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Marketing | Apr 16
Jessica Malnik on May 11, 2020 (last modified on April 29, 2020) • 22 minute read
Did you know that Facebook makes more than $16 billion each quarter in ad revenue?
With so many companies using Facebook ads, anything you can do to get an edge will help you stand out from the crowd.
One of the best ways to do this is to focus on your ad copy.
In fact, the success of your Facebook ad campaign will depend on the copy you write and how well it resonates with your target audience.
In this post, we’re sharing 20 tips to help you write Facebook ads that convert, including:
Before you sit down and write any copy, you need to know what the goal of the campaign is.
When you know what your desired objective is, you can use this to reverse engineer past ad copy and campaigns.
According to the marketers we surveyed, nearly 30% optimize for new leads.
“Know your audience and write for them,” says Steve James says. “You need to know what your prospect marketplace is thinking and find a way to address that.”
Khris Steven of Khrisdigital.com says, “Writing a highly converting Facebook Ads copy has to do with deep-diving into your niche and your audience’s mindset, goals and problems. When you know the niche well and basics of copywriting, you can generate ad copy with a great offer that gets great results. Then, keep it curiosity-based, conversational with multiple CTAs (Call-To-Actions) across the ad text.”
Daniel Daines-Hutt of Ampmycontent adds, “Like any copywriting activity- the better you understand your audience, the easier it is to connect with them AND get them to take action.
Heck, it even affects how well your offer converts after they click on the advert.
Research is the most underrated aspect of high performing copy.”
“This one should be a NO BRAINER, but I see people getting it wrong ALL THE TIME,” says Linda Musselwhite of Musselwhite Marketing. “You MUST know and segment your audience.
Writing ads generically is easier, but exponentially less effective. Segmenting your audience by interests, pain points, age, gender, etc. takes a lot of work but the results (when done correctly) speak for themselves.
Recently we helped a client replace their underperforming digital marketing agency. Each year, this client has three product launches (basically product updates). The previous agency wrote ad and email copy generically to everyone (end-users and therapists alike) on their list (300k+). The results for this specific product update launch were about 2,000 webinar registrations over a 10-day period.
By changing the approach and writing segmented ad copy for this year’s product update launch, we experienced OVER 2,000 webinar registrations on just the first day! This is a significant improvement simply because we took the time to segment the audiences, learn and understand their triggers and then write and publish ads for each group independently.
This approach produces copy (triggers) specific and exclusive to each segment. In this example, it should be easy to see and understand that you SHOULD NOT talk to (or write the same copy) therapists and their patients the same way. A patient is looking for a solution to their specific situation or pain. The therapists are looking for a different solution which includes how to bring more business to their practice.
If you are not segmenting your Facebook ad copy there is room for improvement in your copy that has a high likelihood of increased and improved conversions.”
Kelly Hawthorne Smith of Twelve Three Media says, “The only way ad copy is high-converting is to be relevant to the person who sees it. Ad copy needs to quickly identify a current problem the targeted person is having and offer an easy solution. Eye-catching images or videos, clear CTA, social proof, discounted offers and product benefits are all important components of well-written ads, but if they are not highly relevant to the person reading the ad, you won’t invoke action. Ad copy should always be written from the end-user’s perspective so you can clearly show them how they benefit when they interact with the ad.”
“As for a tip, we’ve found that it’s most useful to remember that you’re writing to multiple audiences,” adds Sophie Mann of Infinity Concepts. “Writing to a potential customer is different than writing to a repeat customer, for instance. General promotions work less and less these days, and it’s best to make sure the person reading your ad is actually going to feel spoken to.”
“Facebook Ads are great for targeting demographic and custom audiences, but you still need to create ad copy that works and pulls them in,” says Ken Christensen of Christensen Recycling. “One tip that we use is creating two sets of ad copies/campaigns. One for the general audience and one for audiences that have already been to our site or are a repeat buyer. This allows us to cater the message towards how well they might already know us or the service/product.
Jordania Nelson of Divining Point agrees, “While it may be tempting to write as if you’re speaking to an entire audience, you should be writing to one person and one person alone. By directing your copy to someone part of your target audience, you’re giving 100% of your attention to them and the chances of them connecting to your ad are higher.”
In fact, nearly 30% of marketers say that ad targeting is the most important part of a successful Facebook ad campaign.
“Lead generation ads accompanied by a great offer will always generate some great conversion,” says Katie Tomlin of Valve+Meter Performance Marketing. “As a company that works with several HVAC companies, we see the most success when generating social ads that are connected to a great sale. Dollars off, percentage off, rebates… As consumers, we will always be driven by a good deal.”
