Guest Expert: Jeff Minnichbach from http://www.jeffminnichbach.com
Interviewed by: Eran Malloch
Eran: Hi everyone, it’s Eran Malloch from RealEstateMarketing.net.au here, and today we have a guest speaker who is joining us all the way from where, Jeff?
Jeff: Maryland in the US.
Eran: Ah, good ol’ Maryland! Okay, so this is Jeff Minnichbach and I’ve actually worked with Jeff before when he was, he’s a graphic designer, basically, so that’s his speciality and he’s particularly good at doing Facebook ad images, which is where he and I first met, I think we were working, I think one of the projects we worked on was Robert Kiyosaki’s, ad images for Robert Kiyosaki for some campaigns he ran and a few things like that?
Eran: So anyway, Jeff, maybe start by telling people a bit about yourself, who you are, what you do, all that kind of stuff and then we’ll rock straight into it.
Jeff: Sounds good, so I’ve been designing for about 10, 11 years now and started to follow the trends a little bit over the last few years and see what’s really in the demand for me and it kind of brought me into the ad space so I’ve been focused now for the last couple of years on Facebook and Instagram ad creatives and it’s been a huge explosion of business for me just focusing on that niche and you know, I’ve been able to design for all different kinds of people and companies and some TV celebrities here in the US, it’s been very interesting ride for me for the last few years so you know, I’m focused on basically the ad creative side and getting into animated style ads and video next. That’s obviously video’s taking over most platforms now and the way we market things so it’s important to keep up with everybody else now so that’s kind of where I’m going next is the video and animation world.
Eran: Okay, cool, I know I’ve seen a couple of your little sample ads like the clothing outfit that changes colour and all that sort of stuff and it definitely grabs people’s attention in the newsfeed when they’re swiping through and looking at things. I know you, I mentioned Robert Kiyosaki, that we worked on his stuff together, you’ve done, I think you’ve just been recently doing some ads for was it Christie Brinkley?
Jeff: Christie Brinkley’s skin care line, yeah, and done some stuff for seminars and events for Tony Robbins and way back then did some ads for Tim Ferris‘ campaigns so it’s been a really cool opportunity for me and unfortunately I haven’t met any of those people, I’m dealing with the marketing agencies that are in the middle there, so, you know, either way it’s cool to have that in my portfolio and be able to say that I’ve done stuff like that so, it’s been interesting for sure.
Eran: Indeed, so maybe let’s, let’s jump into, obviously we’re talking primarily about ads for Facebook, mostly, and Instagram obviously is relevant as well because Facebook owns both of them, you know, let’s get your take on it, what’s, I guess, some introductory comments from you about it.
Jeff: There’s so many things, I’ve been learning just this year alone on trends and what’s working well for people and stuff like that, so, you know, I’ve actually seen the animation style ads that I’ve been doing and the video taking over as far as higher engagement for campaigns, lower costs to run the videos, stuff like that, so image ads obviously still work but Facebook knows that video is keeping people on their site longer so they’re letting it run cheaper and you know, the ROI is a lot higher for most people when they run stuff like that so there’s all sorts of different style ads, carousel, static images, now we’ve been doing vertical, the tall images.
Eran: Yep, yep.
Jeff: Canvas, I haven’t gotten into Facebook Canvas ads, but that’s gonna probably be the next spot I move into just because so many people are loving what it does and what it looks like on the back end and stuff.
Eran: Just for those that don’t know, when you say the tall ads you’re talking like if you’ve got your phone, there’s you reflected in the phone, you’re talking about a video or an image that’s that dimension rather than …
Jeff: Exactly, yep, so they’re, I think they’re used primarily for, like, engagement boosting, stuff like that, I don’t know if they work for clicks to website things, but yeah, they’re basically for the mobile users and I’m gonna see if I can, can I share my screen here?
Eran: I hope you can.
Jeff: Let’s see. Share screen, can you see this?
Eran: Yes, I can.
