Cover image for the blog post - How to write a good copy for a Facebook Ad

How to write good copy for a Facebook ad?


Writing Facebook ad copy is, naturally, one of the main things a (digital) copywriter does. The amount of articles written on this topic confirms just how important it is. Along with visual elements and layouts, a copy is a primary tool for communication with your audience. So, why is it essential to write good copy for a Facebook ad? To answer that, think of all the things you can do with a facebook ad. Of course, copy is not important just in Facebook ads. It is crucial for good content writing, functional, user-friendly, and SEO optimised websites, banners, CTA buttons, Landing pages, and much more.

Copy Elements of a Facebook Ad

There are several elements of any Facebook ad copy. Although they can vary based on the determined placement and ad optimisation, the following layout covers most elements. Each of these is influencing your ad performance.

With Facebook ads, some of the elements are predetermined, such as a CTA button. On the image above, you can see I’ve chosen the “Download” button. The vital thing to know here is that there are several actions you can choose. And, the language of that button will change according to the language a user has set up on Facebook. Another predetermined button is the “like page” button. It appears on some ads if a person hasn’t liked the page from which the ad originates. Other elements you can influence include:

#1 Headline

A headline is arguably the most crucial part of any Facebook ad. Offline or online. A headline is here to catch the reader’s attention. It is also the most emphasised piece of text in the design. There are countless examples for writing an eye-catching headline, and several things you can do to grab people’s attention. It always proves the best to include a popular topic, and generally one of high interest. On the other hand, there are topics that are interesting for an extended period. Some of those are money, time, social media, business trends, sports.

A photographs of a pineapple with sunglasses

Your headline is the first impression of your copy, be sure to make it count!

There are also hundreds of examples for writing a headline designed to grab attention. BUT! Beware that your headline matches your content. A clickbait headline will only get you so far. Don’t abuse these examples if you can’t stand behind them:

  • 10 Money/Time-Saving Tips for ____
  • Everything you Need to Know About Getting Cheaper ____
  • How to ____ in 10 Seconds
  • 10 ____ Facts you Need to Know
  • Top 9 ____ Things you Must Know about ____
  • ____ Proofs you are/aren’t ____

Notice how some of the words in my examples start with an uppercase letter. Always capitalise the first word and proper nouns. You can capitalise other words in your headline crucial for the message you want to get across to the reader.

Another vital element of any headline is punctuation. If your headline is a regular statement, don’t use any punctuation. If, on the other hand, your sentence is a question or an exclamation, use the corresponding punctuation. But, again, be aware that you don’t overdo it with exclamation points. Sometimes, along with the desire to grab attention, and to do better with your copy, we tend to overdo it with exclamation points. This phenomenon is detailed well in an episode of a Netflix docuseries, Explained.

A cover image of a Netflix docuseries "Explained" of the episode about exclamation point

I warmly recommend this documentary about the overusing the exclamatio poit

#2 Primary text

The element of a Facebook ad almost as important as the headline is the primary text. Just as with the headline, you can use it for A/B testing. In my opinion, it is the hardest part of writing a Facebook ad copy. With the primary text, you have the opportunity to type in more characters and words than within any other element, but you can easily overdo it.

A cover of The Adweek Copywriting Handbook

It’s tough to teach somebody how to write a good Facebook ad copy, but I will try to help with this part a bit. The first sentence in the primary text should be short and somewhat unfinished. I will compare it with the first couple of seconds in a video. Those first few seconds are used to create a hook and set up a mood. That is what the first sentence of a Facebook ad copy should also do. After the first sentence, the second one should continue where the first one stopped. In his book, The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters, Joseph Sugarman, called this technique a slippery slope/slide. Although he developed this technique on other forms of writing copy, it can also work for writing a Facebook ad copy

An illustration of a slippery slope

#3 Description & Link caption/additional description

Two optional elements for Facebook ad copy are the description and link caption. We use a description when we want to write a sub-headline or explain your headline some more. But, bear in mind that sometimes, less is more. Why would someone click on your ad if you’ve revealed everything in it? Think of your ad as an ignition button to get your audience on your landing page. Or, wherever you directed the link in your ad. 

Link caption or description is used to state your web address. It’s a great way to show that your business is the real deal if the person looking at your ad has never heard of you, your brand, or your business. Link caption is also good to provide some additional technical information. For example, if you’re advertising a live webinar, you can use the additional description to say: “Apply & get the footage if you can’t make it live.” It will undoubtedly increase the number of your webinar applications because some people can’t be watching your webinar at the exact moment you’re holding it.

A Few short Tips because you made it this far

Congratulations, you’ve picked up all of the basics for Copywriting Facebook Ads. Now, before I shell out some short tips, I would like to draw your attention to what I just did. It’s a technique I picked up from a previously mentioned Joseph Sugarman’s book. As I did here, he’s regularly using this “maintain attention, award & congratulations” style in his writing. His wrote his entire book in that manner where he:

  1. Maintains the attention by announcing something useful for the reader which is following in the next chapter
  2. Awards the reader with some images,  tips & tricks
  3. Congratulates them because they’ve come thus far, encouraging them to keep reading even further
An image showing a ballon and pineapple with sunglases

Always keep your reader’s attention

Finally, we’ve come to the point where I share some short tips with you, my dear reader:

#1 Put your copy on a diet

Always remember, when writing copy, the golden rule applies – less is more. Today, we live in a modern society where people receive a ton of information a day, keep yours short and easier to read. That also means – no big, heavy words. I know everybody likes to sound smart, but not everyone will look at it from that angle.

#2 Key to writing good well

One of the best practices in writing is writing well. What I mean by that is that you should always keep in mind that your grammar and your writing affects readability. Proofread, use spelling and grammar tools, and delight your readers with how well you wrote that copy. They will surely be thankful.

#3 Speak to your audience as if you’re speaking to a dear person

“You should really buy that lawn mover, it has five gears, and it’s on a 10% percent discount until Friday.” This is an example of how NOT to write copy for Facebook ads. Instead, try writing as if you’re talking to a dear person. Nobody want’s to feel like they’re talking to a robot.

#4 Don’t be too pushy

Just recently, I was working on a project where our client wanted to “beef up” my copy. What we got were a perpetual three sentences that mean the same thing. According to the latest copywriting trends, telling somebody to buy or do something can do only the exact opposite.

An image of a pineapple with sunglasess

Don’t be too pushy towards your audience

There is a ton more advice I could write now, but you will have to catch those in some of my future posts. I hope this one helped, and that you learned something new and useful. If you need professional help with writing copy for Facebook ads, you can always contact us.