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by OppGenetix

If a digital marketer has ever told you it’s impossible to create a weight loss ad on Facebook, they are either not telling you the truth or are very bad at their job.

Getting a weight loss ad created on Facebook is far from impossible. Facebook does not outright ban submitted weight loss ads; it only rejects weight loss ads that don’t follow its policies. It will do this to any ads, regardless of segment, that fail to adhere to its policies.

Chances are, your ad may not be accepted on the first try. Don’t let that get you down. Just follow these seven tips, not only for Facebook to accept your weight loss advertisement, but also to boost the advertisement’s effectiveness.

 

1. Follow Facebook’s weight loss advertising policies

Facebook gets the final say in determining whether or not they will display an ad. Weight loss is a segment that Facebook is particularly stringent about when it comes to accepting or rejecting an ad. Thankfully, Facebook’s advertising policies are clear about what is acceptable and what is not. Here are the policies that are most likely to affect whether or not your weight loss ad will be accepted:

 

Unsafe supplements

Some weight loss plans include dietary supplements. While these supplements may not be unsafe, Facebook determines what is a safe or unsafe supplement “in its sole discretion.” Even if your weight loss program includes supplements that are safe, Facebook may still determine them to be unsafe. It is in your best interest to avoid mentioning supplements in your advertisement or landing page. Instead, save that conversation between you and any prospects who contact you for more information.

 

Personal attributes

Ads cannot have content that implies personal attributes, such as a person’s race, sex, medical condition (physical or mental), disability, and more. This means you’ll have to get a little creative when writing ad copy to avoid implying that the person seeing the ad is struggling to lose weight.

Here are two examples of potential weight loss ad copy. Which one of these examples is Facebook more likely to accept?

  • Example 1: Get back in shape with our weight loss program.
  • Example 2: Are you struggling with obesity? Give our weight loss program a try.

If you said Example 1, you are correct! Example 1 does not make any assertions about the person viewing this ad. Example 2, on the other hand, is almost certainly going to get rejected based on the personal attribute policy. Example 2 assumes that whoever’s reading that ad is obese.

One easy way to avoid implying personal attributes is to avoid any mention of “you” or “your.” Still, it will take some work and a bit of creativity to work around the personal attribute rejection, but doing so will help you become a better writer and advertiser in the long run.

 

Misinformation and misleading claims

Misinformation and misleading claims are two similar but still fairly different things. Misinformation is simply false information. Some people may share or advertise misinformation because they simply may not know any better or because it is what they believe; it is not always done out of an intent to sell a product. Whenever Facebook’s fact-checkers debunk a claim in a submitted advertisement, that ad will be rejected.

A misleading claim is a little bit more complex than misinformation. Misleading claims may have some truth to them, but it’s presented in a way that is too good to be true. A misleading claim, particularly with weight loss, may involve exaggerated results or expectations (i.e., “Lose 50+ pounds in a month!”).

You may have an outlier whose story you want to include on an ad. In that case, you should include an asterisk at the end of the claim and a disclaimer at the end of the text (i.e., “results not typical” or “results may vary”), which might read something like this:

“I lost 17 pounds in 1 month!” — Jenn P.*

Get back in shape with our weight loss plan.

*Most of our clients lose 1-2 lbs. a week. Results may vary.

In this example, Jenn’s testimonial catches attention because that is an impressive result, though it may not be a realistic result for every user. The disclaimer goes a bit further than just adding “results may vary” — it includes the weight loss experience of most clients. Even though that is not as impressive as Jenn’s 17-pound weight loss in one month, it does show transparency and that your program works. That in and of itself might do more than let Facebook accept the ad; you might have more prospects reaching out to you.

 

Non-functional landing page

Facebook’s ad reviewers look at more than just the advertisement submitted to them; they’ll also review the landing page. Facebook lays out crystal clear guidelines about landing page issues that will result in a rejection. To avoid those problems, hire a reputable marketing agency to create customized landing pages for your weight loss clinic.

 

Personal health

This is the biggest policy area that affects weight loss ads.

Generally speaking, weight loss advertisements are highly visual and often include some sort of “before and after” pictures. Unfortunately, Facebook does not allow the famous “before and after” photos, which means you’ll have to get creative with your images. It also rejects ads with unrealistic results and imagery that attempts to “generate negative self-perception.”

Image-wise, stick to photos and videos of people being active or eating healthy foods. If you desperately need to include an image of someone’s toned body, that is fine, but it cannot be zoomed in on a specific part. 

 

2. Set an objective

What do you want the ad to do for your weight loss clinic? Before going any further, you need to have an objective in mind. Having an objective will help you to determine the ad copy, the visuals, and the ad format, all of which will help you create weight loss Facebook ads that work. Objectives can be viewed through the levels of the marketing funnel, from awareness to conversion

It’s possible to run multiple campaigns with different objectives — just be sure you’re marketing to the right people. If you’re running an ad meant for bottom of the funnel prospects to people who might just need to start at the top, you may alienate those prospects who might have been likely to go further down the funnel later on.

