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The secret life of Facebook ad copy that converts

If you’re running Facebook ads, get these Facebook ad copy tips. These four tactics will better convert your target audience and lift your ad campaign results.

November 12, 2020 by Cyn Meyer

You’re in your Facebook ads manager writing copy for your next Facebook ad campaign.

As you comb through your ad text, you realize you’re dealing with imposter syndrome.

Is your copywriting any good?

How do you write a great Facebook ad anyway?

After all, you’ve been free-writing and following your gut as an ad copywriting process. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional ad copywriter to write powerful ads that lead to successful Facebook ad campaigns.

Whether you’re a marketer or small business owner, we’ve got four key tips for you today that will help you nail down the messaging in your Facebook ad campaigns. 

You can write great Facebook ads that help you reach your campaign goals, even if you’re feeling like a fraud. Just follow our four Facebook ad copywriting tips with ad examples.  

But first, let’s briefly cover why you should even use Facebook advertising in your marketing strategy.

Why should I use Facebook ads?

If you’re wondering why we’re singling out Facebook ad copy and dedicating an article to writing effective Facebook ads, the answer is in the sheer numbers. 

Today, as far as social networks go, Facebook is still king. 

With over 1.62 billion users that visit the platform daily, it’s a social media channel that you’d be remiss not to use for your small business

But, unfortunately, it’s not enough to use the social network organically to reach your audience. 

Among the billions of people that religiously head to the platform each day, a major 88% of Facebook users do it to stay in touch with their friends and family. 

And only 17% use the social media channel to follow brands and companies. 

This means the organic posts from your business aren’t prioritized by Facebook users nor Facebook’s algorithm, so your chances of ending up in your potential customers’ news feed are close to nil. 

In fact, Facebook’s organic reach has plummeted to a tiny 6% of your fans.

What’s more, the latest study found Facebook’s organic page reach is steadily depleting over time -- while its stock price rises -- with no change in sight.

All this to say, while Facebook is the largest social media platform, to get in front of your target audience on the social network, you’ll need to dedicate some ad dollars to running Facebook ad campaigns.

(Sidenote: Need help setting up your Facebook ads? This guide to Facebook ads for creators should help.)

As for how to make those dollars go further, that’s where the rest of this article comes in. 

We’re going to focus less on specific ad types (such as carousel ads, video ads, et cetera) and more on the types of copy you can use across your Facebook ads. 

All of these principles can be applied to make effective Facebook ads and help connect to not just any ole audience, but the right audience.

4 tips for copywriting the best Facebook ads

#1. Use your audience’s words in your Facebook ad copy

To write a great Facebook ad, try writing copy with your target audience’s exact words and phrasing. 

This is a powerful way to nail your ad messaging, and here’s why. 

By using your target audience’s words, it shows that you took the time to listen and understand their perspective, which is a sign that you authentically care about helping them solve a problem.

And how important is authenticity? Very.

A dominant 90% of consumers claim authenticity is important when deciding which brands to like and support. 

So, if you’re wondering where to source your target audience’s exact language, there’s no better (or more obvious) place than directly from your, well, target audience.

Whether you pull the verbiage from secondary research perusing Facebook group conversations and online forums, or from first-hand one-on-one conversations, conducting customer research is the name of the game.

According to marketing queen Amy Porterfield:

“It’s important that you reflect back to[your target audience] what they are feeling and what they are saying . . . Keep a running list of these words on your smartphone[or] in a Google Doc . . . because if you use their words and their phrases, it’s like pure gold for copywriting.”

Another option for using your target audience’s language is to use quotes from happy customers. 

There’s nothing that speaks to your brand’s credibility quite like social proof and testimonials do.

So much so that a whopping 72% of consumers claim positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.

Given that 73% of consumers read six or fewer reviews before making their purchasing decision, this might be the ticket to writing a great Facebook ad.

