Facebook Ads has enormous potential. A few brands like AdoreMe and Rothys have exploded in popularity partially thanks to their strong and very prevalent ad campaigns, even though they were both in tough and oversaturated industries.
The key phrase there though isn’t just “ad campaigns,” it’s “strong” ad campaigns. Not every ad is a winner, which is something that all advertisers will learn the hard way– even those with great marketing teams and experienced copywriters.
Creating high-converting Facebook ads takes time, testing, and a lot of strategy. While we can’t do anything about the latter two upfront, we can help you write strong, high-performing copy that significantly increases the likelihood of whatever specific conversions that you’re optimizing for.
In this post, we’re going to look at how to create high-converting ads from the copywriting side of things, taking you step-by-step through the key strategies you should always be using.
The First Step To Facebook Ads Success
To be really successful, the headline, ad text, and image or video of your Facebook (and Instagram) ad must resonate with your audience within a couple of seconds. Do you think it’s impossible?
AdEspresso experts Ana Gotter and Brayden Cohen, beg to differ. They created tons of Facebook ads that users loved at first sight, and we asked them to share their secrets with you with this post (written by Ana) and a webinar: How To Create High-Converting Facebook Ads.
Just click the image below to secure your FREE access to the webinar! But you have to be quick if you don’t want to miss this opportunity, we’re almost sold out.
During this free one-hour live training, Ana Gotter, copywriting specialist and senior writer on this blog, will teach you how to write engaging headlines and ad text for Facebook and Instagram ad, and the tips&tricks to boost your results.
Brayden Cohen, from the Hootsuite social media team, will be sharing the best strategies to create eye-catching visuals for social media, show his favorite tool, and explain how they work. So you can use them too.
Not sure you can attend? No problem, click here and we’ll send you the recording of the webinar! It’s yours forever, to watch it again or share it with your team.
Why Copy is So Crucial
While you do need strong visuals in your ads to help capture users’ attention, they’ll typically be pretty irrelevant if you don’t have a strong copy to add context to the image, really explain what you’re selling, and persuade users to take whatever action you’re focusing on.
The persuade part is key.
Let’s look at an example here. The image is relatively interesting, and I wonder what she’s holding, but without copy, I have zero interest in purchasing. It isn’t something like a beautiful dress or vibrant flowers that I immediately see the appeal of purchasing.
Now let’s look at the full ad, copy included.
The product is defined, and the benefits are clearly explained: useful, reusable, non-toxic, funding high-impact nonprofits.
And, to top it off, you now get free shipping on orders over $40.
This copy makes a huge case for why you should purchase, listing features that will appeal to their target audience and offering them free shipping to boot.
This is why copy is so crucial, so you need to take the time to make sure you’re getting it right. Ready to see how to do that? Let’s get started.
Establishing Customer Profiles & Relevant Paint Points
Before you start writing or even developing specific ad strategies, you need to create basic customer profiles. You want to understand exactly who you’re marketing to.
Not only will this potentially help with targeting, but it will allow you to create relevant copy that resonates with your target audience.
An online dropshipping company targeting dog owners, for example, might pride themselves on offering the lowest cost goods you can find.
I have three dogs, but I still wouldn’t fit into that target audience. One of my dogs needs prescription dog food, for example, and I carefully read hundreds of reviews on different products before selecting dog harnesses for each of the three dogs.
If that dropshipping company was trying to appeal to me, they’d show me a bunch of vaguely-written ads and I’d never convert because, ultimately, the pain point they solve isn’t one that I have.
Create a list of different audience niches that you believe you have. You can use Facebook’s Insights to help with this, checking out your audience’s interest overall.
If I was starting a new kickboxing studio, for example, I might have the following niches:
- Parents of children who are looking to get their kids into something active but structured that will last year-round outside of school. They may be on a tighter budget, but they’ll be in it for the long-haul.
- People who have never worked out in their life before but who want to get in shape, and kickboxing seems fun. My hypothetical studio is open to people of all experience levels.
- People who are active and frequent gym-goers, but who are looking for a community and group activity. They may want to meet new people, but they’re also looking for a fun group activity. They’ll typically be young adults (20-35) and are less likely to have children.
- Semi-experienced kickboxers who take the sport seriously and who may want to train for competition. They’ll be there for as many classes as you let them take, and will also be interested in paid private lessons, too.
Once you’ve got your list of customer profiles, think about the pain points for each one.
This is crucial, because you absolutely need to speak to a customer’s needs and pain points when writing copy for it to be effective, and it will be unique for each niche.
The parents, for example, are wanting to keep their kids active while giving them something to do outside of school that will wear them out and maybe offer that discipline. That can be hard to find year-round, since sports only last a brief season, and most school-sanctioned activities don’t extend through the summer.
