If I had to choose between a boring ad image with a great headline and a great ad image with a boring headline, I’d take the boring headline matched to an intriguing, eye-catching image. I think most people would.

And here’s a perfect example of this choice:

The image itself is a kick-butt collage that’s both visually striking and emotionally intriguing.  We want to know what’s being advertised when we see a picture like this.

That’s why you can get away with the boring headline — people will read past the “Ultrasound Tech’s” to see what exactly you’re advertising.

So while a headline like, “Awe-Inspiring Work Life?” could probably bump up ad performance even higher, there’s no doubt that the image alone is probably already driving decent CTR.

But you can only get away with a relatively boring headline if you’ve got a truly intriguing image.  If the image is only OK, the headline had better pick up the slack. Take this ad, for example:

Now, I’d hate to diss on the whale pic, as I’m sure it’but the image isn’t that visually striking nor all tha temotionally intriguing. It ain’t bad, but with a “LiveScience” headline, it’ll hardly force a scan of the content.

But what if the headline said this: “Do Whales Have Accents?

Now that’s an intriguing headline!  And the thing is, that interest-grabbing phrase is already in the ad, buried in the body copy.

Fortunately for everyone, though, advertisers are not required to choose between either a great image or a great headline — we can all enjoy both in the same ad, and they can work together, non-redundantly to not only get an ad hastily scanned, but carefully read.

And even more fortunately, getting a superior image does not require commissioning a photographer, or weilding photoshop ninja skills. Most of the time, it just means taking the extra 10 minutes to explore your options on Getty Images or some other stock photography Website.

Here is one alternate image for the whale ad I was able to dig up with very little effort.

The human in the picture and the ultra-close contact between the diver and the whale ad a whole new layer of intrigue to the picture, which is only increased by the headline, working with the picture in a non-redundant manner. All of which causes the body copy to be not only read, but carefully considered.

And that’s a good thing because the body copy itself promises curiosity relief only after the prospect “likes” the fan page. That’s the way to do it!

So what about your Facebook Ads?

  • Are your images and headlines both intriguing, and both working together non redundently in order to get your body copy read?
  • Does you body copy then deliver on all that attention by compelling the prospect to convert?