A few weeks ago, I started testing a “new” Facebook format that I am calling a Photo Link Ad.
I may not be the first person to ever use this ad format, but it is not commonly used on Facebook and it can definitely increase the exposure your ad gets and set it apart from your competition in the News Feed.
First, let’s take a look at the two most common ad formats, Link Ads and Photo Ads. Then, I will explain why this new ad format is different and even provide you with the code so you can set up one of your own.
Photo Ads and Link Ads
Photo Ads and Link Ads are not new to Facebook. Each type of advertisement format has it’s own advantages and it’s own disadvantages.
Photo Ads are probably the ad format that I use most when advertising on Facebook. A Photo Ad is simply an advertisement featuring a photo and a description.
The example above is a Photo Ad I ran for about a week on one of my Facebook Pages. If the user seeing this ad on their News Feed were to click on the big image that says Explode Your Social Media Reach, Facebook would just open the image in a window like this:
I have included a link to the FPTraffic Blog (this blog) in the description of the photo so my hope is that many of the people who see this advertisement will click on that link and explore our blog.
The link clickthrough rate on these types of advertisements is typically lower than a normal Link Ad, but they usually get more overall engagement (Likes, Comments, and Shares).
The Link Ad format has a higher link clickthrough rate than a Photo Ad. Facebook will generate a link preview image, title, and description that is shown to the user that they can click to go to the link you are advertising.
In the example above, I have created a Link Ad for my blog and although there is no link in the description, if the user clicks on the link section of the advertisement, they will be taken to my blog.
This is the most common way to advertise a link on Facebook and typically you’ll see a fairly high clickthrough rate and a lot of traffic to the website you are advertising.
However, what if you could combine the larger image size of an Image Ad with the higher clickthrough rate of a Link Ad? Well, now you can.
Photo Link Ad
I am calling the new ad format that you can create from a few lines of code the Photo Link Ad format because it combines the Photo Ad and Link Ad formats.
In the example Photo Link Ad above, I am advertising this article on how to get more engagement by boosting your posts, but I am doing it through a special page I created that generates the giant link preview image you see above.
The photo in the ad is different than a normal Photo Ad because when you click it, it does not take you to the window on Facebook. Instead, it opens the blog article.
You can try the example post above for yourself here. Feel free to share it with your friends 🙂
How Does a Photo Link Ad work?
The Photo Link Ad format works by creating a preview image using Facebook’s Open Graph Meta Tags. By using those tags, you can tell Facebook what image to show as the preview for the link. Facebook will set that image as the preview and then you create a meta refresh so when the user clicks the link to view the image, they are redirected to whatever website you want them to go to (in the example above, the article on this blog).
That may sound complicated, but the code is very easy to setup.
Photo Link Ad Code
The HTML code below should be added to a new file in your website that you want to use as a redirect. This is the link that you will post on your Facebook Page to generate the large Photo Link Ad image.
Copy and paste the code below to a new file on your website and I will explain what each section means.
There are 3 different options to the entire code that you need to edit:
- PAGE TITLE – A title for the link you are advertising. It does not show on Facebook, but I still recommend putting something relevant.
- IMAGE URL – The photo image URL that will display on Facebook. I recommend uploading a 800×800 image file to the same site you are going to copy/paste this code onto.
- WEBSITE URL – The website URL you want people to be taken to when they click the image from your IMAGE URL that will display on Facebook.
By default, I have set the image:width and image:height of the preview image to 800. I recommend you keep this and use a square 800×800 image for your IMAGE URL.
You can use Facebook’s Sharing Debugger to test what your link will look like when it’s shared before actually sharing it.
I have had quite a bit of success promoting these new Photo Link Ads. Facebook has approved a bunch of different ads I’ve submitted using this format and my clickthrough rate has been great.
I recommend you give them a try as well. Let us know how they work for you in the comments below and if you’re looking to get more engagement on your Facebook Page, give FPTraffic a try 🙂