The Anatomy of a Facebook Ad
Join our free Facebook group and learn from other advertisers. Join now!
Designing High Converting Facebook Ads

If you run Facebook ads already, you’ll be familiar with the structure of a Facebook ad. But in order to create ads that convert better, you’ll need to fully understand each part of the ad, it’s purpose, and how different platforms affect the content that is shown.

The Structure of a Facebook Ad

1. Image/Video

The most impactful and noticeable part of any ad is your video or image. This is the first thing anyone ever sees.


The purpose of an image or video is to immediately capture the attention of your target audience. Without a good image, your ad will fail. People scrolling should immediately stop and take notice.

Tip – Try experimenting with graphically designed ads and images of people. We’ve found the results can be very different.

2. Headline

After images and video, the headline is the second most important part of an ad. It’s large, clearly visible and should be impactful.


Headlines let you summarize concisely your purpose and objective. It should be attention-grabbing and encourage people to take a second look at your ad. Many advertisers use this to summarize the benefit or outline why someone should click through.

Every ad must include a call-to-action. The headline offers the perfect spot to summarize this easily and succinctly – short and punchy is always best.

3. Post Text

Above your image is what’s called the post text. You can add up to 500 characters. If your post text is longer, it will be hidden by a See More link.


People who read post text are likely interested in your ad. Unlike headlines or images, post text is mean to expand your product offering and make the closing argument for clicking-through. Post text can be used in different creative ways. There is no ideal post text length – you’ll need to experiment to see what works best.

4. Call To Action Button

Call to Action buttons are pre-created buttons provided by Facebook that you can add to any advertisement. Currently you can choose between:

  • No Button
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Donate Now
  • Download
  • Request Time
  • See Menu
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More
  • Buy Now
  • Get Offer
  • Play Game
  • Use App
  • Get Quote
  • Subscribe
  • Apply Now

facebook call to action button


The button integrates a clearly defined call-to-action for your ad. Always include a button and make sure your button matches your overall ad call-to-action. For example, you wouldn’t want to include Watch More when someone is encouraged to download something.

5. Description

Description text appears below the headline and above the CTA button. It is the least noticeable ad text (after link text).


Description text acts as a simple way to expand on your headline. But don’t overthink your description text. Headline and image are where you should spend your creative time and energy. Use something simple that reinforces your ad objective and CTA.

5. Comments, Likes, Engagements

You might not think this is part of your ad – well, you’d be wrong. Comments, likes and reactions are an important part of your ad. What people write and do on your ad will be seen by others.

facebook post comments


People will look at your comments. It’s important that comments are positive – this acts as social proof to your target audience.

Tip – Comment on your post at the very top. This is an easy way to get more information into your ad, or provide a secondary link that people can click.

How Placements Affect Creative

Your advertising placement affects how your ad appears. What we mean by this? Simply, different Facebook ad placements change the content structure, appearance and visibility of your ads. Knowing these changes will ensure you design the right ad for the right placement.

In-Feed Placement – Desktop

This is the normal Facebook ad placement. All parts of your ad are visible.

facebook desktop placement

In-Feed Placement – Mobile

There are slight variations with mobile. The post text is slightly larger, no preview text appears and proportionally the button is much larger on the screen.

Be aware that smaller more detailed parts of your image may not be visible on mobile.

facebook mobile placement

Right-Hand Column

This placement removes even more content from appearing. The image is much less visible. Text on image or intricate images are harder to see, even more so than on mobile.

The most noticeable change is that the post text appears under your URL. The post text is also cut off much sooner, and there is no description text visible. Buttons are also hidden.

Tip – If you plan to use this placement, we recommend creating a separate ad set, since this location may require different images or copy.

facebook right hand placement


Instagram is a mobile-only placement and will not appear on desktop. Images on Instagram can be 1:1 squares, as well as 1200×628. CTA buttons are elongated underneath the picture, while post text is also underneath the button. Description text does not generate.

Instagram placement

Audience Network

Audience Network ads appear differently depending on where they’re placed. These are harder to control. Here are a few examples:

Audience Network Banner

Very little of your appears. On the right hand side is you Facebook profile picture. The middle is composed of your headline, link and a small part of your post text, each appearing and disappearing after a few seconds. And the last piece is your CTA button.

Audience Network Interstitial

Interstiatial’s showcase your image, page profile photo, your headline, a short exert of your post text and asks if people want to take your action. People can either say yes or no.

No description text is visible, and there’s no way to see more of your post text.

facebook audience network interstitial

Audience Network Native Ads

Native ads look similar to in-feed posts. The only part that isn’t included is your description text.

facebook audience network native ad


So now you understand the anatomy of a Facebook ad, the differences between different placements, and how to use each part of an ad for maximum effectiveness.


Learn how to run profitable Facebook ad campaigns

Get our free 7-part email course on finding your perfect Facebook audience. You'll learn expert strategies to lower costs and increase results.