Be relevant. Grab attention. Have a call-to-action. Include a value proposition. These are the elements of a strong, effective advertisement, no matter on what medium it’s available.
And they are exponentially difficult to convey in the 74 characters available in the body of a Facebook ad.
You’ll find post after post through a Google search about advertising effectively on Facebook. They’ll address targeting your audience correctly, or promoting your website rather than your Facebook page (send them back to Facebook from your website!). And distracting users from what they came to do in the first place (socialize!) so that they’ll click on your ad.
However, few address the fact that all of these practices are easier said than done. Let’s put it into perspective a bit, shall we… 74 characters of text (that’s counting spaces, folks) looks like this:
I am writing a Facebook ad that compels you to buy my product with one cli
Yep. That’s it (that last part was “click” by the way). How well can you sum up the major selling points for your business in less than 20 words? Yeah, me neither. So, let’s brainstorm some ways to make it effective for you.
Skip the exclamation marks, periods and dashes. They’re just wasted space – precious characters you can use for other, more important things – like letters. You may want to utilize a question mark on occasion, if you’re leading with a question to grab attention. Commas are better than dashes because they use one less character space, but try and write text that doesn’t require them.
Learn the Lingo
You know that horrible text-speak that your teenager uses – the stuff that, when you go to check her phone for concerning messages, you realize you can’t read a bit of it? Well, take an urban vocabulary class because you’ll need to implement some of those techniques to get your message across in limited space. Some common occurrences:
- vacay = vacation
- b4 = before (i.e. “try b4 you buy”)
- B1G1 = buy one get one (free, half off, etc)
You’ll also want to abbreviate certain words, or use shortened versions, to save space:
- bc (or b/c) = because
- & = and (obviously)
- biz = business
- pics = pictures
Why should someone even consider looking at your ad rather than scrolling through the newsfeed? Give them an impelling reason by asking a question – and do it in the header of your ad rather than in the body. The header is in bold and is your visual attention grabber (along with a compelling image, of course). Use that to obtain engagement, leaving 74 characters of ad body to…
Answer the Question
Ask a question in the header and then answer it for potential customers in the body of your ad. For example:
Need a Vacay?
B1G1F for each night you book
in our luxury beach hotel & bask
in the sun!
Notice how that uses all the previously discussed techniques (and even broke one with that exclamation mark because it fit)? You’ll also notice that there is little room to provide where the hotel is or how much one night costs. That’s why you use a picture of the hotel on the beach to accompany your ad and then link to your website. The ad gives them an answer but requires action to get all of the information and that, my friends, is a successful use of limited space to grab a customer or lead!
Don’t be intimidated by a mere 74 characters. You can accomplish a lot more than you think with it.
By: Michelle L. Cramer