Jeff: Perfect, so I’ll open up a tall, a vertical ad, so this would pretty much fill up the entire real estate on a cell phone, even a tablet as long as you have it in portrait, you know, standing up, so this is kind of the way to go for mobile and even the square sizes like this next one, if I could open it here, so the square ones are also taking up more real estate than the traditional rectangular ads so, you know, we’ve seen a lot of people are, most of their traffic is from mobile devices now, up to 90, 95% mobile so, you know, doing stuff like this that’s gonna fill up the screen that they don’t have to zoom in and try to squint to see things is the way to go so this has become really popular as far as requests for me in just making these different sizes.
Eran: Yeah, so would that be for things like carousel ads for example, or people actually using the square ones just by themselves standing alone as well?
Jeff: Both, yeah, this particular one, like I just posted this on my page and this was just a standalone image but it’s the exact same dimensions, 1080 by 1080 which is for a carousel ad too so I have saved a carousel ad so people can see how it works because I don’t think it costs any more to run carousel versus, you know, static image or something.
Eran: Not that I’m aware of, no.
Jeff: Yeah, and here’s an example here, you probably saw this in my group and this is an example of a carousel ad so just scroll through and you have the opportunity to show up to 10 slides now I think, and underneath you can put text, call to action, stuff like that and it’s just a really cool way to keep people engaged and get interested in what you have to offer so you can tell stories, highlight benefits of a product or service, stuff like that, it’s just a better way to show more without spending more so you don’t have to be stuck to just one image.
Eran: Yeah, and I think, like I see carousel ads becoming more, probably more popular in the real estate space because normally if you, for example, if you’re promoting a home open you probably already have 20 or 30 great photos of the home anyway and so you take the 10 best ones of the 10, say, a different room for each house and each of those can be its own individual unit, like the kitchen, the bathroom, the laundry, the bedroom, that kind of stuff, and each of them has an image and each of them tells a story, you can have the text that goes with them as well.
Jeff: Yeah, they’re, I’ve seen a lot of them in the ecommerce area too, just if they wanna show different shots of a product, so, you know, anything, really it’ll work for.
Eran: Yeah, have you, with the, I know you’ve been, you just did a talk or a presentation for a group of realtors yesterday, I think it was yesterday?
Jeff: Yeah, yesterday, yep.
Eran: So have you had any examples you’ve seen from them, anyone doing anything unique or unusual at this stage?
Jeff: No, I just did the talking, I didn’t get to see anything else from anybody, unfortunately, but you know, I’ve put together some samples for us that we can look at that are related to the real estate field and then I’ll dive into using Canva and Photoshop to make ads and what seems to be the biggest issue is people just don’t understand this text rule for images so I’ll go through the entire process and then get an error message at the end saying you have too much text in your ad and you need to fix it so then you have to start all over again and figure out why it won’t get through so. We’ll go over that as well and I think I gave you a zip file with some design stuff in it for everybody, they can access and there’s a design checklist in here, some things that I like to focus on when designing ads and some of the big things for real estate would be, you know, play off the emotion part or tell a story, you know, stuff like that, it’s some neat tips, just people can try to remember or look at each time they make an ad that will help them stand out, you know, against everybody else.
Eran: I remember when I looked at that, you sent it to me yesterday, and the one I really liked that was the using Google search because that’s a trick that I learned from I think it was Ralph in the agency, DWM agency was when I’m doing an ad, think about, almost the idea or the emotion that you want to express in the ad and go to Google images and do a search for that keyword, just to see what comes up and that can give you some really good ideas when you’re coming up with concepts to create ads, obviously, you don’t steal somebody’s images and copy it, but great way to do brainstorming.
Jeff: And they do have, like, a filter now where you can sort or sift the images by like rights, so there is a section where you can click on reusable or something about being legally allowed to use the images so there are some things like that you can use.
Eran: I tend to be a bit cautious on that because somebody can put it up and mark it as being fine, but it might not be so, I’ll take that one with a grain of salt, I mean, look, let’s be honest, buying stock photos is pretty cheap nowadays.
Eran: I’ve got an account for one, Graphic Stock, it cost me 99 dollars a year for unlimited access to photos, but, you know, most agents, most real estate people are gonna have photos from the property anyway.
