At its core, Facebook is a content-driven platform. Facebook's goal is to show it's users the most interesting and popular
advertisements content based on your preferences so you keep on engaging with the app.
But we all know that the real mission is to make as much money as possible without hemorrhaging users.
The good news is that if your ads are engaging audiences, you'll get seen more often. Not only that but you'll even see cost savings over non-engaging sponsored posts.
That's because if your ad creative resonates with users, Facebook will give it preference, and you'll rack up cheaper views, clicks, and conversions.
On the other hand, if your ad is a dud… it will be dead faster than a chicken in the dog pen. No amount of targeting and budget optimizing can make bad ad creative successful.
But here's the thing: Designing ad creative doesn't have to be a hit or miss prospect.
In fact, there are clear Facebook Ads trends that you can follow to create more engaging ads. And this study will help you understand exactly which trends to follow with your Facebook ads heading into 2020.
We analyzed over 10,103 Facebook Ads published by Facebook's leading advertisers.
This research revealed some surprising trends and impactful observations you can use when designing your ad creative.
You can see the trends for yourself in our video summary.
And in the following write-up, I’ll share 10 key findings from our analysis.
The methodology and data behind our Facebook Ads case study
We collected and reviewed 10,103 ads from leading Facebook advertisers in August of 2019.
These ads represent 553 advertisers in 19 industry segments.
The ad samples we studied are balanced between 56% small/medium-sized businesses and 44% large businesses running ads on Facebook.
It total, we evaluated:
- 279,656 words analyzed in ad text
- 6,169 unique headlines
- 31 unique CTAs
- 5,739 Unique Landing Pages
- 1,276 Ads Containing URLs in the Text
- And so, so many emojis 💼 📐 ✈️ 🤣🤣🤣!
10 Interesting things we learned (including trends you should look out for with Facebook Ads in 2020)
Here’s what we learned…
1) “New” is the most commonly used word in ad text on Facebook (1,573 occurrences in 10,103 ads)
Observation: Use of words like New, Now, Free, More, and Up is designed to sell the click on ads and inspire urgency. Why? Because they work!
Implication: Consider using urgency-inducing words in your ads if you want to sell the click and increase relevance, (but always check your performance data first!)
2) The Median ad we captured was running on Facebook for 11 days
Observation: Small to medium-sized businesses run their ads much longer than large advertisers – likely because they lack the resources to manage daily changes.
Implication: Big advertisers are rotating their ad creative constantly. Should you be doing the same for your ads?
3) Image Ads are the most popular ad format, but Video Ads are nearly equal to images with Large Advertisers
Observation: Video is far more expensive to produce than imagery (5-10x more effort), yet large advertisers are seeing the expense worthwhile.
Implication: Small advertisers are likely missing out on opportunities by not having creative resources available to produce quality video ads.
4) ‘Shop Now' is the most common call-to-action, with Learn More a close second
Observation: Shop Now is heavily represented due to a large number of e-commerce advertisers in the data set.
Implication: 61% of call-to-action buttons say either Shop Now or Learn More, which means advertisers either want to sell immediately or educate their audience.
5) Ad Headlines are most often 1-3 words, especially with large advertisers
Observation: Large advertisers want their headlines short and sweet, which indicates they value imagery over copywriting in ads.
Implication: Small advertisers may need more words to catch the attention of their audience, so consider this when crafting ad headlines.
6) Ad Headlines use punctuation only 27% of the time – headlines are just as likely to include an emoji as punctuation
Observation: We didn’t have a reliable way of analyzing emoji usage, but they are very prevalent in our ad text and headline database.
Implication: If a picture is worth a thousand words, an emoji is as valuable as punctuating tour headlines!
7) Advertisers large and small like to keep their display URLs short and to the point
Observation: Even though there’s not a requirement to keep URLs short, this is the clear preference with advertisers.
Implication: Short URLs can look good, but consider the overall brand impact and what happens if your landing page location changes.
8) Much like headlines and URLs, advertisers large and small like to keep their ad text short and sweet
Observation: Perhaps I’m biased because I see so many ads from information-marketers, but these low word counts really surprised me!
Implication: While it’s very easy to test long copy vs. short copy, consider the research (short copy dominates by a landslide) before creating a ton of verbose ads.
9) Four in five advertisers are using both video and image ads in their creative mix
Observation: You should be using a mix of creative types in your campaigns if you want to be on par with top advertisers.
Implication: If you ever thought “do I really need to use video?” these numbers are pretty telling. The answer is yes!
10) Only 12% of ad texts contain a URL inside the ad, which means 88% of ads drive clicks through CTA buttons
Observation: Most advertisers are not putting URLs in ads, even though I see them all the time.
Implication: URLs in ads might be nice, but consider tracking issues with attribution to ads.
The Data Driven FB Ads Library
Now, you may be wondering what we did with the database of ads we analyzed in our study?
Well, you’ll be delighted to know, we didn’t throw away all this juicy data.
Instead, we created an epic quick-access library you can use to study these ads.
Inside the Library, you can filter through all of the ads we collected by industry, by advertiser size, by ad format, by copy length, etc.
You can even see every landing page these ads use to convert their traffic.
This Library is like a Facebook advertising swipe file on steroids.
And, in addition to the Ads Library, we created mini-case studies for every industry we researched. (E-commerce, retail, consumer goods, financial services, travel, restaurants, etc.)
If you’re interested in getting access to our FB Ads Library and our advertising industry case studies, join our upcoming Data Driven FB Ads Mastery Program.
This brand new program is releasing later this month. You can join the waitlist for our Data Driven FB Ads Mastery program here – Data Driven FB Ads Mastery.
Summarizing our Facebook Ads research
To wrap things up, here’s a quick review of our study and what we learned:
- We analyzed 10,103 Facebook Ads from 553 advertisers in 19 industries
- The advertisers were a nearly equal mix of Small and Large Advertisers
- Video and image ads are nearly equally popular – pay attention!
- Brevity is the name of the game with most advertisers. (People have short attention spans.)
Download our Facebook Ads Trends Summary Report
Comments or questions
So what did you think of our study? Did the findings surprise you? Do they affect how you’ll design your ad creative?
Leave a comment below sharing your thoughts or questions.
Additional Data Driven FB Ads Resources
In case you missed them, you can get access to our other FREE Facebook Ads related resources here: