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15 Facebook Ad Design Best Practices for Better Social Creative



15 Facebook Ad Design Best Practices for Better Social Creative

A brand’s ad design is often the first impression it makes on a consumer. And this first impression can be a make-or-break moment on a social platform like Facebook, with millions of other ads competing for a viewer’s attention. 

A frequently-cited Nielsen survey found that 47% of a brand’s sales lift from advertising came from the creative. In contrast, another study found that the image elements of social media ad design significantly (41.6%) impact consumers’ purchasing decisions.

In some marketing departments, creative design can take a back seat to the targeting and audience-building tools Facebook offers. But with more advertisers and audience overlap than ever, testing and optimizing your Facebook ad design is worthy of your careful attention.

Here are 15 ad design and ad testing best practices for optimizing the creative of your ads across Facebook and other social channels.

“Your ad design and testing processes are the cornerstone to moving paid social performance. All these platforms are so visual that you really need to have content that stands out to ensure your brand is being seen and heard.”


Avi Ben-Zvi,  VP, Paid Social at Tinuiti


1. Set Measurable Performance Goals

Before we dive into the mechanics of ad design, it’s important to establish the purpose of the ad. What is the overall advertising campaign designed to achieve, and what are the specific objectives of the individual ad as defined by Facebook? 

Facebook ads can build brand awareness or promote a new product, drive interest in a brand or generate incoming leads. Some of these goals are more easily measured than others, but they should all be tracked to determine overall campaign performance. Facebook offers more specific metrics in its Ad Manager tool, including lead capture, website traffic, local reach and event sign-ups – but note that as of 2023, Meta is taking steps to simplify these objectives.

Ensure all your business goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to your business, and aim to attain them in a set timeframe. This will allow you to quickly assess the performance of your ads and campaigns without putting too much money into campaigns that aren’t resonating with your target audience.

2. Make Your Facebook Ad Design Facebook-Specific

 Even with consolidation among social platforms, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to your ad creative might seem efficient, but it won’t generate optimal results. Not only are ad specs different for each platform, but the audience and use cases for each social platform are also very different.


Depiction of differences in creative best practices for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest Ads


Understanding the nuances of each platform and what users expect to see are important considerations to make when designing your ad. For example, a Promoted Pin ad may have too much text or too many visual elements, making it ineffective as an in-feed Facebook ad. Or, the audience that watches your Snapchat Stories may have different values than those who see your Facebook Stories.

Much like your campaigns should focus on a single audience and goal, your ad designs should also focus on a specific platform, its design guidelines, and the audience using that platform. For example, take a look at best practices for Feeds and Stories on Facebook:

Facebook Feed Ads:

  • Promotion should be communicated in the image/video
  • Text should encompass less than 20% of the creative
  • Reiterate your CTA in the headline copy


Facebook Stories:

  • Start with your key messaging and branding
  • Keep your narrative fast-paced
  • Try text overlays, stickers, and polls.


Then, compare this to Pinterest Ads and Snapchat Stories:


Pinterest Ads:

  • Use text overlays liberally to describe product benefits or styling tips
  • Keep messaging seasonally relevant and update it often
  • Avoid sales-oriented text or creative


Snapchat Stories:

  • Use 3-5 second video advertisements to showcase hero messages
  • Develop curated collections with 3 to 20 swipe-able panels


Since best practices differ from platform to platform, a Snapchat Story could not double as a Facebook Story without some fundamental changes to its design.


3. Design for a Particular Ad Format


As a platform, Facebook offers the most comprehensive array of ad formats, and that variety is constantly expanding (currently, eight formats are available). It’s important to familiarize yourself with an available ad format’s unique qualities and advantages, then designing an ad based on the format’s strengths.

Content and intent are two design elements to consider. Compelling, storytelling images work best for Photo ads, while text-over-image may be less effective in Stories. For example, Carousel ads might be ideal for highlighting a suite of products or telling a step-by-step brand story across multiple image “cards.” Ads delivered through the Messenger format are more suited to individualized engagement and soliciting feedback.

Here are the 8 Facebook ad formats and what they’re best utilized for:

Photo – The most basic Facebook ad, a clean, simple format to feature engaging imagery and copy. Best for telling a brand story with a powerful image.

