This guide is a complete, regularly updated, and highly detailed guide to leveraging conversational commerce through Facebook advertising in 2019.
In the following sections, you’ll learn:
- What conversational commerce is
- Potential use cases for advertisers who want to implement a conversational marketing approach
- Why you need to focus on Facebook ads
- Facebook ad campaign types for conversational marketing
- How to target your conversational ads
- All you need to create highly engaging ad creative and copy
- How to run effective ad split tests
- Case studies that give real examples of how to run effective ads
If you’ve heard the benefits of conversational advertising but aren’t sure where to start this is the guide for you.
What is Conversational Commerce?
Conversational commerce allows a brand to sell a product to their consumers directly through a messenger chat.
Rather than using something like live chat or chatbot to simply offer support, conversational commerce appends an automated checkout to that support dialogue.
This takes an immediate support chat to something that can drive a direct sale.
It may not sound like a huge deal. But with conversational marketing’s engagement rates, this could result in thousands of extra sales every month.
The below stats prove that social media, and social commerce, are a key component in the overall user experience and purchase journey.
Not only is social and digital commerce increasing. But the driving force for many of these sales is found centered in messaging.
There’s a growing trend for customers to prefer the instant, streamlined, and logical purchase journeys provided through social and messaging apps.
But the best thing about conversational marketing is that it works at every stage of the customer journey.
Where does Conversational Commerce Align with Your Facebook Advertising Brand Objectives
Conversational marketing has multiple uses for every stage of the customer journey.
The below image gives a good overview of conversational marketing.
In particular, how it streamlines the purchase journey through Facebook’s ad platform.
Whilst the above gives a great overview, the actual applications might differ depending on your brand, products, and industry.
However, there’s a shortcut to figuring out how you should engage with your customers at each and every stage.
At its core conversational marketing — delivered through Facebook Ads or any other medium — is about creating better relationships with your customers.
It’s about helping users solve problems in the most efficient way. To do this effectively, you shouldn’t just be thinking about how you can more easily sell your product.
But rather how you can improve the everyday life of your customers.
At each stage of the above illustrate journey, you should be aiming to help your users solve their problems.
Whilst not an exhaustive list, the below are a few key conversational marketing approaches to help you achieve exactly that. Basic solutions for getting started with conversational commerce
1. A live chat solution with multi-channel and multi-agent capabilities
Immediate communication is of paramount importance in today’s marketing landscape. Live chat can offer that level of service. However, to really get the most out of it you need to ensure it has the below features.
- Multi-channel support. A single dashboard that allows a single agent to respond to comments/questions from Facebook Ads, Instagram posts, or even on-site direct questions.
- Multi-agent support. So agent 1 can pick up where agent 2 left off. This allows for conversations to be redirected to the most relevant agent with minimal wait time.
- Chatbot enabled crossovers. This allows chatbots to handle menial, repetitive questions however, also enables seamless handoff to a real person if the question becomes too complex.
2. Integrating your commerce tools with your chat solution
Enabling live chat and immediate communication is only half the equation when it comes to conversational commerce.
You also need a solution that enables users to purchase directly from the chat. Otherwise you’re relying on the traditional, leaky purchase journey to generate sales.
When looking for a solution, you want to ensure it offers the following.
- Automate chatbot checkouts so chats can quickly turn into purchases. Social shoppers are more likely to purchase without a price comparison so this is super important.
- Relevant follow-ups relating to things like receipts and delivery updates
Check out our completely free setup guide to conversational commerce here.
Now, let’s get onto the important stuff.
Why Facebook Advertising?
Despite no longer being the ‘cool kid’ in town, no other social media platform has been able to knock Facebook off its throne.
Barely any even come close.
So if you’re thinking that Facebook might not be the place to advertise for you.
Just bear in mind that it has 2.32 billion active monthly users. That’s billions. With a B.
68% of US adults say they use the platform frequently, with 74% of users checking in daily.
Advertising revenue has seen an almost 30% YoY growth.
But if that (and my little story above) isn’t enough to persuade you, here are five more pros…
- Again. It’s where everyone hangs out.
- You can target a very specific audience (more on that to come).
- You can use it to increase your brand awareness.
- You can use it to increase your leads, sales, and revenue (no brainer).
- You can drive repeat business.
Need anything else? No? Let’s talk advertising.
Facebook Advertising: In a nutshell
Advertising comes in many forms on Facebook.
Not only can you promote posts, but you can also promote your Page, a Group, an event or your own website.
Over the last decade, customization for ads has become very sophisticated.
Users can be targeted based on their location, demographic, profile information and previous interactions.
Even on Facebook connected platforms like Instagram (and soon even Whatsapp).
Once you’ve created your ad, then you set a budget and bid for the impressions and clicks you want your ad to get.
Facebook advertising is the most poopular platform for paid social by far. 93% of brands use Facebook ads as part of their social media marketing strategy.
In short, Facebook give you and your business unprecedented access to your customer base. You can reach countless potential buyers through Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all through a single ad platform.
Now the why is out of the way, let’s take a look at the how.
Facebook Ad Campaign Types
Facebook campaigns are driven by advertising objectives.These advertising objectives are divided into:
Here are the goals that each stage of the sales funnel offers:
We’ll get into more details as we get to each stage, but here are some key details about each:
Stages of Awareness
Awareness stage is designed to generate interest in your brand. These campaigns aim to reach people who are more likely to recall your ads later on.
Consideration stage is aimed towards people who already know the type of solution they need (i.e. your product). These people are now considering all their options (and your products as a part of that).
Conversion stage targets people already interested in your brand and products and entices them to purchase.
Most people look at these stages and immediately look for the direct correlation to their business goals.
It doesn’t help that Facebook’s extra information is also closely tied to end business goals.
A lot of the explanations relate exclusively to Facebook and their metrics.
For example, likes, shares, comments, messages.
And yes, these are important. However, you have to think beyond that goal.
You have to think about how those actions will play a part in the growth of your business.
