The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 1: Color


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Does it matter which color your business logo is? Is there actually going to be an effect if your advertising campaign employs blue and silver vs. red and black?

This article will explore the science and psychology behind Facebook advertising. I’ll provide you with real-world examples of current Facebook Ads and give you concrete, meaningful takeaways that could mean the difference between a successful ad and a flop.

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The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 1: Color

  1. 1. The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 1: Color
  2. 2. The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 1: Color 1 What is color psychology and why should I care? 2 Blue 3 Green 4 Purple
  3. 3. The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 1: Color 5 Red 6 Black 7 Orange 8 Contrast 9 Shades and Hues
  4. 4. 1 What is color psychology and why should I care?
  5. 5. What is color psychology and why should I care? Color Psychology is the exploration of the impact of color on perceptions, reactions, and emotions. In advertising it’s used strategically to increase engagement, elicit a desired action, and create a specific feeling related to your brand or product. Experienced advertisers will know that it is often the little things that have the biggest impact: ● Changing the color of a CTA button on your website’s landing page can increase conversion rates by 14.5%. ● Adding a colored border around your Facebook Ad image can double its CTR. ● Contrasting the color of two links within a single image can increase conversion rates by 60%
  6. 6. 2 Blue
  7. 7. Blue Blue is most people’s favorite color (35% of women and 57% of men). It is said to create the sensation of trust and security. Lighter blues are calming while darker blues denote professionalism and sincerity. 1 How you can use it: Use blue as your primary color only if you’re including accents of oranges, reds or yellows, as otherwise it will blend into Facebook’s color scheme. 2 Blue is used by many computing companies because it symbolizes intelligence, and efficiency. If you want to communicate these emotions, consider blue as well. 3 If you’re selling food, don’t use the color blue as many people associate it with illness and mold.
  8. 8. 3 Green
  9. 9. Green Associated with wealth as well as environmental subjects, green is the easiest color for the eye to process. Green also signifies positive action (think,’green means go’) and affirmation. 1 How you can use it: The main goal of color in advertising is to drive a certain emotion or attract the eye. The pale green that has used above doesn’t attract the eye and creates a complete lack of urgency or direction. 2 Stronger, darker or more vibrant greens are very effective as they contrast well, yet don’t create the pushiness of colors like orange and red. 3 Test the use of teal with a social offer, discount code or coupon ad.
  10. 10. 4 Purple
  11. 11. Purple Associated with calm, femininity, and wealth, purple is the second most popular color among women, at 23%. Interestingly, as women get older, their liking for the color purple increases. On the other hand, purple is the favorite color of 0% of the male population. 1 How you can use it: I’d recommend using purple only if your target demographic is women, as it’s men’s second-least-favorite color (behind only brown). 2 If your Facebook Ad talks about increasing profits or ROI, use green or purple to communicate wealth. 3 If your target demographic is middle aged, or elderly, use only purple, white or blue.
  12. 12. 5 Red
  13. 13. Red The color red is associated with passion, excitement and urgency. It attracts the eye better than any other color and gives the impression that time is passing faster than it is (as it causes our heart to beat faster) causing us to act when we otherwise wouldn’t. 1 How you can use it: I don’t recommend using red as your Facebook Ad’s primary color. People find too much of the color intimidating, forceful, and pushy. 2 I do recommend using red to draw attention to parts of your ad, like around a Callto-Action, value proposition or as a border. 3 Red is extremely useful to use in contrast with other, more professional colors like dark grey, blue and green.
  14. 14. 5 6 Black
  15. 15. Black Powerful, sleek and intellectual, black signifies permanence, sincerity and sophistication. While black can, like red and orange, be a dangerous color if used too much, it can also communicate professionalism and sophistication. 1 2 How you can use it: Black should be used if your company is looking to create a sincere brand profile. If you want to promote your business as fun and engaging, I’d steer clear of black as your primary color. If you are looking to create a fun and engaging business persona on Facebook, use hues of orange, red, green or blue with black text, as you run the risk of clashing colors with other colors (including white).
  16. 16. 7 Orange
  17. 17. Orange Eye-catching, bright and sunny, orange is one of the most popular colors for landing page Calls-to-Action. While a good tone and amount of orange is seen as warm and inviting, too much has been associated with naivete and a lack of professionalism. 1 How you can use it: I’d recommend something very similar to what Wishpond has done above. The use of three bright colors is extremely effective at grabbing a user’s attention. 2 Orange is one of the best and most eye-catching colors available to Facebook Advertisers, use it around calls-to-action, and as a border around a non-eyecatching product.
  18. 18. 8 Contrast
  19. 19. Contrast Contrast is essential when working with Facebook Ads. The human eye is naturally attracted to contrasting color. This can have either negative or positive effects depending on the color. In 2010, Paras Chopra ran a four week multivariate test (above) that is often used as an example of the power of color contrasting. For four weeks he tested the performance of 12 different combinations of a Call-to-Action and descriptive link. Option 10, with the largest contrast in color, hue and size (as well as the word Free) generated a 60% improvement in conversion rate, with a 99% confidence rating.
  20. 20. 9 Shade and TInts
  21. 21. Shade and Tints Studies show that men prefer bright colors significantly more than women, while women have a strong preference for soft colors. It is essential you keep this in mind when targeting your Facebook Ad. The Facebook Ads below were on my News Feed (hockey jerseys) and my colleague Krista’s (Quiet Jasmine Sleep Serenity Febreze). After this, shades and tints are a somewhat tricky creature. For instance, there are more than 300 recognized shades of red. Which one means aggression and negativity and which warmth and excitement? I recommend internally testing your colors (with colleagues), and then A/B testing them over the course of your Facebook Ad campaign.
  22. 22. Further Reading 1 How to A/B Test your Facebook Ads to Maximize ROI 2 The 9 Facebook Ad Mistakes that are Hurting your ClickThrough-Rate 3 6 Facebook Ad Image Best Practices that will Send your Click-through-Rate to the Moon 4 7 Value Proposition Formulas to Boost Conversion on Ads and Landing Pages
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