Video – These ads come in various lengths and styles—from short, feed-based ads to longer videos. Best for a more comprehensive showcase of your brand, product or service.

Stories – Appearing outside the Feed and opening up to full-screen upon selection, Stories offer an immersive ad experience for the user. Best for capturing attention and making a big splash.

Carousel – Carousel ads let you showcase up to ten images or videos in a single ad, each with its own link. Best for highlighting a range of different products or services or telling a brand story in chapters.

Messenger – These ads are delivered through the Messenger application and can feature individualized content and interactive elements. Best for starting a conversation or driving specific actions.

Slideshow – Slideshow ads are video-like ads made of images, motion, sound and text. Best for reaching users with unreliable connection speeds.

Collection – Collection ads let people discover, browse and buy what you offer. People can tap an ad to learn more about a specific product. Best for displaying products your brand offers.

Playables – Playable ads offer people an interactive preview before downloading an app. Best for promoting or gauging interest in new games or apps.

While each ad should be designed for its intended format, you can get great results from mixing and matching formats within an overall campaign. Always align your objectives with the ad formats you’re using. 


4. Create Images for a Specific Ad Placement


Ad placement affects ad specs, which determines your ad design space. It also impacts how likely your ad is to be seen and what a user’s intentions are when encountering it. While some ad formats are served to Facebook users in consistent places (Stories, for example, are always outside of the Feed), other ads can appear in different areas.

There are six common ad placement locations on Facebook. These include:


  • Mobile Feed – Appears on a user’s Feed when they use a mobile device.
  • Desktop Feed – Appears on a user’s Feed when they use a desktop device.
  • Desktop Right Column – Small and inexpensive image ads that appear to the right of a user’s Feed on a desktop device.
  • Stories – Full-screen advertisements that are less than 15 seconds long and appear when users view user-generated Stories.
  • Marketplace – Ads placed in the Facebook Marketplace, usually promoting a product that’s ready to sell.
  • In-Stream Video – Ads that play before or during a video uploaded to Facebook, similar to those that appear on YouTube.


Understanding how your target audience uses Facebook goes a long way toward informing which ad placement is best for your brand. Does your audience mostly use the Facebook mobile app? Do they spend a long time watching videos in their Feed? As with other social media advertising approaches, you can optimize your ad placement to reach your target audience most effectively when you have insight into their existing behaviors.


5. Build Creative Assets for Specific Dimensions & Specs


Once you’ve chosen which ad placement is best for your brand, keep the relevant ad specs top of mind. Here’s a quick rundown of specs for various Facebook ad types:


Single Image Ads with Links:

  • Image Minimum Size (WxH) – 476 x 249 pixels
  • Image Ratio  1.91:1 to 4:5
  • Image Resolution – at least 1080 x 1080 px
  • Headline Text – 25 characters
  • Link Description Text – 30 characters


Single Video Ads 

  • Format – .MOV or .MP4 are recommended but other formats are supported
  • Video Ratio — 9:16 to 16:9
  • Resolution – 720p at minimum, upload the highest resolution possible
  • File Size – 4 GB maximum
  • Length Minimum – 1 second
  • Length Maximum — 240 minutes
  • Thumbnail Image – No more than 20% text
  • Vertical videos with an aspect ratio higher than 4:5 can be masked to 4:5


Video Story Ads

  • Aspect ratios: 9:16 and 4:5 to 1.91:1
  • Maximum duration: 60 secs
  • Maximum file size: 4 GB
  • Minimum video width: 500px
  • Supported video types: .mp4, .mov
  • Sound: Optional


As you consider the image and video specifications for each ad format, think about the kinds of images and videos that work best within those specs. Does it make sense to left-align text overlays for desktop images? Or create a video with more edge-to-edge action for Stories or Reels? In both cases, the answer varies on your creative direction and ad objectives.


6. Create Different Ads for Mobile and Desktop


Most Facebook users access the social network on their mobile devices, so vertical orientation and a mobile-first approach should be your default. Of course, you should always optimize each ad for its format and placement.

Your brand’s particular audience may differ, so it’s always a good idea to understand their habits and motivations when designing ads. Acknowledging variations in usage type between mobile and desktop also makes a strong case for tailoring your ad design to each format.

