A version of this article originally appeared on Single Grain; reprinted with permission.
Considering that over 2 billion people log on to Facebook every month, it’s no wonder Facebook ads are such a big deal in the marketing world.
No matter what products or services you’re marketing, you can’t afford to not be on Facebook. Because of Facebook’s wide user base and ad targeting capabilities, virtually any business can get ROI from Facebook advertising.
But if you’re not familiar with advertising on this platform, getting started can be intimidating.
In this guide, we’ll talk about what you need to keep in mind for to create high converting Facebook ads.
But Facebook ads don’t work for my market!
Yes, they do.
Here are some notable stats about Facebook advertising according to Zephoria:
- Over 2 billion monthly active users around the world (18% increase from 2016)
- 1.74 billion mobile active users (21% increase year over year)
- Age 25-34 is the most common age demographic for Facebook users
- Photo uploads total 300 million per day
- Average time spend per Facebook visit is 20 minutes
- 42% of marketers report that Facebook is crucial to their business
Facebook’s targeting capabilities and demographics make it straightforward to target whoever you want using your ads — whether it’s by age, income, behavior, interests, or other criteria.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while crafting your Facebook ads.
Know Your Objective for Your Facebook Ads
Before you spend time and money on your Facebook ads, make sure you know what you want from them. This will guide you through the process of writing the text for your ads, since your content and tone will vary depending on what you want your ads to do.
Are you trying to improve brand awareness among people who don’t know anything about the company? Are you hoping to sell a product or service? Or are you attempting to persuade readers to do something, such as subscribe to your blog?
Define your objective, and then you can move on to writing the content with that in mind.
Get Right to the Point
Remember that you’re writing an ad, not a blog post. You only get so many characters, so make them count. Start your ad with a catchy, short headline, then mention the benefits of your product or service right away in the ad copy. Instead of talking about how great the brand is, state how it can benefit the customer.
For example, if it’s free or cheap to get your product or service, or if it can make the reader’s life easier, say so right away.
Don’t forget to pair your short copy with a clear, relevant image that will grab the attention of your target audience.
Lifestyle photos often work best for Facebook ads, since they’re an interesting way to depict people using your products or services.
Long Copy Still Works
If your copy is good, people will read it — no matter how long it is.
This is why being a practitioner in Facebook ads will give you more insight than just looking at the data alone. For example, here’s the data on engagement rates when it comes to post length:
- 40-character Facebook posts get 86% more engagement over other types of posts (i.e. longer ones)
- 80-character posts receive 66% more engagement over other posts
- According to the data, Facebook posts that ask questions between 100-119 characters get the most engagement.
But check out this post by James Altucher which received a significant number of likes and shares in just 17 hours after publication, despite the fact that it is longer than most.
When you run ads, think about how you can structure it like a mini-sales page. A great sales page usually has the following “sections”:
- A strong, attention grabbing headline. Facebook ads don’t necessarily have headlines, but the first few sentences of the ad should serve the purpose of “hooking” your reader to read the rest of the page.
- Paint a picture of the problem. In the first part of your Facebook ad, you should paint a picture of the problem your reader is having. For example, when it comes to Facebook ads, a big problem is that marketers and entrepreneurs “shoot themselves in the wallet” while trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
- A personal story of transformation. Why should your reader listen to you? The best way to convince someone that you “get” what they’re going through is by telling a story of how you experienced something similar, and how you overcame it using a specific system, strategy, or software you’ve developed.
- Mentioning the “elephant in the room.” There’s always some “unspoken truth” about the industry you’re in, or something your prospects find annoying about everyone else. If you can bring that to light, your readers will love your originality. That translates to increased credibility.
- FAQs. A good sales page has FAQs that address questions and concerns readers have. For example, people might be thinking “Will this product work for my specific situation?” “Will I have enough time to set this up / work through this, etc?” “How do I know I can trust this person?” A good sales page hits all those objections before they can even come up.
Obviously your Facebook ad can’t be as long as a full blown sales page, but you can create a condensed version of it within your ad.
Victor Schwab wrote this in “How to Write a Good Advertisement“:
“The longer your copy can hold people, the more of them you will sell; and the more interesting your copy is, the longer you will hold them.
If you can keep your reader interested, you’ll have a better chance of propelling him to action. If you cannot do that, then too small an amount of copy won’t push him far enough along that road anyway.”
Long form ads can be a very lucrative tactic for your business.
Include a Great Call to Action
The most important part of your Facebook ad is the call to action (CTA). This is how readers know what you want them to do after viewing your ad. Whether you want them to download an e-book, subscribe to your website or buy a product, make that clear in your Facebook ads.
If you want your ad to not only get clicks but also convert, consider the following examples of effective CTAs for Facebook ads:
- Sick of [blank]?
- Stop doing [blank]
- Get this free [blank]
- Use this free coupon for [blank]
- Enter to win [blank]
- Find out why [celebrity or publication] said [blank]
Basically, your CTA needs to be short and clear. It should also include a powerful action word that gets readers to not only notice it, but act on it.
Customize Your Facebook Ads to Each Audience
Facebook makes it easy to target your ads toward different audiences using a variety of details. For example, you can target Facebook ads based on gender, age, education, interests, location and more. Once you choose your exact target audience, make sure your ads are customized toward it.
For instance, if you’re targeting college students, you’ll want your language, tone and possibly even your call to action to be different than if you were targeting senior citizens.
Likewise, your ads for people in different countries should not be the same, even if they speak the same language, since the slang may vary from one area to another.
Fortunately, Facebook makes it easy for you to create a variety of ads so each one is customized for every audience you want to target. In fact, you should write a few different ads for each audience, as this will keep your ads fresh and prevent your readers from getting bored of seeing the same copy every day.
Test Out Your Ads
Once you have concise copy, a clear image, a strong call to action and customized content for each audience, it’s time to put it all to the test. There’s no point in paying to run ads that don’t convert your audience. The good news is that it’s easy to test your ads on Facebook. Just create a few different ads with variations on the image, content and layout. Target the same audience for all the ads, and keep them up for one week.
You can then use analytics tools, such as Facebook Insights, to see how each ad performs. The one that converts the most consumers should be the one you choose to run for your Facebook ad campaign. You can always keep the second- and third-best performers on hand for when you want to refresh your campaign with new ads.
If you’re still unsure of how to proceed with Facebook ads, you can always look at Facebook ad success stories to see how numerous big brands have used this advertising option to increase brand awareness, subscribers, sales and more.
Take some time to play around with word choice, different CTA formats and images for your ads. And once you figure out a surefire path to the perfect ad, we’d love to hear about it, so feel free to comment below with your own Facebook ad success story!