More than 1.65 billion people visit Facebook on a monthly basis, making it the third most visited website globally—falling behind only Google and YouTube. With an audience that spans the globe, you can be sure that members of your target audience are counted among them.
Marketing on Facebook requires a well-executed content strategy, but you don’t have to rely on organic reach alone. Next to publishing quality and engaging content, the next best way to reach your audience on the social network is through Facebook Ads.
It can be overwhelming if you’re creating your first ad, but here are some tips and Facebook Ad examples to guide you through the process.
Choose the Right Advertising Objective
You need to go into this with a plan. Think about what you want people to do when they see your ads, and keep this goal in mind throughout the ad creation process. When you choose an advertising objective in Ads Manager, Facebook will help you create ads that work toward that specific goal.
The advertising objectives you can currently choose from include:
- Boost your Post: This Page post engagement objective gives your content an edge by helping it appear higher in the News Feed so there’s a better chance you’re audience will see it.
- Promote your Page: Instead of an individual post, this Page Likes objective helps promote your entire Facebook Page.
- Send people to your website: Use the clicks to website objective if you want to send people off of Facebook to your website or landing page.
- Increase conversions on your website: The website conversions objective will prompt people to take specific actions on your website, such as buying a product.
- Get installs of your app: Use this objective to drive up installs for your mobile app.
- Increase engagement in your app: The app engagement objective is designed to increase engagement with your mobile app.
- Reach people near your business: The local awareness objective helps you reach individuals in close proximity to your business.
- Raise attendance at your event: This objective gets more people to see and respond to your event.
- Get people to claim your offer: The offer claims objective can be used to create offers for people to redeem in your store or on your website.
- Get video views: This ad objective helps get more people to watch your video.
- Collect leads for your business: This objective can be used to create a form that collects information from people for newsletter sign-ups, price estimates or follow-up calls.
Once you’ve selected your objective, we recommend that you visit the Facebook Ads Guide to learn more about that objective and the specs for each ad.
The Anatomy of a Great Facebook Ad
Although the motivation behind each ad is different, they feature many of the same structural elements. These include:
- Headline: A summary of what you’re offering.
- Post text: A 90-character piece of copy that’s placed directly above or below your image. Often the first text a viewer will see.
- Description: Available in only a couple of ad types, this 200-character piece of copy allows you to go into more depth about your product or offer.
- Media: This is your image or video. It’s the largest part and encourages viewers to look more closely at your ad.
- Call-to-action: This button appears near the bottom of your ad and instructs viewers on what to do after viewing your ad.
That said, the content of each ad is entirely unique to your business. But before you enter just any information into these fields, take a look at some of the data AdEspresso found in its analysis of more than 37,000 Facebook Ad examples.
Keep Text Tight & Concise
The success of your ad lies in its concise wording and delivery. Your headline should immediately capture a viewer’s attention. It must be compelling, and according to AdEspresso, it must also be concise. The median length for a headline in its study was just five words long. Anything longer risks losing focus and overwhelming viewers.
Look at this example from Southwest Airlines. Its headline, “As low as $49 one-way!” immediately captures the attention of budget-friendly travelers. While it’s not particularly witty, it’s short, direct and wastes no time getting to the purpose of the ad: the savings.
The headline in this right column ad from AT&T is a perfect example of what you should do. It’s concise, but it also demonstrates that AT&T can solve a problem experience by a very specific audience.
- Note: Depending on the placement of your ad (desktop News Feed, desktop right column, mobile) your headline text might appear differently.
The same advice holds true for your description. The median length for an ad’s text is just 14 words, while the median length for a link description is 18 words.
This ad from ThinkGeek has just the right amount of information. It does a great job of sparking interest and describing a product without overwhelming users with too much detail or marketing lingo.
Choose Your Words Carefully
It’s not enough to only practice brevity when crafting your ad’s copy, but you must also take careful note of the words you choose to include. There’s an interesting psychology behind Facebook Ads, and advertisers tend to see better results when these five words are included:
- Instantly or now
That said, you should only insert these five words where it actually make sense. They’re common enough to be easily worked in organically, but don’t force it if it’s not a good fit. Viewers will see right through you and could become turned off by your delivery.