Facebook users also access their mobile and desktop apps in different frames of mind, which should also be considered. Mobile users can fill idle minutes by scrolling through their Feeds and Stories or searching for specific information on the go. Desktop users typically engage for longer periods and gravitate toward content that makes use of larger screen sizes. 


7. Use an Attention-Grabbing Value Proposition


Capturing attention is any advertisement’s first and most important priority. Facebook ads are no different; users will scroll right by an ad if it doesn’t catch their notice or pique their immediate interest. So it’s a best practice to put what consumers most care about – the value the ad represents to them – front and center. 

Your value proposition should be short and easy to understand at a glance and, when possible, be featured within the image or video itself. It should be urgent but in line with your brand image and tone. Most importantly, it should be compelling to the user.


8. Always Include a Clear CTA


A call to action (CTA) should be brief, provide users with a clear next step after viewing the ad, and contain action-oriented words that encourage a click-through. They should be related to the value proposition communicated in the ad and easily actionable.

CTAs usually appear in the description underneath the image, though in specific ad formats like Stories or Carousel, they can appear within the image or afterward as an overlay. But wherever it appears, every effective Facebook ad needs a clear CTA.


9. Capture Attention with Clear Messaging and Concise Text


Just as clear and concise value propositions and CTAs are best practices for Facebook ads, so is keeping ad copy and videos short and to the point. There is a place for longer-format text and lengthy video clips in organic Facebook content, but shorter is almost always better for ad design. 

At Tinuiti, we saw proof of this concept when testing video ad length for Strayer University.


Example of fast-paced ads with clear and concise messaging resulting in 50% lower CPE and 32% higher CTR


Ad testing revealed that the faster-paced 6-second ad drove higher and more efficient engagement than a comparable 15-second ad. The most effective ad featured its value proposition within the first 2 seconds and utilized more concise text overlays. With the Strayer campaign, we learned that 6-second ads resulted in a 50% lower CPE and a 32% higher CTR.

“Ultimately, the brand found that it’s so important to use a faster-paced storyline to communicate your messaging.”


Portrait of Kelsey Miller

Kelsey Miller, Director, Paid Social at Tinuiti


10. Follow Facebook’s Ad Guidelines

The Facebook Ad Manager incorporates all relevant technical guidelines through the ad-building tool – but it won’t cover every one of Facebook’s content guidelines

If your ad does not follow the guidelines, it will be subject to removal by Facebook.  For that reason, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with both the Facebook Ad Guide and the Meta Community Standards and brand safety information when developing your ad content.  

11. Use Color Theory to Your Advantage

As with any design, color is an essential element of Facebook ads, and it can go a long way toward capturing a user’s attention and directing their actions. There is a psychology behind the use of color, such as using yellow to convey optimism or blue to communicate trust and strength. Contrasting colors also can catch the eye, which is why you often see ads featuring colors from opposite sides of the color wheel. Contrast, when deployed in a Facebook ad, can help your message break through cluttered Feeds and grab users’ interest.

However you approach your ad’s color scheme, the colors you choose should work in harmony to support your brand identity and the purpose of your ad. You also want to keep your color usage relatively simple – two or three colors max, otherwise the ad will feel busy and overwhelming.


12. Make Your Ad Design Pop With GIFs and Video Assets


While moving images are only central to a few of the ad formats supported by Facebook, our experience helping companies devise and execute effective Facebook advertising strategies shows that they have an outsized impact. When tested against static images and long-form video, GIFs, in particular, saw higher CVR and revenue increases.

Example of two ads with animated offers resulting in a 17% spend increase, 26% more revenue, and 45% higher CVR

Our work with the retail brand Ownable on their US campaign produced GIF ad designs that achieved top performance during a promotion. The GIFs effectively highlighted the offers while keeping the product and brand front and clear.

After optimizing Ownable’s promo ads, we saw the following results:

  • 17% spend increase
  • 26% more revenue
  • 45% higher CVR


The GIFs successfully captured consumer attention as they effectively highlighted the promotional offer while maintaining the brand’s and product’s prominence. They were eye-catching while staying to the point, creating an optimal environment to lock in consumers’ focus.

Bare Necessities also saw an enormous performance increase just by altering their ad design to a GIF format to make their offer pop more.