Jeff: Exactly, yeah.
Eran: And they can go out, if they wanna profile their local survey, they can just go out with their phone and take photos and some videos anyway, so I think they’re probably one of the industries that are probably less reliant on having a big pile of stock photos.
Jeff: Absolutely, yeah, you don’t wanna have something that’s not real for a property and stuff like that, so.
Eran: Actually, interesting you say that, that makes me realise, a lot of the, because a lot of the action here goes on in the states, when I see a lot of ads in the real estate space, I can instantly spot the ones where the house is an American house because you guys have different roofs and different facades to us, so, you know, if I took a stock photo from, like, I’ve got in my stock library I’ve got a whole pile of stuff that’s for real estate, a couple standing outside of a house with a for sale sign next to it, and you look at it and you go, that is not an Australian house.
Jeff: And I just learned that too, I had a client over in I think it was Australia as well and they were showing me how the roofs there look kind of like the curved style reddish colour, things like that, and I would have never thought about that, so that was a good lesson for me to learn, too, obviously we don’t want to show an American house in Australian markets, so that was a good lesson.
Eran: I’m not sure how good advice it is, but anyway.
Jeff: Yeah. I’m gonna share some cinemagraphs, and I don’t know how many people have heard of these but they’ve been around for a while, I’ve just recently started getting into them. They’re basically moving parts in an image or video while other parts are frozen so it looks very interesting when you see this, so right here, this is water moving. On a book, and I’ll loop this for us so this is actually, it look sl a picture when somebody uploads it, but the water is moving so stuff like this, it’s really grabbing attention and I think in the real estate market anything you can do to stand out amongst everybody else is gonna be ideal and help you become successful.
Eran: And these are essentially videos, right?
Jeff: Yeah, the animation part is, but these were all done from pictures only, so this isn’t even a video file, we added video overlays inside of this part here to make it move but we use a mixture of Photoshop and Adobe After Effects to do some stuff like this and then there’s sites out there, I think one’s called flexsoles or something like that, that can do this with video but this is a really creative way that seems to be working really well for anybody that runs these to get results for their campaigns.
Eran: Yeah, yeah, no, I can definitely see how something like that stands out in the newsfeed, which, I mean, at the end of the day, you’ve gotta get people’s attention so that they stop and read the copy in your ad and hopefully if you’ve done a good job there they’ll click through and have a look at what you’ve got to say.
Jeff: Yeah, we’ve got what, a couple seconds only to grab somebody’s attention, I mean, we all, we’re going through our phones with our thumbs now so fast that you know, we’re not even paying attention to half the stuff we see so I try to always use bright colours in my ads, something that’s not traditional or overly used and I try to stay away from blue like Facebook because I don’t want to attempt to blend in, so.
Eran: Yeah, yeah, that’s something I learned a good few years ago, so.
Jeff: Now these animated style ads, these are the ones you’ve seen from me, now these are obviously in the real estate market here, this is a TV celebrity couple.
Eran: I recognise them.
Jeff: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, they have a show Flip This House on A&E. And this is basically designed to look like a regular image ad on Facebook, but all of a sudden, when you scroll to it it’s moving and it’s looping, you know, an infinite amount of times, this will loop until you scroll by it or click, so.
Eran: That’s awesome.
Jeff: Yeah, these are just like different ways to grab attention, so over here we have like some debris coming off of the countertop. And let’s see, some other ones here. So it’s nothing crazy, we don’t like to get overly creative because I think there’s kind of a fine line between being too minimal and having too much in an attic, going the too much route tends to hurt you. And it looks too much like a sales-y ad that people aren’t gonna interact with so we try to make things that look genuine and native to Facebook and not so much advertisements.
Eran: Yeah, and these are all, what are they like, sort of five seconds or less in most cases, maybe 10 seconds?
Jeff: Yeah, I try to keep ’em under 20 seconds, but these are between like seven to 15 seconds, somewhere around there and we keep them under 20 so they loop automatically.
Eran: Yeah, I think Facebook loops them, is it three times, I think, I don’t know if that’s changed.
