Over the past few days, and only in select Facebook Ad accounts, there have been some interesting and exciting updates to Facebook’s traditional ad unit images.
As production began on new, traditional ad units to a website, we noticed a significant change to the suggested image size as recommended in Facebook’s Create Flow (the web UI for Facebook Ads).
Facebook is now suggesting images of 308×308 pixels to show the traditional ad in the news feed, which is a significantly larger canvas size compared to the previous image dimensions of 100×72 pixels.
What’s Going On Here?!
On the hunt for more information from Facebook on this new change, we encountered some inconsistent info in the SERPs.
The search result below leads right to a Facebook help page, but – oops, looks like they haven’t updated their meta descriptions. Outdated information still populates search result.
Fortunately, the page itself seems to have the right dimensions. Or does it?
Hang on… when we attempted to upload an image that was 100×72 pixels, Facebook alerted us the image should be “at least 120 x 120.”
Here’s what we know:
- Facebook has only rolled out this new feature to select accounts, as not everyone has this new option.
- Facebook has never been great at letting advertisers know when it unfurls new features.
Marketing Implications for the New Ad Images
Facebook advertisers who want to take advantage of the new traditional ad image and placement (and who wouldn’t?) must understand how the ratio and sizing of the image will impact both ad units.
New Image Size & Ratio: 308×308
Bigger image = awesome!
But hold your horses, advertisers. Using the new image dimensions will affect the right column ad image as well:
Notice something? Facebook has simply shrunk the 308×308 image to fit within the dimensions of the traditional ad image specifications of 100×72, resulting in an image that isn’t optimized for a traditional ad for the right column (presumably 72×72).
Another option would be to keep the right column image ratio (100×72), but enlarge it to better fit the News Feed format: 308×221. This holds the integrity of the right column image and allows for a nice, big news feed ad image.
Unfortunately, advertisers can’t move or adjust the view of the news feed image like you can with the thumbnail images of your profile.
News Feed Traditional Ad + Social Actions
Facebook advertisers can also opt to connect the ad to their Facebook Page to be seen in the news feed. Adding the Facebook Page will display the profile image, which is great for additional branding, and it seems to provide options for users to take actions on the ad: Like, Comment, and Share.
It’s also important for marketers and ad writers to note that the ad in the news feed places the body copy above the headline. Therefore, advertisers using this ad placement should take into consideration that 1) Users can take social actions and 2) The orientation of text is flipped. This could potentially turn your ad writing strategy on its head, and should.
Potential Blowback from New Ad Placement
Recently, Facebook has been testing many different ad units in the news feed, much to the displeasure of certain Facebook users.
We’ve seen it, our clients have seen it, heck – there’s a whole community on Facebook rallying against Suggested Posts and ads in the News Feed.
While Facebook is trying to make marketers’ ads more engaging by placing them in the News Feed, many users (who *cough* don’t understand how or why Facebook is free for them…) reallyhate sponsored anything in their feed.
Word to the wise, Facebook advertisers: If you’re running ads or sponsored stories in the news feed, keep a close eye on those comments and take control by hiding or deleting angry comments about “spamming their news feed,” and understand that if a significant number of users “hide” or x-out of ads the quality score of your ad, and potentially your account, will take a hit.
New Facebook Ad Strategy
If there are concerns regarding blowback from targeted audiences, advertisers have the power toremove either of these traditional ad units.
For best practice, create modifications of the same ad, keeping in mind the different displays and text placement.
There you have it, Facebook advertisers! Something new to look forward to from the Facebook Ads team. Play around, have fun, sell smart!
Noupe.com Article Excerpt
In an article written by Vladimir Gendelman of Noupe.com. They give excellent tips on the web marketing process in comparison to print techniques. I find myself constantly looking at tons of magazines and print media in general old and new for ideas, colors, layouts, etc.
This article kind of helped me get a little more perspective on this process so I figured I’d share this as it may help someone else as well.
This is unrelated but we also should not forget “New Media” meaning your phones. I continually get inspired by what people manage to capture on instagram and facebook posts in general. Whether it’s a landscapes, events, or just the human experience Everyone can be an artist now… whether you’re good or bad is up for interpretation :). I’ll write more on this in the future.
Although the knowledge in effective web marketing has increased over the last decade or two, there is still a great deal that web designers can learn from print designers. After all, print marketing has been around since the invention of the printing press and roughly five-hundred years of successful designs can’t be wrong.
It doesn’t matter if it’s print media or digital media; as a designer, it’s your duty to help your clients show off their brand and connect with potential customers. Here are just a few techniques that print designers use to carry out that duty—and that won’t mislead you even in web design..
