There isn’t a Facebook ad idea that doesn’t have a Facebook ad template!
You never really have to start from scratch.
With a template, you know exactly the specs of your ad and you can better visualize how it’s going to look.
We have written about 2 things in this guide.
First, we have a list of 9 cool ad ideas.
This list is a compilation of what we think are the coolest ads you can do.
Second, we have compiled the web’s best resources to find free Facebook ad templates.
There are a lot of websites where you can find a template for every possible ad idea and even directly design the ad on the spot.
I listed all these locations below.
9 Cool Ad Ideas
Facebook Ad Template #1 – The “Let Me Tell You a Story” Ad.
Stories are the most powerful marketing tool. And as I said earlier Facebook (+Instagram) is a great vehicle to show stories and entertaining content.
People come on the platform to consume stories and share stories with their friends.
Do not see Facebook only as a way to push your commercial offers, it can be much more than that.
If your story can convey emotions, then Facebook can make it viral.
Carlsberg, for example, pledged to launch a red beer if Liverpool FC won the UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool won the Champions League so Carlsberg honored their promise. They chose to honor this promise in a smart and “storytelling” way.
They showed the particular bond they have with this football club. [Carlsberg has been a long-time sponsor so there is a long history between these 2 brands.]
This is the Video Ad they made:
What is great in this ad is how they show the Liverpool players and fans in parallel with the production of an all-red beer.
This shows how Carlsberg is devoted to the team. This shows how much Carlsberg cares about this relationship with Liverpool and their fans.
This ad gave Carlsberg a 9x increase in website traffic.
How do you create a “Let Me Tell You a Story” ad?
There are many ways to do this ad. Keep in mind that as long as you are conveying a story it doesn’t really matter the format.
I would advise though using a carousel format, or a single video ad.
Don’t be afraid to be creative, your ad must stand out.
Facebook Ad Template #2 – The “Cart Abandonment” Ad
AKA the “please come baaaaaack!!” ad. 😄
There is nothing more frustrating when you are selling online to see a visitor adding products to a shopping cart and then walking away.
It’s okay though – it happens to every online store, a lot!
There are a lot of potential reasons why someone you give up on buying: sometimes the shipping costs are too high, sometimes the checkout process is too complicated, sometimes they just get interrupted and forget they were shopping in the first place.
[By the way, if you are interested in the most common reasons for cart abandonment or if you want to check whether your cart abandonment rate is within the industry average. I recommend this first article and this second one.]
Thank God there are a lot of ways you can reduce cart abandonment though!
If you have the prospect’s email you can send follow-up emails, sure.
However, you may not have an email and the email in itself could not be enough.
This is when Facebook retargeting can help.
You can target only the prospects who added a product to the cart but haven’t purchased it.
In the ad, for example, you can highlight the key benefits of your offer again, show social proof with a client testimonial… There is really no limit to what you can do! 🚀
The most efficient approach though, in my experience, is to offer additional value at no cost and with a time limit.
Success Formula = Additional Value + Limited Time Frame.
For example, you could offer 20% off with coupon code valid only until the end of the month.
If you don’t like giving discounts consider adding something else to the bundle.
Promotions are still one of the best ways to trigger a purchase.
How to make a cart abandonment ad
To create this kind of ad, you need to create a personalized audience that will pick up all the people who added a product to the cart but did not buy it.
Go to your Ads Manager and go to the Audiences section.
Click on “Create an Audience” and choose “Custom Audience”.
Choose the “Website Traffic” option and create your audience this way:
Obviously, you want to avoid retargeting visitors who have already purchased this product.
For this reason, you should exclude people who have seen the thank you page confirming the purchase.
For the duration, you can choose the number of days you want: 12 days for example. Although consider that people who interacted with your cart 20 days ago might have forgotten about it.
Now add this new audience in your targeting and set up your ad.
If you want to retarget the users differently depending on the specific products they “abandoned”, you would use Dynamic Ads. Learn more about this here.
Travel agents and platforms are great at pulling you back.
They use FOMO in their ad copy very well. Here is a great example from Booking.
Facebook Ad Template #3 – The “Here is What People Say About Us” Ad.
I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I haven’t tried a restaurant without anyone telling me about it or checking out online reviews before.
Actually I can’t remember the last time, I just walked in a restaurant without having some form of recommendation beforehand.
Your future clients need to hear from your past clients how good your product is.
This is the only they are going to buy from you.
This is true for every possible industry. That’s how we are wired as humans. We only trust what we know. And we don’t trust someone trying to sell us. We need to hear it from someone else.
This is often called in marketing: social proof.
Social proof essentially means showing what other people have to say about your product or your company.
It can be a third-party product evaluation, the number of people who bought the product, well-known brand names who bought the product, customer testimonials, and ratings…etc.
Social proof works because it is the ultimate sales pitch.
It is the sales pitch because you, as the seller, don’t have to sell.
You let your clients demonstrate the value of your product.
How to make a testimonial ad
Nothing easier than making a testimonial ad.