More specifically, how these campaign types will help you provide a better service to your customers.
So, rather than thinking in terms of likes etc, reframe the goal to be more useful for the user.
Here’s a few examples to help you with that.
Now, you can do this for each and every campaign type if you’re running multiple campaigns.
However, as this is a conversational commerce piece, we’re going to focus exclusively on the approach for Messenger ads.
Facebook Messenger Ads (Consideration)
The messages campaign (in the “consideration” column) allows direct conversations with customers to generate leads, offer support, and encourage purchases. There are three extraordinary benefits of doing this:
- 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can message
- Facebook will deliver your messages campaign to people who are more likely to open Messenger and respond
- Jumper gives you the ability to turn these conversations into sales by creating a 2-step purchase journey
Click to Messenger ads turn engagement with your ad into a conversation.
If you integrate your ad account with a social commerce solution, that engagement could lead to a direct sale.
Sponsored message ads serve the ad to your potential customer directly in their messenger feed.
When using messages campaign, make it clear to people that they are clicking through to Messenger and communicate the value proposition behind it.
As your campaign goes on, track its performance by adding a Messenger Engagement column to see the messaging metrics.
And finally, don’t forget to make it extra easy for your user to buy from you directly from that conversation!
You can start selling in Messenger right away, risk-free, with a free jumper account.
Facebook Messenger Ads (Conversion)
Under the “conversion” campaign type you’re also able to set up Messenger as a goal. All you have to do is pick “Messenger” on the goal page and set the event up.
With this, you’re able to track closer to the actual conversion through Messenger.
However, there’s a lot of custom goals and tracking to set up.
Plus, if you want to make sales through Messenger you’re going to need some form of Messenger marketing or social commerce solution.
With a dedicated conversational commerce solution you’ll be able to get much clearer analytics to easily optimize dedicated Messenger funnels.
In the Messenger, engagement, traffic, and conversions campaigns you can also select WhatsApp as the place to open a Message.
With this approach, the Messenger ads will be very similar to those that trigger Messenger chats.
However, the big news is that from 2020 WhatsApp will also be including ad placement in their stories feature.
We’re not sure how this will change the game just yet. But bookmark this page cause we’ll add info as soon as we know how this will affect you.
Plan Ahead with Your Campaign Choice
Don’t just jump into a campaign to see what will work best.
Before taking any action you should have a good understanding of your target audience.
You should know whether they’re on WhatsApp or Messenger or whether a live chat widget on a landing page would be their preferred choice.
You should also know what it is your support staff can automate and what’s still left over for them to handle personally. Know that, and it’s time to then move on to your targeting.
Facebook Ad Targeting
Knowing where your audience engage will give you the right campaign to focus on.
However, you’ve also got to understand who your ideal customer is.
What defines the kind of person who won’t just buy from you today, but will become a repeat customer?
We’re going to start off basic here and get more detailed with your targeting options. How detailed should you go?
As you progress, you’ll notice an indicator of the estimated size of the audience and the estimated daily results.
This is Facebook’s educated guess on how well your ad will perform. That guess is based on your targeting, budget, past campaign data, your objective, and more.
Now, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. Your audience should never be too broad or too narrow. Aim to keep the indicator in the green area, as close to the middle as you can:
Even more importantly, keep an eye on your estimated daily results.
What you see here will be driven by the objective you selected earlier.
So if you selected traffic as your objective, you’ll see this…
…while a video views objective might look more like this:
Until you run your campaign, it’s not truly possible to know how this campaign will actually impact factors like traffic, signups, or sales.
It will also depend on the quality of your ad copy and visuals.
But it’s important to have this information as a ballpark to define your budget and schedule.
Section Table of Contents
- Using Audience Insights to Find Your Ideal Audience
- Layering Audiences
- Use Audience Insights to find your ideal targeting options
Facebook’s Audience Insights is a tool that gives you data on your target demographic for use in your ad targeting.
Hop over to facebook.com/ads/audience-insights while logged into the account to which you have connected your Facebook Page.
When prompted to choose an audience to start, go with ‘Everyone on Facebook’.
You’re then looking at a blank slate, typically set as the United States by default without any other filters and specifics.
Here’s how Audience Insights work:
On the left-hand side, you select locations, age, gender, interests, connections, and advanced filtering such as relationship status and life events.
As you do that, the graphs on the right-hand side will start changing.
The graphs on the right show key elements of the filtered audience you selected. Including (but not limited to) education, city, pages and topics liked, and how active they are on Facebook.
In other words: you will learn about your online store’s ideal audience and best ways to target them.
The best way to illustrate this is an example.
Let’s say your store sells bow ties, veils, jewelry, and other details for the bride and the groom.
This means your audience includes both men and women but more importantly features some specific traits:
- The majority of your audience is probably older than 23 and under 35
- They are all engaged
- They might be into jewelry
If you serve a specific location, you can also enter that as your filter.
In this example, I entered the United Kingdom as the location and set ‘Engaged (6 months)’ as my relationship status filter.
Here are some insights I can get from this:
- There are 40,000 to 45,000 people that belong to this audience
- Most of them are college-educated
- Their highest-interest categories are bridal and baby shops, fashion, beauty, and home decor
- The pages they like align with the top categories
This is extremely valuable information. You now have an idea of the demographic makeup of your target audience.
To accomapny this you have the topics, pages, and cities you can target for best results.
Click ‘Save’ at the top of this page and save this audience for later.
Using this, you can come up with some really detailed targeting parameters.
Building out a basic audience here is pretty straightforward.
However, there’s one further element I want to touch on before moving on to conversational specific targeting.
Layering your audience with inclusion and exclusion elements
Just like with including or excluding a location, you can do the same with any detailed targeting element going forward.
Here’s how it works and what it looks like.
By default, when you’re entering your targeting details, your audience includes people who match at least one of the details you entered.
For example: You enter ‘Shopping and fashion’ as an interest, and you enter ‘Luxury’ right away.
This now means that your audience is made up of both the group that likes shopping and fashion and those that like luxury.