For a Facebook ad example featuring a raving review, check out leading entrepreneur Darren Hardy‘s Facebook ad copy, which highlights a quote from one of his enthusiastic membership subscribers.

The main takeaway is to use your customer’s exact wording when writing your ad text. Even if it’s tempting, don’t drum up your entire ad’s copywriting from just inside your head. This helps your Facebook ad copy resonate with your target audience more. 

In the same vein, use your audience’s exact phrasing in our next copywriting tip, too.

#2. Walk your audience from pain point to desired result

Another powerful way to capture people’s attention through your Facebook ad copy is to write ad text that first speaks to their pain point and then coaches them to their desired outcome. 

It’s a great way to show empathy for your audience’s pain point and build credibility and trust among your audience. 

By showing them you’ve not only been there, but you also know how it feels, they’ll more likely trust you to show them a way out of their pain point.

And building trust is a pretty big deal these days. 

67% of people agree that a good reputation can get them to purchase something, but, unless they trust the company behind the product, they’ll stop buying it.

On top of that, when making a big purchase, trust plays a role for a giant 92% of Americans, 89% of UK residents, and 95% of Canadians.

So, to strengthen trust in your brand, write Facebook ad copy that empathizes with your audience’s specific pain point and then lead them to their desired outcome.

(It goes without saying that this strategy relies on having accurate ad targeting, whether through an imported audience or custom audiences.)

Check out how one of Amy Porterfield’s highest converting Facebook ads starts by addressing her audience’s pain point of hesitating to launch their first online course. 

Amy then walks them through the emotions of the shared pain point and finishes the ad copy with a happy (and impressive) ending.

In her ad text punchline, she shares her huge success of “seven courses, 42,000 students, and $8.7 million” that resulted from sticking out her dream of building a successful online course business.

Then, Amy’s CTA copy nudges people to register for her free masterclass, where Amy teaches people more in-depth about how she traveled from pain point to success. 

In another one of Amy’s Facebook ads, she writes, “Right now you might feel like you’re struggling with fewer than 1,000 people on your list” to describe her target audience’s pain point. 

In her copywriting, she then walks them to their end destination of “creating the digital empire of your dreams,” and adds a limited time CTA to entice her target audience to click through. 

The gist of it is this:

Empathize with your target audience by touching on their specific pain points in your copywriting, which demonstrates that you know what it feels like to be in their shoes and that you can be trusted to help them reach their ideal state. 

And if it takes several words in your ad text to empathize with your target audience, that’s OK. Read our next tip for the copywriting details.

#3. Consider long-form ad copywriting

Another way to write Facebook ad copy that successfully converts is to write long-form ad copy. 

Let’s first cover our bases, though, so you know when to use long-form ad copy -- because it’s not always ideal.

When it comes to the length of your ad copywriting, the best Facebook ads include ad text length that matches the ad campaign goal. 

Here’s what I mean.

If you’re running a Facebook ad campaign with brand awareness as your main goal, long-form ad copy likely isn’t necessary. 

Writing shorter Facebook ad copy might make more sense, like in this Facebook ad by branding pro Mark Lack, where his main goal is to simply share content from Mark’s interview with billionaire Tilman J. Fertitta. 

On the other hand, a goal that’s closer to the bottom of the funnel -- where potential customers are hyper-aware of their problem and hunting to solve their pain point -- may be a better fit for long-form copywriting and more detailed ad text that answers their specific questions. 

Strategyzer used long-form copywriting -- plus excellent storytelling -- in their Facebook ad campaign, which boosted their ticket sales to an impressive ROI of 1,866%.

Here’s their initial Facebook ad copy length . . .

Compared to their longer ad copy, which earned them significantly more sales.

Big difference in copy length, right?

A Facebook ad campaign experiment by AdEspresso found that the sweet spot for ad copy length is between one and six paragraphs of ad text, which brought in the most leads and lowest cost per acquisition (CPA).

