Want to write Facebook ad copy that converts…
Without going through an extensive and expensive copywriting course?
Then this post is for you.
I’m about to share 14 tips that will help you get started writing successful Facebook ads.
They’re quick and simple to put into action but don’t let their simplicity fool you—by using these tips you can write higher-converting ad copy right now, today.
In many cases, all you need to do is make a few tweaks to the copy you’ve already written.
Ready to get started?
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #1: Be Yourself
When writing ad copy on Facebook for your digital ads, it pays to be authentic, transparent, and have your own brand voice.
That means writing ads using informal, everyday language. Like this:
Newsflash, guys: Facebook is NOT the place to sound like a nuclear physicist, an eighteenth-century poet, or a corporate brochure. (Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s never the right time to sound like a corporate brochure.)
An authentic, natural personality translates well on Facebook—and an ad that reads like a real person often beats copy that sounds overly “copywritten.”
Think about it. Facebook is a social network. People come here to see what’s going on with their friends and family. They’re used to seeing wedding pictures and baby videos. Almost all the posts in their newsfeed are written in an informal, natural-sounding voice.
So, if you want your ad to appeal to a Facebook user, you should write like that! It will also help make sure your ad doesn’t stand out as an ad.
And if you’re not sure how to write using an informal voice, here’s an easy exercise that will help you do it:
Just pretend you’re at a party. Now imagine that you meet one of your good friend’s buddies for the first time. And that person asks you what you do.
How would you explain it to them?
Now take that explanation and put it in a Facebook ad.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #2: Simplify Your Copy
We live in a 140-character world.
Attention spans are in short demand and every wasted or extraneous word in your copy is one more reason for people to stop reading and move on to the next post in their newsfeed.
That’s why you need to keep your copy as short and simple as possible.
Don’t write “Do you want more leads?” when you can write “Want more leads?” The first sentence is OK, but the second sentence gets to the point quicker and as a result, it packs a stronger punch.
Copy that is tightly written, with no unnecessary words, will do a better job of grabbing your prospect’s attention and focusing it on the benefits in your ad.
Here’s an example of an ad with just seven words, none of which is wasted:
Keep in mind…this doesn’t mean you have to be vague or sacrifice specificity. In fact, simple copy doesn’t necessarily have to mean short copy!
You can still write long copy (more on that in Tip #12)…as long as that copy is tight, efficient, and as simplified as possible.
Heck, you can write 2,000 words in a Facebook ad if you want to…just make sure you don’t waste a single one of them.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #3: Write for Homer, Not Hawking
When writing ads, write for Homer (the Simpson), not for Hawking (the astrophysicist).
Nothing turns people off more than words they have to look up in the dictionary. Instead, you should use short, simple words that are easy to read and understand.
Even something as complex as accounting software can be advertised online using simple, easy-to-understand language:
One awesome (and free) resource you can use to simplify your copy is the Hemingway app. Just paste your copy in the app, and it will highlight any sentences that are too long along with words that have simpler alternatives.
The app will also give your writing a grade-level score. In general, you should aim to write your ad copy at a fifth-grade level (though that could vary a little depending on how educated your audience is).
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #4: Frontload the Benes
Think about how you act when you scroll through your newsfeed.
When you see an ad that catches your eye, how long do you give it? Do you read every single word of the copy, every single time?
Almost certainly not.
Probably you read the headlines and maybe, just maybe, one more line of text (and that’s if you’re really interested). You probably scroll past a lot of ads without giving them a second glance.
That’s why you can’t afford to wait to get to the good stuff. You have to frontload the benefits, like ThinOPTICS does here:
Think about it this way:
People might only read one line of your ad (the first line). So, whatever you want to say, make sure you say it ASAP!
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #5: Start with a Question
A great way to grab your audience’s attention is with a bold question.
Questions work really well because they compel the reader to answer your question in their head. And if you phrase the question in such a way that their answer is “Yes”…
…then you’ve instantly put them in a positive frame of mind and got them nodding their head.
This can be as simple as writing the word “Want,” followed by the benefit that your product delivers:
- Want more clients without being all weird and “salesy”?