They don’t have to like both in order to be part of your audience — just any of the two. Basically, there’s not necessarily an overlap between these audiences.
This is quite broad — many people like either of those things!
However, if you click ‘Exclude people’, you will get an option to remove a group of people from those entered.
For example, the first field says ‘Shopping and fashion’, and the Exclude field says ‘Luxury’. This means you’re targeting people interested in shopping and fashion who are not interested in luxury.
This would be a great example of targeting shoppers looking for affordable fashion.
Lastly, you can narrow your audience.
When you use this feature, in order to be targeted, a person must fall into both of the targeting details you entered.
In this case, a person has to be into shopping and fashion, as well as luxury, to be targeted. They won’t be targeted if they only fall into only one of these categories.
This would be a great way to target shoppers who are into high-end fashion.
With the audience insights you’ve already drawn, you can get a really detailed audience through layering inclusions and exclusions.
Keep this method in mind as we move forward with the targeting.
Retargeting Warm Leads for Easy Sales
Targeting cold audiences makes for a difficult sale.
However, if you’ve properly implemented your Facebook Pixel you’ll have a ton of data that’s just waiting to be leveraged.
Data of leads who are already interested in your brand and are just needing that little reminder to buy from you.
But the best news is how you can use that pixel data as a seed. A seed from which you can build out a huge potential user base of people likely to buy.
This retargeting methodology is Facebook advertising on steroids. By the look of the options it gives you, it seems deceivingly basic:
But don’t be fooled. Under the Custom Audiences section, there are two key paths you can take:
- Custom audience: creating an audience that has interacted with you
- Lookalike audience: creating a new audience based on characteristics of existing audiences
This is gold because it’s the peak of relevant advertising.
These audiences have expressed their specific interests and connections with you.
You can remarket to them with up to 70% higher likelihood to convert them.
Here are just a few examples of how you can use this to advertise your online store:
- Retarget users who have abandoned their shopping cart
- Show super-specific ads to users who visited a product category
- Advertise only to people who have added their payment details to their account
In this section, we’re going to cover three high converting audiences that are perfect for conversational marketing.
- Custom audiences for those who have visited your Instagram/Facebook Page
- Custom audiences for those who have messages your brand before
- Lookalike Audiences
Custom Audiences for Instagram and Facebook Page Visitors
A custom audience on Facebook can be made up of people who have already purchased or interacted with you on or off Facebook.
Here are the options you have to create your custom audience:
We’re going to focus on that bottom segment in this piece as we’re looking to retarget those who have visited your Facebook properties.
In particular, we’re going to focus on those who have viewed your Facebook or Instagram page. After you’ve selected one of those sources, you’ll see the below.
The offer you’re promoting through ads will dictate what source audience you’ll need.
If you’re pushing for a sale, you’re going to want to focus on those users who have taken an actual action. For example:
- People who engaged with any post/ad
- People who clicked any CTA
- People who sent a message
- People who saved your Page or any post
If you’re going to push a general engagement post to keep users warm and nurture relationships, then any of the options have potential.
Of course, don’t forget that you can also layer these audiences.
Video content retargeting is also a great way to find your most invested and involved potential customers.
You can choose who to retarget based on their video engagement.
You can use these options to dissect your audience based on their familiarity with your brand, your content, and your products.
This can be sorted into awareness, consideration, and conversion, meaning they all vary in how ready they are to purchase from you right now.
Here’s how you can use this to sort your audience into the three stages:
- Those that watched your video for 3 seconds and opened your Canvas ads are likely in the awareness stage
- Those that watched 25% to 50% of your video or opened your lead form without submitting are likely in the consideration stage
- Those that watched 75% to 95% of your video, or clicked the links in your Canvas ads are likely in the decision stage
These obviously aren’t hard rules. But if I watched 95% of a product video, it’s likely that I’m seriously thinking of buying that specific product!
Take some time to map out the information your potential customers need in each stage of their purchase journey.
It is always more complex for higher-priced items that require more research. Make sure you’re going deep enough for each of your product categories.
One of Facebook’s best features is the ability to replicate audiences that have brought you success.
Lookalike audiences stem from an existing audience, often one that’s valuable to you. Facebook then does its best to find people similar to them.
The result is a much larger audience with shared valuable traits. The process is simple:
- Select your audience. you could choose a whole Facebook Page audience or a created audience that’s brought you great ad results
- Enter the location you want Facebook to look for new audience in
- Choose your audience size using the slider on the range from 1% to 10% of the seed audience. 1% is the closest match to your audience
When it comes to creating your best lookalike audience there are a few things you need to consider.
First, don’t create a lookalike audience based on all of your page’s visitors. This is a great way to create a huge audience that has, at most, a passing interest in your products.
You’re doing this to see a fast ROI, right?
So you want to focus on the audience that has actually purchased from you. You first need to build a custom audience of your actual, paying customers.
You can do this in two ways. The first is to upload your customer data inclusive of their LTV. Facebook will use the better LTV customers to build out your best audience.
The second is to use Facebook’s Pixel. You can either use a custom event that signifies a purchase, or tap in a custom URL.
If going the custom URL route, then make sure you’re including one that is for a purchase confirmation.
This builds a custom audience. Now all you need to do is find that audience in the lookalike audience pane (it could take Facebook up to 24 hours to populate your custom audience).
The final step is choosing how closely you want that lookalike audience to resemble your seed custom audience.
Obviously, 1% is the most similar with 10% being somewhat more diverse.
It’s best to test multiple sizes. For example, you could have one that’s 1%, one 3%, and one 5% to find the sweet spot.And that’s it!
This is a great method to use when:
- You want to expand your audience in a country based on your best existing customers in that country
- You want to break into a new market targeting people similar to your customers in a region you already sell to
It might take up to 24 hours for your audience to be created. When the audience is populate roll out your successful campaigns to them.
And as always, iterate as you start getting data from it.
Each type of audience is best for a completely different stages of the customer journey.