Hina Ilyas of Hashtagged says, “Impactful Facebook ads have a clear goal and a call to action that encourages people to visit your website.”
Ashleigh Davison of Browser Media Ltd adds, “Within your ad copy, ask your target audience relevant ‘yes’ questions and include a clear call to action. This way you’ll not only drive relevant and engaged traffic to your website, but they’ll also know what to do once they get there.”
“There should be no gaps between the information in the copy and the information on the landing page,” says Lauren Clawson of Portent. “It should be evident for a user exactly what they are clicking and what they are going to see once they get there.”
Brian Lenney adds, “Tell people what you want them to DO, then, tell them what to expect on the other side of the click. High-converting isn’t just about the ad. It’s about the landing page afterward too.
‘Click the link now and you’ll be taken to a page where you can download my free ebook’
They know what to DO.
They know what to expect. No need to be cute or clever in your copy. Be clear and command.”
Jason Sheil of Flying Saucer Studio agrees, “Be clear, concise, and conversion-focused.
A lot of folks sit down at the keyboard and spend hours coming up with something that’s witty and on-brand. I think that’s great, but it shouldn’t ever be the goal.
Your goal right now is conversions. Save the fancy wordplay for your about page. With ads, you have less than a second to get your message across. So write a copy that will convert first and then worry about how clever it is.
Also, make sure you tailor your copy to the audience demographics you’re targeting and ensure that the way you write is reflected in the copy of the landing page you send them too.”
Editor’s Note: Use the Facebook Ads Campaign Performance Dashboard to get insights into ad engagement, clicks, money spent, and more.
“Speak to the buying journey,” says Jess Riches of Enriches Business. “If your target audience has never heard of you, introduce yourself. If they have had some contact and are now likely interested in learning more, it’s time to consider breaking down your offer, features, and benefits. If they are still with you after this, it’s time to show them WHY they should buy from you over someone else. This is where shipping times, offers, payment options, or even really positive reviews have time to shine.
Think of your Facebook Ads copy in funnel stages, and imagine you have a brick and mortar storefront. Cold targeting is the sandwich board out the front. Warm targeting is when they come inside and you ask them what they would like to know/see/looking for. Hot Targeting is once you have shown them the products they want and they look ready to walk to the checkout.”
“Be specific,” says Melanie Musson of TexasCarInsurance.com. “Your best advertising will be to a specific target group rather than a broad audience, and you want to offer exactly what they need. Know your target audience and write specifically for them.”
“For writing high-converting Facebook ad copy, you need to talk with your audience’s voice,” says Jonathan Aufray of Growth-Hackers. “You have to understand your audience in order to write the right message and use the right wording so they feel that you’re directly and personally talking to them.”
Murat Kaya of Shopney says, “Know what motivates your audience. For example, people will share your content if that makes ‘them’ look cool. They will not buy or use what you offer just because you say it’s perfect. It should meet their standards and motivations.
To make it happen, you should speak the same language as them. Like a friend or a neighbor who they trust the advice of. Don’t write like a ‘brand’. Be the real brand by being a part of your audience!”
Vimal Bharadwaj of Automate.io adds, “To achieve a close connection with them, the language of your copy has to align with that of your audience. But how do you do that? The following ways can help.
Conduct surveys with open-ended questions if you have the time and resources. It takes some work but will provide you with many useful insights.
Conduct AMA sessions with your followers on social media.
If you’re pressed for time or don’t have a big enough audience of your own, find and read through relevant reviews online.”
“For Facebook Ad copy to be high converting, it needs to do two things,” says Jeremy Cross of Team Building Los Angeles. “First, you have to catch someone’s attention as they scroll the News Feed. Second, you need to encourage them to take action. An easy way to capture that attention is to include a few fun emojis in your post. You could include a heart, star, briefcase, palm tree, or similar. We recommend a maximum of three emojis, otherwise, the ad can start to look spammy and have the opposite effect than you intended.”
Josh Barney of Einstein Marketer says, “There are many common elements that the best performing Facebook ad copy includes urgency, benefits, social proof, questions, pain points.
But, if I was to offer a tip to somebody just starting out, I’d tell them to use emojis where possible. This doesn’t mean riddling your copy with them, it means using a handful to elevate the importance of key emotional trigger words.
Emojis give your ad another chance to capture the attention of your audience in a highly competitive and very visual news feed – and draw the eye to keywords that should be targeted at your specific audience member.”
For example, Hans Dekker of Wiza adds, “Start with a scroll-stopper and break the pattern of regular posts.
