Over the past few years I’ve seen and analyzed hundreds of social media campaigns to find out exactly what the best advertisers do to set up their ads.
So in this post I have put together and share with you some of the tricks that make an ad effective and generate impressive results.
While there is no perfect formula to guarantee success, the first thing to understand is that all indicators point to Facebook remaining by far the platform of choice for social media advertisers.
Some basics to keep in mind:
- Facebook remains the most popular social media platform around the world.
- 68% of adults are Facebook users, and a high percentage of them are daily active users.
- More so than other social media platforms, Facebook users are from a wide range of demographics.
While other platforms seek to innovate with certain formats and effects, Facebook continues its steady rise.
And that is why Facebook ads are becoming more and more indispensable to growing a business.
For this article, I’ve explored in detail the text, headline, and link source description of many Facebook ads by dissecting them by length, sentiment, and the type of words they use.
I’ll also cover the call to action, the type of links in your ads, and how the best advertisers use them to generate the most interest in their products.
IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF FACEBOOK ADS
Although they may seem simple at first glance, Facebook ads have intricacies that marketers recommend optimizing for the best results in your campaigns.
Over time, we have observed changes in the length, tone and choice of words in these sections.
The right balance in your composition has a strong influence on whether viewers decide to read more, click through to your landing page, spend time exploring and considering the image, and even understand what your business is about and what you’re selling.
For example, if words don’t fit the length required for specific fields, like in the ad below, the entire post can become dense and frustrating.
Here, the text is cluttered and missing important points that might lead the viewer to want to know more. And it is even worse when they sometimes contain typographical and spelling errors which can throw away any attempt to sell.
Even though the image is eye-catching, what could have been an attractive ad to sell a product ends up being far less effective.
Studying and understanding the subtle ways that brand tactics have evolved over the years can help marketers create ads optimized for engagement.
5 main aspects that require a lot of attention in 2019:
- The length of the ad text has increased.
- Link descriptions are shorter.
- There has been an increase in brands linking to specific landing pages.
- The top five CTAs and how brands have increased their use of CTAs.
- Businesses are using a greater variety of ad types.
The 8 keys that I share below will help your marketers to significantly improve their ROI.
1. THE MOST ATTRACTIVE HEADLINES HAVE ONLY 5 WORDS
You typically have three text fields for your Facebook ads: the headline, the body text, and the news feed link description.
When preparing the copy for your ad , the best advice is to keep it short and extremely clear.
The best Facebook advertisers have taken this very seriously.
The average length of a title is only 5 words.
This means that your ad must be sufficiently clear and to the point.
This example shows a good ad.
Not only is the title nice and tight, but all the text is straight to the point. Grabs your attention, then makes you want to click through to the site for more information:
Some advertisers make their headlines much longer and then immediately lose focus.
This advertisement for El Librero de Gutemberg puts too much information in the headline, which should be in the text.
Even the wording despite being a question tends to be a bit confusing.
To put it further, marketers believe that prospects will: (1) read what’s at the top first, and (2) focus on the content that best grabs their attention.
And who better to illustrate this than Facebook itself?
In this ad Facebook shows a clear title, with a lot of sense (and only four words), ” Stands out by attracting attention “, along with a text of 24 words is the recipe for a perfect sponsored post.
In the copy, we see that Facebook keeps the text with a relaxed wording with simple punctuation, easy to understand and without fancy words.
In times where security is essential, consumer data must be protected at all times. Hence it is absolutely critical to keep an open line of communication with all readers, just like facebook does, even in their sponsored posts!
Although the average length of ad copy has increased, it’s still important to find a sweet spot between a catchy description and being concise.
Although the company nails its headline ” Create your first ad now ” (again, no more than four or five words and in line with Facebook’s 25-character recommendation), the ad copy is short and to the point.
Sticking to the 19-word average and choosing your words carefully will help you stay in focus by ensuring nothing escapes viewers’ attention.
Here are some additional proven tactics to create the best headlines:
- Use numbers at the beginning of the title.
- Create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers.
- Be clear about your offer (avoid being too redundant and vague).
