The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 2: Images


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Does the image you use in your Facebook Ad really matter? Can it actually make the difference between a successful Ad campaign and a flop?

In the second part of this three part series on the psychology of Facebook Ads I’ll dive into the science of of images.

I’ll examine image types and strategies to give you the most informed decision you can to optimize your image for conversions. I’ll give you real-world examples of these strategies and tell you exactly how you can use this knowledge for your business.

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The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 2: Images

  1. 1. The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 2: Images
  2. 2. The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 2: Images 1 What is image psychology and why should I care? 2 Eye Contact 3 The Power of a Smile 4 Metaphor
  3. 3. The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 2: Images 5 Camera Angle 6 Models/Celebrities 7 Surrealism 8 Sex 9 Gender
  4. 4. 1 What is image psychology and why should I care?
  5. 5. What is image psychology and why should I care? Image psychology is the study of images in terms of their elicited emotion. In digital marketing and advertising it’s an essential science to be aware of, as the images you choose really do make a difference to conversions. Why should you care? ● The addition of an image to HubSpot’s landing page generated 24% more lead generation form submittals ● When IGN multivariate tested its homepage it found that changing a thumbnail image from abstract to an image of a person increased interaction by 11% ● The position of a camera can change the way people feel about the subject from pitying to impressed
  6. 6. 2 Eye Contact
  7. 7. Eye Contact Eye-contact is the chief factor in non-verbal communication - something that makes up more than half of the meaning we take from a conversation. It’s equally essential in advertising as eye-contact, no matter the medium, denotes trust, friendliness and openness. 1 How you can use it: Use color psychology to decide on the best color to catch a Facebook user’s eye. 2 Use a close-up face and eye-contact to keep a reader’s attention. 3 Use an attractive face with good eye-contact to communicate friendliness and trustworthiness
  8. 8. 3 The Power of a Smile
  9. 9. The Power of a Smile Smiles are, almost internationally, a symbol of friendliness and openness. They are also universally understood to improve the attractiveness of the subject - which we all know has a huge influence on sales. In a recent A/B Split test, images with a person smiling vs not-smiling increased a software developer’s profits by 10.7% over 5 weeks (with an initial improvement of 50%).
  10. 10. 4 Metaphor
  11. 11. Metaphor As a culture, there are certain images to which we attribute metaphorical value. Think about a heart, which we know ‘means’ love. An elephant we understand represents size. Metaphorical images can have huge influence in your Facebook Ad, especially considering the limited words you’re allowed (25 in the headline and 90 in the body text). 1 How you can use it: There are many animals and objects which we unconsciously associate with certain ideas. 2 Think about trees to communicate age, beavers to communicate industry, etc. 3 People also love the use of pets and animals in social media.
  12. 12. 5 Camera Angle
  13. 13. Camera Angle Students of cinematography will know the power of camera angle, and how it affects the audience’s view of a character. Keeping this in mind when choosing your Facebook Ad image is essential, as mis-using it can create some truly adverse reactions. 1 How you can use it: If you’re trying to sell a career or increase in wealth or savings, use an image where the camera is looking up at the subject 2 If you’re promoting your company over another, perhaps using a comparison value proposition, use an image looking down at the subject
  14. 14. 5 6 Models/Celebrities
  15. 15. Models/Celebrities Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies sell what are called ‘low involvement’ products, which are well represented by models or celebrities. For B2B companies, however, it’s vital you create a connection with your customer. People find it easier to do connect with someone who looks like them. 1 2 How you can use it: You don’t necessarily have to splurge on hiring a model for your next campaign, consider someone from your office as the face of your product Test what your audience responds to. SaaS businesses sell both their product itself and connection with their company, so see what works best for you with A/B Testing
  16. 16. 7 Surrealism
  17. 17. Surrealism Perhaps as much as sex appeal, surreal images cause people to examine an image for a significant length of time. Length of view is incredibly important in advertising. People see 90% of advertisements on any given page. However, they only remember seeing 55% of those advertisements. Time matters. Apparently the barrier that advertisers need to break through is at 2.75 seconds. 1 How you can use it: Use an odd perspective to make your product seem unnaturally large 2 Use an image of a pet or animal ‘using’ or wearing your product 3 Get creative and come up with something funny or odd to break the 2.75 second barrier
  18. 18. 8 Sex
  19. 19. Sex A discussion of image psychology has to include a look at sex appeal. Sex sells, it’s unavoidably true. The attraction to images of sexually appealing people is evolutionarily built into us, and ignoring it as an option for your Facebook Ad is dumb. 1 How you can use it: If you’re going to use an obviously sexual image, be sure your target audience (young men vs young women vs older generation) will respond positively 2 Be mindful of your product. Does sex appeal work well? Or (like the image above on the right) is it completely random 3 Be careful of creating a negative brand reputation, as many people view sex in advertising in a negative light
  20. 20. 9 Gender
  21. 21. Gender Safe generalizations can be made about appealing to one gender over the other with an image. Numerous psychological and neurological studies have shown that women, for instance, respond more intensely to an image of a baby crying, whereas men respond more to images of social acceptance. 1 2 Women: Images of connection, individuality, relationship/togetherness, respect 1 Colors: purple (femininity), blue (, green (nurturing), orange (warmth) Men: Images of acceptance, affirmation, strength, wealth 2 Colors: red (masculinity), black (sophistication), yellow (emotional strength)
  22. 22. Further Reading 1 How to A/B Test your Facebook Ads to Maximize ROI 2 The Psychology Behind a Successful Facebook Ad Part 1: Color 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
  23. 23. Thank you for viewing! Did you like this presentation? Check out for more! Share our blog! Wishpond makes it easy to run interactive social media marketing campaigns. Learn more at