6 Tips to Write Social Media Ad Copy

When you search online for a product or service, whether you wind up making a purchase or not, all of a sudden, your social media accounts fill up with ads for similar products or services. And if you click on any of them, just to explore, you will see that ad again and again. It’s a little ‘big brotherly’ actually.

It can be a bit irritating to continue to scroll through ads to get to content from friends and family. But it is effective for lots of businesses, especially if their ad copy is creatively composed and ‘strikes a nerve’ with the reader/viewer, and promises a solution that they have obviously been looking for. What’s more, the repetition keeps a brand in a potential customer’s ‘face’ and when they should be ready to buy, that brand is in their minds.

So, exactly how do you craft that compelling and creative ad copy? Here are 5 tips for writing compelling copy that actually work. 

1. Stay True to Your Brand Voice

Your brand voice broadcasts who you are. And those customers and potential customers you are cultivating appreciate that ‘voice.’

You have no doubt spent a lot of time studying the demographics of your target audience(s). And you have crafted marketing copy that appeals to those demographics – age, gender, lifestyle, values, and such. Ad copy for a Rolex watch would certainly not be the same as that for L’Oreal.

In short, every ad you place on social media must reflect you and your target audience – the language, the style, the slang, and, yes, even the grammar and spelling you use.

2. Think like a Journalist

An elementary journalism course teaches the cardinal principles of good journalism – tell the reader who, what, where, when, how, and oftentimes why. Your ad copy has to do the same and do it quickly. What is the product or service, who will benefit, where, when, and how can they get it, and, perhaps most importantly, why should they make this purchase and make it now? 

The other thing all marketers must learn from journalists is how to craft headlines that are both creative and compelling – those that will motivate a reader or viewer to access the rest of the ad. If you fall a bit short in this area, you can always use any number of free tools that will craft such headlines or analyze those you have created to appeal to your audience. 

3. Induce Storytelling and Humor 

Always remember that social media is just that – it’s social. People are on these platforms to connect with their tribes, but also to be entertained and perhaps inspired. They will scroll right on through a dull boring ad whose only purpose is to sell them something. If, on the other hand, your ad tells a story; if your ad has humor or inspires people in some way, you will not only capture the attention of the person viewing it currently, but you will also get lots of shares. 

Aflac Insurance is a good example of this. They have a mascot (the duck) who has his own Facebook page. It’s filled with humorous little snippets and videos. People go to the page to be entertained and then share those little “stories” that they think their communities will enjoy.

Notice the play on words with “Post Pain Show.” The video itself is quite funny, too. It features two sports commentator types with the Aflac Duck in the middle. Dave has received some unexpected medical bills? His plan? To eat cake. “That’s not a plan,” says one of the announcers. “Aflac is a plan.”

At the same time, Aflac has its more serious page, and its stories are meant to inspire. It supports sickle cell anemia research; it provides stuffed Aflac Ducks to children battling cancer.

And on both of these pages, no one ever leaves a post without knowing what Aflac is all about – supplementary insurance to cover what traditional medical insurance does not.

This has become such a ‘hot’ marketing strategy that other insurance companies do the same – Progressive has Flo; Geico has its gecko. And both have Facebook pages too.

4. Use Video Whenever Possible

An ad that is the only text just shouts ‘boring.’ If you scroll through your Facebook or Instagram pages, you will note that almost all ads are introduced with a title and a video. They can be shared, but there is always that little box to click that says ‘learn more.’ The right photos can also do well, so consider those too.

5. Re-Target

You have probably noticed that if you have clicked one of those ‘learn more’ boxes and been directed to a website landing page, you become a target of that company, and their ads will continue to show up on your page. This is called ‘re-targeting’ and it can actually even be automated. If a consumer has taken the time to click through to one of your pages, that person is a pretty warm lead. It shows that they are looking for your product or service as a solution to a problem they have. While they may not, in fact, be ready to buy at the moment, you want to keep your brand in front of them, with the same or similar ads.

6. Test

Split test the important parts of your ads. Every major social media platform has a method to do this. But remember to only test one element at a time, or the results will lack validity. Place your ad on the same platform with two different headlines. Which one receives more likes or shares? Experiment with times of day for posting. There’s a lot of research on what demographics are on social media at what times of the day. Find your sweet spot for your audience.

Case Study – Dollar Shave Club

With these six tips in mind, let’s take a very quick look at Dollar Shave Club, a subscription-based razor blade delivery service that has since branched out to a host of other personal care products.

The company website was launched in 2012 with a marketing video on its home page. Within hours, it had gone viral and now has over 27 million views on YouTube. If you have never seen this video, watch it now

Without reading this article, Michael Dubin, co-founder, understood the power of marketing and these tips.

  • First, he developed a brand voice – a bit irreverent, suggestions of some foul language, humor, and storytelling. He understood his audience – young millennials at the time. That brand voice has never changed, and all the company’s social media ads have it.
  • Second, he covered the who, what, where, when, how, and why in less than 90 seconds
  • Third, he provided a solution to a problem faced by all young men (and now women too) – never running out of razors again
  • Fourth, he added value with an amazingly low subscription price.

Since that time, Dollar Shave Club has developed a social media presence on all major platforms, increasing its line of products and subscription options. And in so doing:

  • The brand voice has never changed.
  • Ads still cover the journalistic questions.
  • Videos are short and to the point.
  • Social media advertising now offers a free trial of subscription options, with no strings attached – more value.
  • Every ad directs a viewer to a landing page.

It is probably worth mentioning that the company is now worth multi-billions.

Are You Ready to Begin or Remodel?

Perhaps it is time to take a look at a strategy for developing great ad copy for your social media marketing. These six tips are valuable – take them to heart.

Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at Edubirdie with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.