As a follow up to my previous Facebook Ads blog on the many changes that Facebook has made to their ad platform, I want to delve a little deeper into what makes for good Facebook advertising – because as all marketers know, it is about targeting the right audience with the right message with optimal frequency to drive action. Here are a few tips to writing Facebook (or any social ads for that matter) that will convert.
Messaging Is Key
Remember Your Audience
You are targeting this audience for a reason – align your message with WHY you are targeting their interests, behaviors or demographic. Some marketing messages are one-size-fits-all but be sure to craft a messaging plan that will incorporate general branding along with messages that will speak to this buying persona specifically so that your message will resonate with them. Example: if you are targeting empty nesters, don’t use “kid friendly” messages, but rather speak to their desire for “friends and family” or if you are targeting yoga enthusiasts, don’t write about marathon running.
Address The Buyer’s Needs
Be sure your message speaks to a problem that your buyer has that you can solve. This ties into tip number 1. Be sure to be clear about the benefit for them to leave their “social stalking” to visit your website. Make your message about THEM not YOU.
Remember You’re Invading Their Time
Your ads are mixed in to the news feed with information about their friends and family. Facebook just shared some research with me: people are 40 – 150x more likely to consume content from a Facebook Page in the news feed than on a Facebook Page. Write something that doesn’t feel so sales-y but addresses a desire they have so that it stands out from the photos of children, dogs, vacations and tough mudders that their connections are posting.
Do Not Engage in Bait & Switch Tactics.
Many regard social ads as a discovery medium. With that in mind, imagine that your ad will be seen by someone who knows nothing about your brand. For every ad, ask yourself: if the person has no clue what the brand is, do they know why they are clicking and what they will see when they get there?
Tie Back to Offline Messaging
Have a campaign running in print, television or elsewhere? Tie Facebook into that campaign! These social impressions will reinforce your message for a “surround sound” effect. Look at the samples below and see which brands you can identify solely from their other offline advertising.
Photos Make or Break Your Ads
Connect the Photo to Your Message
The photo of your post in the news feed is what draws a person’s eyes in. Make the most of it. Make sure it ties to your message or even offers a supporting message to the copy you have written. Most importantly be sure that it is something that immediately connects the viewer with your ad objective. Ex: if you are promoting a new location of a pizza delivery restaurant, be sure that your photo is of the pizza, not the location or signage. The enticing image of the pizza draws the person in to then be interested in what the copy says.
Test with Many Different Photos for the Same Message
The photo is the strongest part of the ad. You can disguise the same message with multiple photos to increase the frequency in which someone sees your ad and perhaps not realize it right away. Also, as we as marketers know, not all ads resonate with the same buyer persona, so select a few photos and test to see which work the test. Tip: turn off the lower-performing ads until the frequency has gotten too high on the top-performing ones, then re-use those unused ads as follow-up messaging later.
Add Copy or Logo To Your Image
Remember that the eye is drawn there first. What message or headline can you include (in 20% of the space or less) to reinforce your branding or promotion?
Change out Creative with Higher Frequencies.
It should always feel fresh so that it isn’t an annoyance to the user. It should feel organic. We’ve all had a moment when we notice an ad in our news feed, not because the message has finally sunk in, but because we’ve seen it too much and it is no longer “part of the landscape.” For me, it was a Discover Card ad. I saw it almost every time I logged in to Facebook for 2 months, trying to get me to sign up for a card (which I already have.) It was good creative – enticing photo, good message – but I was “beaten over the head” with it so the ad developed negative feelings for their brand since they were invading my personal Facebook time. Tip: if you are running ads only in the news feed, I recommend not letting your frequency get above 3-4. Side column ads aren’t front and center, so you can get closer to 7-10, but always be mindful of your frequency.
Some Examples From Our “Inspiration” Archives
We are in the business of social ads, so we’re constantly on the look-out for what other brands are doing that stand out in the news feed.
Desktop Facebook News Feed Ads
Mobile Facebook News Feed Ads
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