Have you ever struggled with which Facebook ad to use when launching a campaign?
Facebook has a lot of different options when it comes to ad formats, and it seems like they’re testing a new type of ad every month.
So, which one should you use?
How much copy should you include with your Facebook ads?
When is it appropriate (or not appropriate) to use a video ad?
These are really common questions people have, which is why we created the Facebook Ad Map.
The Ad Map is an easy-to-use tool you can reference to quickly decide which Facebook ad type will work best with your offer.
Here’s what it looks like:
If you’d like to download your copy of the Facebook Ad Map so you can follow along with this blog post, just go here.
Once you’ve downloaded the Ad Map, print it out or pull it up on another screen and keep reading to discover how and why this handy little tool works so well.
And the reason has to do with this fundamentally important principle of advertising:
Match Your Ad Type With Your Level of Buying Commitment
So, what’s the philosophy behind the Facebook Ad Map?
The answer is simple. It works because it automates the process of matching the ad type with the level of buying commitment in your offer.
In other words: How much does the person have to give you to get what you’re offering? From money to their time.
The bigger your ask, the more copy you need to persuade people to take your desired action.
If all you’re doing is asking people to click to read a blog post, that’s a pretty small ask. They don’t need much convincing to take that action, so you can get away with a simple link post ad using short copy.
But if you’re asking people to attend a webinar or purchase a product, that’s a bigger ask that requires a commitment of time or money. These offers will usually perform better with long copy and/or video ads.
We’ll go through each of the ad and offer types in just a minute. But first, I just wanted to make sure you understand the philosophy behind why the Ad Map works.
Once you grasp the concept of matching your ad with the level of buying commitment in your offer, you’ll be able to apply this principle to improve other areas of your marketing as well — from landing page optimization to persuasive sales copywriting and more.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into the three main types of Facebook ads.
The 3 Types of Facebook Ads
The Ad Map covers three basic types of Facebook ads:
- Short copy link post ads
- Long copy link post ads
- Video ads
Of course, there are other types of ads in Facebook, but we’re focusing on these three because they’re the most common and, in many cases, the most effective ad types out there.
Short Copy Link Post Ads
Link post ads are the most common type of ad you see on Facebook.
A link post ad contains a clickable image that takes you to a page on the advertiser’s website, like this:
Notice this example is employing a technique we use a lot at Dominate Web Media, which is asking a question.
Questions work great when used as part of a link post ad because they prompt a response and hook people in that first line of copy. Especially when that question addresses your avatar’s number-one pain point or desire.
In the Facebook Ad Map, we differentiate between short copy link post ads and long copy link post ads.
Short copy would include anything with fewer than eight or nine lines of copy. This means that all the copy will be visible in the newsfeed without having to click “more.”
Long copy ads are a little different, so we’ll talk about them in the next section.
Long Copy Link Post Ads
A long copy link post ad is the same thing as a short copy link post ad, with one major difference:
There’s A LOT more copy.
When you include long copy in a Facebook post, Facebook will cut you off around the eighth or ninth line of ad copy and insert a “more” link.
Users will have to click on that “more” to view the rest of your copy.
Here’s what this looks like:
You can really go all-out here and include as much copy as you want. We’ve written 2,000-3,000 words or more in some cases and generated good results.
The benefit of including more copy should be pretty obvious: It allows you to do more selling! You can talk more about the features and benefits of your product or service and really hit on the pain points it solves.
The third type of ad we’re including in the Facebook Ad Map is the video ad.
Video ads are so darn effective, especially when targeting cold traffic (people who have never heard of you before), that you should definitely be testing these…
Especially when the depth of your ask is greater than simply viewing some free content or opting in for a lead magnet.
Anytime your offer requires making a commitment of either time or money, people will need some convincing. And video ads give you the ability to grab the viewer’s attention and deliver your sales message in an engaging and persuasive way.
Video ads are also a great way to show value up-front. In other words, you can show people that you can help them by… wait for it… actually helping them!
If you can demonstrate your expertise by sharing some valuable content that actually helps the viewer solve their problem, you’ll go a long way in establishing trust and building credibility.
(RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Video Ads)
Keep in mind, you can also test long and short copy with your video ads. If you’re promoting a high-priced offer, you might want to consider testing a video ad with long copy like this:
But remember, it’s possible to run video ads for lower-level buying commitments, too. (You’ll notice that the Ad Map shows a faded-out checkmark under “Video Ads” for the first three offer types.)
This is a good option for you if you feel more comfortable shooting a quick video than you do writing ad copy.
Quick Tip: You can use long copy, non-video ads to test different frameworks and hooks, then choose the best performing one and turn that into a video ad.
This is exactly what I did with the link post ad above. That link post ad and that video ad both go to the same exact offer — a free book + S&H sales page. I was able to get the link post ad up and running faster; it performed great, so I created a video ad next and that absolutely crushed it.
For some tips on how to create highly effective video ads that convert, I highly recommend you check out Episode 67 and Episode 68 of the Perpetual Traffic Podcast.
Now that we’ve covered the three main types of ads, let’s talk about the seven different types of offers in the Facebook Ad Map.
The 7 Types of Offers
These offer types are in order, starting with the lowest buying commitment and ending with the highest buying commitment.
