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Making Effective Facebook Ad Images for Fitness

Making Effective Facebook Ad Images for Fitness

Facebook is still the reigning social media channel with 2.3 billion monthly active users. According to Pew Research Center, 68% of all American adults Facebook. Facebook is a massive platform where you reach a previously untouchable audience. 

Approximately 96% of marketers consider Facebook to be the most effective social media advertising platform, according to eMarketer. When it comes to the creative aspect of your Facebook ad, the imagery is so important. A lot of thought needs to go into the visual elements of your ad. It’s not as simple as just adding an image of a product. In this article, we will discuss what makes an effective Facebook ad image and what you need to do to nail your Facebook ad creative for fitness brands. Skip to a different section in the table below.

Why Images are so Important For Facebook Ads 

When it comes to the creative part of your Facebook ad, it’s important to consider how the image is going to help with your ad objective. The visual aspect is usually more than what your ad is selling. Using the image of the product may work in some cases but that’s not what’s always needed to produce a high-converting Facebook campaign. You can manage all your campaigns through the Facebook Ads Manager to track what type of ad delivers the most results. 

Consistent Imagery Builds Identity 

Is your image on brand? The more campaigns you run, the more people are going to recognize your brand. The imagery you use across your brand should be consistent to help build up your identity as well as brand awareness. The colors and images you use across different ads will be different but you should be able to look at the image and know that it’s your brand. A signature color can increase brand recognition by 80%

Help Your Audience Remember the Message 

Studies have shown that people remember about 10% of what they hear. If you combine this with the right image, this percentage shoots up to 65%. When you’re building a brand and trying to communicate your message it shows how important imagery is for your business and ad campaigns. 

Grab Your Audiences’ Attention 

Social media is crowded so you need to find a way to stand out. According to Facebook, we now have an attention span of just over eight seconds. That’s a short amount of time to make an impression or make a sale. Images help to grab users’ attention. Of course, you want the images you use to be interesting and relevant to your brand and your audience. 

3 Health and Fitness Brands With Killer Facebook Ads   

A staggering three million businesses actively advertise on Facebook from all around the world. To get the most out of your advertising budget, it’s about more than just clicking the Boost button. You need to optimize your text, images, and audiences for advertising success.  


Adidas uses Facebook’s Collection ad format to combine a hero video or image with images from the collection to drive sales. The primary image showcases what they are trying to sell and its unique features and the thumbnail images show related products the user would want to buy.  


Athos produce smart fitness clothing that uses motion-tracking technology to help monitor and improve your performance. The brand’s “Athos Smart Fitness Apparel” Facebook ad uses an image that really sells the performance wear. It combines a screenshot of the app with someone using the product in a way that tells you exactly what to expect and how it will help improve your fitness.  


Heal is a Los Angeles startup that’s using technology to change the way you see your doctor. The “Get a Great Doctor to You” Facebook ad uses a branded image to visually explain exactly what the ad is about and who the company is. The image ad uses a friendly and approachable face that helps to reassure the audience while wearing a branded Heal lab coat. 

12 Tips to Create Effective Facebook Ad Images for Fitness Pros

There are several elements to consider when making an effective Facebook ad from a killer CTA to the right copy. But, perhaps the most important is that it is visually appealing. Visual content is crucial on social media and using the best image for your Facebook ad is key. 

1. Show People Using Your Product or Service   

Using images of people is a great way to connect with your audience. Happy people with emotive faces are extremely effective in Facebook ads. If you’re displaying irrelevant images, your audience can quickly lose trust with your brand so choose images that are right for the message and your brand. Whether the image shows happiness as a result of using your product or service or sadness as they are yet to use it, emotive images go a long way when connecting with people. 

Your Facebook marketing message should be simple, clear and concise and the image you choose should support this. For some industry insight, listen to these fantastic podcasts:

  • The Art of Paid Traffic – host Rick Mulready is a Facebook ads expert and talks about the best online marketing tips and strategies for growing your business. 
  • Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad – the Adweek team debate current trends in creativity, marketing, technology, and media.

2. Create a Sense of Urgency      

There’s nothing worse than losing out on a deal because you were just a little bit late. With same-day delivery from the likes of Amazon, it can be hard to create a sense of urgency in an audience who are used to getting what they want almost immediately. Nowadays, people feel like they can get their hands on whatever they want and when they want. 

Creating urgency or scarcity means getting hold of your audience’s attention with a deal that’s too good to be missed. You want to create the fear of FOMO, fear of missing out. Using the right image will tie in with this message and push forward the need for urgency from your audience. This may look like a 24-hour deal on gym memberships or a flash sale on your yoga apparel.  

3. Don’t Use Too Much Text on Your Image  

Up until recently, Facebook had a 20% rule when it came to text on images. This meant that the text couldn’t take up more than 20% of the image and if it did then it wouldn’t be approved to run. The 20% rule has been removed however, in reality, the rule hasn’t changed that much. Under Facebook’s guidelines, if your image has more than 20% text it won’t be outright rejected but it will probably have reached its limit. 

