NEWS AND TIPS
By Joshua Brennick
Keeping Up With Facebook Ad Changes
Facebook is well known for its consistent set of changes that seem to come more rapidly as each new one is announced. One of the changes that has been made over the year was in August 2019, Facebook changed the visual design of ads, which also reduced the amount of visible ad copy on the news feed. This change made it so only three lines of primary text are now shown on the mobile news feed, which is where most mobile traffic comes from. After these three lines, people have to click a prompt to continue reading. This is where marketers need to be on their game in order to maintain success through Facebook Advertising.
This change can be considered a major shift because Facebook used to display about double that amount of text by default. This increases the urgency of capturing consumer attention much earlier in the ad copy. Getting more clicks to keep reading is also an indicator to Facebook that the ad is engaging, which will help your Facebook algorithm score.
Why Is Facebook Ad Copy so Important?
Facebook advertisers often times get lost on the wrong focus point and put a lot of their attention on the visual creative—the video or the image—but the ad copy is equally if not more important. If your ad has really strong visuals but the copy is not up to par, you’re missing out on a huge portion of your market that’s more likely to read your ad if you took the time to create compelling ad copy that had purpose.
The ad copy is the articulation of the hook; it’s the reason that a consumer should take the action you’re asking them to take. Whether you’re asking them to watch a video or opt into a lead funnel, that ad copy is where you meet them in the conversation that’s already going on in their mind. Then transition that conversation into your call to action and how that will benefit them.
A lot of Facebook marketers still think they can launch ads that just explain their offer or talk about how great their product or service is, which doesn’t work anymore. Consumers have had years of that and it not longer has a lasting effect in terms of converting to profit. Facebook advertisers need to now focus on the “why”.
The real skill when it comes to ad copy is the “why.” It’s highly recommended to put together some form of flow chart to figure out the transition that you are actually providing to the end user.
So before you ask your audience to opt into your newsletter, figure out the “before” state of your market first. What pain points are they struggling with? What’s their emotional state? What are they dealing with in their day-to-day lives? After they consume your newsletter, what does it do for them? What’s the “after” state? How will their lives improve? If you take the time to figure that out and it’s all laid out in front of you, then the ad copy is easy. That’s what most people are missing—the “why”—and that’s why copy is so important.
Nobody goes to Facebook looking for ads. They go there for a different purpose and that is no big news to anyone familiar with utilizing Facebook for business purposes. They’re not searching for your solution. They’re there with a different intent and then you interrupt them with your ad. To avoid being zoomed right past, it’s got to connect with them.
3 Types of Hook to Use in Your Facebook Ads
It all starts with the “hook,” and here are some categories of “hooks” anyone can use. You may recognize some of these categories as they have been pillars to marketing for years and just change with how they are used over the years.
Speak to a pain point that you know your audience has. Then speak to a benefit, the “after” state—that desired outcome they hope will solve the pain point they’re experiencing. This could be long copy or short copy. It’s just a very simple hook and framework that you can use with almost any audience.
Now, figure out what pain point does your offer solve that you want to promote. Lead with that, because it’s going to catch the attention of people who are experiencing that pain point. Then transition into the “after” state that they’re looking toward, where your offer allows them to solve the pain point. This goes back to having a solid map laid out of your potential customer journey through this particular campaign.
Every market has empaths. I myself identify as hugely empathetic and find that marketing that speaks to my feelings usually attracts my attention most. This is not uncommon the more you look into it. Surprisingly (or maybe not) there is a large portion of your potential market, any market for that matter, that feels the same way. This can be tied to the psychological triggers that happen when an individual experiences an event that brings out emotion in some way. It has been known to cause many reactions including instant action (signing up for newsletter) and it has also been known to make a longer lasting memory on someones mind compared to a dull, non emotional ad for the same product or service.
One of the most important rules while using this type of marketing can be related to Star Wars and using the force FOR GOOD ONLY. It’s perfectly OK to use emotional marketing but it’s NEVER OK to use someone’s feelings against them. As marketers, we have a lot of power to influence how people feel about themselves and other things, and we should always use that for good. It can be very powerful if your product or service can improve how someone feels.
Sometimes Finding a “hook” can be difficult but here is a great way to find one that will work for you. Sit down (preferably with your team or a professional such as JBrand Media) and brainstorm with questions such as, “what is life like before product/service X” led up with the next question of, “what is life like after using product/service X?” as a part B to this series of discovery questions. The third question should be, “If you were recommending this product/service to a friend, what would you say?”.
This information gathered during the brainstorm will help develop a clear image of what your hook should be which will lead to the right ad copy being created. If you ask the right questions, you will get the answers you are searching for most times. It’s sort of like writing the correct ad copy; if you you write solid ad copy, it most times will convert.
This is where you would want to discover and create a logic statement or a fact that proves your point very early in the ad copy so individuals who are very logic-based immediately agree with you and want to continue. Your audience may not always one “type”, so it’s important to make sure you understand ALL of your audience.
With a logic hook, the premise is that you need to present some sort of data point that’s pretty much undisputed and factual in nature to stop readers and get them to pay attention. And it doesn’t always have to be a data point or a number.
For example, if you're a business that helps women balance their diet with their hormones, a good logic ad for your business could begin with, “Did you know that your hormones change week to week and your diet should match that?” Nothing flashy, just pure education because most people who read that didn’t know that information before. By presenting information that is new and viewed as important, the individual is immediately interested now because this information has caught their attention and now they want to continue reading.
