Facebook advertising is now one of the most effective – and, as a result, most competitive – strategies to reach your prospects directly where they spend the most time. If you want to grow with digital marketing your restaurant’s reach and brand recognition, then you must invest in Facebook advertising.

But just because you throw a few dollars into a Facebook budget doesn’t mean your ad will be seen, acknowledged, and clicked-on by your target audiences. The average Facebook news feed is cluttered with information, including posts from friends and pitches from businesses. If you want your ad to stand out in the fray, then it’s time to focus on the pictures.

Here are 5 tips to help you pick the best, possible pictures to bring your Facebook ads to live for your restaurant.

1. Invest in quality images

Facebook – and social media for that matter – has the tendency of inspiring all of us to share ‘in-the-moment’ photos we take from our phones. Some of these photos look great – many do not. While the quality of your images may not matter on your personal feed, when it comes to your restaurant’s official FB page, it matters a great deal.

Invest the time into taking quality photographs of your food and your restaurant. Your smartphone can, in fact, take these pictures, but you may also want to invest in a more professional camera, a tripod, and some lighting.

If you can’t hire a professional photographer, our Charlotte digital marketing company suggests you dub one or two people on staff as your go-to photographers. Encourage them to hone their craft and praise them for their quality work.

2. Choose engaging subjects and composition

When it comes to paid advertising for restaurants, your main goal is to get people to take some sort of action, right? Your ad’s image is the anchor that will get these folks to stop in their tracks and read what your ad actually says.

Make sure your ad’s image is extremely engaging. The obvious – yet effective – choice is to take a high-quality shot of one of your signature dishes. There’s a reason why food shots are among the most popular on Instagram – people love looking at delicious food!

But don’t just assume that a standard food photo is your best bet for your ad. Remember, you’re trying to get people to engage with your ad. That’s why if, and whenever possible, try to incorporate people into your ad images.

This can be tricky because a photograph of someone eating doesn’t necessarily make for an effective ad. The most effective type of image will show people enjoying themselves while in your restaurant.

3. Minimalistic is the best approach

Avoid incorporating a cluttered composition in your image – instead of taking a picture of several meals on a table, focus on just one. Also, try not to use any small text on your image. There’ll be plenty of places in your ad to use text (your headline, summary, link description). Leave most of the messaging aspect of your ad to the text sections, and use images that are strong, simple and compelling.

4. Choose bright, colorful images

Remember – your ad needs to stand out in a busy news feed that your audience swipes through at a dizzying pace. Colorful, bright images have been shown to catch your readers’ attention and have them inspect your ad a little closer.

5. Test your images

Above all else, test your images to see which ones your audience likes. Each business – and target market – is unique. You’ll never quite know which ad images to use unless you test several out.

Does your audience respond better when images have text or no text? Do they seem to convert more with images involving people or just your food? Only the data will really tell.

Testing your images is fairly simple. Just get started selecting some images you feel represent your brand and will appeal to your audience. Start running these ads for a couple of weeks and before you know it, you’ll have invaluable information to help you optimize your future ad campaigns.

Choosing the right FB images for your restaurant ads

The copy that you include in your ad will dictate whether readers will click on or not. But no one will ever spend the time reading your ad if your image doesn’t pull them in. Choose high-quality images that are bright, minimalistic, and engaging, and you’ll almost certainly see an uptick in views and conversions. But, in the end, make sure you learn something new for each ad you run, to improve the performance for your future ads.