Of course, you need happy customers.
If you can find at least one… 🙂 Ask that customer to give a sincere opinion about your product.
A great way to proceed with this is to ask the customer for a filmed interview.
If the customer is up for it, it’s a great piece of content.
For the interview in itself, you don’t need anything particularly fancy.
Set up a meeting room with a camera (phone is good enough), a mic. and enough light (add spots if you can). That’s it.
Bring the customer and tell her/him to forget about the camera.
Just have a conversation with your customer.
Ask them about their experience with your product. Great things will come out of this. And it will look natural, authentic.
Of course, make sure you have your customer’s approval to broadcast this material on your ads later on.
This example from Adespresso uses a Carousel Ad format. It is a great way to showcase all the testimonials at once without overwhelming the ad.
The ad copy is very lean so that the attention of the user can be focused on the testimonials.
Facebook Ad Template #4 – The “Messenger Experience” Ad.
With ads on Messenger users can see the ad, click on it and interact with your company.
You can literally start conversations with your prospects. And it’s not just a figure of speech.
You can walk them through your offer and help them with their purchase. You can also offer them content.
In this example, a toy retailer decided to help parents find a great gift for their child for Christmas.
They used a video ad that sends to a messenger bot:
You can see how this ad is great at relating the customer’s problem: “Struggling for gift ideas?” and then creating an urgency to solve this problem: “The Christmas countdown is on”.
Once you hit that “Send message button” you are sent to a messenger bot that will guide you in finding the perfect gift.
The bot asks a few questions about the child and then recommends some gifts.
The gifts are links to the product pages:
This toy retailer managed to generate 4.9 million British pounds in incremental sales thanks to this ad and a 38x ROI.
How do you create a Messenger ad?
Well, you can go to the Facebook Ad Manager and click on the green “Create” button to start the Facebook campaign creation process.
Choose the “Messages” objective.
In the “Ad Set” section, nothing changes. You can configure your audience, budget, timing, and ad placements as you see fit.
It’s at the advertising level that it changes. Instead of putting a link to your website, you will have to press the “Change Messenger Configuration” button.
Then, all you have to do is configure the message that will be sent automatically via Messenger when the person clicks (the message can’t be longer than 140 characters).
Prepare in advance a scenario with frequently asked questions and your answers.
Facebook Ad Template #5 – The “Bringing People to Your Event” Ad.
Events are stressful! You invest money and time and have no guarantee that people will show up!
Facebook can help you in 2 ways here: 1) Organizing and giving information about your event. 2) Targeting potential customers for that event.
Facebook can help you organize your event through a Facebook Event page. Event pages give all the necessary info about your event but more than that – it can help create virality around your event.
The event page lives “within Facebook which makes it easy for any user to share with their friends and spark word of mouth.
This club, for example, has been using Facebook Events for its event promotions. They create the Event page even before the tickets are sold to get the hype going and get organic interactions.
Once the event page is launched, you can use Facebook Event Ads to boost the reach of the page.
You can consider multiple targeting options.
This movie screening service for example targets people within a 50 miles radius of the movie theatre. They also filter by movie interest and demographics.
They also integrated Eventbrite to their Facebook Event. This way the users could purchase the tickets without leaving Facebook!
How do you create an Event Ad?
You can go to your Facebook Event page and click on the 3 dots menu then “Sell more Tickets.
This will open the Ads Manager and select the Traffic objective. You can also choose the conversion objective, especially if your ticket sales happen directly on Facebook. The Traffic objective is best suited if you are making the sale outside Facebook.
By the way, you can use also an event custom audience on top of every other audience. Here is who you can target:
People who have responded with Going or Interested, people who have responded with Going, people who have responded with Interested, people who have visited the event page, people who have liked, shared or commented on the event page, people who have engaged with the ticketed events on Facebook and either have purchased or haven’t purchased tickets, people who have purchased tickets on Facebook, people who haven’t purchased tickets on Facebook.
Facebook Ad Template #6 – The “Upselling” & “Cross-selling” Ads
Upselling means persuading the customer to buy a more expensive option.
A great example of upselling is marketing the premium version of software to someone using the free version.
If you are an Evernote user like me, you should have noticed how Evernote is upselling you to move to the premium version of their software. They want you to upgrade, that’s upselling.
Do not confuse upselling and cross-selling.
Cross-selling is selling an additional (different) product to your customer.
Lunch menus in restaurants are great examples of cross-selling. You get dessert + a drink on top of your main course if you get the menu. That’s cross-selling. You were buying the main course but you are getting something additional through a bundle via the menu.
Whether you are upselling or cross-selling, the idea here is to increase the average deal value with your customers.
Facebook is a great tool for upselling and cross-selling campaigns, thanks to re-targeting!
Retargeting works in this case if you make sure to apply 2 things: personalization and exclusivity.
You need to make sure your ad is personalized. For that, you should use Dynamic Ads.
Also, you should make your offer exclusive. The offer has to be unique and limited.