Jeff: I think, I don’t know, I think these loop from what I’ve seen continuously, they don’t stop. As long as you’re hovered right on it. You know, I mean, Facebook changes so much it’s hard to say.
Eran: Yeah, yeah, those particular ads, do you mind if I maybe grab a copy of them and stick them up as samples on my website later on?
Jeff: Oh, sure, yeah, no problem.
Eran: Just in case the video doesn’t record the stuff that’s going on on the separate monitor.
Jeff: No, absolutely.
Eran: Yeah, I really like those, they definitely stand out so they’re pretty cool.
Jeff: Yeah, we’ve been doing, like, some video stuff now, let me mute this here, so, and again doing the square sizes is more mobile friendly so we try to use big text and keep it square size or even we’ve done vertical too, video in vertical size is a little difficult because you have to shoot the video with the phone or camera sideways but, you know, stuff like this, just a short 20, 30 second video with text is another great way to show off properties and stuff like that in the real estate space.
Eran: They’re always, they’re just photos, aren’t they, that you’re moving with software, they’re not actual video footage.
Jeff: Right, so most of my clients don’t have the ability to shoot professional video so they’ll have, they’ll provide us with a bunch of pictures and we’ll just put it together, make it look like it’s panning and zooming and stuff like that to give it some life, but, you know, the one thing I learned, even though I think Facebook has enabled some feature now where the videos automatically play sound.
Eran: Which is annoying as all hell, but anyway.
Jeff: Yeah, I disabled it because I can’t stand, if it’s a quiet area or something and then it starts blaring while I’m scrolling by it so we try to put text on videos and animations like that just so for the people that don’t hear things they can still follow through and not lose interest or not understand what the call to action is, stuff like that, so.
Eran: I think it’s really important for people when they’re talking about, you know, video in particular, you can’t rely on the sound so, like, I just recorded and edited a six minute, 45 second video for a new client, actually, a web agency that does SEO and that kind of stuff and it was promoting their logo design services and what I did is I got the designer to record his entire process on his computer from start to finish of designing a logo so coming up with a concept, drawing out some ideas, and then going into Illustrator and working on it and it’s, like, two hours long, but I took that and shrunk it down to six minutes in high speed, but, you know, and it’s got voiceover which I recorded, but really, I assume that people are not going to push play, particularly when they’re on a phone, as we’ve already discussed, you know, phones are where most people see, so you’ve gotta have that text on there, or you’ve gotta have your caption files put in there so people can intake what’s being said from the image.
Jeff: Exactly, yeah, that’s another lesson I learned this year, I mean, I’m always learning new stuff and especially because I’m not a marketer, I don’t do anything on the advertising side, you know, I kind of rely on my clients and people like you to keep me up to date with things and of course in the different marketing groups to learn stuff but that was one thing that I was told that kind of dawned on me was we need to start putting text on videos so people that don’t wanna hear the sound can still follow along.
Eran: Yeah, absolutely, and the other thing I always say is when you’re designing an image for Facebook ads, you have to assume that somebody’s on a tiny little iPhone four with a screen that’s, like, that big and just to see the image is gonna be hard enough, if you’re gonna put text on there, you gotta make it really easy to see it so it’s gotta be, I mean, it depends, whether it’s in the middle, the top, but it’s gotta be very high contrast and easy to ready, you can’t just go for tiny little text unless you’re just trying to put a logo in the corner and you don’t really care if people see it.
Jeff: Yeah, that’s an excellent point because I didn’t ever really think about mobile users at the time but now that it’s being such a majority of the users on Facebook, that’s definitely what we need to do is focus on how much text they can read and make sure it’s large, but.
Eran: Which probably segues us nicely, accidentally, into the topic of ad text. So do you wanna talk a bit about that for people who perhaps aren’t familiar, and I’m sure most people watching are, but.