#1: View Ungated Content
This is, very simply, sharing content that the person does not need to opt-in for. In most cases, this is a blog post or a video.
Because this is a very small ask, you don’t need to do a lot of convincing.
That’s why you should usually use short-copy link post ads to promote ungated content, like this example here:
#2: Claim Local Business Coupon
If you’re a local business and you want to promote an upcoming sale or promotion, most of the time your best bet is to use a short copy link post ad.
Keep in mind that the goal of your ad is NOT to persuade the person to buy your product or service. The goal of your ad is simply to get them to take the very next step… which is to click on the ad and go to your landing page.
And when you have an irresistible offer (like a good coupon), you don’t need a lot of copy because the offer says it all.
#3: Download Lead Magnet
This includes any offer where you are providing gated content or some type of gated tool, such as a…
- Swipe file
- Cheat sheet
- White paper
…and so on.
While you aren’t charging money for these Lead Magnets, you are requiring the person to opt-in by giving you their email address. It’s a tougher sell than offering ungated content, but still not a huge commitment.
(Most people understand that even if they give you their email address, they can usually unsubscribe pretty easily.)
That’s why we usually recommend short copy link post ads for this type of offer, like this example:
Or this one, which you may recognize:
I know that some people find it easier to shoot a quick video than to write ad copy. If that sounds like you, then feel free to test a video ad here as well.
Here’s an idea of what this might look like:
#4: Quiz/Survey Funnel
Quizzes and surveys can really run the gamut from low commitment to high commitment.
If you’re promoting a viral-type quiz that’s quick and easy to complete, then you can probably get away with a short copy link post ad.
But if your quiz/survey is more involved or complicated, then you might need longer copy to convince people to take action.
It’s also important to remember what you’re asking people to do at the END of your survey.
Sometimes you might find that people are completing your survey, but they aren’t continuing on afterward. Maybe your survey ends with an opt-in to see your results, and people aren’t opting in.
If this happens, you might need to do more selling in your ad with longer copy or with a video. These longer formats will help you build up your prospect’s desire to not only complete the quiz but also to see their results and learn more after the survey is finished.
Because we know that quizzes usually end with some kind of ask (such as an opt-in or a free + shipping offer), we tend to lean a little more toward the right-hand side of the Ad Map when promoting this type of offer.
#5: Attend Webinar
This type of offer includes…
- Zoom meetings
- Facebook Live events
…and so on.
You’re not asking the person to buy anything, but you ARE asking for a significant time investment (usually one to two hours).
Now, this is an offer where you’ll really need to think about your avatar and your market because that will have a BIG impact on what type of ad you should use here.
If you’re marketing to someone with plenty of free time, then you might not need as much copy to persuade them to attend your webinar.
But if you’re going after busy executives, for example, then you’re REALLY going to have to convince these people of the value of your webinar. Typically, people who are busy and successful value their time more than their money… and asking for an hour or two of their time is actually a bigger commitment level than asking them to take out their wallet.
We typically promote webinars with long copy or video ads, like in this example:
#6: Claim Free + Shipping Offer
This type of offer includes…
- “Free + shipping” book offers
- Low-dollar Tripwires
- Free trials that require a credit card
…and other impulse purchases that are under $20 or so.
This could also include cool and inexpensive items like Survival Life’s “Credit Card Knife”:
This is a low-dollar offer, so it’s not a big financial commitment. But you are still asking people to take out their credit card, which means that you’ve got some selling to do.
That makes long copy or video ads the way to go, as in this example for a free + shipping offer:
#7: Purchase Product
- Your core offer
- A front-end offer
- Or any product or service more expensive than a low-dollar Tripwire
It could be a $47 ebook, a recurring $67/month subscription for software or a supplement, all the way up to a product that costs $1,000 or more.
For offers like this, with a high level of buying commitment, we typically recommend using a long, content-rich video ad.
Remember what we said earlier about showing value up-front? This becomes more and more important as the buying level commitment gets bigger.
You can also test a long copy link post ad, like in this example:
One of the questions we get a lot is:
Should I target warm audiences only, or can I also target cold traffic with offers like this?
The answer is that it depends on your market.
In some cases, we’ve had success driving cold traffic directly to $60/month products (usually this only works with a really good video ad). In other cases, you’ll need to spend some time warming up your audience before they’re willing to buy your core offer.
This varies a lot from market to market, and it’s something you’ll need to test in order to find out what works for your business.
Get Started Using The Facebook Ad Map
Now that you understand what the Facebook Ad Map is and how to use it, the next step is pretty obvious:
Download your copy today and start using it in your traffic campaigns!
Finally, I want to address a question you may have, which is:
What if my offer doesn’t quite fit into one of the seven offer types on the Ad Map?
It’s bound to come up once in a while. Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple.
Because while your offer might differ slightly from what’s on the Ad Map, there’s a good chance you can group it with something similar.
For example: If you’re promoting a long VSL (video sales letter) or a free strategy session, the time commitment might be similar to that of a webinar. So, in these cases, you should use a long copy link post ad or a video ad.
Just think back to the philosophy behind the Ad Map, which is to match your ad type to the level of buying commitment in your offer.
The bigger your ask, the more copy and selling you need in your ads. This is a principle that will always hold true, no matter what network you’re advertising on.