 

Increased awareness (top of the marketing funnel)

For people who’ve started a new weight loss clinic or program and want consumers to be more aware of its existence, a brand awareness ad campaign is probably the best way to go. This means targeting people at the top of the marketing funnel. The goal here is not to get consumers to your website; it’s about letting them know your weight loss services exist.

For increased awareness, the metric to focus on is reach, or how many people in a target audience see an advertisement. Note that reach is not the same as impressions. Reach counts the same user once. This means if one user sees an ad twice, that user will only be counted once. Impressions, on the other hand, do not take individual users into account. Instead, it counts every view. If one user sees an ad twice, that will count as two impressions.

 

Increased interest (middle of the marketing funnel)

Increasing interest is the next step in the marketing funnel. Once your prospects are aware of your weight loss program, you want them to become more interested in it. Hopefully, the more interested they are, the more they research your weight loss program and begin to seriously consider doing it.

There are several different kinds of interest-based ad objectives:

  • Traffic: Use an ad to send more people to your landing page, website, or blog post. Having more website traffic does not necessarily lead to more people joining your weight loss program, but it can help you retarget more prospects through other methods (i.e., Google Display Ads) and make them more likely to convert.
  • Lead generation: Use an advertisement to help collect more leads for your weight loss clinic through newsletter sign-ups or a promotional program download.
  • Engagement: Target your advertisements to people who are most likely to engage with your posts. Engagements metrics include likes, shares, and comments, all of which can expand your reach and spread even more awareness (and hopefully bring more people through the marketing funnel).
  • Interaction: Connecting with consumers on Facebook through messaging and replying to questions and comments on your Facebook page and advertisements can enhance their experience with your weight loss clinic and make them more likely to convert.
  • Remarketing/retargeting: Remarketing (aka retargeting) is one of the most powerful advertising strategies for people in the middle of the marketing funnel. Remarketing can be used to display ads in front of prospects who make it at the landing page but don’t take any action on it. To remarket on Facebook, we recommend using the same visuals but different ad copy to people who meet the criteria.

 

Increased conversions (bottom of the marketing funnel)

A conversion happens when a prospect takes a desired action. What that action is varies and depends on what a business’s goal is. Examples of conversions include:

  • Submitting information via contact form for more information
  • Signing up for newsletters
  • Registering for a program
  • Downloading an app
  • Making a purchase

If your goal is to increase the number of conversions, then you’ll focus on creating an advertisement that’s designed to get prospects to convert. 

 

3. Target your audience

If you want to successfully meet your objective(s), you need to know your audience. If you don’t have that narrowed down, your ad is not going to draw in the people you’re looking for. Facebook ads are either charged by cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM). This means that if you want to get the most value out of your weight loss ad, you need to make sure it’s getting in front of the right people, especially if you’re going down the CPM route.

Once you’ve defined your audience, you can go on to have Facebook display the ad to particular people, based on the following demographics:

 

Age

Facebook’s ad policy requires all weight loss advertisements to be targeted at people who are at least 18 years old, which does make part of narrowing down your audience easier.

 

Sex

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that there is no significant difference in the prevalence of obesity between men and women for all age groups. Simply put, men and women could both be worth targeting. However, men and women respond differently to weight loss ads. Women are more likely to convert and undergo a weight loss program, so you’ll need to come up with a strategy that is effective if you want to add more men to your program.

 

Location

If your weight loss program is only available at one location, you’ll want to target Facebook users who live nearby. But if your weight loss program is based on a phone app or can be done remotely, you can target people in several locations. The CDC has a map that shows where adult obesity is most prevalent in the United States; using that data, you could target users living in those particular states.

 

Interests and behavior

Facebook’s ad targeting can go as far as a user’s interests and behavior.

Interest-based targeting relies on pages a user has liked on Facebook, topics they post about regularly, or articles they share.

Behavior-based targeting is a little more complex; it tracks users’ behaviors, such as products they’ve purchased and the devices they use to browse Facebook.

 

Lookalike audiences

The lookalike audience targeting option is one of our favorites. Facebook will target new people who are similar to your current clients in terms of shared interests and other similar traits.

 

4. Write weight loss ad copy

Content informs design, so once you have your audience in mind, you can start writing copy. Don’t think too much about the ad format; you’ll probably have to go through a couple of revisions.

Be sure to follow Facebook’s ad policies, as discussed in the first tip — not only are their policies helpful for prospects but they are actually helpful for creating high-quality advertisements.

Also, keep an eye on the character limit while you write the copy. Depending on the ad format you select, you can expect the following limits:

  • Text: 90–125 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link description: 20–30 characters

You may have to play around a little bit to ensure the ad copy fits the character limit, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Emojis are one way to circumvent character limits and can also catch the viewers’ attention. Just make sure you know when to use certain emojis — nothing says you don’t know more than using 😂 instead of 😢 does.