It goes without saying that length isn’t the only factor for copywriting a great Facebook ad, but providing more details in your ad text is helpful to your target audience, especially if you’re retargeting potential customers who have already seen your brand awareness campaign.

For an easy way to tailor your ad copy to your audience’s awareness level, you can fit them into five stages of awareness when copywriting your ads:

  1. Really unaware
  2. Problem-aware
  3. Solution-aware
  4. Product-aware
  5. Most aware

Once you’ve put your target audience into one of these five stages, customizing your copywriting becomes much easier.

And if you do take the long-form ad text route, choose Facebook news feed as your ad placement. 

According to founder of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets Roy Furr, the only placement option you should use to run long-form ad copy is direct on Facebook, and only in the news feed. 

“If you use any other placement and are hoping your long copy will get read, it won’t!  It’s actually impossible. Depending on the placement, they can only read the first couple sentences, or even just the first few words.”

Basically, couple long-form ad copywriting with authenticity, awareness level, and empathy to write killer Facebook ad copy.

#4. Write a compelling CTA

To seal the deal, it’s important to wrap up your ad copy with an enticing and clear call to action  that compels your audience to move on to the next step. 

The key here is to be specific in your CTA messaging, so your audience knows what to expect and see on your landing page after clicking your ad.

(Likewise, it’s worth mentioning that once people click on your Facebook ad, it’s important they click through to a landing page that’s equally as compelling and explicit.) 

A couple shining ad examples to mimic are . . . 

Author and entrepreneur Dan Henry’s Facebook ad CTA, that reads, “If you'd like to check out what the book is all about, you can click here to get your free copy.” 

And also Dan’s Facebook ad CTA that reads, “For a limited time, get a free copy mailed right to your door. Just pay shipping and handling. Order yours today.”

CTAs don’t get much more clear than that, right?

After your explicit CTA, though, you still need to pick one of Facebook’s CTA buttons to go with it.

Even if it’s a straightforward “shop now” action button that leads people to peruse your ecommerce or product landing pages, that’s better than no CTA button at all. 

AdEspresso conducted an experiment that found Facebook ads without a CTA button could cost you up to 2.5 times more for each lead. 

If you’re wondering about how some of Facebook’s specific CTA buttons perform, the same AdEspresso experiment also revealed that “download” earned the most leads at the lowest cost per conversion.

That’s not to say you should automatically choose “download” as your CTA button, of course. 

It’s just a signal that if you provide enough ad text to help your audience make a decision, then “download” is a clear next step, whereas “sign up” and “learn more” might be less clear. 

“Download” especially makes sense when you’re offering a free guide or template to an early-stage audience.

That’s where your specific CTA messaging in your ad text comes in. If the goal of your CTA button is to get people to “learn more,” for instance, then write a CTA that’s crystal clear in your preceding ad text. 

And don’t forget to check your link description out if you’re sending users to a landing page. A short-and-sweet link description is optimized for skimmers and should feature the same CTA as your button.

The point is simple: 

Write a compelling and explicitly clear CTA to accompany your CTA button. When in doubt, it’s better to be understood than to be clever.

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Spice up your Facebook ad copy with our 4 copywriting tips

On one hand, Facebook is the most popular and active social media platform, and an ideal place to get in front of your target audience and potential customers. 

On the other, to make the social network’s algorithm work in your favor, you need to pay to play and invest some budget in running Facebook ad campaigns.

To make the most of your ad budget, follow our four Facebook ad copy tips:

  • #1. Echo your target audience’s own words back to them in your copywriting to match their thought process. 
  • #2. To build trust among your target audience, empathize with their pain point and lead them to their ideal state in your Facebook ad copy. 
  • #3. Don’t be afraid to write long-form ad copy to authentically connect with your audience, especially if your target audience is at a greater awareness level.
  • #4. Close out your Facebook ad copy with a crystal clear CTA that compliments your CTA button well.

Ready to level up your Facebook ad copywriting? Your business growth awaits. 

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