting to use a CTA in multiple places to create a sense of urgency, stick to one. People are easily confused when given more than one action to take.
- Include a time frame – To create a real sense of urgency, include a time frame in your ad, like “today” or “now.”
- Don’t be overly clever – There are plenty of opportunities in marketing to be clever, Facebook ads is just not the place for it. You have very little room to say what needs to be said and you are speaking to people who don’t know your brand yet, so be clear.
- Speak to your target audience – This may seem obvious, but we have all written an ad we loved and considered publishing it even though we knew it was not optimized to our audience. Stop doing that. If you write an ad you love, but it doesn’t fit your audience, hang it on your wall so you can enjoy it and start writing something better for your audience.
As frustrated as we may want to be with Facebook, we should really thank them. They are forcing us to do things that will better our ROI because we will be creating ads Facebook knows users prefer. So, I may be the only marketer saying it right now, but thanks Facebook!