It’s also possible to include image text, but don’t use too much or make it too large. Facebook will reject ads containing too much text in the image or video. Thankfully, Facebook has a tool that makes it easy to determine whether or not you’re using too much image text.

 

5. Use high-quality visuals

No matter how great your ad’s copy is, it is not going to get anywhere without high-quality visuals. Visuals, in this case, can be static images, GIFs, or videos. Think carefully about the visuals you decide to use — they should be consistent with your brand and landing page for a seamless lead conversion. If you can work in colors that are in your logo, definitely do that.

Images and videos also must be a certain size and uploaded in certain formats. Take a moment to review the file type and size requirements for what the ad you have in mind requires.

Last but not least, it’s worth taking the time to create and run ad tests to see which visuals and ad copy work the best for your market.

 

6. Choose an ad location and format that support your content

Once you’ve finished writing copy and have a few high-quality visuals to choose from, you’ll want to select an ad location and ad format. Luckily, Facebook offers a wide array of options. You’ll want to choose one that works best with your ad copy and visuals.

Keep in mind that not every single ad format is an option for weight loss program advertisements. For example, a collection advertisement works best for viewing physical products that are for sale. Also, not every single format works in every location. Image and carousel ads can be placed in Facebook’s right-hand column, but video ads can’t go there. 

The following ad formats are ones that are most likely to benefit weight loss clinics and programs:

 

Image ads

Image ads use a single image to catch a prospect’s attention, along with text. These ads need powerful, high-quality images and well-written copy in order to be successful. Image ads can be interactive if you have access to a camera that can take 360-degree photos.

Image ad location 

Single image ads have the most location options of all Facebook ad formats. Each location has unique specifications for image resolution, file types, text, and more, so always review those before sending an image ad for Facebook to review.

  • Newsfeed
  • Right-hand column
  • Instant articles
  • In-stream video
  • Marketplace
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Facebook and Messenger Stories
  • Facebook search results 
  • Audience Network (native, banner, and interstitial)

 

Carousel ads

Carousel ads are great for a number of things: displaying multiple testimonials at once, telling a story frame by frame, explaining a step-by-step process, and showing the benefits of your weight loss program. You can use up to 10 images or videos in an ad, and each image or video can have a different link and text below it. Another option you can utilize with carousel ads is to use a single image and divide it up into different parts.

Carousel ad locations

Carousel ads also have specifications that differ depending on their location. Carousel ads don’t appear in as many places as image ads do, but their powerful ability to tell stories or share multiple testimonials makes up for the smaller range of locations.

  • Newsfeed
  • Right-hand column
  • Instant articles
  • Marketplace
  • Facebook Stories
  • Facebook search results
  • Audience Network (native, banner, and interstitial)

 

Video ads

Most video ads on Facebook are no longer than 15 seconds in length (though they can run much, much longer), which means you need to make an excellent pitch and grab prospects’ attention quickly. You’ll want to make sure your ads have high-quality film and look like they are professionally edited. Better yet, have them professionally edited and produced if possible! Interactive 360-degree video is also an option.

Video ads don’t have to only contain video; slideshow ads are another form of video ads that use static images instead of video footage.

Video ad locations

Video ads and carousel ads have the same number of locations on Facebook, but they aren’t necessarily found in the same spots. Carousel ads can be small enough to be placed in the right-hand column whereas video cannot. Once again, the specifications for video ads vary from location to location.

  • Newsfeed
  • Instant articles
  • In-stream video
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook and Messenger Stories
  • Facebook search results
  • Audience Network (native, banner, interstitial, and video)

 

Instant Experience 

When someone taps to open an ad on a mobile device, it may go to a full screen view that lets you browse images and products, watch a video, fill out a form, or a combination of all or some of these. Facebook calls this an Instant Experience.

Facebook makes it easy to create an Instant Experience using its pre-designed templates. You can find one that aligns with your objective and customize it from there.

If you want to include an Instant Experience, you’ll have to have a strong hook to pull people in — basically, you’ll have to present them with a solid reason to click on the ad in the first place. 

 

7. Entice weight loss prospects with a value proposition and clear CTA

Ask yourself, “What is my advertisement offering? Is it something that would make me want to click on the ad?”

One of the best ways to get people to convert is to offer them something of value. This might be a free consultation, a discount on their weight loss plan, and so on. Get creative with what you’re offering people. If you’re not sure if it’s an offer of value, ask a friend or relative if the offer is something worth looking into. 

The call to action (CTA) button on a Facebook ad can be customized, so don’t feel like you have to stick with what it started out as. In fact, it’s better if you change it. If you’re trying to get people to sign up for a program, make sure it says “Sign Up.” If you want people to learn more about it, have the CTA button say “More Info.”

 

Contact us for more information

For more tips on how to create effective weight loss ads for Facebook, contact us today. We also offer a free digital audit, so don’t hesitate to fill it out so we can show you the areas where your weight loss clinic can improve its digital presence.

OppGenetix Team
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7 Tips for Creating Weight Loss Facebook Ads That Work