At the start of June I got engaged. I updated my Facebook status then sat back and watched PPC magic in action. Now every time I visit Facebook I see a whole bunch of ads promoting all things wedding.

And you know what? They suck. Big time.

If you want to advertise on Facebook, make sure you don’t do any of these things. Wedding industry folk, please take note:

Trying To Plan A Wedding?

Trying to plan a wedding? Facebook ad

… As a matter of fact, I am, not a dirty weekend away – so why are you showing me a photo of a hotel room? Oh and kudos for reminding me that I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to wedding planning – I’m not trying to plan a wedding, I’m planning one, thank you very much.

This ad just hit all the wrong notes for me – from the patronising headline to the clash between image and text.

A lack of clarity is the fundamental issue in the ad. This is a hotel chain that can offer a full wedding package, but they don’t tell me this. While using emotive language is important and useful, this shouldn’t be at the expense of understanding.

What Not to Do:

  • Mix your messages. So much information is being thrown my way about weddings that I need things to be simple and direct – tell me what you have to offer and why I should care. Choose an image that reinforces the text.
  • Assume you know best. Try to see the ad from your customer’s perspective and see if it sends out the right message. If you think it does, test it against a similar ad – e.g. one with a different image, or headline, or capitalisation.

Contemporary Photography

contemporary photography Facebook ad

Ooh, I need a photographer, but … I can’t really see your image, it’s just so small … I think it might look nice. Maybe? And while I think about it, what are you hoping I’ll do? Book your services? Give you a call?

The real shame of this ad is that I can see from the website that they are actually fantastic photographers. This image just doesn’t do them justice.

I’m sure it looks fantastic full sized, but when you’ve got a tiny space to work with choose a really simple image. By simple I mean with no background details to distract me, 1 key colour and possibly even a close up so I can actually see what’s happening.

What Not to Do:

  • Choose an image because it looks great full size. Facebook will show you what your ad will look like – that’s your chance to be critical and decide whether the image really shows off your skills.
  • Forget to tell me what to do. I’ve got so many people making demands on me and my time that if I know what you want I’m more likely to do it.

Elegant Steps

Elegant shoes Facebook ad

Firstly, why leave me hanging? “Need Wedding Shoes in” … doesn’t create a great first impression. And then I see that your shoes are ONLY in BIRKENHEAD. Erm, ok.

Using ad text to make sure users self-select (i.e. I don’t live in or near Birkenhead, ergo I won’t bother clicking your ad), is a valid tactic, but there are better methods to use. Advertisers can choose to only show the ads to Facebook users in specific locations, they don’t have to show country-wide.

Location targeting is a huge plus for local businesses, helping to keep costs down by only showing the ads to the people who can make use of the services.

What Not to Do:

  • Publish your ad without proofreading it. Would you create a lovely shop window display and leave the windows dirty? Dodgy spelling and grammar create the same bad impression of your business.
  • Target the whole country if you only want local business. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one city, you can add several and even target a radius around your shop so that your ad gets in front of the right people.

What You Should Do

GettingMarried.co.uk Facebook ad

Finally, an ad I really want to click on.

Not only is there a bright and bold image to catch my eye, but also the text plays on my excitement about being engaged while selling me their service. There’s a specific call to action, and they’ve even encouraged me to click by showing me that a friend already uses them.

Hooray indeed.

My Tips for Facebook Ads Engaged Ladies Will Love

  1. Use a simple, striking picture.
  2. Be clear about what you’re promoting, why I would like – or need – it, and what you want me to do.
  3. Proofread everything. Twice.
  4. Make use of all appropriate targeting options – local businesses should limit where their ads are shown, bigger companies may want to target friends of their existing fans to make the most of the social proof that Facebook offers.
  5. Share our excitement and talk enthusiastically about what you do – if you aren’t passionate about it, why should we be?
  6. Test everything and if it doesn’t work, stop doing it!