- Ask questions that people want answered.
In general, remember to keep your text clear, concise, and relaxed. While ad copy length has expanded, the most successful posts remain to the point and short.
2. TEXT DESCRIPTIONS AND POST LINKS ARE A BIT LONGER
Today the average length for ad post text is just 14 words, again keeping it short and to the point.
The post text for this Platzi ad packs just the right amount of information into its 12 words:
It must be understood that an ad is not a space to tell the story of your life and that poorly configured Facebook ads can be very costly.
Instead, you should use clear, catchy text to draw people to your ad, and then encourage them to click through to your site to learn more about your service.
Facebook has even conducted studies concluding that the average human attention span is just over 8 seconds.
Take this very seriously, and don’t push the limits of your viewers with long, running sentences.
3. THE MOST POPULAR WORD
Analyzing the data set of the best ads, one of my favorite keys is precisely this. And it is that obviously many Facebook advertisers really know the game.
Some of the best psychological tricks to make your ads unforgettable is to include some of these 5 words if you want people to respond to your ad:
Why is a simple ” you ” so powerful? Because he makes you think of you.
If every ad could be hyper-personalized, that would be even better, but instead using this word makes it enough.
Our brain is specifically activated when hearing or thinking about our own name and ourselves.
We all highly value what is free. Free is the most attractive word for anyone who sees an ad. We are always looking for offers.
Include this word in your ad and it will almost certainly draw attention.
We all want answers. Humans are inquisitive souls. We constantly wonder why. And that’s why the word because means a lot to us.
We love the now. We drastically rule things out when they are in the future, so this instant almost always seems like the best option.
This has been backed up by brain scans that prove that if you offer something instantly, our brains go haywire.
Our primitive brains look for novelties, so the idea of something new is a great way to show that you have something attractive and ideal for reinvigorating an established brand and putting it back in the mind of the customer.
Facebook for business gives us the best example of using ‘you’ in their own ads, making readers feel directly involved and posing a benefit
These words work.
We are naturally drawn to them as they tell us something powerful and activate our minds. Using them in your ads means you have a natural advantage over all other advertisers.
4. IF YOU WANT TO STAND OUT, BE NEGATIVE
In case you didn’t know, sentiment analysis is a way of analyzing text to determine how positive or negative it may be. Certain words are assigned a value score and the scores for each word in a document are added together to determine the sentiment of the text, either positive or negative.
Most ads are neutral, either because not all words are rated in the ratings database (it only has ratings for about 2,000 words in the English language and a few others in Spanish) or because the positive and negative words in the ad have canceled each other out.
Ads that are really positive in tone, scoring 5 or higher, may be made up of some of these slightly positive words (super delicious or win-win-win), or they may have extremely high rating words like ‘awesome’ (+5).
However, not all announcements are positive.
News or charity ads are often skewed slightly negatively.
This Cupontento ad contains the word ‘injuries’, rated negative:
It will definitely draw the user’s attention.
Looking at this data, it seems like there’s a nifty way you can make your ad stand out from the rest: be negative .
If your ad is all the way to the left of the chart, it will definitely stand out from the crowd (who could resist clicking on it?)
5. USE CTAS EFFECTIVELY
Including a Call To Action button in your ad makes it easy for a user to click through to your site to learn more about your product, sign up for a service, or download an e-book, app, or web browser. a game.
Of the potential calls-to-action available to Facebook advertisers, my analysis finds that only a handful are actually widely used:
‘ Learn more ‘, ‘ Buy now ‘ and ‘ Sign up’ are used much more than any other call to action.
Using a CTA button makes it easy for a user to learn more about your product and shows them exactly where in your ad they need to click to get it.
Connect Americas for example uses the CTA ‘Register’ so that you can be part of its business network:
You shouldn’t worry about using lesser known or used CTAs, especially if they are relevant to your product or service.
Here, this insurer uses the ‘Quote’ CTA correctly to entice people to request more detailed information about their services:
On average, only 56% of ads include a call to action button, wasting the power of a highly effective strategy where any Facebook advertiser could improve their results, making it easier for users to click on their sites to obtain more information, register or even make donations.
