Visually prominent colors, striking headline-like messaging, humor, and good old intrigue – this was the range of strategies that a recent batch of Facebook Ads employed in their attempts to grab browsers’ eyeballs.


And there all strategies you might consider using too, either individually or combined, so let’s take a look at each of them, one by one:

1) Visually Prominent Colors


 

ROI Facebook ad

 

So what you’re looking at is a blunt force approach – sheer visual prominence achieved through color. The ispymarketing ad opts out of a photo or picture proper for the use of a bright red block, an element that’s bound to grab attention when placed on a page primarily made up of blue and white elements and black text.

 

And when combined with the reverse font brand promise, you’ve got an ad that’ll at least get looked at by most viewers, and probably even read by most qualified prospects. Not bad for a simple approach adoptable by most any advertiser willing to come up with a punchy headline set against a bright background color.

 

And taking a very similar approach, you’ve got this photography ad from pagemodo.com:

 

Pagemodo Facebook ad

 

Note that this ad makes use of our hardwired tendency to pay attention to faces and to pay attention to beautiful women, while also upping the eye-grabbing ante and visual prominence of the ad by using a gold background.

 

Again, this is a pretty good technique that could be easily tested by most Facebook advertisers – try out different background colors for the same photo!

 

Humor


 

Using Humor in Facebook Ads

 

Here’s a pretty cool ad from the Aspire Company – one that’s pretty sure to elicit at least a smile if not a chuckle from most viewers. The downside? Well, the picture of the can can be intriguing when viewed out of the corner of the eye, but for the most part, it’s pretty non-eye-catching; you really need to read the can before you’re hooked.

 

The solution: why not borrow the color-block background idea from the pagemodo ad and amp up the visual prominence of the picture?

 

Still, once the viewer does read the can, it’s a good bet that he or she will also read the body copy, and that’s no mean feat in itself.

 

Featuring The Unusual In The Photo


 

So… what kind of shoes are those:

 

Zulily Facebook Ad

 

Answer: the really fun shoes for little kids that are almost guaranteed to grab the attention of Facebook browsing moms!

 

And what’s great about these eyeball grabbing shoes is that they also convey the central messaging of the ad – that the featured website has designer shoes and kids clothes for sale!

 

So when looking for interesting and eye catching photos, give some thought to not only grabbing eyeballs, but to conveying the right associations and messages while doing it.

 

Story Appeal w/ Added Interest for Your Target Market


 

Photography Facebook Ad

 

This last ad is targeted towards photographers, which means that a photo of a woman with a camera is more than just intriguing in the sense of making one wonder what she’s photographing or why they’re displaying this picture, but also in the sense that it plays to the target audiences passions or hobbies. And this is reinforced with the headline: “In Love With Photography?”

 

So while I’d give the photo lower marks on eye-catching appeal in general, I’d also bump that rating up quite a bit in light of the photos appeal to their target market. I also don’t think it’s an accident that the primary background for the photo is a bright blue sky polka-dotted with clouds, or that the photographer is wearing a fairly vibrant purple.

 

At the same time, I’d think a more extreme close-up on the model/camera combo would have probably worked better, and that it would still be worth testing various ways to up the visual prominence and intrigue factors, either through colored borders, colored backgrounds, or interesting, half-seen photo subjects that the model could be pointing her camera at.

 

So what’s the takeaway from all this?

 

2 Things:

 

1) There are various ways you can increase the eye-catching ability of your ad’s picture, and you should both be aware of them and actively think about how you might incorporate them.

 

2) There’s no substitute for testing out variations of picture and different approaches. Even if you think you’ve got a great photo, you should still be testing various backgrounds, color washes, borders, cropping, etc.

 

So go out and test those photos, folks!