1. Less is more
When designing for print, you have to constantly be aware of how much space you have to fit your work into, because adding more space means increasing the size (and cost) of the media itself. On the other hand, web designers have an almost unlimited amount of space to use because the audience can always keep scrolling down to continue viewing the page.
However, you also run the risk of losing the audience’s attention when you bombard them with too much information at once. Consider the efficiency of a business card or direct mailer—in a small amount of space, print designers are able to grab the audience’s attention and deliver an effective message. Your digital designs should strive for economy instead of over-expansion, conveying a strong central message without trying to stuff your design with as many elements as possible.
Use fewer words instead of pages of dense text. Focus on a few strong images instead of a cluttered collage. Simplify your designs to improve your design efficiency – when you’re worried about a bunch of details, you tend to lose focus on the big picture. In fact, it’s that big picture that your clients are most looking for in their web designs.
Photo Credit: Hovard Design
2. Make Scanning Easy
When people view a piece of print media, they expect to find the information they’re looking for without having to read the entire thing. Think of the way a postcard or brochure compartmentalizes information into easy-to-read sections. A website is no exception – people don’t want to spend too much time finding whatever they’re looking for, they want it to jump out at them.
Use headlines and sub-headings to guide your audience’s eyes to the most vital information. Add bold and italic typesetting or bright colors such as red to highlight important segments of text. Keep paragraphs short and use repetition to drive home the most important points.
Photo Credit: BASIC
There are several visual cues you can also add to increase the readability. Include pictures that tie into the information you’re presenting so that people can quickly find the sections they’re looking for. You can even borrow visual design elements commonly found in print media, such as starbursts, arrows and other simple shapes that draw attention.
3. Make Your Call to Action Powerful and Upfront
A call to action is one of the most important elements of a successful marketing campaign because it tells the audience what to do with the information they just received. At the end of the day, print marketing collateral is just a piece of paper – it can’t convert customers all on its own. The call to action is what propels the customer into taking that next step towards a conversion.
Photo Credit: Veronica Varesta
The benefit of a web campaign is that a website can directly lead a potential customer onto the next step of the process through hyperlinks and other interactive elements. However, you can’t assume the audience is going to know where to click or for what reason unless it’s been clearly defined. And they won’t be able to locate these points of interaction unless your design draws attention to them through use of creative typography, imagery or other eye-catching techniques.
Repetition is the key to driving home your call to action. Print collateral with multiple pages will feature the call to action on every page so that the reader is never too far from the information he needs to carry forward with a sale or conversion. Your web design should also feature a clear call to action on every page – probably multiple times per page, depending on the task your design is supposed to perform.
4. Test marketing before implementation is vital
A major benefit of web design is that mistakes can be easily fixed or tweaked if a problem should arise – but this benefit can also be a backlash. With a print marketing design, you have to be certain that everything is correct before you finalize the print job, or else you run the risk of having to reprint and waste materials. Even famous, well-established companies such as Trader Joe’s can fall prey to simple spelling errors. To avoid this, print designs are often given an extra level of testing under a higher level of scrutiny than web designs.
Photo Credit: Flickr user “jesman”
Implementing the same standards in your web designs can save you time by helping you avoid future fine-tuning. Doing so extends past simply doing testing to make sure that the design is usable—it also means testing to see if the design will be effective in attracting new business.
Talk to your target audience and find out what they value before you even begin to brainstorm ideas for your design. Ask a loyal contingent of existing customers if they would like to participate in test marketing to get a better understanding of how people respond to your design. As the saying goes—the customer is always right.
5. Activate All Senses
When people experience something for the first time, their brains create a sense memory associated with that moment. The more senses that the brain can use to understand the experience, the stronger the memory becomes. Print marketing collateral has the benefit of being a physical object, which affects both sight and touch.
Photo Credit: Ken Lo
Print designs often incorporate embossing, textured coatings, textured stocks and other special options to make a better connection to a person’s sense of touch. Although a web design cannot be touched, it also has the ability to affect more than one sense – sight and hearing. By adding audio to your web designs you cannot only ensure a stronger sense memory but a greater degree of accessibility.
Audio could be in the form of music or ambient noise, such as the sound of a cheering crowd for a stadium web page. Audio could also come as part of a video, which allows the brand to literally speak to the audience. Just keep in mind that audio can also have a negative effect on your design if the audio is too loud, poor quality or jarring.
6. Don’t Sacrifice Functionality for Style
Even the most creative print designs still have to have some level of practicality in order to be successful. After all, a folder has to be able to open and close, not to mention securely store documents. Web designs are no different – creativity is key, but functionality is equally or even more important.
Photo Credit: Beth Sicheneder
You don’t want your audience to become frustrated and navigate away from the page because your design confused them or they couldn’t find what they were looking for. The function of your design is to convey a message, so you won’t want to create a distraction that draws attention away from that message either.