If your opening line doesn’t captivate people and stop them from mindlessly scrolling through their feed, the rest of your copy isn’t going to matter.
One way to accomplish this is to include emojis. So one opening line could look something like this:
🤖 Are you lost in your Facebook ads data?
Or like this:
😱 Did you see this new [INSERT PRODUCT HERE]?
Remember: the purpose of your 1st line is to get people to get read 2nd, and so forth.”
“One of the most important things a marketer can do to develop high converting Facebook ad copy is to focus on concisely engaging people’s passions and emotions,” says Jen Lawlor of Infinity Concepts. “Emotion is one of the greatest keys to action. And a passion is when emotion and action crystallize together. If you can engage a prospect’s passions, your chances of moving them to sign up, buy, donate, etc. increase dramatically. Facebook is not only an incubator for people’s passions but it is a global hub for them, providing a place where people with almost any interest can connect. Because people go to Facebook in pursuit of their passions, hoping to be emotionally engaged, it is the perfect place to meet them in those pursuits.”
Andrew Schutt of Schutt Media adds, “Give your audience an offer they want by speaking directly to their deepest pains and desires. Give them what they want, and help them avoid what they don’t want.
We run ads in the real estate space, and in real estate, people want houses. So we offer them lists of houses. People looking to buy and sell homes also want to save money and not waste it, so we give people financing options to save money on their home without wasting thousands on a bad mortgage.
It’s all about framing your ad in a way that speaks directly to your target audience’s pains and desires and makes a compelling, desirable, eye-popping offer.”
“Clearly call out your audience’s biggest pain point to establish that immediate resonance,” says Andrea Moxham of Horseshoe + co.. “Drill down as detailed as you can get and focus on one pain point per ad variation.”
Taavi Rebane of Messente Communications adds, “Always start with the biggest problem that your product solves. As the human attention span is already shorter than of a goldfish’s, it’s critical to catch the attention of a Facebook scroller right off the bat. The best way to do it is to highlight the key pain point that your product solves. This will ensure that the ad is interesting for your target audience and will bring in more clicks, which in turn will improve the cost-efficiency of the ad.”
“Focus on the end-user and talk TO them,” says Toni JV of JVT Media. “The biggest mistake beginner Facebook Ad marketers make is they go in and yell at the top of their lungs; ‘Hey, look at me! Look at my awesome product! Isn’t my product just amazing?’
But no one cares about that.
Talk to your audience about something that they specifically really care about. You have to really dig down to something that they’re struggling with, and then position yourself as the solution to that problem.”
“Keep your ad copy short,” says Jamie-Lee Kay of The Other Straw. “It needs to be engaging, relevant, and click-worthy. As people scroll their Facebook feed, most won’t want to read long-form content. Posts with fewer than 80 characters earn 66% more engagement than longer posts.”
Brooke Logan of Sagefrog Marketing Group says, “A lot of the time users are simply scanning the ads that they see in their newsfeed. Make sure the ad copy you give to them in those few seconds is enough to make them want more.”
“You have a limited word count, so make sure your Facebook Ad copy quickly captures interest (makes them stop and read) and stirs their curiosity,” adds David Denning of Jumpstart Go. “You’re not going to explain everything and overcome objections in your ad. The goal is to get them to click-through and learn more (and retarget those that do but don’t convert).”
Kevin Picton of Sharpen IT recommends taking this a step further.
“Stay away from long-form copy,” says Picton. “It was novel for a while and people thought they were getting a lot of free info, but they have worked out that it is just a long ad and they no longer want to read it.”
For example, Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined says, “If you want a winning Facebook ad, then write so that even a 5th grader can understand you. Forget flowery language and verbosity. Get to the point and above all else, and tell the people you target:
Bottom line: When someone sees your ad, they should know exactly what to do next and they should know the reason why they’re doing it.”
This almost seems too obvious to include, but don’t lie or embellish the truth in order to get more clicks.
Jagruti Bhargav of SocialPilot adds, “Don’t over-promise and undersell. Clickbait works only with thumbnails and not with the ad copy.”
“Always leave room for curiosity while promising something in return,” says Obaid Khan of Planet Content. There’s more to effective copy than just grabbing someone’s attention – you also have to do something with it, once you have it.”
Rob Evans of Graviteq adds, “Your ad copy must captivate the viewer in a way that they are curious to learn more about what you have got to say. Earlier, most advertisers turned to clickbaity headlines to achieve this. Not only does this bring down user experience, but a lot of ad networks, including Facebook, today frown upon such ad copies.
One way to do this without clickbait is by crafting a copy that, if you were to hear from someone on the street while they are talking to their friend, you may want to stop and listen in on their conversation.
