Writing copy. Some of us love it, some of us loathe it. However, as a digital marketer in the new millennia, this task cannot be overlooked nor skimped upon if you want your Facebook ads to have winning results when they get pushed out to millions of people’s News Feeds.

That being said, let’s break down the technique of writing attention-grabbing ad copy on Facebook. We’ll start with the basics – character limits and what text fields are available to advertisers – then move onto more advanced techniques such as what style of copy best suits each specific type of ad unit on Facebook.

Breaking Down the Basics

In your typical link click ad, advertisers are given 4 customizable fields to fill with punchy dialogue in order to grab customers’ attention on Facebook’s valuable News Feed real estate. These fields are the:

  • Display URL box (prettify your destination URL’s appearance here)
  • Text box (best practice is to keep character count under 100)
  • Headline box (grab the user’s attention with something punchy and direct, keeping it under 25 characters)
  • News Feed Link Description (if you don’t want this to get truncated on mobile ads, keep it under 30 characters)facebook ad copy fields

For Instagram ads, you will only have the “Text box” option to place your copy in, so be sure to get your point across as directly as possible on this placement. If you run a Carousel ad on Instagram, you will have access to short Headlines for each card as well, so be sure to utilize those.

What Kind of Copy Should I Use for This Ad Unit?

Different types of Facebook ad units can be better optimized with different styles of ad copy. Below, I’ll provide tips and suggestions for the four most commonly used ad unit types on Facebook and what kinds of copy go best with each.

Regular Link Click Ads:

  1. Synchronize your headline with your News Feed link description as well as creative to tell a fuller story. For example, if your ad is for a hotel booking service and the headline says “Book Your Dream Vacation on Us,” match the description by expounding upon the headline with something like “…and wake up to this view,” prompting the user to look at the creative and imagine themselves there.
  2. The post copy should be something that directly addresses a customer on a personal level; use terms like “You” and “We” or directly pose a question in your copy to elicit the best response rates.
  3. Utilize text overlaid on top of your creative to further your message! People are more likely to notice words on top of an eye-catching image than just plain text on a post.

link click ad creative
Carousel Ads:

  1. Use synchronized copy that tells a story. This technique should create a story-telling flow that transitions directly from the post ad copy, to each Card’s headline and description, and even onto the cards themselves (i.e. You can string together a story with text on each carousel card image, which can drastically boost CTR as users get curious and swipe through to read the message).
    carousel ad creative

Lead Gen Ads:

  1. Lead gen ad copy must have a clear call to action so that a potential customer understands what they are filling out a particular form for. Never leave your ad copy vague or non-directive for this type of ad unit—the more directly you let a Facebook user know what they will be getting in return for filling out a lead gen form, the more likely you’ll receive a response.
  2. Use the context card feature to further outline your ad’s offerings, and keep things to the point: bullet-point format tends to work better than paragraph format as it’s easier to digest.

Use synchronized copy that tells a story. This technique should create a story-telling flow that transitions directly from the post ad copy, to each Card’s headline and description, and even onto the cards themselves.

Video Ads:

  1. Here, people’s eyes are more drawn to the video creative, so make sure you use subtitles and text overlay on your video.
  2. Remember to include your brand’s logo early on in the video so that users can gain an immediate impression of your brand without playing the video all the way to the end.

Writing Winning Copy: Tips & Tricks

Finally, let’s wrap up this blog post with some handy tips and tricks for writing phenomenal ad copy, no matter the medium.

  • Keep things short and sweet – brevity is your best friend.
  • Address customers on an individual level; personal pronouns and collective pronouns will resonate better with people than impersonal third-person copy.
  • Try to write in a way that will elicit an emotional response from the customer. This type of ad copy is generally the most memorable.
  • Wield the power of curiosity: if you ask a compelling, unconventional, or even comical question on your ad copy and imply that the answer can be found by clicking on the ad – watch your CTRs shoot up!

Have any other awesome copy tips or suggestions? Leave ’em in the comments below and share the copywriting love.

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Chang Liu
Chang joined 3Q Digital in January of 2016 as an associate on 3Q's Social Team. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Sociology and formerly worked in the crowdfunding, social media, and e-commerce startup space prior to joining 3Q. She has experience building and running her own startup from scratch, but has moved out of entrepreneurship to hone her skills in marketing and digital advertising. Her passions include reading, singing improvisationally, and strumming out tunes on her Mahalo Ukulele.