Fun Ways to Improve Facebook Ad CTRs

SMS Text

Driving traffic to your website or Fan page through Facebook advertising is becoming a popular trend these days. And for good reason too! Facebook is easily capable of sending you thousands of highly targeted visitors! But with all of the advertising Facebook users are subjected to, what can you do to make your ad stick out?

Traditionally, Facebook ad click-through rates (CTRs) are pretty horrible. From my research I’ve seen that an average performing ad will have about a 0.02% CTR. A few weeks ago when I had decided that I wanted to use Facebook ads to drive awareness to a contest I was running called RavenHunt, I found my ads falling into that average category (or worse!). I had setup these two ads:

Facebook adFacebook ad

The “Play RavenHunt and Win!” ad had a CTR of 0.017%, and the “Win a Free FlipHD Camera!” advertisement’s CTR was higher at 0.022%. Not bad CTRs by Facebook standards, but I wanted something more. So I asked myself, “Self, if you were the target audience for these ads and were putzing around on Facebook – what would make you click on an ad?” What I wasn’t considering was that my target audience (Internet Marketers) are used to these types of ads. In fact, they are the type of people who create ads just like these.

So that’s when I decided to get silly. People love to laugh, and it was my theory that if you had a funny enough ad you’d be able to increase your CTRs. Additionally, I knew that I needed images that naturally drew a person’s attention to them. I needed kittens and puppies.

And that’s when I created these two ads that doubled my CTRs:

Facebook adFacebook adFacebook ad

The “Puppies Are Awesome” ad had a CTR of 0.04% and the “This is a cat.” ad was just shy of that at “0.039%”. So by adding some fun to my Facebook ads, my CTRs increased. That got me thinking again – is there a way to combine the two approaches and still maintain a higher CTR?

And that’s when I created the ad, “A Game for SEOs by SEOs”:

This ad had a 0.06% CTR and didn’t go overboard on the silliness. Instead, it spoke to it’s target audience more appropriately, and still had a less than standard headline.

It just goes to show that with the right creativity and the right amount of effort, you can make significant differences to your Facebook ad campaigns. Now if only I can get that number up to 0.1%. Stay tuned.

Taylor Pratt is the Product Marketing Manager at Raven Internet Marketing Tools. With Raven you can conduct research and analysis, manage link building campaigns, track search engine trends, instantly produce ROI reports for SEO and SMM campaigns, and collaborate with team members with intuitive multi-user features.

Taylor Pratt
Taylor Pratt is the Product Marketing Manager at Raven Internet Marketing Tools. With Raven you can conduct research and analysis, manage link building campaigns, track... Read Full Bio
Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Peter Gould

    Hi Taylor,

    Great post – always good to read about the different experiences people are having with Facebook advertising! Just out of interest, for the two adverts with the puppies and cat, what were the response/conversion rates like with these compared to your other versions? I would be concerned that whilst they may have encouraged greater CTRs, that bounce rates may be a little higher on the targeted landing pages.



    • pratt

      Great question, Peter. The conversion point we used were for increases in fan count (from the RavenHunt page where the ads directed traffic). Those two ads had about a 1.5% increase in those additions, and we’re working on a way to better track if they actually participated in the contest. That has proven to be tricky given the way the contest is currently setup.

      I really think it comes down to what you are trying to get the Facebook traffic to do, but users seem to have a more open mind to engaging with your site given that their first impression was a positive one with those types of ads.

  • Dan

    Was the only metric CTR you looked at? How about sign-up rate? Did that increase?

    • pratt

      We were only looking at CTR for this campaign because there were no other conversion points. We were just trying to drive awareness and generate additional interest in the scavenger hunt. We noticed a very small % of folks ended up signing up for one of our free trials.

  • John Paul Aguiar

    Thats awesome,, I ran some ads for my new Twitter book and was gettign a ctr of 0.029%

    To me that

    Have to try the silly tip. Would sexy work too? Wonder is a sexy add would pull better then a funny ad.

    • pratt

      I think it depends on what your audience is. For this particular audience I think they would have been glanced over, and since yours is similar my guess would be no.

      Still, I’d run a test to be sure. Let’s us know what you find out!

  • John Scott Cothill

    Recently completed a campaign for Valentine’s Day. What we found was, driving FB ads to fan page (thus getting an extra CTA button) helped heaps (0.101% CTR).

    HOWEVER – the FB fan page was not suppose to be the last POC, so the CTR between the following:
    FB Ad -> Final Destination
    FB Ad -> Fan Page -> Final Destination
    … noticed that (obviously), the more clicks to get to final destination, the lower the visitor rate was.