To help you figure out what sort of offer is best for the different users, we’ve put together this handy image.
Facebook ad Headlines
Inspiring people to want to engage with your Facebook Ad is hard.
Here, you’re not only up against other brands, but you’re also competing with funny imagery of dogs wearing glasses.
Super cute videos of super cute babies sucking lemons.
And of course, entertaining #GOT memes (*spoiler alert*).
But you CAN break through the noise.
These following sections will show you how. Each one brimming with information and guidance on writing the ad, and then choosing or creating the perfect eye-catching imagery to accompany it.
You’ll soon discover that you don’t always need deep pockets and an advertising agency to make effective, creative Facebook ads.
You will however need time. But as George Harrison once crooned;‘It’s gonna take tiiiime. A whole lot of precious time. It’s gonna take patience and time, to do it, right.’
While there are many things to consider when creating Facebook Ads — here we’re going to focus specifically on the headline.
See the bold copy under the image in the post below? That’s your headline.
As you’ll notice, it’s short, it stands out and lets the viewer know exactly what the key message is in just a few words.
Every Word Counts
When it comes to Facebook headlines, space is at a premium.
While they can vary a lot in length, keeping things short and sweet is best. In fact, according to an interesting study into Facebook Ads by AdEspresso, FIVE is the perfect number of words.
How do they know this, you ask? Well, they only went and analyzed the performance of a whopping 752,626 ads to find out.
Facebook also recommends a 25 character limit. Just twenty-five. Precious. Characters.
Again, you can go over this, but you risk having your copy truncated, meaning that your audience could miss out on a key message.
And essentially, you’d waste your money.
And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?
So spend them words wisely.
Facebook Ads Character Limits
Here’s a quick breakdown of the character limits for each section of your Facebook ads.
- Text Description — 125 characters (the bit above the image)
- Headline — 25 characters (the bold headline under the image)
- Link Description — 30 Characters (the short text under the headline)
Secrets to getting your headlines juuust right
Engagement is usually the top motive behind Facebook Ads.
More clicks lead to more, well, leads. More leads lead to more sales. More sales lead to more profits. And more profits… yeah, you know the rest.
But in order to get these cherished clicks, you need to approach headline writing in two parts:
Let me explain.
Your headline needs to stand out and catch the attention of your audience, so you need to choose words that appeal to them.
And then organize these words into one short, jazzy line.
This is the art part. The first element. More on that below.
Secondly, after posting, you need to track how your headlines are performing using the analytics dashboard on your Facebook Insights page.
Here you’ll find detailed metrics about your posts and the engagement they earn. This data analysis is the science part.
Then, once you figure out what’s working, you take this data and start writing more headlines to test. And you just keep that ‘art-science’ cycle going until you get your headlines just right (You can even test multiple headlines at once, which is called A/B or Split Testing. But that’s a discussion for another day.)
The Art Part
Once you get into the swing of headline writing, they’ll soon start flowing with ease. But to help get things rolling, here are a few tips to effective headlines…
1: Facebook headlines should be short and sweet
Five words. 25 characters. You know all this already.
Having a concise headline means your audience can immediately see what you have to offer them, and/ or what you want them to do.
Putting it into action
It may seem like a huge feat to squeeze everything you want to say in such a small amount of characters. But it can be done.
Start by writing out your key message in one sentence. Then cut out words that aren’t super essential and you’ll be left the most important ones.
Now it’s time to rephrase, rearrange and rejig what’s left (so it makes sense, of course). And voila, you’ll soon chop those lines into shape.
Don’t forget, your image and text description will also help tell the story.
We have lots of favorite summer looks and more in-store.
We have got lots of your favorite summer looks and more in-store.
Get your fav summer looks
2: Use numbers in your ads
Numbers are not only eye-catching, but they can also make a piece easier to digest. They quickly and clearly show the viewer what to expect. A shortcut of sorts.
Which is probably why 36% of respondents in a study by Conductor, were revealed to prefer number-led headlines.
(With conversational commerce ads, you can include the numbers as prices below the main headline)
Putting it into action
Viewers scroll through their feed with a speed that would rival Sonic The Hedgehog. The easier you can make your ads to understand, the more likely you are to have it noticed and read.
To use this technique, first, consider what you have on offer. Then try to adapt the headline to include numbers. But only if it works and is relevant — don’t use numbers for number’s sake.
- A listicle content piece: 10 reasons to choose Jumper.ai
- A promotion: 20% off Jumper.ai products today
- A testimonial: 10,000 people already love Jumper.ai
- Benefit led: Enjoy a 50% ROI with Jumper.ai
3: Get Active
Using active words for headlines creates a clear image in the reader’s mind of what you want them to do. Which makes it easier for them to imagine themselves doing it.
This also makes a headline more straightforward, more concise and flow better.
Putting it into action
The advantages of using active words are endless. Not only do they put the viewer into the moment, but they also help them create a stronger connection to the brand.
To use this technique, start by writing down your key message. Find the main verb you want to communicate and bring it to the front of the sentence.
- We have lots of tasty cupcakes for you to enjoy. → Enjoy lots of tasty cupcakes
- We have a great course for learning how to code. → Start learning code today
- There is a special 10% discount on baby seats. → Get 10% off baby seats
4: Ads with Benefits
Increase your chance of a click by letting the viewer know what they have to gain by engaging with your ad.
Whether it’s a discount, a free eBook or a great deal, these type of headlines should clearly highlight your offer. Put the benefit front and center.
Putting it into action
By explaining how your brand is going to benefit them allows the viewer to make an instant decision on clicking through.
Sometimes the benefit is easy to pull out, especially if it’s a discount or promotion. (Get $20 off tools now.) Other times you need to dig a little deeper to find something that will really make your brand stand out against competitors.
So figure out exactly what it is that your target audience value most, and literally spell it out for them.
- Shaving Kits — Benefit: Easy on skin → Choose a razor that cares
- Ladies Shoes — Benefit: Fashionable → Step ahead in the trend game
- Swimming Lessons — Benefit: Experienced Instructor → Learn laps from the best
5: Emotional Language
Inspire. Motivate. Pull-on the heartstrings. Trigger curiosity. Excite.
