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The 9 Best Facebook Ads of 2017

Small talk

December 2, 2017

There’s no denying it’s been a big year for Facebook.

The company earned a record high of $10.3 billion in revenue in Q3 2017, a 47% increase year over year.

Also, Facebook hit over 2 billion monthly active users, and over 1.3 billion daily users.

It’s no surprise, then, that there are over 6 million businesses advertising on Facebook.

Running a Facebook ad campaign is one of the most effective options for PPC marketers. 

There’s the appeal of a massive audience.

The best suite of targeting and analytics tools are at your disposal.

And let’s not forget to mention a Facebook marketing campaign is usually an affordable advertising option (the average CPC in the U.S. for a Facebook ad is just 22 cents).

As with any other digital marketing strategy, there are certain features that will make a Facebook ad a success.

Whether that’s following the ad designs that defined 2017, or sticking to time-tested standards for Facebook ad creation, certain brands have set themselves apart this year.

With some expert insight from Taktical’s Paid Social Account Manager Haley Preininger, we’ve compiled a list of the best Facebook ads of 2017.

We’ll be explaining what these ads did well, and what you can do to optimize your own Facebook advertising strategy for similar success.

So without further ado, here they are: The nine best Facebook ads of 2017.

1. Reformation

best Facebook ads of 2017- Reformation

The power of this ad is in its simplicity: The images are clear and the language is concise.

Considering Facebook recommends an ad headline length of 25 characters and a body text of 90 characters total, the implication is clearly that less is more with Facebook ads.

The language in Reformation’s Facebook ad ad also positions these clothes as exclusive by calling out their frequency of selling out.

This not only elicits a sense of urgency, but also instills a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).

And FOMO can be a massive consumer motivator: 68% of millenials are likely to make a purchase as a reaction to FOMO.

2. Swell Bottle

best Facebook ads of 2017 - Swell

Swell’s Instagram ad is successful because of their ability to hone the imagery and copy to capture the attention of millennials.

Half the struggle with any PPC advertising campaign is getting people to stop and click.

Swell uses content that is not conventional to their industry (i.e. using a water bottle for wine rather than water).

As a result, they are able to stand out against the organic content in News Feeds.

This brand capitalized on the basics of a good Instagram ad: good concept, compelling visual, and relatable copy for their target audience. It’s a model that any other Facebook advertiser can emulate, too.

3. Under the Canopy

best Facebook ads of 2017 - Under the Canopy

This Facebook Instant Article ad from Under the Canopy is successful because it reads like an organic article.

Due to the structure of this “article”, and the fact that it lives on the company’s blog on their website, it does not flag like an advertisement in the viewer’s eye.

As a result, this brand achieved 148 purchases and an average CTR of over 2.8% over the course of just one month.

With a CTA of “Learn More”, again the ad emphasizes a less explicit selling objective to the user.

Instead, potential customers get to learn about the brand and the value propositions without the pressure to purchase.

Essentially, it moves the customer through the conversion funnel in a more organic, less pressurized manner.

At the end of the article, link to your products to encourage conversions.

If they do not convert on the first touch, retarget them with an offer via another Facebook ad campaign.

Keep in mind that desktop placement is best for this strategy.

4. Halo Top

best Facebook ads of 2017 - Halo Top

This Halo Top ad on Instagram is successful because it is targeting a specific audience.

Rather than appealing to a general group that values a low calorie snack, Halo Top capitalized on the appeal of losing weight and linking it with the upcoming wedding season.

The first part that makes this ad a success is that the brand has tapped into a pre-existing selling concept: the desire to lose weight.

To complement that, and target their consumer more effectively, Halo Top integrated a relatable wedding theme.

Not only is the copy specific, but also the imagery is relevant to the overall theme.

The more specific you get with targeting, imagery, and copy for your Facebook marketing, the more likely you are to appeal to your highest converting audience.  