- Want more leads from social media?
- Want to control your thermostat from your phone?
Here’s an example you may have seen in your own newsfeed:
The key to this technique is making sure your ad is well targeted.
The Swipe File ad works really well because DigitalMarketer knows that the people they’re targeting ARE interested in getting more clicks from their social media posts.
When you know who you’re targeting (and more importantly, what they want), then it becomes a lot easier to write an attention-grabbing question.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #6: Answer that Question Immediately
OK, so you’ve asked a question in your first line of copy. Now answer that question immediately in the very next line.
This is a really common technique right now. If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll start seeing it all over the place.
The DigitalMarketer Swipe File ad up above follows this template:
Question: Want more clicks from your social media posts?
Answer: Download our 72 headline swipe file.
See how the second sentence instantly gives you a way to get the benefit that was promised in the question?
Here’s another example:
Now that you’re aware of this technique you’re going to start seeing it all the time—and for good reason! It’s a quick and easy way to write an extremely effective ad.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #7: Use Revealing Words
You can’t stop readers in their tracks by using a bunch of weak, watered-down words like: Consider trying our OK solution pretty soon!
Instead, whenever possible, you want to use powerful and evocative words:
One of the very best words to use in your marketing is “new.” Everybody loves learning about something new.
It’s no surprise Audible uses it in this ad for a Stephen King book:
AdEspresso did a study of all the ads that were ever written using their platform, and their research found that the two most commonly used words across all the ads were “new” and “you.”
And speaking of you…
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #8: “You” Rules
Try to use the word “you” more often in your ad copy.
The truth is, there’s nothing special about the word itself. It’s a short little word that gets used all the time and is easily overlooked.
But the power of “you” goes beyond the word itself. It has to do with the way your message is framed.
The more you use the word “you” in your copy, the more likely you are to write ads from your customer’s perspective…rather than your own. Here’s an example of what I mean:
From the marketer’s perspective: “Our service delivers twice the leads for half the cost.”
From the customer’s perspective: “Imagine getting twice as many leads as you are now, all for the same ad spend!”
See the difference there? It’s subtle, but in the second sentence, the reader can actually SEE themselves getting those leads. It speaks to them directly.
The first sentence does not. When a person reads that first sentence, they have to flip it around in their brain to actually discover what the benefit is from their point of view.
Needless to say, that’s not good copywriting.
In this ad, Josh Harris uses the word “you” no less than four times…and that’s not even counting the “See More” copy:
This gets back to that old idea of everyone’s favorite radio station.
What is everyone’s favorite radio station, you ask?
“What’s In It For Me?”
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #9: Use Brackets
One of the limitations of Facebook ads is that you can’t really format the text at all. It’s just…text.
That means we can’t rely on any of those formatting tricks that make key phrases stand out to the reader (like increasing the font size or using bold or italics).
But we can use symbols.
Using symbols (such as brackets) helps to catch the eye as people are scrolling through their newsfeed. Most of the posts they see contain only text, so when they scroll past something set off in brackets like this:
It stands out.
At 6’7” tall, Tony Robbins has no problem standing out in real life. But in his digital advertising strategy, he has to use the same copywriting tactics as everyone else to get people’s attention:
Just like Tony, I like to use brackets to set off a description of what the person will get if they click on the ad. Examples include:
[Free Training Video]
And so on.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #10: Capitalize
You need to use some caution when writing in all caps. After all, YOU DON’T WANT TO SHOUT AT PEOPLE, NOW DO YOU?
Ahem. Excuse me.
But when done sparingly, capitalization can be a great way to make certain words stand out in the newsfeed.
One of the best words to capitalize in your copy is FREE. Just like this ad does:
If there’s a power word in your ad that you really want to emphasize, go ahead and capitalize it.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #11: Love the Ellipsis
An ellipsis is what you call when you put three periods in a row.
Informally, an ellipsis can be used to indicate that a sentence trails off. And when you put one at the end of a sentence, it gives readers the impression that there’s more to come.
Let me show you what I mean. Take a look at these two sentences:
The man walked into the room.
The man walked into the room…
The first sentence comes to a hard stop with a period at the end. The man walked into the room. That’s it.