If a client just bought from you an item, you need to give them a compelling reason to come back and buy more or something else as soon as possible.
How to make an “Upsell” or “Cross-sell” ad?
We are going to be using Dynamic Ads.
To make Dynamics Ads you need to set up your Facebook pixel and a product catalog.
Facebook will automatically know what products to show in order to upsell or cross-sell.
It is very well explained on this Facebook page.
Some airlines do a great job of trying to upsell you.
As soon as you book a flight with Qatar Airways, they will have a whole funnel ready for you to try and push you to upgrade your flight seat and get additional service.
Facebook Ad Template #7 – The “Check Out My Other Content” Ad
You invest a lot in your content only to realize that without distribution that content is not worth much.
In marketing, content is sadly only worth the reach and engagement it generates. I am saying sadly because many amazing content creators remain unnoticed because they don’t know how to distribute their content.
Facebook Ads can help you reach eyeballs for your blog content.
I know it is not ideal because there is no direct ROI there, but still, it can work in driving back traffic.
You can use a Carousel Ad for example. You would set up your newest blog articles for blog visitors who haven’t visited in a while.
That’s a great way to re-engage your readers.
The carousel format is an engaging format and using your most popular articles, it is likely that your former readers will come back.
How do I create a “Check Out My Other Content” ad?
Well, you still need to use personalized audiences for Facebook retargeting.
Create a personalized audience of your blog visitors. Set up the timeframe you want, for example, visitors to your blog in the last 60 days. Choose 3-5 articles and present them in a carousel.
You now have a great ad that will help you re-engage readers of your blog.
Here is an example of a blog showcasing articles in a carousel format.
Facebook Ad Template #8 – The “Here is something valuable for FREE” Ad
Ok, we all love free stuff.
And Facebook is a great vehicle to distribute free content, samples or trials.
Facebook users come on the platform for entertainment; unlike a Google search where the average user is often just passing by and looking for a quick answer.
You could argue that the average Facebook user is more prone to consuming/enjoying new content on the spot. Even if he just stumbled upon that new content and had no intention of consuming it in the first place. Am I making sense?…😊
All of this is just to say, Facebook is a great vehicle to distribute all that FREE stuff you have.
Of course, that free offer has to be valuable to the viewer as well. Even if they don’t sign up for your free offer, it is always a great way to build your brand. It’s always better to come with a gift than with a straight sales pitch. Well…You know that [it’s marketing 101].
In the ad itself, make sure they see that you understand the problem you are trying to solve for them. Grab their attention with a great hook and show you are aware of what they are going through.
Hubspot, for example, is great at building free content and using it to spearhead its marketing strategy.
The ad copy here relates to the problem they are trying to solve with this piece of content. The portrait with the name makes it look more legit, more human and more relatable.
Facebook Ad Template #9 – The Driving Signups for Your Mailing List Ad.
Email marketing is still considered to be one of the top revenue drivers for companies, whether B2B or B2C.
Sadly, too many marketers still undervalue the power of their mailing list.
Facebook Ads can help you grow your email list. Especially with one format called the Lead Ad.
This format enables you to boost signups and increase awareness of your newsletter for example.
These ads include a form where Facebook users can fill in their names and email addresses directly and sign up for your mailing list, on the spot, on Facebook.
On top of that, Facebook prefills the information in the form, so the user really just has to hit the subscribe button and be done.
The process is less painful for the user than any landing page you could set up.
Make sure the ad copy and the images sell the value of joining your mailing list.
This ad was run by Cook’s Illustrated. They advertise their newsletter of foolproof recipes. The ad copy is a great example of showing the value of subscribing. Plus the animated image helps the ad pop out in the feed.
Once you click on the call-to-action sign up you have this custom message above.
The Best Resources Online for FREE Facebook Templates
This should be your go-to place every time you think about a new ad concept.
Facebook developed this tool as a new way to create mockups. It works great.
Once you have designed your ads you can share them with anyone and experience your work as though it’s live.
You can try every format.
This Ad library is an amazing way to see what any company is doing on Facebook Ads.
It’s a great way to find ad copy examples, get inspired, look at what your competitors are doing.
Overall it’s a great way to see what works and what doesn’t.
You cannot read the performances of each ad. However, you can see which ones have been active for a longer time.
The longest they are active, the more likely it is that they perform well.
If you want to get inspired you can take a look at the Success Stories website by Facebook.
It’s a great place to get inspired by what other companies have done. And in this case, you actually have metrics for each campaign.
So if you are trying to sell a Facebook budget to your boss, you can go there and find a lot of case studies.
You can even search for specific case studies by business size, objective, industry, ad product, and region!
On the success story page, you can usually see the full ad with the ad copy, the creatives, the call to actions…
All the specs you need to make your campaign work.
Adespresso wrote a great piece about Facebook Ads templates. You can check out their article but also download their dedicated ebook on the topic! You can visit it here.
I love Canva. Canva is a design tool where you can work on your ad creative online. They have built these banks of free templates for a lot of topics. You can use them on the spot and download your creative for free!