Facebook continues to dominate the digital ad space, and with good reason. 2.89 billion people use Facebook every month, and not only that, we spend a lot of time on there. The average person spends 40 minutes each day on Facebook!
That’s a big captive audience right there.
Ever feel like you don’t get enough love from Facebook?
When you take the time to write Facebook posts or ads, and find the perfect images, that you just KNOW your audience would love!
Sometimes you put your content out there and it feels like you’re getting nothing in return. Barely a measly little Like.
So you wonder – what’s the point? Is it even worth it to create this content for Facebook?
The answer is – yes it is, and I’ve seen cold hard evidence (website traffic and sales!) to support that.
Now, as I record this podcast, there are more than 7 million active advertisers on Facebook.
But…. Many of these ads just don’t work.
I see so many businesses throw up an ad and pray that it converts. Most of the time it doesn’t and they’re left out of pocket and frustrated, sometimes even wondering if they should throw in the towel entirely!
If that sounds like you – then listen up, this episode is perfect for you!
Let’s go through how to write Facebook ads, or posts, that’ll leave your audience clamouring for more – and ultimately get more clicks on your ads.
Here’s what not to do
Your goal as an eCommerce business or brand owner, is to get people to click from Facebook over to your website. Preferably to shop.
The temptation, therefore, can be to use your Facebook page and your paid ads as one big advertisement for your products.
Because of that, most people tend to focus on describing their product’s features at a more superficial level. What it is, what it looks like, what it does, how much it costs. We assume that viewers already know that your product is the solution to their problem, need or want, if only they would see the product they would click and buy.
But that’s not how it is. Unfortunately – to succeed with advertising or marketing is just not that simple.
How Facebook ads don’t work
As business owners, we like to think that everyone who needs a product like ours will automatically be interested when they see our ad. We talk our product up in the hope that people will recognise our product as being exactly right to suit our needs.
Unfortunately, that’s not how advertising works.
Most people do not login to Facebook with the primary intention of making a purchase. This is very different from other, more overtly commercial platforms such as Amazon and eBay. Even Google – people typically search on Google when they’re ready to buy.
You just can’t expect your potential customers to be sitting at their laptop, or browsing on their smartphone, with credit card in hand. Sorry hun, it ain’t gonna happen.
This is why you must give people something they are interested in before you even contemplate asking them to make a purchasing decision.
Bottom line is this: What looks like the fastest route to getting a purchase is, in fact, a direct line to losing the attention and interest of the people you want to reach.
You simply won’t get the clicks.
Let’s dive deeper with a real-life example from one of my clients.
Let’s say you sell baby and kids’ sunglasses and you happen to sell the most expensive baby and kids sunglasses on the market. They’re the most expensive because they offer the highest level of UV/sun protection, and because they’re made to be pretty much indestructible.
If you pitch this product in exactly the same way as all the other kids’ sunglasses on the market that are less than half the price, you’ve already lost. Why is this?
Have a think about the Facebook ads you see in your newsfeeds. Usually they say something along the lines of, ‘Are you looking for a widget? We are proud to make quality widgets. Click here to buy yours today.”
Often, such statements are presented alongside a single product photograph (sometimes not even a good quality, professional photograph).
Yes, that’s overly simplified. But hopefully you get my point…
How enticing does that statement sound? Does it even capture your attention when scrolling your Facebook newsfeed? Let alone click through?
I’ll tell you what it makes me think (if I even notice it…). It makes me feel like I’m being sold to. I also have no idea what’s in it for me.
Obviously if I’d already tried the widget and loved it, I’d probably forgive the messaging and be happy to buy it.
Advertising like this allows your potential customers to assume your product features and benefits are EXACTLY THE SAME as the alternatives, so then their purchase decision is made purely on price.
Unless you run a deep discount business, you never want to differentiate your brand or products based on price.
What’s the purpose of your ad?
Too many advertisers are trying to do too much with their ad or their posts. Specifically, they are trying to attract a cold audience AND sell, all in one ad.
So if the purpose of your Facebook ad is not to get the purchase, what is it?
Think of a sale as being a series of small actions or steps. Step 1 is to get their attention (ie stop scrolling their newsfeed long enough to look at your ad). Step 2 is for them to read your text. Third is for them to click on your ad.
Once they’ve clicked on your ad it’s up to your website to complete the process. This may be a two step process – sign up to your email list and then retarget them to get them to buy your product.
So you see, the purpose of your ad is simple: it’s to get the click.
The product post that doesn’t look like a product post
Yet, I’ve seen some businesses do a fantastic job of writing about products in a highly engaging, interesting way.
Nourished Life is a prime example. She writes quite long, blog-ish posts on Facebook, often telling stories about her personal experience. It’s really engaging.
