• Emily Lynch

The Secret to Writing Facebook Ad Copy That Gets Read

Not getting the results you hoped for with your Facebook ads? Make sure you’re doing these things right with the copy.



When was the last time you were interested in an ad on Facebook?


The folks over at Social Baker estimate that about 3% of your Facebook newsfeed is made up of sponsored posts (ads).


So roughly one in ever 30 odd posts you scroll past is an ad (though I just did a count in my news feed and 5 of the first 30 posts were ads!), which means if you use Facebook daily, you see at least a few Facebook ads each day.


That’s money someone has spent to purposely target your profile, to get your attention and to try and sell to you.


When was the last time it worked? Has it ever?


With Facebook ads, you’ve got four main elements that determine their success.


  1. Targeting

  2. Visual element

  3. Copy

  4. Call to action (also part of the copy)


You might have an amazing offer, but it’s usually not up to the copywriter to come up with the offer. For this post, I’m going to include the offer as part of the copy.


So, you can see that your Facebook ad copy is a campaign deal breaker.


This post will flesh out how to think about and write Facebook ad copy and how it’s different from other advertising channels.


Start paying attention to the ads you see


Do you scroll Facebook looking for ads? Sounds crazy, right? But if you’re going to write Facebook ad copy, it’s something you should be doing.


Learn to analyse all the copy you see. Did it get your attention? Did it get a reaction from you? Did it go over your head? Did you skip past it without even registering it was there?


Doing this will help you learn from what’s already working and what’s not. Instead of scrolling past ads that bore you, think about what was missing, what would have gotten your attention?


Getting into this headspace will help you learn from what is already working (and not working) before you start writing.


What part of the sales funnel are you targeting?


Conversational marketing for Facebook

In my experience, most Facebook ads are aimed at the top of the funnel. Nobody wants a hard sell on Facebook, so try to get out of the mindset of generating instant purchases, because it might not be realistic.


So if you’re not trying to get the reader to buy now, what are you trying to achieve?


Most of the Facebook campaigns I work on aim to generate interest in a product or service and then lead readers to the next level of brand engagement. This might be to download an ebook, check out a website or click through to a landing page.


To achieve this, you must connect with the reader on their level. The goal with top of funnel advertising is to motivate the reader to learn more about the product. TOF Facebook ads are a great way to connect with potential buyers in a fun, genuine way.


For the sake of this post, I’m going to focus on this style of ad.


Here are the top things you should know to write this sort of Facebook ad copy effectively.


Who are you talking to?


Before you start, you must know who you are writing for; this means having a crystal clear customer persona. Most of the time, this information will be given to you by the marketing agency or the brand themselves.


If you’re freelance writing for another company and don’t know who the audience is, get on the phone and run over a quick brief with them. You really can’t write an effective ad until you have this information, so make it a priority.


Managing the campaign yourself?


These days, I don’t manage my client’s campaigns. It’s a lot of work, and I’d rather specialise in writing amazing copy. But if you’re running your own campaign or a clients, you’ll need to do this extra research yourself (make sure you include this work in your freelance copywriting contract).


One of the advantages of Facebook advertising is that you have access to the mammoth amount of data they collect from users. This means that you have a lot of super-specific targeting options.


To take advantage of this, create 2-3 personas and write copy to target each of them. You can write as many different versions for each person as you like and then A/B test them in a trial campaign to see which one works best.


This gives you the opportunity to road test your copy on a small scale before you (or your client) invest the whole budget.


If you’re running a Facebook campaign yourself, you’re going to need more than just the copy. If you’re not sure where the start with this, get in touch with me. I’m happy to put you onto a few people in my team who can help with graphic design, full-scale ad campaigns and of course, I can write copy for you if you need.


Scour the client’s website and reviews for ideas


A quick and easy way to get inside the mind of your audience is to check out customer reviews. Best place to find these online is the client’s Facebook, website or Google My Business profile.


Here you will find clients expressing their true thoughts in their own words. Is there a quicker, easier way to research your client’s customer base?


Usually, the client has put some useful information in their own words on their website. This can help you get a vibe for their core message and their product’s features and benefits.


A basic style guide


In case you didn’t already know, people don’t read the same way online as they do offline. There are lots of reasons for this, but basically, if you want to stand a chance of anyone reading your stuff, you need to create space in the copy.


We do this by keeping paragraphs to no longer than four lines in blogging. But because most people use Facebook on their phones, which compresses the text, you’re going to want to make each sentence it’s own paragraph.


Keep your sentences short, so they are easy to scan. You might want to use emojis to add a visual element to the copy and make it easier for readers to follow.


Incorporate Storytelling


Everybody loves a good story, especially a relatable one.


Because Facebook ads are usually top of funnel content, you don’t need to be elegant with a hard sell. There’s lots of room to use conversational marketing to tell a story and create an emotional connection with the audience, which can be really fun.


Pain points in storytelling


In advertising, we talk a lot about pain points, which is kind of gross if you’re using your copywriting powers to manipulate people, but kind of cool if you’re using them to connect people with a product they love.


Pain points are the things that make life difficult or inconvenient for your target audience.

Your story should address these pain points. Say you’re writing for an outdoor furniture company. You discover that a pain point for people who want an outdoor furniture set is the price (because let’s be real, they’re expensive!).


There you have a basis for your story.


Depending on the tone of the brand, you might be able to incorporate some humour into your story as well.


The power of empathy in copywriting


Empathy is a massive deal with any kind of advertising. You need to really imagine what it’s like to need the product, even if you don’t know it’s the answer to your problem yet.


If you’ve had any personal experiences with similar products or services, tap into them and use that as the foundation for your storytelling ideas.


Your own experience is probably a lot closer to the truth of how your target audience feel than you think.

After all, we are all someone’s target consumer, whether we like it or not.



Nail the headline and opening sentence


Last but certainly not least, there’s no point to any of this if you don’t have a killer headline and opening sentence. I say opening sentence is because the first sentence is about all the reader will see until they click to read more (which they won’t do if the opening sentence and headline suck).


Facebook recommends keeping headlines to 40 characters or less. This is important because if you go over the limit, Facebook will cut it short with an ellipsis and your headline will lose its punch.


Checklist for writing effective Facebook ads



To sum it all up, here’s a quick checklist you can check off to make sure you cover it all.


  1. Killer headline

  2. Relatable opening sentence

  3. Delve into relatable/ storytelling body copy

  4. Introduce the product or service that offers a solution

  5. Include a call to action for readers who want to learn more - not buy right now


Want to learn more about copywriting?


If you’d like to know more about writing different types of copy, here’s another useful post about blog content to help with your writing journey.


Happy writing!