What makes an ad stand out? Josh Miguel, digital marketing manager, and Marcio Chiaradia, sr. e-commerce marketing manager from Onestop, joined AdRoll’s Chris Staton to discuss the dos and don’ts of creating ad creative that performs.

Q: What is your approach to Facebook ads, given the character limitations on text?

Chris: Facebook’s 20% rule on type really restricts designers with what you can do with the type on an ad. What it’s caused us to do has been to strip down an ad to its core elements, and figure out what we really want to focus on there. Don’t forget that there’s also going to be copy surrounding the ad, so make sure you don’t neglect that. Believe it or not, people actually read the intro and the body copy that surrounds that ad unit. So use those, and don’t have those be an afterthought.

Keep your most compelling message within the ad itself, and if you keep that short and punchy, you can bring up the size so it’s more prominent and eye-catching. Start with 3–5 words; if it’s compelling, people will take the time to read what’s around it.

Q: What are some ways to differentiate retargeting ads from your prospecting or regular branding ads?

Josh: Here, definitely play around with dynamic ads. Dynamic ads are excellent for retargeting, because you’re pulling in and featuring products that users have already demonstrated an interest in, or are related to ones they’ve browsed. Say, for example, that a user added a pair of shoes to their shopping cart via your site, but never completed the purchase. Perhaps they went to look for a promotion code, were comparison-shopping elsewhere, or simply got distracted. By retargeting the user with the specific pair of shoes they demonstrated an interest in, you can remind them of that interest and bring them back to your site. As opposed to a branding ad or more upper-funnel initiative, these will be much more targeted and personalized for individual users.

Q: What performs better for your CTA: a button format, or just text?

Marcio: It’s really hard to say that one solution will fit every occasion. That’s why it’s important that you do some A/B testing to see what’s working well for your audience, with your messaging. It’s always good practice to do some testing—you can pretty quickly determine which ad will be the winner. Depending on what the ad is about, the situation may be different. It really depends on what you’re trying to advertise.


For more creative best practices and campaigns that attract, convert, and keep customers, check out our webinar, The Art and Science of Creative.