Jeff: So Facebook, they use this little grid tool on their website and they try to keep your ads containing less than 20% text which just means out of the entire image, only 20% of that image can have text in it, I think it’s just a way to, they don’t wanna look spammy and have people throwing text all over the place and ruin their platform so sometimes when you upload ads, you’ll get an error message that says you have too much text in an ad and you need to fix it because you’ll have significantly limited impressions so this is Adobe Photoshop which I design in but you can also do this in whatever, Powerpoint, Word, anything you use that you can resize text. I made this on purpose to have a large amount of text here and I wanted to show the text overlay tool here, this is part of Facebook where you can upload your ads and it’ll tell you on the right side here, under image text ratings if you have too much text or you know, you’re gonna pass if it’s okay, so right now, you’ll see this says low, and your ads reach maybe slightly lower, which we don’t want, so an easy way to fix this is believe it or not, just to move the text a little bit.
Eran: I know, when I first figured it out, it was, like, what, that’s weird.
Jeff: I know, it’s a really flawed system, unfortunately, I mean, you’d think with the amount of money people spend they would fix this, but.
Jeff: I guess they can only do so much. So if I just move this over a little bit and I’ll resave it. Just to make sure.
Eran: You wanna just stick that grid back as well before you do this?
Jeff: What do you wanna do?
Eran: Just put that 20% text grid back, so people can see where the text is moving and maybe, so what Jeff is talking about, when this first came out it was called the 20% text rule so there is a grid of five by five which means 25 square, rectangles in there so you can only have text in five of them as maximum, that was Facebook’s definition of 20% text so you can see here that you’re in six and then if you look down at the logo, got the bottom with the words that’s almost another two there, you could probably get away with one of them.
Jeff: Yeah, and they’re pretty picky sometimes and other times they’re not, so, you know, too, when you have like a really sharp contrast between the background and your text, sometimes they’ll read pictures as text when you don’t have any text at all so that’s if you kind of, if you hit that issue it’s usually because your photo is too bright and vibrant and there’s too many sharp lines or contrast between its colours.
Jeff: All right, I just moved this over, let’s see if it passes now. Okay, and now it’s okay and I still have, how many was it here, six squares instead of five or less so I’ve actually gone over the limit, but just from moving that text, it passes now so it’s a really weird, it’s a finicky system, and this isn’t any way to get a fast one over on Facebook, it just happens to be the way their system is and, you know, we have to deal with this.
Eran: Chances are, the chances are if you run that ad it’ll probably get dinged at some stage anyway once they look at it a bit closer, they’ll go, oh, well, maybe we missed this one, let’s give ’em a warning or stop the ad or something like that.
Jeff: Yeah, and I always, I never go over the limit unless it’s like just a little bit like this right here, maybe just a little bit of an overlap, but you know, that’s something I do with all client ads is make sure they’re not gonna have any problems because it’s just part of my service, I don’t want to give them an ad that’s gonna be flagged and shut down a week later, so I always try to keep it in the four sections and I think I gave you the grid transparent image layer so people can lay that over top of their images as well.
Eran: Yeah, yep.
Jeff: And then I will get into Canva, which canva.com is probably the biggest free design platform I would guess now, I see it everywhere and everybody uses it.
Eran: A little known fact, you may not know this, Canva was actually started by a young lady from my city of Perth in Western Australia.
Jeff: Oh, nice, I did not know that.
Eran: I saw her on the news one night.
Jeff: Very cool, yeah, well, it’s become huge, I mean, everybody I talk to knows about it and has used it probably at some point and it’s a great way to just be able to have some control of your designs and ads on your own, especially for those people who can’t afford to hire design companies or designers, stuff like that, but it has its limitations, obviously, you get what you pay for, so it’s free, and you can only do so much.
Eran: It does have upgrade options that you can purchase stuff if you wanna get more advanced and I think it’s got a lot of stock photos in there I think you can buy, if I remember.
Jeff: Yeah, they have a tonne of stuff in here actually with stock photos and … Just, I mean, different design overlay elements, shapes, you know, just everything you can think of, they did a really good job with putting this together.
Jeff: So I’m gonna try to recreate this ad here, this is just a dummy ad that I created and this is actually, it says it’s a house from Australia, I don’t know, but this came up in a search so.