Meanwhile, people who have never worked out before are likely to be intimidated. They need to be reminded that your studio is friendly, and that the hardest part is just making the decision to walk through the door.
And then your experienced boxers– they want to know that you know your stuff, that you’ve won competitions and trained winners, and that you’ll help them compete, too. They want to excel, so they don’t want a run-of-the-mill studio where you just give a standard personal trainer a set of pads and gloves.
Map out those customer profiles (making them as in-depth as possible) and get specific about their pain points.
While it can feel cumbersome to create ads for each individual audience, that’s going to be the best way to create high-converting ads.
Features & Benefits: What’s the Difference & How to Use Them
Utilizing features and benefits to make a sale is one of those classic selling techniques that every salesperson learns at some point, and that’s because it’s downright effective.
Most copy will be strengthened by the proper use of features and benefits as long as you use them correctly.
Some people struggle to differentiate between a feature and a benefit, but identifying each one properly will allow you to leverage both in a single campaign, which increases the likelihood of success.
Features are exactly what they should like: different aspects of your product that make it unique. Benefits are how those features are advantageous to the customer.
It’s like saying “our cars have built-in safety features like blind-spot detection” as a feature and “so you’ll be caught off guard on the road” as a benefit.
This ad from Molekule is a great example:
Focus in on the second paragraph, where they have a feature that’s immediately followed by the benefit.
“Molekule destroys airborne allergens, mold, dust, bacteria, viruses, & gaseous chemicals” is the feature, “making the air you breathe healthy again” is the benefit.
Features and benefits, once again, are going to need to tie back into your pain points.
If we look at the boxing example, if I were to say to the experienced kickboxer or in-shape gym-goer “we’ll help you start from the ground up and get in shape,” those other two niches are immediately going to nope the heck out. Not because they don’t like the mission, but because it’s not a fit for them, and that’s all that matters.
As a note, features and benefits are typically most powerful when they’re grouped together, listing the feature first and then immediately explaining how the feature benefits the user. And you do need both.
Too many ad campaigns have only a feature, which doesn’t always hit home because users aren’t always sure how it’s advantageous to them. Or they have only one benefit, which also loses customers because people want to understand the feature that allows you to have these claims.
If a pillow company promises you the benefit of “the best night’s sleep from a pillow you’ll ever get,” cool, right? But you probably won’t believe them.
Consumers are markedly distrustful of advertisements in general, and of course you’re going to say that.
But if you talk about the features like the memory foam that’s firm yet still gives, the cooling gel that prevents overheating, and the eucalyptus barrier that protects against dust mites, and mention how each one can help you get the best night’s sleep, people start paying more attention.
How to Create an Ad Funnel
I can’t tell you how many clients I have who just want to start writing ad campaigns and believe that an overwhelming number of conversions should happen right off the bat.
In reality, many customers will need to see multiple ads from you before they’re ready to convert, so you need to set up an ad funnel to get them there.
Ad funnels are designed to show ad campaigns to users who are at different stages of the buying process, appealing to them based on their current relationship with your business.
Let’s look at another example. Below, we’ve got two different ads from the same company: Almond Cow.
The first one is clearly designed to appeal to cold audiences, explaining exactly what the product is and how it works. The second, however, is about “all our favorite Almond Cow recipes” and points users in the direction of how to get an ebook (aka lead magnet).
This second ad doesn’t talk at all about what the product is, so they’re likely using retargeting to ensure a warmer audience is seeing it.
Ad funnels can be complex, but for the sake of this post, we’ll keep it relatively simple. You’ll want to move users through different stages of the digital sales process with retargeting and relevant messaging.
These stages include Discovery, Research, Consideration, Purchasing, and Loyalty/Reengagement.
Someone who responds to your lead magnet (which can be used during the consideration stage so that you can get their email and follow up directly there) likely won’t respond to a re-engagement campaign or a brand awareness campaign.
They’re not at the point where they need to be told to renew a subscription, for example, and they’re past the point where they need to learn about what your product does.
An example of a very, very simplified ad funnel may resemble the following:
You start with a simple brand awareness campaign, like this one from Vuori.
The idea is to make the product seem appealing while introducing it to your audience, and the video talks about how the pants are extremely comfortable, light-weight, and perfect for any activity you have on the books.
“The last pair of pants you’ll ever put on” or “The last pair of joggers you’ll ever need” are powerful headlines and ad copy.
Then, they use an ad featuring UGC in the form of testimonials and a 5-star review paired with a strong video to retarget users who watched their previous video and who are now in the consideration stage.
Testimonials can be powerful motivators for customers who are interested but aren’t ready to purchase yet.
And then, last but not least, Vuori uses an ad showing the product to the customer with a 10% off coupon for their first order.
