Before you spend thousands of dollars creating your next marketing campaign on Facebook Ads, you might want to know there are certain restrictions Facebook places on its users to whether or not its ads get published.
Understanding these restrictions will help you avoid your ads getting banned and potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Its official guidelines can be found here but for those of you that are not interested or don’t have enough time in reading through thousands of lines of text, we’ve taken the liberty to provide you with a quick summary with some insiders tips and tricks we learnt along the way.
Facebook Ads 20/80 Text to Image Ratio
For those of you in Marketing, no, this is not the Pareto Principle. This rule actually refers to Facebook Ads text to image ratio.
We’ve put this tip first because even if you have the world’s best ad that is guaranteed to deliver, if it has too much text it will not get shown at all. In fact, having large amount of text in your ad can reduce its effectiveness in reaching your clients. Anymore than 20% text in your ads and you will have its reach reduced or not shown at all. To check if your text to image ratio is optimal you can use the the Facebook image text check which can be found here.
Don’t Break the Law
If it’s illegal in your country, it will be illegal to advertise on Facebook period. So anything that’s illegal or not suitable for general viewing will not be approved. The following are sensitive/risky products and services: adult products, weapons and explosives, tobacco and related products, drugs and unsafe supplements and other products as determined by Facebook. Other grey areas include dating sites and gambling sites which will require prior approval from Facebook but only if they are legal in your country or state in the first place.
Facebook prefers that you keep your ads on the positive side. So instead of targeting a person’s pain point, you need to focus on the positive outcome it has on them or the actual product itself. Example, images targeting a person’s injury or defect will not be approved. Whereas, the outcome as a result of using said product will be.
Images there are designed to shock or cause discomfort will not get approved. So even though you might an excellent idea similar to the ‘Quit Smoking’ campaign by the Australian Government chances are high it will not get approved.
Also, before and after shots will be rejected. For those of you in the medical or cosmetic based industries, this one can be a little tricky but try to focus on the outcome or your product features rather than your intended customers.
While staying positive can be a good thing. Being too positive can be deem as unrealistic expectations. Weight loss, exercise equipment and healthy meal plans are culprits to this because obviously, it wants to show viewers what can be achieved by using their services and products but what a full time body builder can do in three weeks is very different to an average Joe given the same time frame with full work responsibilities.
Don’t Make it Personal
Avoid ads that are targeted towards a person’s race, religion, name, ethnic origin, believes, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, financial status, membership in trade union, and criminal record among other personal attributes. Which quite literally leaves you with very little room to work with. While it’s understandable that some of the above are sensitive topics, chances are Facebook realises its members are sensitive to their information being shared to other people more than anything else. While Facebook keeps tonnes of information about you in their database (maybe a little too much), they don’t want you to think they’re sharing it to other people.
Instead of making it about your ideal client, focus on the product instead. Below are some examples to help you out.
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Avoid Sarcastic Humour
Aussies for example are known for its tongue in cheek humour but you might want to tone it down a little as Facebook is very sensitive to anything that puts its customers in an uncomfortable position.
For references on what NOT to put and a good laugh – check out these (Sligtly NSFW)
Set a Good Example
When creating ads, always consider if content is suitable for your youngest targeted audience. For example, when creating ads for 13 to 65+ audience , it may not be a good idea to showing people out of school or doing dangerous things. For ‘want to be’ Entrepreneurs audience, you may not want to encourage them to quit their job but rather to ‘grow’ their new business. In short, always set good example and don’t encourage users to do outrageous or sudden life-changing things.
Trust Your Instincts
Facebook got where it is today because of its community so it’s only logical they take precautions to keep them from leaving.
If you think Facebook may or may not chances are likely it won’t be approved. A good way to test if your ad is appropriate is ask yourself if you would show your ad to a close family member? If the answer is no, then chances are Facebook will think the same thing.
In general, don’t upset their user base and you should be fine.
While Facebook doesn’t tell us how their approval process works, we’ve had ad approvals almost instantly to be later disapproved. This could mean that the approval process may be automatic at the beginning for trusted accounts but might be manually approved later on. If you have an ad that’s disapproved in the beginning, you can always appeal it for Facebook to review it.
We hope you enjoy reading this article and that you got something out of it. What are your experiences with Facebook ads and what are some head scratching ads that Facebook rejected? Feel free to share below.