how to write a killer facebook ad

Facebook has over 1.3 billion active users all around the world. It is the place where prospective customers of almost every business on the planet hangs out!

Needless to say advertising on Facebook can do wonders to your business growth – irrespective of which niche your business falls into, or what types of business you have (online or brick and mortar, or hybrid).

It is quite easy to advertise on Facebook once you understand how it works. But if you are not doing it right, you could be losing a lot of money.

There are many aspects of Facebook advertising – targeting, ad creative (image and copy), tracking and optimization (not only on Facebook, you can do in other places like Google Analytics), retargeting and more.

In this post we shall look at one aspects of Facebook advertising – the smart way to write copy for a Facebook ad.

Best products/services don’t get sold, unless..

It does not matter how good the products or services you are offering in your business, if you cannot get your prospective customer to look at it your chances or making money are bleak.

If you are walking past a toy shop and there are hundreds of toys displayed, which one would do you think your eyes will be drawn to?

The one that stands out!

Remember, not the BEST toy, but simply the one that stands out, that your eyes are drawn to. It might be its shape, color, picture or even some fancy name.

That’s exactly is the primary purpose of Facebook.

The ad must primarily draw attention of your prospective customer to itself, pique their curiosity and make them click on it – and land on the destination (landing page/fan page post/website..).

How Facebook ad differs from Google Adwords ad

Think about this for a moment – what is the difference between a Google Adwords ad and Facebook page ad?

Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is shown when people are actively ‘looking’ for something, ‘searching’ for a result.

Whereas, Facebook is a place for people to relax, have some fun, enjoy photos and status updates of friends and family. It’s fun time, they are not looking to buy something while surfing on Facebook.

So your strategy to attract a Facebook user should be different from the rest of ad channels.

The BEST Way To Write Killer Facebook Ad Copy

Here is the mantra.

  1. Get Facebook user’s attention by the Image you use on the ad
  2. Pique her interest with the Headline
  3. Increase her curiosity with Ad text
  4. Get her to click on the ad with a strong Call to Action (CTA)

This is so important that it helps go take a pause and go over the four steps again.

Therefore, you can straightaway make out the four components of a Facebook ad.

Here is how you can improve on each of these 4 aspects of Facebook ad.

Attention (Image)

Anything visual catches eye, but on Facebook there are typically more of images than text. Now your ad image is competing for attention along with pictures of user’s family and friends. It needs to stand out. Giving a colored border is usually the practice followed. But a better practice is to use relevant image that stands out.


From my experiments mixing image with a little text (remember Facebook’s 20% text rule for images) converts better than just images.

Let’s dissect an ad: facebook-ad-3For people who know Tim Ferriss and his 4-hr Work Week book, this ad will be an instant hit.

There is a huge promise – to learn how to get an business idea to life using tools and tricks from someone who has done it.

Do you think the orange shirt in the image is coincidence? ๐Ÿ™‚

Look at the title – “How to Create a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend”. The words “Million-Dollar” (huge value) and “Weekend” (short timeframe) – together in one sentence.

How powerful is that?!

Finally, the ad text has some proof about this bold title. “Noah Kagan built two multi-million dollar online business..”.

Need more reasons to click on this ad? ๐Ÿ™‚

Interest (Headline)

The natural progression after looking at the ad image is for the eyes to see the bold letters of the title. Write a relevant title that creates interest in your offer.

Take a look at this ad on the right –


The headline says ‘Join the family’.

“Family? What has this got to do with this picture?”

If that question pops in your mind then the ad has created some interest in you!

Now you want to read the text and find out more.

Curiosity (Ad text)

The purpose of the ad text is to raise user’s curiosity.

The text can be a promise, an offer, a statement – anything that makes user want to know more. In the ad above the text reads “Shop now and get same day shipping”. Now that’s a promise. People often are ready to pay more to get same day shipping. So making a promise of same day shipping is enough for most of the target group members to click on the ad.

Call To Action

Although it is obvious that people need to click on the ad, you’d be surprised to know that just by telling them to click on the ad will increase conversion.

  • Click here to learn more.
  • Click now to get the offer.
  • Download the free report.
  • Join the contest.
  • These are all simple. But quite effective.

Tip – make sure you choose the right CTA on the button too. And even when you have done that, explicit CTA text is necessary for increasing conversion.

Click here to see Facebook’s official ad guide.

Let’s look at another Facebook ad: facebook-ad-5

The very first thing that your eyes see? Image, of course. But here the image is full of text!

What happened to Facebook’s 20% text rule? ๐Ÿ™‚

This ad has a great CTA – in the form of a blue button.

The ad text gives the promise of a free trial.

This ad tells us that it is possible sometimes to break Facebook’s rules. However, better stay safe, within the published guidelines.

Click here to know more about Facebook Ad guidelines.

Here’s the grid tool that helps you test whether your ad breaks 20% text rule. Click on the link and follow instructions.

Ad Rejections

Even after doing this your ad can be rejected by Facebook team!

Note that if you use some irrelevant image for the ad the chances of getting it approved by Facebook’s team are lesser. At the same time remember that they can reject an ad based on just the image even though it is relevant, as I have found out in a recent campaign.

But the good thing is that if your ad is rejected for some reason you can write to Facebook explaining your point of view and more often than not they will oblige.

When one of my campaign was rejected I went over Facebook’s ad guidelines and could not find anything that violated the rules. Then I wrote to the Facebook team explaining the purpose of my campaign and the logic behind the images I have selected, and asked if they can help me find out what exactly is wrong.

The response was quite surprising. The issue was with a word on the landing page!

I replaced that word with another one and submitted the campaign, and it quickly got approved!

Click here for Facebook’s image guidelines.

In Summary

1. Identify your target group and understand what ticks them (image? language used in ad text? or just the headline?)

2. Choose your ad image(s) to attract them to your ad in a natural way. For instance, someone looking to buy home will naturally be attracted to an image of a nice home.

3. Mix a little bit of word(s) with image. Try to use keywords that tick the user.

4. Write relevant headlines. Here is a tip – It is always better to use a question. Why? Our attention is attracted to questions as the mind seeks answers to any question thrown at it.

5. Write ad text that piques user’s interest. Don’t give away everything that landing page offers, but just enough that makes them find out more by clicking on the ad.

6. Give a call to action (CTA). Even telling them to ‘click on the image below’ helps people take action. Yes, people need to be told what to do next – especially when they are NOT in the thinking or seeking mindset.

7. Sometimes less is more. Write only relevant text that is just enough to serve the purpose of the ad.

8. Test. Testing tells you what works and what does not. It could be image, headline, text, or a particular combination of these. Testing is the only way to find which ads are making money and which are draining your ad budget (a post coming on this next).

Lastly, remember that the purpose of the ad is to get target group members to click on the ad – not just about anyone on the Facebook. You don’t want people outside of your target group to click on the ad and drain your budget, do you? So stay relevant and contextual to increase click through rate.

Do you have any trouble with your Facebook campaign? Just shoot me an email and I’ll be more than happy to help.

Shiv Shenoy
Shiv Shenoy

After spending 15 yrs in the corporate cubicle, Shiv Shenoy quit it to work with people by leveraging his skills and knowledge. He is passionate about teaching proven passive income generating methods, which draw their effectiveness from Behavioral Economics and Digital Marketing strategies. Shiv is a best-selling author and has self-published over 21 books in Digital Marketing and Project Management domains. When not hunting and perfecting a new passive income method, Shiv is often found playing Flute, or painting.