Facebook has three main types of ads aimed at increasing awareness, consideration, or conversion. Each of these has its own set of CTAs. While some like ” Comment ” overlap between categories, and others like “Play” are exclusive to particular channels.
Many people might opt for a simple ” Buy Now ” or ” Learn More “,” Subscribe ” tends to be more specific to certain goals and unique among certain types of offers.
There are over 30 unique options for Facebook ad CTA buttons. Here are some of the wackier ones:
- Listen now
- get directions
- donate now
- Send Message
- Image click (where the image itself is the CTA)
Whether you choose a broad approach or a bolder one will depend on your brand, your audience, and your advertising budget, but getting the data right should always be the first step.
For brands looking for new ways to stay ahead and differentiate themselves, paying more attention to CTAs represents an opportunity for rapid expansion.
6. 69% OF ADS LINK TO A LANDING PAGE
Let’s remember some basic rules to advertise on Facebook:
- Your Facebook ad should advertise something specific, rather than just your site or all of your services.
- Your ads must be targeted to a specific audience, and you must offer them something that is unique to them.
- Your ad link must point to a specific landing page for your service.
69% of Facebook ads target a specific referral or landing page on the product site. 11% of ads lose impact by directing the person to the home page, and an additional 20% point to another page within Facebook instead of driving traffic to the product or service site.
The following ad from Cris Urzua does it right by sending the user to a specific landing page to provide information about her courses and workshops:
Why is it convenient to have a specific landing page for clicks? Because that’s possibly the best way to use Facebook ads to generate leads.
If your prospects go directly to your home page, or to another page on Facebook, you will lose this information and therefore lose customers.
While landing pages are always helpful, they’re the key to success if you’re running Facebook ads with the goal of generating: leads, video views, or conversions.
You want your viewer to not only absorb the information in the post, but also take action!
Pro Tip : Use URL shortener services like bitly.comto adjust your ad to the recommended optimal number of words.
7. MOST COMPANIES ONLY HAVE 1 AD, BUT THE BEST ONES HAVE 100
If we look at how many ads each advertiser posts on their wall, sadly most of them only show one ad.
This is a massive bug.
It means that they are only running 1 ad for their product. They don’t take advantage of ways to optimize their campaigns, such as split testing for different layouts or copy.
However, we see that a few companies are doing incredibly well.
Shopify for example has over 200 examples in their ad gallery, using different images and text in each one, to appeal to a different type of user. Nothing easy but extremely effective.
Awesome Shopify work!
8. COMPANIES WITH SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNS USE A GREATER VARIETY OF AD TYPES
Finally, many companies have jumped in looking to be more creative using the new ad offerings that Facebook keeps creating.
Clearly video ads have skyrocketed in popularity, while links, photos and events have been relatively flat or down.
While traditional formats still command the majority of ads, they are no match for the rapid rise of the video format.
In fact, now is the perfect time to make a big impact using highly creative video ads.
Some ideas from the professionals:
- Put the best content in the first 5 to 10 seconds.
- Work in primary colors (red, blue, yellow).
- Add scrolling text.
- While you should invest in learning about video formats, don’t rule out photo ads (particularly with all the new image technology), they’re still a great option.
ADDING ALL THE STRATEGY
It seems that many successful advertisers on Facebook have really hit the mark.
They keep the copy short and sweet, they keep the ads positive, and even if they don’t always use CTAs, they link to specific landing pages on their own sites so they can capture important user information.
Where many are failing is not producing more ads, thus failing to optimize their campaigns effectively. If they did, I’m sure their results would be even better.
Do you understand how the game changes with these rules?
Can you start applying some of these tricks like being negative to make your ads stand out even more?
Let’s get to work
Take some time with a nice coffee (or two!) and consider how all of these keys could affect and improve your social media advertising campaigns .
Should you increase the text of your ad?
Shorten your link descriptions?
Maybe it’s time to take a chance, get creative and try an underused CTA or take a specialized video course for online sellers.
There are many ways to apply this information and achieve great results.
I’m excited to see how it goes for you!