Functionality doesn’t just mean creating a user-friendly interface, but being aware of the different ways people view websites. Adding a plethora of interactive elements to your design is fun for people with newer model computers, but can be a nightmare for those on older machines or mobile devices. Think of your design as a fishing net instead of a fishing lure – the net may not be as pretty as the lure, but it’s a more practical way to catch a large amount of fish at once.
7. Design with Other Media in Mind
It takes both digital media and print media to successfully market a brand, but many designers make the mistake of thinking their web designs are print ready. More often than not, the design elements created for a web marketing campaign will look distorted when printed, unless certain changes are made. For example, designs saved in RGB mode for the web will be converted to CMYK when printed using 4-color process, which can lead to discoloration.
In a print design, it’s crucial that the logo is able to print as one solid color. But many logos designed for the web use complex gradation, which cannot be reproduced when printing with only one color. Design your logos so that it will still be recognizable and effective with only one color—or use multiple logos, one for the web and one exclusively for print.
Photo Credit: Emir Ayouni
When creating designs for the web, you have no limit to the amount of colors you can use. However, when printing using PMS ink, you have to correctly match the Pantone color of the ink. Brand colors should always match a Pantone color swatch to ensure that the marketing collateral is accurate and consistent, both on the web and in print.
Digital media is here to stay, but print doesn’t seem to be going anywhere either. Having the versatility to work effectively in both worlds makes you much more desirable to potential clients, who often want to have someone who can do it all. By focusing on these tenets of print marketing and design, you can ensure that you’ll always be ready to get a brand’s message out to the people no matter what tools you use to do so.
These are just a few of the lessons that can be learned from print media design. What lessons have you learned from designing for print and how have you applied them to your web marketing designs? What about in reverse – what are some lessons that print designers can learn from web design? Share your responses in the comments.
Took me a bit of time to figure this out myself so I figured I’d post it on my blog to make it easier for all of you. In a business world where you need to be in 40 places (facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, wordpress, blah blah blah) at once just to survive on a social media front it certainly helps to condense all this so that you press submit in one platform and it’ll follow suite to all your others.
Combining Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were fairly simple since apps already exist in their backend to accomplish this. For those who may need this info, I’ll provide it at a later date. Posting your wordpress blog posts to your facebook page however was a little more tricky to figure out but once you follow these instructions you’re gonna go “Oh thank fu&#-ing god!”
So if you have a wordpress blog there’s a VERY handy plug in I discovered to accomplish this. Go to Plugins > Add New and type in “Facebook Page Publish“. There should be two options at show up first both with this name. “Facebook Page Publish” & “Facebook Page Publish 2“. IGNORE the first one. This is an older version and it sucks because you’ll go through the motions and won’t be able to connect. Instead install and active “Facebook Page Publish 2”.
Next go to Settings > Facebook Page Publish. Follow these instructions they provide or read below to get the Application ID and Application Secret code. Next Press the “Grant Access” button and follow facebook plugin options so that the app can get permission to post on your page. Finally go to my previous post to get the link to retrieve your Page or Profile ID and press “Save Changes” and that’s IT. Now when you create a post there will be a check box above the Publish button that says “Publish to Facebook“.
Enjoy it, it’ll be LEGENDARY!
Register & Create the App – for lamens
1. Click Here and register as a developer, if you haven’t already.
2. Click “Register as a Developer” and accept the terms, then just press skip a couple times as the next pages are just survey crap.
3. Once you are registered as a developer select “create new app“, name it “Post My Blog” and press continue (*ignore the name space and hosting option as you won’t be needing it). This won’t affect your page in anyway, it’s only to create the app that will allow you to connect the blog with facebook.
4. Do the damn Captcha thing that only god can read and press continue
5. Now you have your App ID and App Secret but jus ta couple more steps
6. Under Basic Info type in your domain link to your blog without the http://www in the App Domains field: (e.g “streetcarpro.com“)
7. Then at the bottom select “Website with Facebook Login” and type in your domain again this time WITH the http://www (e.g. “http://www.streetcarpro.com“)
8. Lastly select the “Disabled” button to make the app like and out of the developers sandbox.
9. That’s basically it for that now go back to the above instructions on finalizing the plugin connection…
For any app developers, bloggers, or facebook novices out there that are in need of knowing how to find your facebook id after creating a customized url here is a VERY VERY VERY easy link I found to get it:
All you need to do is replace “longislandwebsitedesigner” in the url bar with whatever your customized page link is and press enter.
If you don’t have a customized url then it’s a piece of cake. Just view your page or profile and it will be that long string of numbers at the end of the link.
Ex: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Online-Thrift-Shop-Current-Thrift/505729602798318 <– Thats it