It’s important when using this technique, be sure to pick multiple hooks for each campaign, not just relying on one, because even if your audience shares some commonalities, they’re also inherently different people, or at least experiencing very different days as stated earlier. Humans are very complex thinking beings which leads to some might be feeling emotional one day and might respond to more feelings-based ad copy where as some are more likely that day to respond to ad copy that’s more logical. Maybe they’re experiencing a certain pain point today that you just happened to call out in your ad copy. You never know, so it’s important to cover your bases.
It’s recommended to come up with a hook in each of the three categories listed above—pain/benefit, feeling, and logic—and testing them. If you can, try to include at least two per campaign so you’re able to reach as many people as possible in your audience based on their emotional state and what they’re experiencing.
Follow a 3-Part Facebook Ads Framework
There is a three-part framework that can be used to write the ad once the hook as been discovered. Quick side note; when building a campaign, try to include a variety of lengths of ad copy if possible because some people are more likely to read short ad copy and some people are more likely to read long ad copy. Again, people are all not the same when it comes to such hyper targeted marketing.
As we go through the framework, it’s important to focus on the length of the ad copy. It should be as long as you need to properly portray that hook you have discovered and what you’re really trying to say to the audience. Ready? Here. We. Go:
The Opening can be considered the most important part of your Facebook ad copy. If you’re writing shorter ad copy, this might just be the first sentence. If you’re writing longer ad copy—for instance, if you’re writing stories in your ad copy, which can sometimes work well—it could be the first few paragraphs. This part is especially crucial on mobile because so much less text is being shown with the new changes that were mentioned earlier. It’s important to understand that if you don’t catch people’s attention in step one, they’re never going to make it to steps two and three. And whether your copy is long or short, your opening needs to show up in those first two or three lines before the More button. In your opening, you need to do two things:
2. Utilize Natural Curiosity:
Utilize the human mind’s natural fondness for curiosity and use this time to pique their curiosity: This could be a promise to solve one of their pain points or educating them with a logic statement like we talked about earlier. This could also involve doing something that’s curiosity-based like asking them a question or even doing a pop quiz in Messenger. Whatever it is, curiosity is key and you need to spark that curiosity without being overly hyping. That’s going to help with the consumption of the ad and that person will continue to engage with you.
A big mistake people often make in this opening section is they put too much fluff in it. Definitely look out for that tendency to put useless information in your ad copy. It’s important to read over your created copy a few times after completion to trim off any fat that does not need to be on there and leave just the meat. Once you have completed this step, it’s onto the next one.
DO NOT make the very common mistake people often make and that is saying, “Hey, do you want your dog to quit acting crazy in its environment? Do you want your dog to quit barking? Buy my product now!” They catch someone’s attention but it feels so forced, and just goes right into the call to action. People incorporate consciously and subconsciously the “relationship” they have built with your brand into their purchasing decision making.
Use a transition to really highlight that pain point. This is where you’re leading the horse to water so the consumer doesn’t feel like they’re being directly sold to. This can be tricky but it’s important to remember that the transition is where you go from the introduction to the “how.”
This should be that your call to action is the vehicle that’s going to get them to that solution they so desperately need. If you have testimonials to back up your opening, that could go in the transition. A good transition can be short or long. It can be considered the point when you start to speak more about your product/service and what it does, whereas the intro is more about the end user, the targeted audience, the market that you’re speaking to. The transition is where you start to transition how they’re wanting to feel (or whatever hook you’re using) into your product/service.
In the first step, you’re entering a conversation about them; the transition is where you start to transition into talking about your product; and then the third step is your call to action.
The Call to Action
It’s no surprise if you work in marketing that it’s a known fact people are more likely to take an action if they’re told to do it. It’s why we’re taught when there’s an emergency situation, point at someone and tell them to call 911. If you don’t tell someone to do it, people just won’t take action. That’s how we work as humans. Kind funny and ironic at the same time, isn’t it? Anyways, back to business.
Obviously, you will have a call-to-action button built into the ad itself, below the image. Also put it in the text for people who are readers. You can put a link in the text too because some people, especially when using video, just don’t know that they need to click on the gray area below the video to actually go over to the URL. A little tip to add one more conversion opportunity.
The call to action should always be short and sweet: nothing more than three sentences at most. If you have a discount code, this is the place to mention that. Tell them exactly what to do, whether it’s to watch something, opt in, buy this, whatever it is you want.
Temper the Hype in Your Facebook Ad Copy
Try to use words like “buy this” as little as possible because Facebook indexes that and it does not work well in your benefit. It’s a must to have a call to action and tell them what to do, but know that Facebook is indexing for really aggressive typical calls to action like “Time is running out,” “Supplies are limited,” “Buy now,” “Last chance,” and so on. Again, remember that type of copy is only hurting you, and Facebook is actually factoring this into your algorithm score. One of Facebook’s new ad diagnostics is quality ranking. But the conversion ranking, the diagnostic that measures your post-click experience, is where Facebook is indexing the copy on your landing page. The quality ranking, which is measuring the quality of your actual ad, is where Facebook is reading your ad copy. It’s a bot looking for words that might suggest ad copy to be “too hypey”. Most importantly, take your time to put together a solid plan with facts to back up the steps to your strategy. As always, if you have any questions or want to go over your strategy, JBrand Media is here to help with free consultations!
JBrand Media was founded in 2013 by Joshua Brennick, 2019 recipient of The Nashua Telegraph "40 Under Forty" award, with the purpose of helping educational institutions and businesses utilize digital marketing to achieve their marketing and sales goals. Since the launch in 2013, JBrand Media has provided successful services to many clients in various industries ranging in size from small to large.