If you want your audience to feel a certain way, emotionally-charged words are the best route to take. They’ll help to connect them with your brand and therefore increase engagement levels… and then hopefully lead to conversions and sales.
Putting it into action
This is one of the trickier techniques, but can easily be implemented with a little practice.
What do you want your audience to feel when they use your product or service?
That’s the first question you need to ask yourself when using this style. Then your next step is to list out a series of relevant words connected with that emotion. This will really help to get your imagination going.
And if you need an extra hand, don’t be afraid to call on the thesaurus.
- Product: Vegan Soap
- Emotion: Affirmation
- Headline: Unbelievably clean and unbelievably green
- Product: Mascara
- Emotion: Confidence
- Headline: Get the secret to amazing lashes
- Service: Time Management Platform
- Emotion: Relaxed
- Headline: Enjoy less stress, more success
By making your target audience feel something, they’ll be more likely to be motivated to act on your message. For more emotional words, check out this helpful list from The Persuasion Revolution.
While the above tips will help keep you on track, please bear these things in mind when writing headlines, and in general…
Keep things fresh
As mentioned above, one of the quickest ways to lose your fans is by posting the same stuff on repeat. It causes ad fatigue.
But not only that, Facebook ‘punishes’ brands who fail to refresh their creative regularly, by stopping displaying ads completely.
What to do?
Make sure you change up your copy (and imagery) regularly to keep your content interesting.
Small tweaks and rephrasing sentences will help with this, but do try to experiment with some of the new techniques above.
Too much of a good thing
While there’s lots of overlap in the examples above, don’t try to squeeze everything into one headline.
What to do?
Keep things simple by just choosing one or two of the techniques above.
The ‘active voice’ is always a good one to implement as it can be used alongside most of the other options.
No one size fits all
There is no one style of headline that works perfectly for every brand every time. So if you’re looking for a blueprint, you won’t find one.
What to do?
Well, your best option is to… Test, test, and test again.
Don’t be afraid to play around with different types of headlines (and even formats) to find out what works best with your audience.
Start keeping a close eye on your analytics and you’ll be soon discover surprising patterns that will emerge.
What to do?
In addition to studying your analytics, hop on-board the A/B testing train. This Facebook feature allows you to test several ads against each other so you can discover what ad copy performed better.
You ARE a writer
Don’t let the fear of ‘oh no, but I’m not a writer’ take over. Don’t forget that you’ve been writing from you were four or five years old!
What to do?
Start by opening up a fresh document and get typing. And just keep typing. Then after your first few attempts, you’ll soon start seeing progress.
Facebook ad copy
As long as Facebook ads have been around (since 2007, fyi) people have been debating how long the text should be.
In one corner we have those steadfast “Nobody reads anymore!” folk.
While in the other, all you’ll hear is screams of “More copy, more sales!”
But who’s right?
The answer: both.
Because this isn’t a black and white situation.
There are so many different factors to consider when debating length.
Things like what your product is. How engaged your audience is. And what stage of awareness they’re at.
Choose the right length and the conversions will roll in. But choose wrongly and the only thing that will be rolling anywhere… is tumbleweed.
As I’ve already touched on above, people do still read longer text.
But only what matters to them. And so long as it won’t put them to sleep.
One paragraph up to six paragraphs. No need to write a George R. R. Martin style novel here.
When to use it:
If you’re a new brand…… or launching a new product or service… or your audience is unengaged… or the market is unsophisticated, length is your best friend.
As there’s often a disconnection between what you’re offering and what your target audience knows about it, you need to educate and build trust. And for that, words are essential.
This especially applies to products and services that are expensive, complex and feature heavy or from a specialized sector.
- Deep Diving — You can go into the details of your product and teach your target audience about your offering.
- Storytelling — You have the opportunity to introduce an element of storytelling to your post, which always increases engagement.
- Showcase Quality — You have room to list out the many benefits of your product so people can see what they could get.
- Attention Spans — Let me point you back up to the goldfish statistic above.
- Wrong Time — If a visitor comes across long copy when they’re at the point of converting, it may get in the way of a sale or action you want them to take.
Less can be more.
But only when it comes to uncomplicated posts that don’t require any education or explanation.
A few words, or even a couple of sentences. But aim for short and sweet. Use only as much copy as it takes to be persuasive.
When to use it:
Short copy is best for promotions, discounts and offers, but only on well-known products that people know and love already.
You can also scrimp on copy if you’re a well-known brand with highly engaged fans, or if the market is very sophisticated.
- To the point — You can spell out your offer in just a few words.
- Ease of reading — People can process your post in seconds.
- Speed — It takes a lot less time to write a short post, than a long detailed-filled one.
- Not enough info — If people come across your post at the wrong stage in the sales funnel (too early), you risk scaring them away.
- Missing out — With short copy, you can only choose one or maybe two things to highlight, which means other benefits have to be left out.
But what converts best?
You’re probably going to groan aloud when I say this, but there really is no right or wrong answer here. It really is a game of trial and error.
Different studies have led to different results.
AdEspresso recently did a really interesting experiment into the effectiveness of long Vs short ads on Facebook.
And while the marketers all guessed that short would succeed, it was, in fact, the lengthier posts that worked best. And led to highest number of leads. And had the lowest CPA.
But, but, but…What was on offer here was a free ebook on Custom Audiences, which is a more complex and specialized product. Meaning that more explanation and education was required.
On the other side of the fence, Buddy Media conducted a study into the impact of length on retail Facebook posts.
They discovered concise posts that were less than 80 characters got 66% more engagement than longer posts.While those that were less than 40 characters received even higher engagement at 86%.
But, but, but…This study was carried out on retail-focused Facebook posts. This means the products were most likely well-known, everyday goods that are not only familiar and trusted, but also a low financial risk. So less words were needed.