Jeff: I’m going to try to put this together and I use the bright yellow colour to kind of split up the ad and really stand out so. We have a high contrast, black on yellow and then we have a picture on the right, so, I’m gonna just try to walk people through making a Facebook ad on Canva and I don’t use Canva so I’m just learning with everybody else. So I went to Canva and they have create a design up here and here’s Facebook ads right here, this is just a standard 1200 by 628 pixel ad, and we click on it, it opens up looks like a design platform here where we have a blank canvas and we can create stuff, so. On the left looks like we have different premade templates, we can click something and it just fills it all in and then you can edit the text and stuff like that. Looks like the background is watermarked so I guess that’s, oh, yeah, it’s not free, so here’s a free one.
Eran: Yeah, you probably can’t see it on the screen, there’s a little, it says free down at the bottom and then the paid ones have a price on them. Usually, I think, from memory, they’re pretty cheap.
Jeff: Okay, cool, yeah, so, you know, we can just click in different areas and we can change this text to whatever you want, change colours. Looks like up here is this little box for colour pickers. I guess they only have so many colours for the free version, looks like you don’t have a colour wheel or anything like that to choose from. But let me get rid of this and we’ll make our own custom ad because that’s what most people are probably gonna wanna do now, oh, I don’t know what this is. Okay, so on the left it looks like you have layouts, we have elements, here’s free photos you were talking about. They have a tonne of stock photos but most people will use their own real estate stuff. Shapes. Icons, charts, little bit of everything, so I’m actually gonna upload this real estate photo here that I had. And I’m just gonna click on uploads, upload your own images and here it is here. So when it’s filled up here the progress bar is green, you just click it and it’ll go into the ad and make sure it’s obviously taking up the height and the width.
Eran: Yeah, you gotta stretch it out to fit the whole thing.
Jeff: Yep, just stretch it with the corners, okay, so that’s in there and then I want to add this yellow overlay box, so, I think it’s under elements and shapes. And we can just, we can pick a shape here and then stretch it all out and, you know, fill up that empty area.
Eran: Just a quick question, you’ve got the, when you first set it up, you’ve got, like, I don’t know, the canvas, I suppose you could call it and then you’re putting the elements like the pictures and the shapes on top, if the elements go outside of the area when you produce the photo, it’s not gonna keep the excess, it’s just gonna keep what’s inside the canvas shape, is that correct?
Jeff: Yes, so you can, hopefully they can see, but there’s a dashed box around this, this is the picture, so you can see on the right side it’s going off the screen so yeah, it’s only gonna show what’s inside this canvas here and when you click something, you actually, at the bottom, you have a little rotate button where you click it and drag and you can spin stuff around in different ways and it looks like it has some kind of grid where they auto align this or they’ll stop it like at 90 degrees here and then, you know, so you can keep things nice and straight, so one other thing which I saw here, if you wanted the picture to be on top and the black thing to go behind it, if you click this picture, you have an arrange button here, and this moves the elements forward or back, like, in front of each other, one another and stuff like that, so if I hit forward, then it brings the whole image forward on top of this black box, so.
Eran: You’ve gotta select the element you wanna move first, though.
Jeff: Exactly, yes, so I would go back to this picture again and I wanna move it backwards, there we go. So we have the ability to change colours of our shapes, stuff like that. Up at the colour picker box here we can click yellow. This isn’t the exact yellow I used, but that’ll work, and then we wanna add some text into here. And when you hit text it looks like they have a bunch of font combinations which brings up a good point and in the design checklist document I made one of the key things I always try to focus on and remember is to use no more than two fonts in your ads because if you start mixing all kinds of different styles and have three or four or five different fonts, it just looks really sloppy and it’s very unappealing.
Eran: Looks like a children’s party invitation.
Jeff: Exactly, yeah, yeah.
Eran: Not an ad for a million dollar house.
Jeff: That’s exactly right, so try to keep the fonts one or two fonts only, I usually do just one but a lot of people do the second one too, so looks like we can just click stuff, we can do a heading which is a larger font, subheading or body text, so I’m just gonna click heading and I’m just gonna type in for sale, and if you select this you can change the font up here to whatever you want. Here we go, and then I’m just clicking this dash box around here to drag things and move it around. Let’s see what else I did here.
