In this post, I’m going to show you that you don’t need expensive image editing software like Adobe Photoshop to create great looking images for your Facebook advertisements. Using a few different 100% free online tools you can create images from scratch or format images you’ve already got.
I’ll cover my favorite tools, as well as the dimensions you should be aiming for and what you can do if your images just don’t fit the mold.
Here’s an overview of the tools I’m recommending in this post:
Social Image Resizer – Cropping images to fit 1200 x 628px specifications
Picfont – Adding text to images (plus other styling)
Facebook Image Grid Tool – Making sure your image passes the 20% text rule
With these free tools, you can accomplish just about anything you need to. Now I’ll go over how to use each specifically.
1. Cropping and resizing images | Social Image Resizer
1200 x 628px is only size image you should be using. Do anything else and Facebook will crop your images for you, and trust me it will look terrible. There’s nothing worse than half a face getting cut off or borders showing on only three edges when the original had four.
The best tool for this is Social Image Resizer by Internet Marketing Ninjas. You can either upload an image from your computer or specify a URL.
There are presets for specific social media needs. Facebook Link Image is pretty much what we need, but it formatted this image to 1200 x 627px, so I’d rather select User Input and specify exactly what I want. Keep JPG as your Format.
2. Adding text and other stylings to your image | Picfont
Picfont has a great selection of fonts and some nice effects, like the shadow I added or an outline. You can even add a partially transparent banner to make text stand out on a busy image.
Unlike some of the other web apps I tested out for this post, Picfont didn’t have strange loading errors. It loads beautifully and won’t disrupt your workflow.
If you need to draw on the image (red circles, underlines, arrows) you can do that here, too. There’s also a great selection of icons ranging from pro looking iOS graphics to poisonous scorpions.
For more icons, check out Icons DB. You can choose from a large variety of icons and even change the color to match exactly what you need.
IMPORTANT: Whatever you do, make sure not to defy the 20% text rule (see below).
3. Adhering to the 20% text rule | Facebook Image Grid Tool
Facebook is very strict about having a limited amount of text on any images used for ANY paid promotion. This includes right-sidebar ads, as well as newsfeed ads. In order to automate the regulation, Facebook runs images through an algorithm that overlays a 5×5 rectangular grid on your image, and if there’s even a touch of text present in more than 5 boxes, then you’re ad will not be approved either immediately or eventually (sometimes they catch after it’s run a bit).
Test your own images against the grid: Facebook Image Grid Tool
Here’s an example of an image that failed.
4. BONUS TOOL
There’s going to come a day when you have an image with text that barely (or horribly) violates the 20% rule. Fear not– there is a solution!
I saved my favorite tool for the end. It has much of the power that Adobe Photoshop has and it’s free and online. It gives you access to really powerful features like layers and familiar filters, such as blur. With this tool alone you can create the following image:
This image was originally rejected by Facebook because there was too much text in both the text box and the background. After cutting come of the box out and blurring the background image, Facebook finally approved it and my ad was running.
You’ll get immediate access to this tool by clicking the button below and providing your email address. I promise not to share it and only to send you other useful tools and strategy for making the most of Facebook Advertising.
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