Creative Content
July 27, 2020

Top Facebook Ad Design Tips for Tech Startups + Examples

The goal of a Facebook Ad is to stop the viewer scrolling and take action with your brand. If the ad does not motivate the viewer to engage then it’s not an effective ad. The best way to really capture the attention of the viewer is by a well thought-through visual.

In this article I want to share our best practices for creating highly-performing creatives for Facebook advertising. We used those techniques to bring over 350k of new customers for one of our clients, kwiff.

Goals of a Facebook Ad

You might be familiar with the AIDA Formula. 

It is a model used in marketing that describes the steps a customer goes through in the process of purchasing a product. The AIDA model was developed by the American businessman, E. St. Elmo Lewis, in 1898 [1]. 

What it doesn’t take into account, however, is establishing trust. At Blue Drop we focus on the Customer-Centric approach in everything we do. That is why we’ve developed this ideology further to be more relevant in the 2020s. We call it A.R.T.D.A.

A.R.T.D.A. - the content development framework for Facebook Advertising we’re using at Blue Drop


A - capture attention on social “Why should I stop scrolling”? 

R - assess relevance & peak interest “Is this something relevant, valuable or interesting for me?”

T - establish trust “Do I, as a viewer, connect with the brand on an emotional level”?

D - create desire “I want and need this”

A - take action “I’m going to buy / sign up”


The job of the ad creative is to do the first three things:

  • capture attention
  • assess relevance & peak interest 
  • establish initial trust 

Once you've done that, it’s your website’s and landing pages’ job to create desire and move people to take action.

Facebook Visual Content Types 

In short, there are two types of visual content you can choose from when it comes to Facebook ads. Image or Video. 

"People spend 5x more time on video content." [2]

People spend 5x more time on video content and are twice more likely to make a purchase from a video ad. [2] Bottomline, videos on Facebook prompt engagement and tell stories.

It does not mean however that you should completely disregard the image format. A well optimised image can outperform a video if it’s created correctly and used right.[3]

An effective paid social strategy uses a mixture of both image & video creatives. Why might you ask? Simply put, there is a variety of social ads setups serving different purposes. 

Depending on your funnel, you generally start with an awareness campaign targeted at a cold audience and then you move into the middle & bottom of the funnel alongside with the retargeting. Each stage has different objectives and requires a specific visual & copy.

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Best Practices For Highly Effective Facebook Ads Creatives: 

1. Showcase your product [in context]

Showing your product in the context of the main problem you’re solving for your customer is a powerful concept for effective storytelling.

Monday & Mailchimp use context to show their product. 

2. Use custom illustrations

As a tech brand [vs an e-commerce brand for example] you don't have real products hence having a custom illustration language that is on brand is an excellent tool to build exciting creatives. 

It gives a ton of flexibility for creating versatile content that caters to different audiences.

Mailchimp & Midnite - custom illustrations

3. Choosing the right colour scheme for social

I’m not going to dive deep into the theories of colour use because it’s a subject that has a lot of variables, if you’d like to read more about colour head here.

As you know blue is one of Facebook’s brand colours and it appears significantly in the UI of their social app on both desktop and mobile. It’s worth keeping that in mind when creating Facebook ad creatives - and staying away from blues, if you can. 

Facebook’s brand colour

Secondly, your brand colours choice strictly derives from your brand positioning. I always advise to consider the digital space when deciding on your brand colour scheme (in the end, we’re working with the RGB scheme, which offers a significantly bigger colour choice than CMYK, for example). 

In general, use colours that are bright and bold and images with high contrast to get your content to pop. 

I’m a strong advocate of the rule -  less is more - in terms of colour (think about Monzo and their orange card). Pick one strong primary colour and add a bold supportive secondary and compliment them with a spectrum of naturals.

4. Use video

Video is one of the driving forces of social media and a great format to work with. It can not only very easily grab the attention, prompt engagement but also communicate a story in line with your brand values. 

Facebook video ad - design recommendations

Let’s start with the key aspect of a good Facebook Video Ad creative. It has to be short - max 15 seconds. In the first 2 seconds you have the opportunity to grab the attention and demonstrate relevance to the viewer. One of our secret ingredients for highly effective video content is using high-impact and dynamic intros. For example, fun animation & motion effects or unusual transitions.

Video can not only very easily grab the attention, prompt engagement but also communicate a story in line with your brand values. 

Secondly, make sure to follow the Emerging Story Arch - you can read more about it in this article. In a nutshell - start high, with fire, very quickly go into your main message, offer a surprise or twist and make sure you have a clear CTA, so there's more story for those who want it.

Squarespace created a brilliant creative framework to create variants of messaging. The video is quick, straight to the point and visually engaging.

It doesn’t end on the visuals

Of course, visuals are not everything. With 97% of B2C businesses using Facebook [4], you’re in a sea of competition. Having stunning ad creatives is the beginning of building compelling Facebook Ads. 

Most importantly, you need your content to land in front of the right audience and convince them to take action.

1. Ad Copy [yawn]

It might sound boring but it can significantly boost the success of your Facebook Ads. Here are some of the characteristics of a good copy: 

  • Keep it short and sweet. 
  • Find a way for it to offer value. 
  • It can instil a sense of urgency, reduce uncertainty and build trust. 
Slack is a great example of playful and effective copy

2. Call-To-Action 

No online ad is complete without the CTA. You can have the most compelling story but if you don’t guide the viewer on what to do next you won't see any results.

3. Targeting

Facebook offers a variety of targeting options to ensure your message is reaching the right audience at the right time. You can read more about it here.

4. Ad Placement

Facebook offers a variety of different placements. The choice of where to push your ads derives from your Paid Strategy. 

5. AB Testing 

It’s key to create variants of your ad creatives and test to see which ones perform best. You can play around with ad copy, CTA copy, visuals and colours, to name a few.

6. Scaling 

The whole point of testing is to find a winner and scale it.

Hope this sheds some light on paid social & creative content.

We’re sharing content regularly for those who want to grow their business using the digital space, with a focus on digital marketing.

If you have any suggestions, questions or just want to geek out over some creative topics, let’s connect on Twitter or Linkedin

Thanks for reading! 

Stay safe,


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