5. Chinese Laundry

This Chinese Laundry ad is successful because it appeals to their target demographic: women aged 18-35.

It is formatted as a boomerang, which means this Facebook ad was placed on Instragram Stories.

Not only is this placement ideal for the reaching millennials, but it is also easily disguised as organic content.

Boomerangs are not immediately flagged by viewers as an advertisement, so they are less likely to blindly click through or ignore it.

Before they become aware it is an Instagram ad, they are already compelled by the promotion outlined in the copy.

Disguising your advertisement as organic content via a unique ad format is one of the most successful ways to convert the millennial demographic.

By accomplishing this feat, Chinese Laundry earned 21 purchases, a 3.47% average CTR, and brought cost per content view down to $0.09 in the course of only two days with their Black Friday Facebook marketing campaign.

6. Avingo

best Facebook ads of 2017 - Avingo

What Avingo does well with their Facebook ad touches on multiple different best practices.

First, they’ve utilized an interesting illustration to capture the user’s attention.

Second, the brand takes a traditionally unappealing topic (healthcare), and instead makes it engaging with a fun graphic versus a stock image.

Third, the language is short and to the point within the Facebook ad.

This is another way in which it goes against the standard for healthcare marketing.

Then, Avingo encourages sign-ups by emphasizing how quick the process takes.

Using numbers in Facebook ads is encouraged because it quantifies your value prop.

For industries that are particularly technical or complex, using a number simplifies it for viewers and makes your service or product more relatable.

Achieving Avingo’s success of 184 leads and an almost 4.5% CTR in just over three weeks takes the right mix of simplicity and enticement.

7. Exeq

best Facebook ads of 2017 - Exeq

For apps in particular, it is hard to convey the value proposition of the interface through a Facebook ad.

People want to know what the app looks like without the hassle of installing it.

If people are able to witness what the app experience would be like, they are more likely to download it and explore it further themselves.

With this Instagram ad, Exeq sheds some insight into what their app does and how it looks to users.

They successfully position themselves as a “fun and easy budgeting app” with the bright colors and visually appealing interface that complements the app screens themselves.

A short video or still image of your app can go a long way in convincing users to download it.

This is especially true when paired with compelling copy and eye-catching visuals.

8. que Bottle

best Facebook ads of 2017 - que Bottle

Instagram Stories are a particularly appealing Facebook ad format of late due to the drastic increase in user base and engagement statistics.

Having hit 300 million daily active users in November of this year, Instagram Story ads benefit from reaching the motivated consumer demographic that uses Instagram already.

Done well, and an ad on this platform can achieve success similar to D. Franklin. 

They earned 2.3X ROI and experienced a 21% lower cost per purchase.

The que Bottle ad is perfectly tailored for Instagram Stories.

That is to say it is formatted properly and in an appealing way, is clear and to the point, and doesn’t make the viewer wait too long to reveal what the product is.

Demonstrate the value proposition within the video itself, and don’t just talk about it in the copy.

9. Voodoo Music Festival App

best Facebook ads of 2017 - Voodoo

Again, a Facebook marketing campaign centered around getting app downloads requires providing the user a sneak peek into the UX and UI of the product.

Voodoo’s Facebook ad for the app to accompany their music festival is successful because of their compelling and informative imagery.

The main visual includes the interface of the promoted app.

Also, it has a design overlay that appeals to their target demographic: millennial music festival attendees.

The text on the image serves to strengthen their message since it is on brand (same font and color) and complements the overall design.

Facebook has become more lenient with the amount of text allowed in an image.

Therefore, Facebook advertising agencies should take advantage of this opportunity by adding their call to action directly on an image.

This is where the viewer looks first.

These are the ads that stood out to us in 2017.

Think what you have what it takes to make our list in 2018?

Take some tips from the examples above, then design and launch Facebook ads tailored to your brand and audience.

With a little thought put into design, optimization, and testing, you too can create the best Facebook ads of the year.

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