Eran: Did I see it show up like a middle alignment line as you moved it there, I think I saw that.
Jeff: Oh, yeah, yeah, so they will centre this, it’s looking at the yellow box so when I move it on top of the yellow box, it’ll tell me when it’s centred in this box, so right there, here it is, there’s a vertical dashed line so that’s telling me it’s centred which is nice because you like to look balanced and stuff like that.
Eran: Something you expect out of Photoshop or Powerpoint, not a website.
Jeff: Yeah, and I always use guides for the exact same reason, to keep things aligned. So I’m gonna add in, looks like I guess a subheading. And up here I’m just going to shrink it down a little bit so it’s on two lines, I hope it does that, here we go. And again, this is telling me it’s aligned from left to right, and then to create a button, I always, or I shouldn’t say always, but almost always put a button in here, they are, you know, dummy buttons, the whole ad’s clickable, but I always try to get people to see there’s a clear call to action, I don’t want people to just look at it and scroll by and not even realise it was a clickable image so I always put buttons or arrows or something like that, even down at the bottom right corner under your ad is usually a call to action button so sometimes I’ll just put an arrow that’s pointing down there so they can see that.
Eran: Yeah, actually, that, I guess, raises a good point, something that unless you’re in our space, like either you as a designer or me as a digital marketer, you don’t realise the value and the power of highlighting and pointing to things with arrows and that kind of stuff. It actually does draw the eye, they’ve done all sorts of tests on it and it does draw people’s eyes and it does encourage them to take the action that you’re asking them to do so it’s amazing.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s funny, I mean, there’s just so many people that still don’t know that you can click it, I mean, they’ll just look at it and keep scrolling, so you know, anything we can do as marketers and designers to draw people’s eyes somewhere on the ad and make a clear call to action is gonna be the way to go.
Eran: Yeah, for sure.
Jeff: So I just added in another box shape and I just shrunk it down to look like somewhat of a button here and same thing, I’m just clicking and adding some text again click here. Changing the colours to white. And this is actually, hopefully, they can see this too, but there’s lines going up and down and left to right so it’s actually showing me it’s centred in this black rectangular button which is a really cool feature, I don’t really know how many sites get this detailed and in depth with alignment things, but that’s really neat. It even shows you, which they probably cannot see. When I click this, there’s a number, it says 75.386 and I guess that’s like, the pixels or something or some kind of area in the ad to show you how much space between things.
Eran: I’d have to put my glasses on to read that.
Jeff: It’s really small, can you see it there?
Eran: Yeah, just, I can see the number but I can’t really read it.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s very small.
Eran: With that yellow background, it’s pretty hard, but yeah.
Jeff: So we have a basic ad here and then I can upload a custom arrow … I don’t think I put it in here, they may have arrows, I’m not sure.
Eran: Maybe do a search at the top?
Jeff: There we go, arrow, and again, the arrow is just another way to draw your eye to that button and let people know that it’s clickable, so yeah, there we go, and don’t know how we flip it, because obviously I need it to go the other way, but, you know, you get the idea here, it’s a cool way to just draw your eye to this button, so … I thought maybe I could flip it but I guess not.
Eran: Can you grab the edge and drag it across?
Jeff: That’s what I was trying to, it’s just shrinking it down.
Eran: Is there an arrange option when it’s selected? Oh, that’s …
Jeff: Let’s see what these are, hmm. I’m sure there’s a way, they couldn’t have missed that. But I’m not sure how to do it.
Eran: Yeah, that’s fine.
Jeff: But, you know, you get the idea so we’re just drawing the eye to that button and I try to use a high contrast between the background colour and text so it’s crystal clear, it pops out on the newsfeed and we’re drawing attention right to what we want them to do so once you’re done you would just, I guess, download and go through that process, I don’t know what’s uploading there, but just export it and it’s ready to go on Facebook. And I’m gonna upload the grid image that I gave you just so people can see how to use that.
Eran: Okay, cool.