Basically, it all boils down to three things:
- What you’re selling — is it well known or specialized and complex?
- What your goal is — are you trying to just communicate info or make a sale?
- Your audience — how engaged are they?
If it’s something complicated or new, you need to give more of an explanation of what you’re offering.Say, you’re selling an expensive, intensive 6-week online course on CyberSecurity.
You’re going to need more info in your description than ´Save your business from cyber attacks’ to gain trust from your target audience.
You have to remember that in order to persuade people to buy you need to convince them this is an investment for them.
So you’ll need your post to be packed with information and benefits.On the other hand, if it’s something everyday and inexpensive you’re offering, keep things short and simple.
For example, if it’s a discounted winter jacket you’re selling, ´Wrap up warm for less’ would certainly suffice.
People (especially us from chillier climates) most definitely know what coats are so there’s no need for any extra explanation.
So the long and short of it is (sorry), the length of your post is completely dependent on what you have on offer.And while Facebook recommends to keep things short at 90 characters, never feel like you have to be held hostage to that.
If you’re struggling to figure out what length to choose, consult the Go Long and Go Short sections above.
And of course, ALWAYS make sure you’ve got your target audience figured out before you start writing. People will read longer posts. But you need to make sure that it’s the right people who are seeing them.
Three Commandments of Facebook Description Copywriting
Now that we’ve covered length, let’s talk very briefly about writing.I’m not going to tell you that writing ad copy is easy.Because it’s not.
I’m a professional copywriter. And even I’ll admit that I struggle sometimes. But with a bit of practice and these trusted tips below, we’ll certainly get you off to a promising start.
Thou Shalt Know Your Audience
I’ve mentioned this above, and now I’m going to mention it again. That’s how important this is.
Before you even pick up your pen, you need to know exactly who you’re talking to. From what makes them happy, to what keeps them awake at night, try to discover as much as possible.
Because once you figure all this out, you can jump into their world.How?
If you find that your target audience is very broad — women aged 20–50 years old, fear not. Try to focus on the optimal customer — the one who is most likely to buy from you — and write directly to them.
Don’t try to write to everyone at once, as a 20-year-old is certainly going to have different issues and priorities to a 45-year-old.
Thou Shalt Maintain a Consistent Tone of Voice
Another priority when writing your Facebook posts is your tone of voice (TOV).
This is the personality of your brand.
Your way of thinking.
Not only does it have to reflect your values, it has to align with you’re offering.
If you’re trying to sell a professional accounting service, you can’t be all jokey and full of bants’n’giggles.
You’re a serious company, and you need to speak credibly and professionally to your audience.
Likewise if you’re trying to target teenagers, your TOV needs to be lighthearted and use language that they can relate to.
Why is this important?
Because it builds trust. If people can connect with your brand, and become familiar with your way of wording thing, you’ll make them feel at ease. And when they feel at ease, you’re more likely to be able to persuade them to convert. Priority numero uno.
Once you know who your target audience is, it’ll be much easier to figure out how you should talk to them. To make your job easier, the Content Marketing Institute recommends you try to sum up your TOV in three words. Eg. conversational, informative and tongue-in-cheek.
Thou Shalt Always Have A Hook
‘The Hook’ in a Facebook post, or in any writing really, is a statement that will instantly attract the reader’s attention.
That important thing that will stop their thumb and catch their eye.
And yes, they’re super important.
You want to really connect with your audience?
- Find out what they care about.
- Bring it into your writing.
Once you know what makes your audience tick, you can highlight how your product or service can make their life better.
Then by painting a picture of them enjoying these deeper benefits, your copy will more likely to increase engagement. And then conversions.
Facebook ad creative
350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook daily.
That’s 350 million snaps of your old high school friend’s toddler. Designer shoes you’ll never afford. Memes of the latest football game. Exotic faraway locations. Lad banter. Cats being evil. New jewelry trends. Ads for dog seat covers (when you don’t even own a dog). And what your Aunt Margie had for dinner last night.
Every. Single. Day.
So to say that Facebook is a pretty crowded space, would be a massive understatement.And the competition is fierce.
That’s why it’s extremely important to stand out.
Storytelling At A Glance
A picture is worth a thousand words, as the massively-overused cliché goes.
Which is just as well… considering it’s been scientifically proven that we have shorter attention spans than a goldfish. At a measly 9 seconds.
And 104% more comments.Because in that 0.1 of a second, you’re essentially offering shortcut storytelling.In just a glance, you’re not only showing your target audience what you have on offer, but what kind of brand you are.
And they’ll decide almost instantly whether they’re interested, and trust you.
So you need an image that’s eye-grabbing, and can communicate what needs to be said on its own.
Otherwise you could break your campaign, before you even make it.
Let’s start with a quick breakdown of image guidelines.
- Recommended image dimensions of 1200 x 628 pixels.
- Minimum width and height of 600 pixels.
- Recommended aspect ratio is between 9:16 to 16:9, but crops to 1.91:1 with a link.
- Recommended image formats — JPG or PNG.
- Don’t use over 20% text.
If your image doesn’t match the specified size, it’ll be automatically resized for you to make it fit the type of ad you selected. And most often, that’s not a good thing.
Making A Good Image Better
How often have you scrolled through your feed, right past several boring text posts — but stopped at an eye-catching photo or graphic?
That’s your goal here.To be the publisher of an image worth stopping someone’s thumbs for.
So let’s get you on the right path with these tips:
1 — The right picture for the right audience
This may seem like an obvious one, but hey, it happens. Always always always make sure your image is relevant to your target audience.
Because you certainly won’t catch the attention of 18–25-year-old women with visuals of heavy machinery, right?
Putting it into action:
In order for your target audience to consider your brand, they need to see images that are familiar to their social fabric.
To do this, you should aim to include people ‘like them’, products ‘they like’ and scenarios they can relate to. You know your audience well, so this should be easy.
For Example: Say you’ve just opened a cool, new craft beer bar (with food) and your key target audience is young professional males aged 20–27. To attract them:
2. Your product in action
Show the world how useful or beneficial your product is by using compelling imagery of people interacting with it or how it works.
