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9 ways to approach Facebook ad copy

These strategies from a copywriter run the gamut—test them out, and pick the one that works for your business.

By Ana Gotter · November 12, 2021
A hero image for Facebook app tips with the Facebook logo on a blue background

Facebook is a powerhouse customer acquisition platform for companies of all sizes. But in order to get great results from your Facebook ads, you need to have great ad copy. And in my experience, that's where lots of brands struggle. 

I've been writing social pay-per-click (PPC) copy for Facebook ads and other platforms for five years. While your ad strategy needs to be tailored to your audience and your strongest selling points, there are nine solid copywriting strategies that I use time and time again to help my clients get results. Let's take a look at each. 

  1. Problem/solution

  2. Creativity

  3. Social proof

  4. Feature-benefit selling

  5. Seasonality

  6. Urgency

  7. Long-form storytelling

  8. Simplicity

  9. Deals

9 Facebook ad strategies to test for your business

1. State a problem and offer a solution

This strategy is all about showing the customer that you understand their problem—and have solved it. They can relate to the ad, and they're immediately drawn in to see the solution. Here's an example:

A Facebook ad for a nursing cover that starts with "How many nursing covers can you wear when you're not even nursing? Answer: one."

In this ad, the problem is posed as a question ("How many nursing covers can you wear when you're not even nursing?"), and it attracts nursing mothers who haven't been able to find a fashionable nursing cover. Then they introduce their product ("Meet the Cocoon") before explaining more about what it is. 

It's an effective ad because it appeals strongly and quickly to a specific pain point. 

2. Get creative 

There's a fine line between creative and gimmicky. But if you can walk the right side of that line, you'll grab your audience's attention.

One example is "going negative." You do this by presenting the brand's positive strengths as a negative in a joking way to drive that unique selling point home. Think: "Warning: Our clothes last so long, you'll never have to shop again." Summersalt does this well, starting with a jolting "Caution:" and proceeding to talk about how the "buttery-soft pajamas are so luxurious" that they make you want to never leave your bed. Funny and effective, without being over the top.

A Facebook ad for pajamas that starts with: "Caution: These buttery-soft pajamas are so luxurious, they may cause prolonged exposure to a bed."

3. Use social proof

Social proof goes a long way, and you can use popularity-focused terms like "fastest-selling," "highest-rated," or "award-winning" to mimic that vibe in a Facebook ad. Bring up the thousands of 5-star customer reviews you have. Share text pulled directly from a well-written customer review or a user-generated image. Showcase a review of your brand in an esteemed source or publication. You're using social proof to build trust and leverage a little bit of FOMO.

Here's a great example from Formula. They mention their happy customers and incorporate UGC into the video with text overlay.

A Facebook ad with a list of stats about sales and reviews as well as a customer quote.

4. Try feature-benefit selling 

Feature-benefit selling is one of the oldest tricks in the sales book. I learned it when I was a salesperson at a jewelry store, and I heard it just last week when I bought a new car.

How SMBs can run ad campaigns like the Fortune 500

Here's how it works. You state a feature ("the car has lane assist technology that keeps your car in the lines"), and then immediately explain how that feature benefits the customer ("you'll never risk drifting out of the lane and into another car"). 

This strategy will be most effective when the benefits are tailored to individual customer segments and their needs, motivations, and pain points. For example, if you were talking to parents, you might say, "You won't drift out of the lane when you have to turn around to check on the kids." But since I have three dogs, the salesperson said, "when your dog crawls into your lap." 

Here's an example of how this might work on Facebook, embedded into a UGC post. 

A Facebook ad with a quote from a customer that says "There's these cool little panels sewn into the side of the pants that give me an amazing shape - it's like wearing shapewear without the extra step."

The review mentions "panels sewn inside of the pants" as the feature; the benefit is the "amazing shape… it's like wearing shapewear without the extra steps." 

This is more effective than just stating features, which can fall flat, and it's more effective than just stating benefits because it explains how you can achieve these benefits, which builds trust. 