    Not all was at loss… the ad that went via fan page was still better that direct. Why? 1) Sign-up was higher 2) Now have a new form of communication, so ROI wise, having the ad go via fan page and being becoming a ‘fan’ means we can message them whenever we want. Any further FB ads will just help us progress that further.

    • pratt

      That’s fantastic to hear! I was planning on running a similar test for the next RavenHunt game (which starts on March 22nd). The best advice anyone can get with any type of paid advertising is to test, test and test again.

  • Robert Enriquez

    We were running FB ads for @SearchExchange , and had two different ads

    1. title was 3day Conference
    2. title was Cheap SEO conference

    my budget for the first was never depleted on a per day budget
    budget on the 2nd was depleted before 12pm !

    We used the same picture and text…just different titles.

    Try Cheap SEO tool…….maybe it’ll work…maybe not πŸ™‚

    just my .02 cents πŸ™‚

    • pratt

      I love it! Using words like “cheap” and “free” traditionally do well in Adwords ads (I have found), so it makes perfect sense. I’m surprised how well it works for our user-group since we are the people who typically make ads like that. Very interesting data.

  • Al Kuenn

    Great article! Interesting that your ‘typical’ response rate is .02%…that what we tend to find our client campaigns settle into after awhile. The key is to test and refresh content. A consistent .03% makes a big difference in cost.

    BTW, you typically can get very high CTR for new ads on Facebook…for a while. You may want to run your test for a while to see that the CTR holds up. Facebook ads have a serious tendency to burnout quickly.

  • Kieran

    The point being with Facebook Ads is that you have to stand out from the crowd – get peoples attention and do whatever you can to get them to click. Puppies and kittens are a unrealistic example for brands but the idea of being “different” is interesting. The question is how different can you be while maintaining brand integrity?

    Have you seen any similar results with copy testing or is it just with the image?

    • pratt

      The best example of testing copy I’ve done is with the “Win a FlipHD Camera” and “A Game For SEOs By SEOs” ads. The images are virtually the same. In my opinion if you aren’t able to make yourself stand out with the images, content is definitely the next best thing.

  • SysComm

    It’s interesting to see what actually gets people to click on an ad. Copy and picture need to go hand in hand for success, especially on Facebook, where the competition is horrible… Every time I refresh the page I get new ads, that I usually ignore..

  • soapbartender

    I agree that the picture must be relevant to the ad…but it still has to grab attention. I’ve also found that humor works pretty well, as does asking a question in the title. The highest I’ve been able to get is .o6% though. Glad to see it’s not just me.

  • Joanna Batten

    I don’t think the picture needs to be relevant to the ad. As you can see, Pratt had a relevant ad in the first test. Truthfully, the pictures just weren’t that interesting. I glanced right over them and went straight to the content. That is because I was reading this article but if I actually came across the pictures on FB, I would not have even read the content. I would have immediately moved on to some other random FB activity. The cute pictures caught my eye. They made me want to read the content and the given the titles were simply ridiculous, I loved that. They made me want to read more. The irrelevant pictures in test two had higher CTR. Despite the fact that I personally am attracted to humor, I would agree that a more appropriate headline geared toward the audience would likely take the cake.

    Random- any ideas for an indie music ad on FB. Interested in hearing thoughts so if you listen to that type of music I would love to know what would catch your eye.

    • pratt

      Would be happy to help out Joanna. Send me some more info at taylor -at- raventools -dot- com and I’ll see what I can think of!

  • sarah

    Have the option to send posts&pictures through snail mail to the elder family members who don’t use computers & facebook users who are too busy to print, address & send to grandma who never gets updates on her children. Maybe buy credits in advance–use with a click.

  • RubyDo

    Thanks Taylor for sharing this!

    I like this ” So I asked myself, “Self, if you were…” πŸ™‚

  • Andy Cook

    Love the animal ads! Haha Facebook may be the way to go now over AdSense…I think a well picked image definitely helps draw eyes and clicks and you can't get that with AdSense most of the time.

  • DFB Trikot

    nice idea – i have started my first facebook ad campaign this week and wondered if a click through rate of 0,096% is good or bad (of course it always depends…) maybe i will try some of your ideas in my next campaign. thx.

  • jordan kern

    Pratt, thanks so much for the interesting tips. I enjoyed reading your post and all of the follow up comments.

  • jordan kern

    Pratt, thanks so much for the interesting tips. I enjoyed reading your post and all of the follow up comments.