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10 Quick Tips to Help You Create Facebook Ads That Work

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In their book No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, business coach and consultant Dan S. Kennedy and marketing strategist Kim Walsh-Phillips show you how to use direct response marketing principles on a variety of social media platforms to drive real results and profit. In this edited excerpt, the authors reveal the direct response marketing tactics you can use to design better Facebook ads.

I love data! Diving into a pile of numbers and discovering hidden treasure makes me (almost) as giddy as finding a good pair of designer shoes on clearance. My firm is responsible for millions of dollars in ad budgets for our clients, and it's our responsibility to manage those dollars wisely. For every dollar given to us, our goal is to give more than a dollar back in return.

But how can you use Facebook to reach the markets you're seeking?

The core of Facebook’s effectiveness is its advertising platform. It's a very crowded advertising marketplace. Facebook boasts more than 2 million active advertisers (meaning they've used the platform in the past 28 days). This is where direct response marketing can provide a strong competitive advantage. Most marketers, including those on Facebook, haven’t the faintest clue how to write a direct response marketing ad.

Simply put, you need to make the message about them, not you. Tell them why they should care and why they should respond right now.

Here’s how to take effective direct response strategies to the Facebook platform:

1. Write a headline that addresses the “you.” You want the person looking at the ad to feel as if you're speaking directly to them.

2. Be willing to be controversial. You want to tell the person who's seeing your ad why they should pay attention to it.

3. Speak to your perfect prospect. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Tell your prospects what makes you different from anybody else and why reading this ad is worth their time.

4. Use Open Loop and Ad Congruency strategies. The copy below your ad image should incorporate two different strategies. First, it should be an open loop so that the text runs off the pages, enticing readers to click to read the rest of the content. Second, it should have precisely the exact copy you would see on the landing page when people click on the ad. This is called "ad congruency," and it gives you a higher likelihood of opt-ins and sales conversions.

5. Look at the camera and smile pretty. If you're featuring a person in your ad image, the ad image that tests best for us is one in which the person is looking straight at the camera with a smile.

6. Try a red shirt. We've also tested different clothing col­ors and have found that our red shirt strategy works 75% of the time. For whatever reason, red shirts seem to test better than any other color of clothing.

7. Be clear and concise. Use your text to tell your target pros­pect what the outcome will be if they click your ad while making sure to fall into Facebook’s guideline of no more than 20% text in your ad image.

8. Show the reward. Include a photo of the free report, cou­pon, video, or whatever your prospects will get when they click through to the next page. They should also see this image when they arrive at the landing page. This will dramati­cally decrease your landing page bounces.

9. Build proof with your link. Facebook allows you to change the URL display that's shown in your ads. Make sure it matches your brand and your website to give confidence to the viewer.

10. Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. Use your link to give a clear call to action. Tell your viewer exactly what you want them to do with your ad.