Facebook Ads: Images that work NOW, and how to keep them working with RJ Talyor (episode 032)

by April Buencamino-dy

RJ has spent the last 15 years creating and selling marketing software to make our lives easier and our results better. In 2016 he founded Pattern89, an AI simulation tool that predicts which creative is going to work best–before you spend a single dime on ads. Handy eh!?

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R.J Taylor

R.J Taylor is a Facebook Ads Expert. He has been working for the last 15 years creating and selling Marketing Software to make our lives easier and better.

In 2016, he founded Pattern89, which is an AI Simulation Tool that predicts which creative is going to work best before you spend anything on advertising. 

What led to the creation of Pattern89, and how can it help marketers?

R.J believes that more and more marketers were trying and find out what creative would deliver the best results.

He found out that to achieve the same, more of them had been relying completely on A/B Testing to find out ultimately, “What Creative would resonate with my Customers?” They would carry out some A/B Testing and sometimes even more complex Multi-Variant Test to find out the winner.

However, these complex tests have their limitations:

Limitations of A/B and other Multi-Variant Tests

The Winner not working anymore

R.J feels that marketers often had been spending a lot of effort, money, and energy on A/B Testing and other complex testing.

But ultimately, the complex tests often did not deliver the kind of results expected from them.

As a result, they were compelled to carry out again a fresh set of tests which again involved much more resources.

Since Personal interference is involved it often leads to inaccurate results

Apart from these, complex tests involve human intervention.

Since there tends to be a set of personal preferences that tend to affect or influence and thus, the results may not always be very accurate. 

AI offers effective and accurate solutions

These were some of the limitations where RJ having gathered much expertise in marketing, wanted to provide solutions.

It is to look for solutions that RJ explored possibilities that came out of the latest capabilities of the AI world. It included stuff like Natural Language Processing (NLP) along with some advancements in computer vision.

These could help to predict the results of the A/B testing even before running the campaign. The results that come out, as a result, are 95% accurate. It is so accurate, that it eliminates the need to carry out A/B Tests.

Even if they are carried, it is very helpful to choose the clear winner and thus, improves the predictability of the tests. It enables users to choose the winner amongst winners. 

The Marketers instead need to focus on something creative rather than analyzing data. 

What types of Ad imagery is working well now?

R.J says that with Pattern89, you have what is known as a data-coop, and it enables the marketers to find out the best that is working. It enables users to look at 49,000 different creative dimensions.

As a result you can identify what is trending up and what is trending down. So you would find out what is working best in the image of man or woman.

Or is it a woman with glasses or with a black or a white shirt and so on? Every month Pattern89 publish a creative forecast that you can get your hands on here.

Images of individuals alone rather than in a crowd.

For 2021 forecasts, one important trend that has been emerged is the importance of being along. The pandemic has meant most of us have been alone. 

  • Ads where individuals are shown alone rather than a crowd work well
  • Ads with masks are not doing so well (because we relate more to the aspiration state of not having to wear a mask). 
  • Creative imagery that has an individual looking down at some electronic device is working well. 

Color Combinations

Colors like green and steel are working well. Calls to Actions driving better Click-Through Rates (CTRs)

  • “Get offer”, especially for eCommerce retailers, is driving in the best results.   

Outdoor Imagery

  • Lakes, mountains, rivers, bodies of water, camping are driving the best results. 

These are the broad trends that have emerged now. However, these would vary based on sector, the stages of the buying cycle.

How Often Should you Refresh the Creative in Your Ads?

In 2020 on average was 36 days. It means that the creative strategy would have to be reviewed and renewed every 36 days. 

It does vary across industries as well. Education, food, and beverage sectors have a longer lifecycle of about 24 days; whereas others like entertainment have shorter lifecycles. 

Top performers have to refresh the creative imagery, almost every 10 days. So if you are a marketer, you need to refresh your creative strategy quite regularly. 


  1. What does the consumer care about, and 
  2. What does the Algorithm prefer. 

Both of them need to be a part of your working strategy.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with Facebook Ads Marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

  • the best thing for a Newbie would be to become an expert on the changes of iOS 14. 
  • The second thing that RJ advises is to refresh the creative at least monthly.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve Facebook ads marketing performance?

It has to be creative again. You could do a simple thing of just taking a print out of your best performing ads and the worst performing ads and just eyeball them.

You just need to identify what is common amongst them and just hand out the same to your creative team. It is about understanding what creative is driving performance and what’s not. 

If the Listeners want to use 1 Cheap or Free Resource for learning Facebook Ads: What would you recommend?

Pattern89’s creative forecasts that have 20 pages of Creative insights. These are useful creative ideas, and they are free.

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in Facebook ads marketing?

Using creative to adapt to some of the changes that are anticipated as a result of iOS14. There is a decrease in utilization of Dynamic Content Feed and other automated feeds. Static imagery would become important, which could include images or videos at the bottom of the funnel. The solution lies in the creativity of the Ads. 

Interview Links

RJ on Social media:

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