Why this happens and what to do about it!
We realised this week that there are some things that we as social media advertisers just take for granted. We’ve been in the social media advertising space for years, specialising in Facebook ads (and now Instagram) and there are certain aspects of the job that we think go without saying but to most business owners who are just trying to make social media ads work for them these aspects aren’t obvious.
Why don’t Facebook let you have much text in your ad images?
A local business asked us on one of our Instagram posts whether we think Facebook will ever remove the text on ad images rule. We were taken back a bit by this as the rule was first introduced quite a few years ago, and since then Facebook has sort of already gotten rid of the rule as it used to be. The rule used to be that any ad with text on more than 20% of your image would not be approved. Sometime in 2016 Facebook announced that they were removing this rule and most of us got pretty excited. But then it turned out they were just changing the way the rule was applied. Rather than disapproving ads that have more than 20% text in them, they were limiting ad’s reach based on how much text was in the image. So the more text in an ad image, the less it will be delivered.
The reason for the text limitations is because Facebook believes images with lots of text look spammy and they want to give their users and more pleasurable experience when scrolling through their newsfeeds. We mostly agree with this but we think the execution of the rules has been questionable. It does force businesses to focus on good quality attention-grabbing images instead of just forcing huge headlines in people’s faces. But when adding things like logos and taglines to your ads means that they don’t reach as many people it’s pretty infuriating.
What to do about it?
- The first thing you should be doing is concentrating on high-quality images that grab your audience’s attention and also tell the story of your ad. A picture speaks 1000 words and all that… This will help your brand look more professional anyway so it’s win-win.
- Think about videos. All the text that you want to include in your image, you could just say to the camera in a video. Add subtitles for those who don’t watch with sound and you’ve got yourself an ad with all the text in it that you wanted.
- If you’re unsure if your image will be flagged by Facebook as having too much text then use their text overlay tool: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay