Marketing / Advertising

9 suggestions for writing effective Facebook ads

Laura Dolan

Updated: Feb 03, 2022 · 8 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

how to write facebook ads that convert

Scrolling through Facebook is a nightly ritual for me. And I’m definitely not the only one—the social media platform currently sees 2.41 billion daily active users. That’s an incredible reach!

Since its inception, Facebook has become one of the most powerful advertising platforms for businesses in B2B and B2C, helping marketers obtain more organic impressions on their ads.

A successful Facebook ad includes the right audience, eye-catching images or videos, and compelling text. Consider the following on how to write Facebook ads that convert:

Facebook advertising tips

Facebook may have 2.41 billion users, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always guarantee the desired engagement when it comes to conversions. Fans of social media constitute a tough crowd, so the key to grabbing the short attention span of the masses is to cater to a target audience.

Targeting helps companies pinpoint exactly what appeals to their audiences. If you can gauge their interests, such as if they’re looking to join a new gym, or wanting to buy a certain pair of brown boots, you can strategically post that “right place, right time” ad and see conversions well beyond expectations.

Facebook ads can be separated into two types. You have Sponsored ads, which appear in the Facebook Newsfeed and almost blend in as regular posts as users scroll along. Just look for the word “Sponsored” above, that’ll tip you off. Then there is the right-hand column ad. These smaller ads appear, well, in the right column of the Facebook feed and are static, as they cannot be scrolled past, they actually follow you. These Facebook ads samples are intended for retargeting, meaning you and that product have met before.

Copywriting for Facebook ads

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what separates a Facebook ad post from a regular post. As a small business investing in a Facebook ad, it’s important you get what you pay for, which is solid ad copywriting. Wording your ad in such a way may be the difference between someone clicking to your website or moving on.

Effective copywriting can influence, motivate, and disrupt from the norm. It connects the dots, makes a point, creates an “ah-ha!” moment for someone who’s looking for exactly what they need. A successful Facebook ad doesn’t just happen, there’s a reasonable amount of strategy behind every ad that you see on your feed. Let’s explore 9 very powerful strategies that will help you make the best impression.

9 Facebook ad writing strategies

1. Write to a target audience

Forget everything you’ve learned about writing for your website’s audience—your potential customers with all their different needs and personalities. On Facebook, the target becomes very narrow. It helps to pretend you’re writing to just one person. This person is your bullseye, the one you hit directly between the eyes with everything that will satisfy their wants and needs.

Targeted ads on Facebook can be segmented by the following:

  • Custom audiences
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Languages
  • Education
  • Relationship status
  • Ethnicity
  • Generation
  • Politics
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

These help further divide targeted users into very specific groups, allowing you to get that much more creative when determining to whom to reach out and for what purpose.

2. Different strokes for different folks

A major advantage to advertising on Facebook is being able to target your audience and directly aim your ads in any direction.

Say you own a pet store. You sell everything from treats to collars and leashes to fish tanks. However, you might get that one customer who’s specifically looking for supplies with which to brush her cat’s teeth. Searching for pet dental products yields a very particular captive audience. You can also pay attention to whether certain products revolve around specific days or months. For example, February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Promoting an ad such as the one below could generate a lot of clicks during that period:


3. Less is more

A Facebook ad is an investment. It’s actually a very big investment. Not to put too much pressure on you, but you only have so much space to capture the attention of your target audience, hence, what you say about your company in the least amount of words possible has to be the most compelling choice of words. When it comes to Facebook ads, don’t bury the lead, keep it short and sweet, and make sure it adds value.

Keep these questions in mind: How would someone benefit from using your product? What sets it apart from a similar product? Use these as your starting point as you write a succinct and vibrant Facebook ad.

4. The CTA

People know how Facebook ads work—they know if they click it, it’ll take them to a different destination. The trick is actually getting them to click with a goal in mind, an intention, that results in an impression or conversion.

Which call-to-action, or CTA, best represents your brand or your product? Include a big CTA button right on your Facebook ad. Shop now! Get your car washed here! Invest with us! Download a coupon and save 50%!

You get the idea.

5. Match your Facebook ad copy to your imagery

This is Advertising 101. Any imagery you employ on your ad should represent the message you’re trying to convey. But if you’re a small business just getting off the ground, you may not have the resources available or time to devote to creating a compelling visual ad, especially if you can’t afford to hire a gifted graphic designer just yet.

If you’re fortunate enough to own a restaurant, advertising your product is easy. Food imagery is always a big seller, and sometimes, you don’t even need to say anything. Just mention the name of your restaurant and add a delectable photo of your best dish. Then watch the clicks pour in.

You can also create images on your own for Facebook ads with sites like Canva, PicMonkey, and Pablo by Buffer.

6. Be straightforward

Forget everything you’ve learned about creative writing. That doesn’t apply to copywriting for a Facebook ad. You want to be as direct as you can be. As mentioned above, you only have so much room to work with, make it count. You want to answer 3 simple questions:

  • What is your product?
  • How does it help the consumer?
  • How can they get it?

For example, Lyft’s Facebook ad campaign says it all: “You might be surprised how quickly you get there.” Short and to the point. You need a ride? We’ll get you one ASAP. Enough said. They’re up against their biggest competitor, Uber, which also does ridesharing, but Lyft’s message is they’re just that much more efficient. Side note: if you’re seeing it in your feed, you probably have the app or used it before. You’re in their targeted realm.

7. It’s a numbers game

Numbers speak volumes. Always include the price of your product. If you’re discounting it, show how much your audience will save, they love to see the comparison. When you’re saving money, food just tastes better, your car seems more precious, that new blouse, irreplaceable. Sure, you get what you pay for, but if someone is buying a Coach purse valued at $300 marked down to $99 seen in an outlet mall ad, somehow that purse becomes that much more irresistible.

DoorDash’s Facebook ad offers a $0 delivery fee for the first month of a new subscription on a $10 minimum order. Again, it’s being targeted toward those who have used the app before, but it’s enticing them to come back and stay for good with an incentive.

8. Experiment with your ad

Create 2 different versions of your ad to gauge whether you see a difference in engagement. What was it about Ad A that got more likes and comments than Ad B? Did you ask a question in one but use a blunt statement in the other? Run different tests on your ad copy. Facebook enables businesses to pay a small fee to try things out. The difference in the ads could be subtle, but the feedback could be all telling.

9. See it from a different angle

You’re in the trenches with your own company and your product day in, day out. You eat, sleep and breathe your small business. It’s hard to separate yourself from what you think would impact your target audience the most. Sometimes taking a step back and asking for help with creating a compelling Facebook ad is not the worst thing.

Maybe you would benefit from a fresh set of eyes, someone who’s objective and can steer you in the right direction or even help you write the ad. Create a mock-up ad for family members and friends who follow your brand, ask them what they think works and what doesn’t. It never hurts to get a second opinion.

Another thing that would help? Go on Facebook! Scroll through your feed and see what other companies are doing to make you want to click.

Facebook ads that get noticed

You don’t just want to be noticed, you want to turn a profit. That’s what advertising is all about. Looking to the future, the best Facebook ads 2020 edition will no doubt be a string of game changers. If you want to keep making a good impression, and get impressions for that matter, you have to keep up. A Facebook ad is a delicate balance of the right wording and imagery. Straddle that line and it will all come together to ensure your small business soars in the new year.

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