Note that while this ad shows a different product, it is a dynamic ad, so in the newsfeed, it will show the joggers to people who have viewed them on their website.
The discount codes can help nudge users to convert if they were on the fence already.
You need to be intentional about your funnels, because a single ad alone will almost never be enough to drive significant conversions, even if it’s The Best Ad Ever.
Retargeting and repeat exposure is essential. You can read more about exactly how you can set up ad funnels here.
5 Copywriting Secrets to Create High-Converting Facebook Ads
We’ve covered the basics: you need the right audience in mind, you need the features and benefits, and you need to keep ad funnel stages in mind.
Aside from this, you’ll want to leverage these 5 copywriting practices when creating high-converting ads:
#1) Don’t Forget Mobile
So many people write ad campaigns and never even preview what they’ll look like on mobile, which is a big mistake, especially since Facebook just cut down what’s visible before the “Read More” tab.
Keep in mind that over 90% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile, because Facebook usage is heavily skewed towards mobile. You’re only getting 3 lines before users need to click “Continue Reading,” so you need to make them count.
Because of this, you want to front-load your information, putting the most interesting and persuasive information right at the right.
In this example, Grass Roots Farmer’s Cooperative puts the 5 Star rating upfront and makes it clear that there’s a testimonial.
No matter what, make sure that the first line really speaks to the user’s needs and pain points.
#2) Use Short & Sweet Headlines
What’s the one thing that you want users to take away from your ad. Is it the point of the product? Are you really trying to highlight a great deal that you’ve got going on for Black Friday?
Whatever it is, leverage it in your headline, and remember once again to keep it centered around the pain point that you’re trying to solve.
And when it comes to the headlines, keep it short, sweet, and to the point– you only have a few characters to make your point.
This example is a great one from Crowdfunding Projects: “Sear, Bake or Fry with Unbeatable Results.”
They’re stressing the versatility of the product, which grabs immediate attention for people who are sick of overly-crowded kitchens, and then they elaborate more in the ad copy itself.
#3) Leverage Stories
Stories are insanely powerful. They’re memorable, and they help you drive your point home.
If you’re selling camping gear, reminiscing on how the founder of the company loved to go camping and fishing with his dad as a kid can really pull at the heartstrings, and suddenly those smores-makers are a lot more emotionally valuable.
Stories can be a huge asset in copywriting.
They can be simple and short like “Worried about family showing up to a messy house at Christmas? We’ll help you show off” or more extensive like this example:
When it comes to stories, it’s best to opt for short and sweet unless you yourself are a copywriter.
You can test long-form content, but make sure the sentences are short, and that the story is focused and really speaks to your audience’s emotional needs.
#4) Split Test, Split Test, Split Test
Please split test.
Even the best strategized ad campaign may not resonate with your audience for whatever reason, and the only way to figure out what works and what doesn’t is with split testing.
Create multiple ad copies for each ad campaign.
I like to shake it up by creating sets of ad copy that appeal to a single pain point, and then leverage different features and benefits, styles of copy, and lengths of copy to see what works.
Split testing will take time and some investment of your ad spend, but trust me when I say you can’t afford not to make that investment if you want to succeed with Facebook Ads.
#5) Don’t Forget to Think Outside the Box
Thinking outside the box is important when it comes to copy. You want to stand out, while still connecting in a way that feels both familiar and interesting at the same time.
Use those client testimonials. Tell your founder’s story. Test out emojis. Use fun, timely analogies, and don’t be afraid to be clever as long as the copy is still valuable and relevant to the product at hand.
Try new ideas and new strategies, and see what works. As long as it works with your brand voice and isn’t downright controversial, there’s not much to lose!
Creating high-converting ads isn’t easy; there’s a reason that copywriters charge high fees to take on the task of writing ad copy for their clients.
There is a lot of research and strategy involved, but with the right tactics and a lot of testing, you’ll be well on your way to creating high-converting ads in no time.
And if you need a little extra push to embark on the path of Facebook Ads success, just read below!
Do You Want To Be the Best in 2020?
What’s your plan for 2020? Do you want it to be your best year ever? One to remember for the great results you achieved with your advertising? Then you need to learn to rock your Facebook Ads skills.
If you really want to learn all the tips and tricks the Pros use and nail every single Facebook ad you’ll create from now, you can’t miss our webinar.
The author of this article Ana Gotter, copywriting specialist, senior writer for this blog, and expert at writing copy for Facebook and Instagram ads, will guide you step by step, showing you how to create an ad copy that drives sales, and how to pair it with high-converting images and videos.
We’re well on our way into the holiday season of this year, so there’s no time like the present!
The appointment is Thursday, November 21st at 10 AM (Pacific Time)– TIme is fleeting, sign up for free now, and if you can’t make it, or want to watch it again, we’ll be sending the recording to all registered participants.