As a professional copywriter I’d be the first to admit:
Writing ad body copy is hard.
Bloody frickin’ hard.
Sure, your headline could do a lot of the heavy lifting: catch the user’s attention, for instance. Or make a promise about what the ad is about to deliver. And prepare a reader for the rest of the copy.
Images can help too. They have the power to alter human behavior and thus, they could be used to influence the person’s willingness to click the ad. Or at least to notice it in the first place.
But it’s the ad body copy that gives a person that one, final reason to act on your promise. And click.
And so in this post I’ll show you a couple of tips that will help you improve your Facebook ads body copy.
Tip #1: Use Your Customers’ Words
I admit, this is an old advertising trick. But it still works like crazy.
Your best sales often don’t come from direct selling but recommendations.
A customer referring your product, service, brand or store to someone else will have a far greater effect on your conversions than all the sales calls you could ever make.
So, feature your customers’ words in your ad copy.
These could be testimonials.
Or a short copy describing a customer’s experience with the product.
A review or professional recommendation could do the trick too.
OK Pawel, it all looks great. But why would customer testimonials work for me? After all, they’re hardly a professional ad copy, right?
Yup. I’m not even going to try to deny it.
But that professional copy will never achieve the same effect.
For one, because testimonials build trust. You see, apparently as many as 75% of people don’t believe that companies tell the truth in advertising (source). 14% don’t trust advertising at all (same source).
70% of online customer’s trust recommendations from unknown, other users (source).
Testimonials harness the word of mouth. And I’m sure you already know that WOM is the most powerful marketing strategy of all. If you don’t, here’s one statistic that I’m sure will convince you of it:
According to the data by Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Doogan, and Ole Jørgen Vetvik, word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.
And as the authors point:
“[…] its influence will probably grow: the digital revolution has amplified and accelerated its reach to the point where word of mouth is no longer an act of intimate, one-on-one communication.”
Testimonials also signal authenticity. I often compare testimonials to a conversation in which a real, current customer tells their story to your prospect about the quality of your product or service. Your role in it is reduced merely to just facilitate the conversation.
Tip #2: Ask Questions
Did you know that questions are one of the most powerful technique you could use to retain a person’s attention?
For one, they stop them in their tracks and force them to process the message more intensely.
There’s a nice story in Dan Pink’s book, To Sell is Human that illustrates this very well.
Dan shares a story of an experiment conducted at the Ohio State University in which researchers tested the strength of a series of short pitches on changing specific school policy.
And whenever they presented their pitch as questions, participants were more likely to support the change. All because questions forced them to process the information more intensly.
Questions also engage users and divert their attention from the fact that they view an ad.
I bet you’ll agree:
Nobody likes to be sold to.
Just think of that last unsolicited sales call. Or door-to-door salesman you had to try so hard to get rid of….
But once you make someone feel they’re a part of a conversation, they can be more willing to hear your pitch.
That’s exactly why the best sales people start their presentations with a power question.
Tip #3: Promise a Benefit
This really goes without saying.
To most customers what they’re going to get out of using a product is more important than how it works. Sure, features come in handy in the evaluation process too. That however usually happens later, when a customer needs or looks for that final reason to buy it (or abandon the sale).
But when you’re only trying to attract customers to your product, you need to tell them what this product or service will do for them.
I’m sure you’ve seen ads promising benefits already. Hell, you’re probably exposed to a number of them every day.
And you could use the same technique to improve your ads too.
How? By showing how your product or service can satisfy a specific need or want of your target audience.
Tip #4: Create a Sense of Urgency
Have you ever observed customers shopping online?
It can be so frustrating.
For one, because customers like to take their time.
They look around. Go back to the same product over and over again. Scout the web searching for alternatives. Read blogs and reviews trying to make up their minds. Procrastinate…
And then, at a last minute rush off to buy something they don’t really need.
It’s no different with how their respond to advertising. They might get intrigued by an ad. But the decision to click it is often too much effort. And so, they procrastinate too.
There is however a way to overcome it – by creating a sense of urgency in your ad copy.
Urgency is an old sales technique that aims to give someone the reason to act now. It’s related to emotional selling, unlike what many advertisers think about it, it cannot be imposed on a person. Every one of us has the sense of urgency in us. And the trick is to learn how to activate it in your target audience.
Here are some suggestions for that:
Offer a time limited deal
Or use urgency evoking words in your copy. Like these:
- limited time
- act now
- last chance.
Tip #5: Show Scarcity
There’s another trait of our behavior, similar to our response to urgency in fact, that you could use to improve ad body copy:
For you see:
We tend to perceive scarce items as more valuable.
Timothy Brock first described this behavior in 1968, calling it the commodity theory.
I’ve found a great description of it in an article by Michael Lynn. Here’s what he writes:
“According to the theory, scarcity enhances the value (or desirability) of anything that can be possessed, is useful to its possessor, and is transferable from one person to another.”
This theory simply means that you could entice someone to notice and act on your ad if you manage to communicate the scarcity of your product.
Here’s how Thomas English Muffins and Bagels use it:
It’s true, writing copy only seems easy.
In truth though, it takes a lot to construct few lines of text that would have a huge impact on customers.
Luckily there are various techniques and mind tricks you could use to ensure your ad body copy achieves its objectives.