Today’s Facebook users are bombarded with advertisements at every scroll, and many are the well-meaning ads that are swiftly swiped past. So, how do you write a great Facebook ad that is engaging, resonating and incites your audience to take action?
If you want to make sure your audience stops and pays attention to your ad, it has to be good. It has to speak to them. It has to do something to stand out from all of the other content filling someone’s timeline.
To write great ad copy that incites action, follow these essential steps.
1. Determine the goal of your ad.
What is your goal for publishing this ad? Do you want to encourage your audience to purchase something? To take advantage of a sale or promotion? To visit your website? To download an e-book? To simply just engage with your brand or product? After you figure out what you want your audience to do, you have your call to action (CTA). All copy should be written to convince someone to do that thing.
2. Target your audience.
Now that you’ve got your purpose in mind, it’s time to think about who you want to see and interact with your ad. Facebook’s targeting tool can help you select an audience based on gender, age, location, interests and other factors. Usually you’ll get the most engagement from a more specific and tailored audience consisting only of the people who will be most interested in your offer or promotion.
3. Get inside your audience’s head.
Now that you know your audience and what you want them to do, it’s time to do a bit of psychology. If you were reading your ad, what would you want it to say? There are several approaches you can take to catch your audience’s attention. One is to present a problem that they might be having and show how your product or offer is the ideal solution. Consider IKEA’s example:
Their ad acknowledges the fact that remodeling can be expensive. But IKEA’s solution is its vast array of stylish, high-quality yet affordable furniture and kitchenware, so any homeowner can achieve “the kitchen of their dreams.” The copy is short and sweet but gets the message across effectively.
Another option is to tug at the heartstrings. The goal is to appeal to your audience’s emotions, so puppies.
Who doesn’t want their precious pup to live a happy and healthy life? Plus, dog owners know how difficult it is to find food that agrees with their dog’s taste buds — and stomach. The headline “Nutritious foods dogs will love” provides a nice and clean message, but the high-quality, adorable photo does all of the talking. Know what your audience typically engages with and lean in.
4. Write your copy.
Now that you’ve completed all of your research and brainstorming, it’s time to start writing. Consider not only what will go in the post itself, but any text needed for your corresponding visual, as well as the headline and link description that will be featured at the bottom of the ad. That’s a lot of real estate to cover — make sure every piece of copy works together to persuade your audience to take that desired action.
And although Facebook has suggested character counts for ads, you don’t necessarily have to adhere to them. People will read through a longer ad if the copy is engaging. However, short and punchy ads can be just as successful. It all depends on what information you feel is needed to make the strongest case for why your audience should do what you want them to do. Just take a look at the examples below — very different lengths, but both effective.
5. Write your CTA.
It’s essential that every Facebook ad have a clear call to action. At minimum, the CTA should be located in the CTA button at the bottom of the ad. Facebook offers several copy options for these buttons, such as “Learn More” or “Shop Now.” However, you’ll also want to consider adding details to that CTA in the post copy — why should people click that button? Consider the Ben & Jerry’s ad previously discussed. The line “Grab Netflix & Chill’d for your next night in” offers an extension of the “Learn More” call to action button. Click the button so you can learn how to snatch up this vegan ice cream for your next Netflix binge. I’m convinced.
6. Test different creative variations.
Even with all of the legwork you have done up to this point, it can feel impossible to predict which ads will perform best among your audience. That’s why you should come up with different creative variations of images and copy to continuously test. Try one variation that poses a question and one that doesn’t. Or shows a lifestyle photo versus a product shot. You can even pause the ads that aren’t doing as well and come up with more variations based on what you find is the most engaging for users. Then, you can start the whole testing process over — it really never ends, at least until you decide to end your campaign and more on to a new one.
Whatever you do, stay true to your brand.
Facebook advertising can be an affordable and effective way to create conversions, but it requires thoughtful, strategic planning for the best results. And just like with all advertising, great creative should always remain true to your brand’s messaging and visuals. Pair your paid ads with consistent, engaging organic posts, and you’ll continue to build awareness, trust and excitement around your brand in the digital sphere.