5. Go seasonal 

Running timely, season-specific Facebook ads ensures your content is relevant to users right now

Remember: you can position your product or service as seasonal even if it's also evergreen. A simple example would be an eCommerce company selling organic knits and throws. Come Mother's Day, they promote the knits as being an essential part of a "care kit" for moms to enjoy their day in comfort. During the winter holidays, the throws can be advertised as the perfect gift to keep you warm around the fireplace. And so on.

Seasonality can also help you reach high-intent audiences with gift suggestions. If you do this, use the timeliness to promote urgency, since folks only have a certain amount of time before the holiday passes. Here's an example.

A Facebook ad for Thanksgiving turkey that talks about a possible shortage and mentions when the orders will ship.

Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative talks about how there might be a turkey shortage (timely, due to the pandemic) and how you should order now (urgency) to make sure that you have a turkey for your family's Thanksgiving (seasonal). It hits all the right notes—at the right time.

6. Leverage urgency 

Holidays aren't the only time to leverage urgency. You can mention that you're only offering a sale or coupon code for a limited time. Or maybe you're only releasing a certain number of bundles that contain high-value products. And if it's true, you can mention that your items sell out fast. Urgency hits an impulse button that makes folks more likely to purchase quickly, so they don't keep scrolling, forget about you, and then never come back. 

Here's a great example. Caraway's ad focuses entirely on urgency, saying that as soon as a product line is dropped, it sells out instantly. "Get your bakeware while supplies last" with the eyes emoji is a powerful CTA. 

A Facebook ad that talks about how the item sells out quickly ("Every time Caraway drops a new product line, they sell out instantly.")

7. Opt for long-form storytelling 

Most ads focus on brevity. That's the right way to go most of the time, but it's absolutely worth testing long-form storytelling with the following:

  • Your brand's story

  • Your personal story as a business owner 

  • An in-depth customer story 

  • Detailed information about the customer experience 

Stories resonate with customers and stick with people on an emotional level. This can make them powerful brand awareness tools—and equally as powerful selling tools. Make sure to start off with a strong hook to get people to click Read more, and choose a great image to pair with it. 

Here's an example from another Zapier article about using your personal story in brand marketing

A Facebook ad that tells the story of how a company was founded and dives deep into what makes them unique.

The ad tells the story of how Cooper's Treats created high-quality products with a single question in mind: what would you want your dogs to say to you after they eat the treats you give them? That hooks the reader, and the ad then talks more about the company's backstory and what's in the treats themselves. 

8. Keep it simple 

If your product is heavily visual and the image speaks for itself, keep the accompanying text as simple as possible. But remember, simple doesn't mean phoning it in. It means choosing your words wisely to keep it concise while still speaking to your audience.

In the example below, Thursday Boot Company has an image-heavy ad showing multiple products. They use the text "Comfortable, Versatile, & Durable" with two emoji at the end. With just three words, they address some of the biggest concerns people have when purchasing, aside from the look of boots (which the image takes care of).

A Facebook ad with only three words in the copy.

9. Offer a deal 

Deals and offers are a copywriter's dream, and ads are a great place to shout them out. When the customer feels like now is the time to purchase and that their risk is low, they're more likely to follow through.

Italic does this well: they use feature-benefit selling and then go in with the coupon code. Because a deal in itself isn't enough—you need to get people to want your product too.

A Facebook ad that offers $10 off with a special code

Whichever strategy you use, remember to look at the numbers. Even once you find an ad that drives results, you can continue to test different versions of the copy, maybe adjusting the formatting, the word choice, or the accompanying image. Over time, you'll be able to see clear patterns and develop a custom-for-your-brand copywriting strategy that works for you. 

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Ana Gotter picture

Ana Gotter

Ana is a strategic content marketer specializing in business, finance, and marketing writing, though she's worked across a range of industries. She works from her home in Orlando with her three dogs and can be contacted at www.anagotter.com.

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