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How to Create Facebook Ads That Sell T-Shirts

Posted by Ngan Ton on Feb 8, 2017 2:32:00 AM
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As of December 2016, Facebook is home to an average of 1.23 billion daily active users, making it highly likely that an interest group exists for your t-shirt. Combined with Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities, finding them has never been easier. The challenge most marketers face with Facebook advertising is actually converting the interest groups.

Regardless of how good you are at finding your audience, it’s still up to your ad to either compel or repel your audience. What your ads look like and what they say will determine the success of your campaigns. This guide will show you how to create Facebook ads that sell t-shirts, and ultimately see a better return on your spend.

For clarity, we’ve split the major components of a Facebook ad into two parts: the image and the content.


The newsfeed is a crowded battlefield where your image is often your first and only chance to win. Use these guidelines to better your odds:

1.) Use Original Creatives
Where it can be helped, try not to use stock photos. The reason is simple: people like connecting with other people. Stock photos are often unrealistic and hard to relate to. Additionally, the same image is available to everyone making your brand lose its unique value.

Tip: If you have no other choice, add a personal touch to them such as a filter, text, or even crop to a specific focus. We've also found 85 stock photography sites that are mostly royalty free. Many of these sites also feature original photos from photographers worldwide.

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2.) Use High-Quality Images
There is no excuse for low-quality ad creatives. You will undoubtedly attract attention with lo-res images, but it won’t be the attention you want. Viewers need to focus on the object you’re selling, and not the individual pixels.

3.) Carefully Consider Your Colors
Depending on your audience’s age, studies indicate they will lean toward one end of the color spectrum. Older people like darker colors like blue and green while younger people will lean more toward yellow and red. Additionally, both age groups heavily dislike the color orange, followed closely by purple and brown.

Unfortunately color alone won’t save your t-shirt campaign if no one likes the design, but it does play a part in how audiences feel when seeing the ad. Big Brands, for example, hugely take this into account when creating logos and trademarks.

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4. Appeal to Emotions
Consumers don’t purchase simply to purchase, especially when it comes to graphic tees. T-shirts are closer to emblems and badges, representing a buyer’s feelings. Use this to your advantage and appeal to that emotion with your image.

5. Display Location-Specific Images
Facebook offers advertisers the ability to run multiple campaigns for multiple locations. However, you’re letting this go to waste if you’ve failed to use location-specific ad creatives. Have a t-shirt geared at Boston? You can bet adding Boston specific references in your image will grab the right attention.

This is an easily missed opportunity for digital advertisers today. In more traditional media, we witness it all the time:
location specific ads.png

This ad understands the population commuting into San Francisco, a hub of innovation, and plays to it. Many startups in San Francisco grow quickly, and that means their employees' paychecks also grow quickly.

You too can fully capitalize on Facebook’s capabilities and tailor your ads to a personalized level that few have taken advantage of.

6. Feature Faces
Have you ever noticed your tendency to see faces when looking at a random pattern or an ordinary object? The well-known psychological phenomenon is called Pareidolia and it causes humans to perceive faces where none exists. Even more interesting, a study from Caltech revealed there is a specific part of our brains that only reacts when we see a face. Why does this matter?

Your audience has the natural inclination to look for faces. Featuring a face in your ad will naturally draw their attention.

7. Include Testimonials
One of the biggest marketing barriers you will face is establishing trust. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family members over an ad. Yes, that’s a big number to overcome, but it’s not impossible.

A great way to bridge this gap is to have your existing customers verify your authenticity. Use their image and a few bolded words as your ad creative (you can always use the full quote as a description). 

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Tip: Make sure you get their permission!

8. Include text over your images.

Hedge your bets by placing a call-to-action or an important descriptive snippet on the image. Some viewers are strictly visual scrollers and will ignore any text following your image. In which case, you’ll need additional help from the image to convey your full message.
text over your images.png

In the example above, Green Chef boldly displays the word “vegan” over the image. It’s a keyword for their offering and the audience doesn’t need to read beyond that to understand what they’re about.


Once you’ve hooked the audience with an image, good copywriting becomes essential. This will be the set of directions that persuades and instructs your audience to the next step. You won’t have a lot of room here so be concise and convincing, especially with Facebook ad headlines (25 characters or less recommended). Here are several ways to remain short and sweet with content:

1. Pose a Question
Asking a question accomplishes several things: captures attention, leads the conversation, and gets the rest of your message noticed.

2. Lead with a Benefit
This is similar to our earlier image guideline. Consumers don't purchase based on features. They will only understand the features in terms of how it benefits them: What will they get out of wearing your shirt? What do they get to tell the world about their tastes? Are you offering them something for free?

For example, Blue Bottle Coffee is a premium brand of coffee that has recently started home delivery. This ad immediately shares a benefit: free trial.
Lead with a benefit.png

3. Provide Directions
Call-to-actions are most successful when they tell the user exactly what to do or what they will gain from clicking.

4. Be Audience-Specific
Remember how we recommended being location-specific with your ad images? With your text, you need to be audience-specific. For example, targeting everyone in the United States means you can be general in your language. However, if you’re advertising a t-shirt about yoga, your audience might look like this:

A conversation with this person will sound very different from a male counterpart who doesn’t care about organic foods and never graduated college.

5. Use Simple Language
With the previous tip in mind, you should still remember that ads are not meant to be read like literature – they need to be easily understood. When someone sees your ad, you should consider their thought sequence as:

  • What does the ad offer
  • What are the benefits
  • What to do next

6. Send One Message
Your image and copy should go hand-in-hand to send the same message. When selling a t-shirt, make it clear to the audience through image and text what you’re offering and what they need to do to get it. Use a clear call-to-action.

7. Disclose the Costs
Cost is always a barrier. Openly displaying costs and prices benefits both you and the viewer. If a viewer readily clicks on an ad that displays pricing, it's an indicator that they have a much higher intention of purchasing than those blindly clicking i.e. you did not purchase a wasted click.

Additionally, if you’re offering a discount, tell them what they can expect to save. A copywriting tactic that typically works well here is to lead with the numbers.
disclose the costs.png

This ad is especially helpful. If handcrafted flats interests the viewer, they know immediately that they get to enjoy $50 off of their first purchase.

Bonus Here’s a quick bonus that can really get your Facebook ads strategy rolling: intersect interests.

Targeting intersections of interests can lead to powerful new ideas that other advertisers haven’t tried.

  • Pick two broad ideas that aren’t completely related.
  • Then, when targeting, select the “all of these” interests option since you only want your ad shown to those who like both different interests you’re intersecting.
  • Create ad content and creative around that intersection.

Here’s a great example from Clash Royal. While the game has nothing to do with home security or vans, they’ve crossed the two in a humorous manner and reached a new audience.


Facebook ads are not the only one way to sell your products. Would you like to know of the other 102 ways? Check out our ebook "103 Ways to Sell a New Product".

Topics: Tips and Tactics, Social Media

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