“One thing we have noticed is that the copy with a question is fairly effective,” says Ameet Khabra of Ameet Khabra Marketing Inc.. “We’ll look at Google Search Console, Answer The Public, etc. for questions that the client’s potential customers are asking and create a campaign around that as that question is bound to resonate well with them.”
However, this doesn’t just apply in the actual ad copy you write. You can also ask yourself questions as you are writing the copy. One of the best questions to ask is, “So What?” This will help you understand if you are simply describing features or sharing the benefits.
“When writing high-converting Facebook Ad copy, whether it be for my own online business or for one of our clients, I always take a step back and ask myself “so what?” adds Alex Williams of Hosting Data. “Is this content adding value? And if so, what? You must ensure that whatever you are posting about has a strong “so what” message. For example, if posting content about a product, it is not enough just to write about the product features, you need to include why these features will add value to your target audience.
At Hosting Data, we write our own Facebook Ad copy. We are the specialists of our service and can ensure the “so what” aspect is always included.”
Williams is not alone in this regard. In fact, nearly 72% of the marketers we surveyed write their own Facebook ad copy.
“Be playful with your ad copy and creative,” says Jasmine Hippe of Augurian.” I’ve seen the highest conversion rates on ads that feature some sort of humorous or heart-warming element. For example, we’ve seen conversion boosts when using photos of animals in our ads. The meme-like style fits right in with a users’ typical Facebook feed and connects your brand to a positive emotion.”
For example, Alex Goldberg of Pupfection says, “We’ve noticed that short ad copy with an eye-catching image, and perhaps most importantly, including a button in the image generates much higher CTR.”
“Use the power of social proof in your ads,” says Hans van Gent of User Growth. “If people have never heard of you, how can you earn their trust as quickly as just in one ad?
Most people like to look for general signs that build that trust.
The actions of others can reflect on your company, product or service. By including testimonials and stories of existing customers in your ad copy, you can show that they can trust you by showcasing that you will deliver on your promise.
This works especially great in a carousel ad, where you can showcase multiple testimonials and tell your story using the words of others.”
“Test out as many as possible,” says Nick Hollinger of Visitor Queue. “Run multiple of the same creatives with different copy to see which resonates with your audience the best. Then, after 1-2 weeks, pick the higher-performing one(s) and pause the others.”
“There is no one size fits all,” says Daniel Cheung of Danielkcheung.com. “That is, some audiences will respond well to long-form content. Some audiences will convert only to video format. Some audiences like emojis. Others hate it. Some audiences will just never convert no matter what because they are a poor fit. There is no ONE tactic or hack that works for all ads because everyone is different.
Therefore, test test test! Use the same image and use several variations of copywriting. Only by doing it the painstaking way will you get data that is representative and useful. This is the ONLY way you will know what works for your specific situation.”
Jacob Lundy of Leighton Interactive says, “Use responsive text! It’s a newer feature that allows you to test multiple versions of ad copy. Don’t limit yourself!”
Lori Mankin of ClearPivot adds, “I use subject line ranking tools to test Facebook ad copy.
Generally, I keep my content short, simple, and as human as possible. But if I had to pick one tip for copy, my tip would be to AB test it. Sometimes the winner will surprise you.”
Editor’s Note: Track the reach and performance of all your Facebook ad campaigns using this Facebook Ads Engagement Dashboard.
“Use Facebook collection ads to create an engaging and convincing story,” says Khanh Tran of Villa Finder. “Out of all Facebook ad formats and placements I have tested, I find collection ads bring the most conversion for our businesses. These ads can only be viewed on mobile and take a little bit more time to create.
The format gives you the option to insert pictures, texts, buttons, and videos, and customize it however you want. So you have the flexibility to create an engaging, convincing story that can increase your conversion rate. Your audience can only view the story once they have clicked on the ad, so they are clearly interested in your product. The rest relies on your ad copy and visual.
The ad copy needs to be short and to the point. I’ve tried a few different styles, and find that people don’t really care whether the idea is written in full-sentence, or not. In fact, they want it to be short and sweet, so omitting redundant words and using bullet points help. Furthermore, you need to know the keywords your audience are looking for and include that in the copy.
For example, instead of writing:
This villa has 3 bedrooms and is great for families
I’ll shorten it to:
– 3 bedrooms
– Child-friendly (baby cot, highchair provided)
People don’t usually spend much time on an ad, so just make it straight to the point.”
In sum, there are many factors that go into writing high-converting Facebook ad copy. However, this all starts with understanding your target audience and getting clear on what they care about. Then, speaking to that in your ad copy.
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