With Facebook’s Text Overlay tool, you can now test to see if your image will likely be approved. The image text rating is divided into OK, low, medium and high. If it falls into the high category, it’s unlikely to run. Although this can control the flexibility you have with your ads, as they are Facebook’s guidelines, it’s best to stay on top of them. 

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4. Choose the Right Placement 

The placement of your ad refers to where it will show up to your user. You have the option for Facebook to automatically place your ad where it thinks is best or you can control exactly where it will go. Where do your customers like to hang out online? They might all be using smartphones or maybe they’re on Instagram more than Facebook. This information is very useful in choosing the right placement. There are several options when it comes to ad placement including:

  • Facebook’s desktop and mobile newsfeed
  • Instagram stories and newsfeed  
  • Messenger
  • The Audience Network 

5. High-Resolution Images  

Single image ads are the simplest type of ad but still effective. With images, you also have the option to create a Carousel, Collection or Slideshow ad. All these ad types use images in slightly different ways and have different ad specs including file size and aspect ratio. It’s recommended that facebook ad images be uploaded in either JPG or PNG. For video format, use either MOV or MP4. 

No matter what image ad you choose, make sure that you are using the highest resolution image that is suitable for your ad placement. If it’s being pushed out on mobile devices, the image needs to be optimized for this device. For example, the recommended file size for Facebook newsfeeds ads is 1200 x 628 pixels and 1080 x 1080 pixels for a 1:1 image ratio. Whereas the image size for Facebook Marketplace ads is 600 x 600 pixels. Depending on what type of ad you choose and placement, the image dimensions required can differ.  

6. Stay Relevant and Consistent    

Your Facebook ad image should be completely relevant to your marketing message as well as your brand. By showing images that aren’t relevant, your audience will quickly start to dismiss the ad. The visual aspect of your ad should also tie in with your brand and be consistent throughout the business. Whether it’s a social media post or campaign across multiple social media channels, brand consistency is crucial. 

7. Try Using More Than One Image 

There are lots of Facebook ads to choose from but two in particular help you leverage multiple images and have the potential to lead to higher conversion rates. Collection and Carousel ads have a pretty successful record in recent times. Using Canvas and Collection ads, the e-commerce subscription box brand FabFitFun had an 80% increase in click-through and a 19% increase in return on investment. 

Canvas is now known as Facebook Instant Experiences. It’s mobile-optimized, full-screen and designed so that people can watch engaging images or video ads, swipe through images and pan to tilt images with tagged products all in one ad. The ad size is perfect for mobiles and ideal if your customer-base tends to scroll Facebook on their smartphone. 

8.Use Contrasting and Complementing Colors 

Most Facebook users scroll through their newsfeed in a hurry, use an image with contrasting colors to stand out and grab their attention. Color taps into a subconscious part of the brain and by using the right colours you can help to send a certain message. Often little tweaks in color can have a significant impact on your marketing efforts. Here are some surprising statistics that show the effect of color:

Have Different Images for Different Personas 

You will likely have a few different target audiences. If you haven’t defined your audience personas, then start by creating these. Each different persona should have a different audience ad targeted towards them. These personas help you to understand exactly who your audience is and the type of imagery that will resonate with them the most. 

For example, a martial arts school may offer self-defense classes to women but also offer anti-bullying classes for teenagers. Each persona should be targeted with individualized marketing campaigns and the images should line up with this message and audience. 

Location-Specific Imagery 

This idea is especially useful for local businesses. When you use photos of local places, people can identify with that and connect. By showcasing your local area, your audience recognizes that you are a local business.

If your gym is in a city that is well-known for a certain landmark, using an image that showcases this alongside an image of smiling faces at your gym would help to push the message and make it more memorable. This helps to connect with viewers on a more personal level. 

Easy Recognizable Logo 

Incorporating your brand’s logo into your Facebook ads helps to cement the link between you and your audience. Brand recognition is an integral part of any marketing strategy and your logo is a major element of that. Your logo should appear in your ad creative as much as possible but should never be the only thing on the image. Overlaying your logo on a high-quality and relevant image or using branded clothing within the image is a great way to keep your images on brand without pushing irrelevant content to your audience. 

Value Proposition  

Don’t forget to add a clear value proposition. Why should viewers engage with your ad? Tell them what value they will get out of it, it’s the “why” behind your call to action. This might look like a free gym membership trial or 2 for 1 offer on classes. The value proposition should be clear through a combination of well-written text and visual imagery. 

For inspiration on how to devise your marketing strategy when it comes to Facebook ads, check out Gymwright’s podcast. It’s entirely focused on optimizing and organizing gyms and their leaders so that they can reach their fullest potential. Listen to episode #060: Facebook Ads For Gyms (That Actually Work) to find out why your gym should be using Facebook ads.  

In Summary 

Facebook advertising is a hugely popular advertising platform that numerous businesses utilize. In order to create effective ads, you need to consider your visual imagery and craft an ad that is relevant and will stand out from a crowded newsfeed. Take your Facebook ad images to the next level and transform your ad campaigns. 


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