Not only will it show your target audience what they have to look forward to, it’ll help them to visualize themselves using it.
Putting it into action:
When using this technique, you have several options. You can show a person interacting with it. Or maybe just a body part. (And I don’t mean the creepy Halloween-esque disembodied type.)
You can highlight the key features you have to offer. Or put your product in-situ, so the viewer can get a real feel for it.
Extra tip: if you’re using a face, choose a smiley person. Not only does this show-off a ‘happy customer’, smiling people can make us happy.
For Example:Show a whole person interacting with your product or service. (Examples above)
Body part interaction.
Product in-situ. (Yellow sofa, in this case.)
3. A splash of color
Color is a very powerful communication tool. As well as being used to attract attention, it can also really influence how a person feels.
So much so, a study proved that 90% of all the snap judgments that we make about products can be traced back to color.
Putting it into action:
While choosing a color that will stand out is important, there are a few other things worth considering:
- Does it tie in with my current brand guidelines?
- Are these colors too similar to a competitor (and cause confusion)?
- What emotion is connected with the color?
Only you can answer the first two questions. But when it comes to color connections, your choice could have an impact on how people see your brand.
For Example: It’s too much to go through every color today. However, here are a few examples of brands using color as an emotional connection cue.
And remember, you don’t always need to use full block color imagery (though these really do stand out). You can instead choose to use pops of color.
Red — Love, anger or energy.
Brand — Coca Cola
Green — Nature, growth or balance
Brand — WholeFoods
Orange — Friendly, cheerful or confident
Brand — Fanta
You can find more info and examples on color and brands in this guide.
4. Be text savvy
Putting your value proposition smack bang on your image makes sense.
But only if it works with everything else going on. And most importantly, you keep things simple.
While Facebook has softened its 20% rule, you should still follow it (more below). Too much text clutters an image and distracts from the main message.
So choose your words very carefully and consider the font size (so you won’t be ‘punished’).
Putting it into action:
Start by considering what your headline and ad description will say. Repeating the exact same message across all three areas is A) a waste of your money and B) an annoyance to the reader.
Secondly, let’s jump back to one of the key tips on headline writing from part 1. Keep things short and sweet. Remember what I mentioned above? People scroll through their feeds Usain Bolt style. Aka hella fast.
So you need something that they can digest is mere milliseconds.
For Example: In these two ads below, the in-image text gets straight to the point with each offering.
5. Have a red thread
While experimenting with new images to keep your ads fresh is key, try to maintain some sort of consistency when running a campaign. Having a theme or visual cue in each image makes it easier for people to recognize it’s your brand that’s talking.
Your target audience will be more likely to remember your ads if there’s a pattern to your imagery. Increasing the chance they’ll consider your brand.
Putting it into action:
When establishing your theme, the first rule is to not overcomplicate things. Keep things simple, fresh, and most importantly — manageable.
You don’t want to get bogged down by the detail or strangled by strict rules, right?
Your theme could be a certain color, your framing, similar props, an illustration style, the same model, an emotion — anything really. Forgive me for using yet another cliché, but the world really is your oyster with this one.
And it doesn’t need to be over the top. You can totally keep things quite subtle. And then completely change things up for the next campaign.For Example:
The Economist is well known for always being loyal to the red background for all its ads.
In most of AdEspresso ads, you’ll find this mustachioed little chap in different poses.
To launch its Naked range, Lush went naked. Quite literally. And used bare-skinned models.
Your theme could also be as simple as a consistent layout. Snackster extraordinaire Graze often spreads its nibbles on a simple surface so the viewer can see exactly what’s on offer.
To promote it’s new men’s grooming kits, Birchbox kept everything looking aligned by using a really simple, tasteful blue and monochrome background.
6. Simplicity is key
While it can be very tempting to try to squeeze multiple things into one image, don’t.
This just opens the door for confusion. Choose the main thing you want to communicate and put that in the spotlight so it’s clear what the focal point is.
Sticking to one clear message in your image makes it easy for your target audience to understand what you’re offering.
Putting it into action:
First things first. You need to ask yourself:What exactly am I trying to sell?
And keep reminding yourself of this. Because it’s easy to want to make the most of your space by adding several things to one image. But try to avoid this.Don’t get me wrong, you can of course have interesting backgrounds and props in your shot. But the simpler and more focused you can have your image the better.
For Example: These guys have kept things simple, without sacrificing interesting. Bonus points for using cute dogs.
One thing that’s definitely worth mentioning here is the rise of video on Facebook.
Video is highly engaging and one of the most preferred forms of creative for modern consumers.
Video is fast becoming one of, if not the, most important form of creative on social platforms. All of the considerations mentioned above for image creative still apply to video.
However, there’s also a few extra details you should be aware of. The first, and arguably most important, is ensuring your video is understandable without sound.
Yup, that’s right.
Users should be able to engage and understand your video even without sound. Because 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound.
In addition, you want to ensure your video hits the below 4 points:
- It quickly grabs attention. Those first 10 seconds are crucial to capturing user attention.
- As Facebook says, design your videos for users with their sound off, but delight those with their sound on.
- Think mobile design. Most users will engage via mobile, so optimize for a vertical format.
- Test, test, test. And have some fun with your tests.
Oh, and be sure to make heavy use of video as it provides for great retargeting options as outlined above.
Facebook ad split tests
Split testing is a staple of successful marketing.
Without testing, you’ll never know if your ads could be performing better.
Thing is, a lot of advice on split testing makes it seem incredibly difficult to implement and maintain. Which isn’t necessarily the case.
We’re going to run through some testing basics first. Then, it’s on to split testing your way to Facebook ad success with a conversational marketing approach.
Make Your Ad
As I’m sure you already know, the competition on Facebook and Instagram is fierce.
Beyoncé levels of fierce.
So you need posts that will stand out and grab the attention of your target audience.