Jeff: Let’s see. So I’m uploading this grid right now and this is a great way, just paste it over all your ads so you know you’re within that 20% limit, you’re not gonna have any problems, and then when you’re done you can delete it. So I’m just dragging it to make sure it’s filling up the entire area. And you’ll see right now this is taking up six squares instead of four so I would just move, let me see here.
Eran: So five’s the normal maximum, correct? Well, I won’t say maximum, but it’s the ideal number.
Jeff: Yeah, and, you know, before they started lightening up a little bit on this I remember having to, it’s just such an awkward way to try to fit text into five squares, an odd number, instead of four squares or six squares so it was always a big issue and now they’ve lightened up a little bit, but let’s see now, so now it’s in four squares so we know that it’s gonna pass most likely unless there’s some weird issue, but before you save this and export it you just wanna delete the grid layer by hitting the trash can icon up at the top and then that’ll be ready to go.
Eran: And then you just move the arrow.
Eran: Can you change the colour on that one, as it kind of melds into the water because of the colour.
Jeff: Yeah, let’s see, yeah, I guess here, white, we can do or black, yeah, anyway, anything to, you know, bring a high contrast against the yellow, I wish I had a colour picker, I could choose my own shades, but. Let’s see, yeah, I guess I can’t do that. Nope. But yeah, you do have the opportunity to change colours to some degree, I would assume on the paid version they probably have a whole colour wheel or something to choose your own custom shades and stuff, but, you know, it does the job for sure and anybody just starting out that wants to make some ads, this is a great way to go.
Eran: Yeah, for sure. An even easier way that I’ve used before, which I mentioned to you before, this is something I learned from Keith Krance quite some years ago, is I use Powerpoint with nothing on the slide and I put my images and then I add my text and do what I need to do and arrange it all and then I’ll use a screenshot tool like Snag It for example, where you can just take a screenshot, choose the dimensions, and I found that’s a quick and dirty way to get stuff done as well if you don’t have access to something like this, you have a little bit more control over it, but obviously if you don’t have all the stock photos and the fonts and that sort of stuff.
Jeff: Right, yeah, I mean, it’s, at the end of the day, you can only do so much with Canva and free stuff and if you hire a designer, you’re gonna get the better quality and work with people that know what they’re doing too on the marketing side, not just making pretty pictures, a lot of times I see designers that they just wanna make it look nice but they don’t have any idea what works in the ad space or what’s gonna grab attention so people end up wasting their money and time with people like that.
Eran: I mean, the other thing, I also look at it as, you know, as a real estate agent, if you sell a house you might make five, 10 thousand dollars depending on what the setup is with, you know, how much commission’s involved, is your time really worth an hour or two sitting down, mucking around with this when you can outsource it to someone like yourself who can make it in, you know, half an hour or an hour and do a 10 times better job anyways, so.
Jeff: Yeah, and just personal preference I guess and budget, but, you know, I always tell people, you spend a little bit of money on the ad, my ads are pretty cheap anyways and the return is usually well worth it, so. You know, it works out for everybody either way but, I can take things up a notch or other designers too.
Jeff: So I think that’s probably about it, Eran, I just wanted to go through some different things and show people how to create ads and kind of see what’s working well right now and the trends and you know, especially the animated ads and videos seems to be where everybody’s starting to transition to so hopefully this gave some people some value and maybe learned a couple tricks, especially with the text issues they’re having.
Eran: No, that’s great, really appreciate you taking your time, Jeff.
Eran: If people want to get in touch with you to do stuff, particularly like those animated type ads, cinemagraph, was that the right word?
Jeff: Yeah, there’s six cinemagraphs, gorgeous animated style ads, they can find me on Facebook or my website’s jeffminnichbach.com and you’ll have to spell that out for them I’m sure on Facebook so they can see it, but yeah, I’m available for freelance work all the time.
Eran: Awesome, all right, well, thanks, Jeff, we really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.
Jeff: Appreciate the opportunity.
Eran: No problems and have a great day and I’ll catch you again.
Jeff: Thanks Eran, see you later.
Eran: See you.
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