Learn How to Write Ad Copy on Facebook & LinkedIn and Transform Your Ad Performance
Many marketers have the technical skills to successfully advertise on Facebook and LinkedIn, but writing effective copy can take ad performance to the next level. The good news is that writing effective copy doesn’t have to be difficult, and there is a formula for success that anyone can use, no matter the type of product you’re marketing or the goal of your campaign.
Understanding Character Count Limitations
The first step to writing effective ad copy is understanding ad parameters and the character count limitation for each social media platform.
While Facebook feed ads do not have specific limitations on character counts, the text will become truncated after 40 characters for headlines, 30 characters for descriptions, and 125 characters for primary text. It is generally best practice to keep character limits below these counts, however going past 125 characters in the primary text can be effective if you have a standout leading hook in the copy (source).
LinkedIn single image ads follow a similar format, with 70 characters shown in the headline (200 maximum), and 150 characters for descriptions on mobile or 600 characters on desktop. Text ads on LinkedIn however are much more restrictive, with hard character count limits set at 25 characters for headlines and 75 characters for descriptions.
Common Ad Copy Mistakes Mistakes and How to Correct Them
Now that we’ve established how long your ads can be, let’s examine some common mistakes that marketers make when writing ad copy for social platforms.
Not knowing the target audience
The first step in writing effective ad copy is knowing who comprises your target audience. This is a two-pronged approach; ask yourself who is the person who is likely buying the product AND what is the specific audience targeting where this ad copy will appear?
For example, imagine you are selling an online educational certificate that is designed for recent college graduates. It is crucial that you create ad copy that speaks to this audience specifically. Adding a simple headline such as “Attention Recent Graduates” will help to increase the effectiveness of your ad because the message speaks directly to your target audience.
Failing to distinguish what makes your product unique
Think about what separates your product from the rest of the market. In the example above, since the product is online, adding simple distinguishers such as: “100% online”, “affordable”, or “flexible format” can be effective to give quick and valuable information to the consumer.
Research your competitor’s value propositions and try to find out what their ad copy looks like. If you ad looks similar to your competitor’s ad, and you’ll enter into the “sea of sameness” territory, reducing its overall effectiveness. If you don’t call out how your product is unique, your ad will look like any other ad, and your product won’t stand out from the crowd.
“If you don’t call out how your product is unique in your copy, your audience will overlook it.”
Value propositions and calls to action are an easy way to highlight what makes your product stand out from the rest of the crowd. When deciding which value propositions to include in your ad text, ask yourself a few questions:
- Why would someone want to buy this product or use this service? Think about the why behind the reason someone would purchase your product and not a competitor’s – it’s your job as a marketer to make this ‘why’ crystal clear.
- Is there a sense of urgency to purchase the product that the consumer should be aware of? Can you answer not only the why, but the why now for the customer? Call out if a product is on sale, or there is a limited time discount on it. Consumers like knowing that they are getting the best deal possible, so creating a sense of urgency through your ad copy is essential to help nudge them towards taking action.
- Does the value proposition identify a pain point and answer that problem? Put yourself in the consumers shoes – what problem does this product solve? Does it solve convenience or save the customer time? Is your product more flexible, of higher quality? What kinds of outcomes can your customer expect after purchasing the product or service?
Calls to Action
The final step in creating a strong ad is to have a strong call to action. If you aren’t specifically telling the consumer what they need to do next, there is a good chance they won’t take action on the ad that they saw. Be sure to include deadlines for sales or, as in the certificate example above, include deadline-driven copy like “Apply by (date) to earn a 10% discount”, or “Sign up for this course by (date) to join an upcoming cohort.”
“Ensure your ad has a strong Call to Action. If you aren’t specifically telling the consumer what they need to do next, there is a good chance that they won’t take action.”
Importance of Imagery
Now that we’ve written ad copy that has strong value propositions, calls to action, and speaks directly to the audience we are targeting, we want to make sure that the imagery matches the narrative that we’ve created in the ad copy.
Recently, Facebook has removed the character limitations that were previously applied to imagery. While you shouldn’t jam as much information as possible into your images, adding a strong value proposition and a call to action should help to catch the attention of the consumer as they scroll their feed on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Additionally, ensure that your ad copy closely relates to what’s messaged on the landing page. Customers expect a seamless, congruent experience. If your ad copy says “download a brochure” and your landing page doesn’t discuss the brochure or provide access for them to download the content, you’ve failed to provide a coherent user experience.
Set a testing plan of action
After you’ve written your copy and matched it with imagery, the final step is to develop a plan to test different iterations of your ads.
While you may think that you have an idea of which value propositions and calls to action will best convert, you may be surprised by which ad performs the best once real-world testing begins.
Some simple testing strategies you can implement to find out which of your ads perform the best include:
- A/B test two different value prop variations in the same targeted audience with the same imagery. You want as many factors to be the same as possible to distinguish which value proposition or call to action made the difference.
- Set strict spend and cost per lead thresholds for each ad.
- Test different ads across all targeted audiences you are running. Just because an ad copy variation or image does not resonate with one audience, does not mean it won’t with another.
Remember that testing ad copy is your friend. The more you can iterate and improve upon previous ad copy versions, the better your results will be!