But that second sentence gives you a feeling of anticipation, doesn’t it? You know the man walked into the room, but the ellipsis at the end gives us the hint that something else is going to happen here.
The story is incomplete, which makes us lean in and pay attention. It makes us want to know what’s going to happen next.
Sounds like something you’d want in your ad copy, doesn’t it?
Putting an ellipsis at the end of your ad gives the impression that your copy is not yet concluded, which makes the reader want to learn the rest of the story.
And they only way they can do that…is by clicking on your ad.
Here’s an example of the ellipsis at work:
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #12: Mix Up Your Length
Some of our earlier tips might have given you the impression that you should only write super-short copy.
But that’s not the case!
It’s true that you want your copy to be simple (by using short, punchy words that are easily understood). And yes, you want your copy to be tight (by avoiding filler phrases and making sure not a single word is wasted).
But as copywriters have known for a long time now, well-written long copy can convert like gangbusters. Especially when you’re selling something that involves a bigger investment of time or money (and therefore the reader needs more convincing).
Other times, when you’re only asking for a small commitment, super-short copy works best.
In this Best Buy ad, their marketing message is simple: TVs are on sale this week. They don’t need a lot of copy to get that message across, so the ad is just two lines long:
On the other hand, in this ad from Athletic Greens, they’re trying to convey a lot more than simply let people know about a sale. They’re actually communicating the benefits of using their product.
As a result, they need more copy to get the job done, as you can see here:
Facebook ads can accommodate just about any length you want—from a single line of text to 2,000 words or more.
If you want to learn more about this topic, check out our post on The Facebook Ad Map. It gives you an easy-to-follow system that will help you decide when to use long vs short copy.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #13: Test Facebook CTAs
Facebook gives you the option to test different call-to-action (CTA) buttons. And your choice of button can have a big impact on the performance of your ad.
Some of the CTA choices available include:
- No button
- See Menu
- Apply Now
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Donate Now
- Learn More
- Send Message
- Request Time
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch More
There’s no one button that will always perform best. It depends on your offer.
If you’re an ecommerce store promoting a sale, then “Shop Now” might be the best choice. If you’re running a Facebook Messenger Ad, then “Send Message” makes more sense.
At DigitalMarketer, we often find ourselves using “Learn More.” This is a good CTA choice because it’s a soft sell; it doesn’t sound intimidating. See here:
Keep in mind you also have the option of not including a button at all. The benefit of not including a button is that your ad looks less like an ad.
There’s no way to be sure what will work best, so test a few different variations of your ads with different CTAs. You might be surprised by what performs best.
Write Successful Facebook Ads Tip #14: Test Different Display URLs
Facebook allows you to customize the URL that displays underneath your ad.
Depending on what you’re promoting (and the goals of your campaign), you can customize this URL to help achieve your objective.
Facebook refers to this as your ad’s “Display Link”:
In some cases, you’ll just want to use your root domain for branding purposes. This makes a lot of sense for companies with strong brand recognition, like Nike:
Other times, you may want to customize the URL to emphasize some part of your offer. For example, here AdEspresso adds /free-trial at the end of their URL to emphasize your 14-day free trial period:
Remember, you can’t put any URL you want in the “Display Link.” You have to have the root or the actual URL in the display to make it Facebook-compliant.
Now Go Write Some Awesome Facebook Ads!
It’s hard to overstate the importance of your ad copy. After all, you could have an incredibly high-converting sales funnel…
With well-designed and persuasive landing pages…
The best salespeople this side of Glengarry Glen Ross…
And to top it off, you could have an amazing product that will change your prospects’ lives forever.
But guess what?
If your ad copy stinks, none of that is going to matter because nobody is going to click on the ad.
Your ad copy is Step #1. It’s the front door. If it fails, then everything else in your campaign fails by default…because nobody will ever see it.
This makes writing persuasive ad copy an extremely high-leverage activity.
So, give these tips a try the next time you sit down to create some Facebook ads. To make it even easier, I’ve put together all these tips in a three-page PDF for easy reference. Just click here to download it.
Now go write some killer ads!