Experiment with the creative
Right, I’ll admit it. This part is tricky. And I don’t mean the execution, but the choosing part. Because there are a helluva lot of variables you can test here:
- Ad text
- Image Vs Video
So you need to figure out what you want to achieve with your creative, and base your test on this.
Fine-tune your audience
Is there room to make your target audience even more specific than it already is?
Try to find a more focused audience by choosing different interests in the detailed targeting section.
Hone in on super distinct keywords that are associated with your brand, or the product or service you’re trying to sell.
Once you’ve decided who you want to talk to, a split test will divide your target audience into two randomized, non-overlapping groups.
Each group will see ad sets that are totally identical *except* for the variable you want to test (more on that below). You can only choose one variable per test.
The test tracks which post is performing best based on your campaign objectives.
And the winner is…
Once the test is complete, you’ll get an email telling you which ad ‘won’, along with valuable insights on your target audience.
Do it ALL AGAIN
At this point, I should probably mention that testing isn’t something that you try once then move on and live happily ever after.
This is a life-long commitment. ’Til death do us part kinda stuff.
Because people get bored. What works once, won’t necessarily work after a month. Ad fatigue is sadly a real thing. And if your target audience keep seeing the same-old, same-old, they’ll soon start ignoring you.
And you’ll be damned if you’re spending all that precious money on ads for people to just ignore you, right!?
You need to always be a step ahead. And continuous testing is one of the best ways to propel yourself forward.
Measuring ad performance
Generally it’s pretty easy to understand which variant is the best option for growing your brand.
You run A/B tests as mentioned above and track which variant best accomplishes your key metric.
However, there’s a slight difference to tracking and optimizing if you’re running conversational campaigns. In particular, you’re going to want to track specific message interactions.
Changing the “performance” column in your business dashboard to Messenger engagement givesan overview of message engagement.
Once you’ve chosen that option, you’ll note that all columns change to the below.
This gives you a much better overview of how your Messenger marketing strategy is working. And as is always the case, you want to optimise not on engagement and replies, but rather on revenue generated.
If you’re using a solution like Jumper that can process payments on Facebook, this becomes much easier.
You’ll see the actual conversion and revenue stats within the dashboard outlined above. When you are optimizing, we’d also recommend following the below general guidelines for budget and ad optimization.
Optimising your Facebook ads with rules
It’s not always feasible for you to check in on every campaign, ad set, or ad daily. As your operation scales, it becomes more difficult to continually optimize everything you have running.
This is where Facebook’s rules come into play. Facebook ad rules allow you to set up automatic changes or notifications for your campaigns, ad sets, or ads.
They allow advertisers to:
- Choose what triggers a certain rule
- Choose what action is then taken
You can set these up to either make changes to things like bids, or simply send a notification at the end of the day.
Notifications are great to quickly check if anything is out of the acceptable parameters.
You can set up rules for specific ad sets.
Or, as we’re about to explain, set them up on a wider scale across your account.
To get your automated rules up and running, head to your dashboard and expand the left sidebar options.
You’ll see in the second column an option called Automated Rules.
When you click on that, you’ll be given the option to set up a custom rule. Here’s how the options break down.
1 — This is what you want the rule to apply to. You can choose to apply it to all active campaigns, ad sets, or ads. If you want to set up specific campaign or ad set level rules, then use the method mentioned prior to this section.
2 — This is the action your ad set will take. You’ve got the choice of a number of options here, each bundled into one of three categories.
As you can see, these options relate to turning the selected campaigns/ad sets/ads on or off, adjusting budget, or bids.
3 — This is where you outline what trigger will force the actions you’ve outlined to begin. When you’ve added in your trigger, be certain you click
Add to make sure it’s saved. You can add more than one condition so you can layer these rules for more specific actions.
4 — The time range is where you set the time period you want Facebook to draw data from. For example, if you only want it to optimize this rule on the last month’s data then you’ll choose 30 days.
5 — The attribution window is the period Facebook Facebook will look at to attribute conversions and results. By default, Facebook will attribute action one day after viewing the ad, and 28 days after clicking. However, you can set these to whatever is most relevant for your brand.
6 — The schedule is how often you want Facebook to check for the trigger. Continuously isn’t truly continuous, but is as good as with Facebook checking the parameters you’ve outlined every 30 minutes. Daily will obviously check once per day, and you can of course set your own custom schedule.
The more sensitive your ads/budget are to changes, the shorter this schedule should be.
7 — This is simply how you’re notified of actions taken. You can have these notifications come up under the bell icon on Facebook, or have a short synopsis delivered to you through email.
8 — This is the rule name. Just be sure to name your rule something that’s easily recognisable for you.
You can set up various rules to ensure your ads run more effectively and maximise budget without overstepping the maximums you’ve set.
A few suggestions of tasks you can automatically handle with these rules are listed below:
- Turning off ad sets that are underperforming and increasing in ad spend
- Slowing ad sets down that have a high frequency to reduce ad fatigue
- Increasing spend on ad sets that are generating good engagement
Conversations are the Future of Facebook Marketing
Over the last few years we’ve seen a dramatic shift in consumer expectation.
In particular, customers now expect a closer relationship with the brands they frequent.
They want to be treated as an individual, not just a simple member of a wider potential customer base.
Technology has made this somewhat possible. Email personalisation has given the appearance of a more personalized customer experience. But it’s only in the last few years that a true 1:1 conversation with customers has become available.
Chat solutions, like Jumper.ai, have taken the traditional one directional approach to marketing and rebuilt it.
These customer conversations, even when automated, are able to generate average conversion arets of 20–30%. Sometimes climbing as high as 80%.
However, they’re only half of the equation. In addition to a conversational marketing solution, you need a customer acquisition model.
Facebook advertising is one of the best ways to reach your potential customer base.
And with conversational marketing solutions now plugging directly into the Facebook infrastructure, it’s never been easier to find, approach, and convert your users.
The biggest brands of today are already investing in conversational marketing. If you don’t jump on this train now, you risk being left behind.