With 1.13 billion daily active users on Facebook, it’s a no brainer that marketers are all over the channel surfacing all types of ads. And with content driving a quarter of overall traffic, it’s obvious that link ads are the best use of your hard-earned money. So of course, every business and their dog are creating Facebook ads driving to their blog or website. And with so many ads being created every day, it’s easy for your ad to get lost on peoples’ feeds.
My approach is simple – learn from what everyone else is doing. If there are millions of Facebook ads and blog posts being created daily, there must be a time-tested approach to creating successful headlines. I think the most important thing that marketers tend to miss is the fact that consumers have a certain expectation of how content is delivered, so you better follow the rules or no one will want to engage with you.
So I’m not going to show you a bunch of examples of great ads from great brands. I’m going to show you the two free online tools I frequently use to create an ad that will work. This isn’t some sexy post about killing it and going viral, it’s literally just getting the job done – because there are so many more ways things can go wrong.
Yep – such a thing exists. This free tool created by CoSchedule actually grades your headline based on the words you use, the character count, and word sequence. I like this because it’s a quick way to see if your headline is too short or too long, and whether the description is accurate to the content.
Here’s a quick glance at my own effort to create a headline for this blog post – I always try a couple options to see which might perform the best. This not only helps me make a better headline, it helps me learn how to craft a better one in the future as I figure out which words to change.
But take this as a grain of salt because there are many more ways you can analyze a headline beyond this. I use this mainly to draft some varieties of headlines that follow best practices (mainly character count and keyword usage) and to ensure that the topic is accurately communicated. There are tons more ways to craft the perfect headline, but these are the basic rules I’d follow just to get people to know what the hell you’re even writing about to begin with. Small wins.
Sometimes you just need to see the full picture to truly understand. Available for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, AdParlor has created a free mock-up tool so you can get a taste of what your ads will look like on each channel.
Beyond it being an awesome visual tool for you to pump out a bunch of social ads, the tool includes recommendations on copy length and image size. Again, it’s a quick way to check out your ad and make sure things are up to standard. You won’t believe how many people aren’t even aware of all the copy areas available to you when creating an ad. There are so many missed opportunities from just following basic guidelines.
For instance with Facebook ads, the “headline” is actually below the image. It’s not the first thing you see – that’s actually just the post copy. And there’s so much you can do with that – make it a question, throw in a stat, reveal part of your blog post, anything to get people wanting to click and read on. I’d call it a teaser, but it’s a totally different thing on social media channels. It’s literally a different language, and that’s why you should definitely consider creating more than one post copy per image so you can learn what works for you.
Now that you’ve got all your basics covered, you can start making small tweaks and getting fancy. I’d check out Hubspot’s blog post on creating better headlines for Facebook Ads for some quick examples. Remember these are guidelines based on what people have tested and learned from. First understand why some things worked before you start breaking the rules. When it comes to online content, you’re always better playing it safe.