 Example of two animated Facebook ads with animated offers resulting in 2x spend increase, 33% higher ROAD, and 9% higher CTR

In this campaign, our creative and social teams collaborated to transform Bare Necessities’ static assets into GIFs. The new ads’ subtle movement caught users’ attention in the feed and led to higher website traffic and revenue.


13. Use Customer Reviews When Possible For Social Proof


Reviews can be a key reference point for consumers in their buying journey, so if your brand or products enjoy strong support among reviewers, it’s a good idea to utilize those reviews in your Facebook ads.

For example, when working with Luca + Danni, we compared the impact of positive reviews on Facebook ad performance by testing various ad creatives against each other. 

Facebook ad with review resulting in 26% lower CPC, 19% higher CTR, 11% higher ROAS


Ad designs that included customer reviews within the post copy drove more efficient site traffic and purchases than the top-performing evergreen headlines.

We performed a single variable test for this campaign, comparing top-performing evergreen headlines against identical ads incorporating customer reviews. The ad creative that included customer reviews performed significantly better:


  • CPC decreased by 26%
  • CTR increased by 19%
  • ROAS saw a massive improvement of 110%


When it comes to ad creative, consumers respond better to social proof. By including customer reviews within the ad, we gave the brand and product more social clout than it would have gotten with just a headline and image alone.


14. Encourage Product Exploration with Shoppable Collection Units


For consumer-facing brands, Facebook’s Collection ad format can be a great way to let people discover, browse and buy what you offer. But do they perform better than the more common image or video ad formats or organic page posts? 

In a campaign for Tinuiti client Maurices, we tested whether Link Page-Post ads or Collection ads drove higher returns for sale periods. To do so, we ran two versions of an ad with near-identical creative: 


ad design with shoppable collections on Facebook resulting in 67% higher CTR and 51% higher ROAS



Collection ads dynamically pulling in products dramatically outperformed link-page posts. The “sell products” ad design collection layout encouraged category exploration and increased purchase conversion rates.

We found that encouraging product exploration resulted in a 67% higher CTR and a 51% higher ROAS. Displaying a collection of products drew customers in and encouraged them to shop more actively for additional products than just those listed in the ad creative.

The key here is to make things easier for your consumers. By displaying collection ads relevant to the user, you’re making it easy for them to find products they’re interested in without the hassle of going to your website and scrolling through all your products.


15. Use A/B Testing to Fail Fast & Learn Fast


Split testing, also known as A/B testing or single variable testing, has long been a favorite method for marketers to discover which ad optimizations yield the strongest results for a brand.

how to split test graphic


Testing the creative variables within your ads is just as important as testing the ad format or audiences. By testing one variable at a time, you can more quickly identify which elements impact your performance in different ways. The Facebook Ad Manager offers A/B testing tools (and guidance on conducting A/B tests within the platform), but you can also implement split testing on your own.

For example, here are some basic split tests for ad imagery types:


  • Lifestyle Vs. Product
  • Professional Vs. User-generated
  • Illustration Vs. Photography
  • Light Vs. Dark Colors
  • Text Overlays, Price Badges, and Copy


With this testing, you can optimize to make your winning ads perform even better. A/B testing will help you identify which variable is driving performance, then iterate on that variable to see continued success.


Conclusion: Prioritize Creative Ad Testing to Improve Ad Design Performance


Advertising on Facebook can be highly effective for your brand, but only if you nail your ads’ design elements. With so much variety available in terms of ad format, size, placement and content, it can feel overwhelming to develop the perfect ad campaign for your brand. They all have different rules, specs and utility, so what works on one may not work on another. But Facebook has plenty of tools to help you, and you can make the most of them by following these core principles:

  • Tailor creative for the right Facebook ad format. 
  • Establish your KPIs and testing goals and test often. This way, you’ll be able to collect relevant data to analyze for future campaigns.
  • Keep ad content short and simple to understand. Focus on capturing your audience’s attention and directing them to straightforward actions.
  • Understand your audience. The ultimate best practice for any advertising campaign. Know your audience and what they care about, and effective Facebook ad design will flow naturally.


Want to learn how your brand can start enjoying the benefits of performance creative on social platforms? Look no further than our Creative Services team.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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