‘Learn More’ Is the Most Popular Call-To-Action
An excellent way to ensure your audience clearly understands that action you want them to take after viewing your Facebook Ad is by using a call-to-action button. If you’ve chosen either the Clicks to Website or Website Conversions objective, you can choose from the following CTAs:
- Shop Now
- Book Now
- Learn More
- Sign Up
“Learn More,” “Shop Now,” and “Sign Up” are being use significantly more than any other CTA. In 2014, “Shop Now” was favored by 74% of marketers, while “Learn More” reigned as top performer. AdEspresso’s data showed that “Learn More” (making up 34% of the ads in the study) was used more than “Shop Now” (used in only 30% of ads).
That doesn’t mean the other CTAs should be ignored. Obviously if they’re relevant to your business or product, you should be using them. The study also found that only 56% of ads included a CTA, so there’s a lot of opportunity here for Facebook advertisers to step up their game.
This Facebook ad example from Casper is perfect. Everything from the ad’s description and post text to its headline and image. It’s clean, concise, compelling and features a prominently-displayed “Shop Now” button. You couldn’t ask for a better setup.
Send Audiences to a Landing Page
If you’re sending people off of Facebook, as in the case of a Clicks to Website or Website Conversions objective, your best bet is to direct viewers to a landing page. In fact, 69% of the ads studied linked to a landing page, while only 11% point to a home page.
Directing your audience to a specific landing page ensures that your viewers are instantly provided with the most relevant information related to your ad. If sent to your home page instead, it’s up to them to correctly navigate your site and find the details related to the product or service advertised.
This ad promoting the Adler Planetarium’s ‘Scopes in the City event, although a bit on the wordy side, includes a link directly to the event’s page on the Adler’s website. Anyone interested in the event is now less likely to drop off due to navigational errors or laziness.
Another ad from PlayStation promotes one of its upcoming games with a new trailer. Not only does it contain a solid (albeit a slightly long) description and compelling piece of media, it features a shortened URL leading viewers to a game-specific landing page.
Deliver Relevant Ads
In addition to its massive user base, one of the biggest advantages to advertising on Facebook is your ability to target specific segments of your audience. The social network boasts 89% accuracy when it comes to narrowly targeting campaigns, compared to the average online reach of only 38%.
Currently you can target your ads by location, demographics, interests and behaviors. Advanced targeting options, such as custom or lookalike audiences, let you target Facebook Ads to existing customers or prospects using information you already collected.
By targeting your Facebook Ads, you’ll ensure that the most relevant message is delivered to the right customers across devices. As a result, you’ll get the most bang for your buck since you’re reaching only the people that matter to your brand.
Spread Your Message
There’s no magic behind launching a successful Facebook Ad campaign. Ads that perform well likely went through a lot of trial and error and numerous iterations. The Facebook Ad examples above are meant to inspire and guide you, but that’s not the only tool in your box.
From your ad’s creation all the way to its completion, there are tools designed to help you be successful.
- Audience Insights: In the early stages of your ad creation, use Facebook Audience Insights to learn more about your target audience to create more relevant ads.
- Grid Tool: Brevity is best, but it’s also enforced. Use the grid tool to ensure the images featured in your ad meets Facebook’s 20% text policy.
- Relevance Score: Your Facebook Ad relevance score provides you with a more transparent view on the back end of your ad’s performance.
Once your ad campaign is in full swing, make sure you’re prepared to handle the spike in engagement coming your way with a Facebook management tool like Sprout Social.
Do you want to see how easy it is to manage comments, posts and an all-in-one single-stream inbox for all of your social channels? Sign up for your free 30 trial today!
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.
Thanks for these great tips Jennifer!
I've been doing Facebook ads for a while now. Learn More works like a charm! It doesn't make the reader feel like they have to make a commitment, but rather they are feeling like they are exploring something of interest. I think Psychologically it is far better than Buy Now. That may chase them away because there is no price point mentioned and Buy can mean Run lol.
As for my blog posts, I boost them every time and it does have a better reach. I have also done a Like Page ad and received many good target buyers and social interactions.
There is never enough information about Facebook I can learn. I thank you,
Good post. I think these are supposed to say "Learn More" not "Learn Now"
-- while “Learn Now” reigned as top performer. AdEspresso’s data showed that “Learn Now” (making up 34% --
@Eric McCarty Good catch, Eric! Thanks!