Creating Facebook Ads

Creating Effective Facebook Ads For Social Media Advertising

So, you’re skilled at writing ads for Google and Yahoo, but now you’re expanding your PPC efforts to include Facebook. What is different on social media? How should your ad copy be different? The answer is that all the same best practices apply. While the methods are different, the principles behind them are the same.

Let us first try to understand the best practices of search ad copy writing in a general way. Skilled search marketers know that when someone searches for “attorneys”, you should give them an ad for “Attorneys”; when someone searches for “lawyers”, you should show them a different ad for “Lawyers.” The ad copy should be as relevant to the query as possible.

An advertising medium with advanced targeting capabilities, on the other hand, allows marketers to create specialized ads that are specifically relevant to particular niches. Ads are more effective when they are more specifically relevant to the individual who sees them. The same is true on social media, where instead of targeting your ads by keyword, you target by demographic and social niche. Social media ads provide you with a unique opportunity to show people an ad that is obviously well matched to their individual interests and traits—even when they don’t enter a keyword into a search engine.

Here are some specific tips on creating effective ads that take advantage of the social media ad medium:

  • Mention or directly address the target audience in your ad copy. If your ad targets female Boston Celtics fans, include a phrase like “Celtics girls” in your ad. If your ad targets single people in Cleveland, make your headline “Single in Cleveland?” If you are urging 35+ married men to buy vacation packages to take with their wives, try an ad copy like “Take your wife to the Caribbean for Valentine’s day”—you know they’re married, so go ahead and say so in the ad copy.
  • Include an image that will appeal to your niche audience. If you’re advertising a retail product, include a photo of the product that will resonate with them or catch their attention. A female Celtics fan is likely to find a pink Celtics jersey rather eye catching, and an NYU student is likely to notice the NYU logo in your ad.
  • Separate campaigns into additional targeting groups, so you can make your ads more personalized. Your business may serve two segments equally, but you can still make separate ads for each niche. Consider these two ad copies: “Seattle’s Top Divorce Lawyer. Don’t let your soon-to-be-ex-wife take all your stuff ” vs. “Seattle’s Top Divorce Lawyer. Don’t let your future soon-to-be-ex-husband take all your stuff ” An equal number of men and women get divorce lawyers, but if you target by gender you can specifically address whether the potential client is divorcing a wife or a husband. Or consider these ads for a bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts: “Joe’s Bar in Central Square, Cambridge. Thursday drink specials with your MIT ID card” vs. “Joe’s Bar in Central Square, Cambridge. Thursday drink specials with your Harvard ID card”. Even though the drink special is available to all college students, making different ads for each of Cambridge’s universities gives each ad a more personal touch.
  • Consider adding an additional interest that is not directly related to your product just to grab attention, like targeting fans of different celebrities for ads for a hair salon. “Vavoom Salon. Get your hair styled like Britney Spears.” vs. “Vavoom Salon. Get your hair styled like Whoopi Goldberg.” vs. “Vavoom Salon. Get your hair styled like Catherine Zeta-Jones.” Same salon, but different audiences, different idols, and different hair styles—why not have different ads?

The Facebook ad below showcases some of these strategies. Below the ad are the targeting options and Facebook’s estimates of how big the audience for this ad is.

This will likely only be seen by NYU freshman and sophomores, who tend to order a lot of late-night cheap pizza to their dorms. Bon appetit!