My client, Happy Tummies, is another example. She knows her customers inside out (because they’re just like her), so she can put in a cheeky emoji or two and add a bit of personality to her posts, and knows she’ll be well received.
So, how else do you pitch your products then?
How do they manage to write about their products in a way people ACTUALLY want to read (and click)?
By writing an ad or a post that speaks to your customers’ core desires.
Speak to your customers’ core desires
First of all, you need to understand HOW your customers buy.
Customer has a burning need, problem or desire and starts looking for a solution.
Customer may have already tried various other solutions without much success. Is possibly feeling like a solution that works for her doesn’t exist.
Customer comes sees your ad at just the right moment. (How did you do that? We’ll talk about audience targeting another day, don’t worry…)
Your images show people just like this customer, happily using your product in situations that look very much like her real life.
So far, so good.
Then, they start reading your copy.
They read about how your product was designed to solve a problem just like theirs. In fact, you can describe their situation PERFECTLY. It’s like you were just in their head.
The read about how the product can help the customer achieve their desired outcome (or solution). But not some generic, watered down version. Again, the transformation is described EXACTLY how the customer imagines it.
The customer sees HERSELF in your ad.
Your Facebook ad – your text, your images, your offer, heck, even your call to action – needs to attract, connect, educate and motivate action.
And the best way to do that is to inspire your ideal customers to believe that their desires are attainable.
Remember – people buy a good night’s sleep, they don’t buy a mattress!
Your Facebook product posts should begin by answering these two questions with a short 2-paragraph story:
Start by describing your customer’s “average day”
Describe how your product CHANGES their average day.
‘I think I can guess how you’re feeling right now. Your baby is fussy and only sleeps if you’re walking around and holding him. You’re absolutely exhausted, running on empty, and you’re feeling very anxious that something is wrong with your baby.
Imagine if a simple change to your baby’s nursery setup could provide the same soothing effect as you cradling him? Imagine if he could confidently settle and sleep all on his own? Imagine how you would feel, knowing your baby was happy, calm and settled?’
Then, you need to tell your readers and Facebook fans what ACTION you want them to take next and write it in a short call to action that begins with “Click here to…”
Let’s delve into some more specifics that’ll help you to write the perfect ad or post…
- Images speak 1000 words
For our ad to succeed, first we need to choose images that capture our customers’ attention quickly as they are scrolling through their newsfeed.
Bare in mind, people are often distracted or multitasking whilst on Facebook. (Anyone else watch TV and check out Facebook on their phone at the same time? Or is that just me…)
There are many ways to capture attention, but we don’t want just anyone’s attention, we want our IDEAL CUSTOMER’s attention!
And the first thing to understand about image selection for advertising is: if your image sucks, your potential customer won’t even stop scrolling through their newsfeed long enough to notice it.
I like to use multiple images in an eCommerce ad, and I prefer lifestyle images over plain product shots. Lifestyle images show your product being used in context and makes it easier for your potential customers to “see themselves” in the images.
- The irresistible offering
Do you want to buy a mattress? Or do you want a good night’s sleep?
Do you want to buy a photo frame? Or do you want to preserve and display your most treasured or precious moments?
Do you want to buy a healthy food cook book? Or do you want to transform your health and wellness and gain more energy?
Hopefully you get the picture here…
You DO NOT sell your widget. This is not what people buy. If your ads are all about your product or your clearance sale, it’s really easy for your potential customer to just keep scrolling…
Instead, you sell the transformation.
- Get the click
It’s really easy to assume that everyone knows how ads work or how to buy online. But time and time again, I’ve seen results improve when you do one simple thing…
And that’s: tell people what they need to do next.
What ACTION you are asking people to take? Don’t just rely on a button to communicate this for you. Write it in a short action statement that begins with “Click here to…”
What winning ads all have in common…
Bottom line is – to write the perfect piece of advertising, whether you use it as a post on social media, in an email, or in an ad – you must understand your ideal customer’s buyer journey. Their thought processes they go through as they make purchase decisions.
When you know your ideal customers so deeply, and you really intimately understand their consumer psychology, then you have the information you need to be able to attract and engage your perfect audience and motivate them to take action (ie purchase).
I’ll be sharing more about this concept in the coming weeks, as well as in my upcoming Marketing Planning Challenge, so stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, let me help you to craft winning ads every time with my FREE guide
After writing hundreds of ads that have generated millions of clicks and many hundreds of thousands of dollars in eCommerce revenue, I’ve virtually ‘cracked the code’ on what makes a ‘perfect’ ad. And it comes down to these three principles.
Yes, there are other elements involved with targeting the right audiences and setting the ads up. But without these three elements, your ads will still fail.
Grab my free ‘Perfect Facebook Ad Template’ to help you deploy these three elements in your next Facebook ad!