You adjust copy when you’re running ad testing. You change social media copy based on the platform it’s running on. And I’m guessing you switch up the copy for various customer profiles when you’re running a new nurture campaign. But are you writing different ad copy for AdWords and Facebook?
The goals of each platform are very different. We’ll take a deep dive into those differences below, but here’s a high level overview (for the skimmers among us). Ads on Google are meant to target those with strong intent to purchase, while, more often than not, the goal of Facebook ads is to bring about awareness, rather than a concrete purchase.
Still not convinced it’s worth the extra time? Allow me to persuade you …
With AdWords, you’re reaching people who have exhibited a strong intent to purchase. This means you’re a little more inside their head. It also means your copy can and should be more direct. Don’t introduce the pain point that your product or service solves for. Your audience already knows what their pain points are because they’re searching for a solution. All you need to do is tell them how you can solve that problem for them.
Facebook ads, on the other hand, should be viewed as a way to raise awareness for your brand. While the goal of an ad on AdWords is to trigger a specific action you know your consumer is ready to make, Facebook ads may be the first introduction a consumer has to your brand or the pain point your brand solves for.
Most consumers aren’t heading to Facebook to search. So the key here becomes targeting the right audience on Facebook. Putting the right message in front of them. And doing it all at the right time.
Your goals for engagement on each of these platforms will be different as well. AdWords engagement goals are generally measured in clicks, impressions, and CTR while Facebook ads have variety of engagement metrics that have nothing to do with the number of click throughs or conversions a single ad receives. For AdWords, you’ll want to communicate your message as quickly and meaningfully as you can with the limited character count your alloted. Communicate your solution or offer in a way that entices qualified clicks, and hopefully, conversions.
As previously mentioned, however, the customer seeing your Facebook ad may not have known you existed five minutes ago, so a brisk call to purchase (or even click your ad) may not be realistic or appropriate. This means how you measure engagement will be different for these ads.
Instead of “buy now,” your CTA may shift to “like if you agree,” “share with a friend,” or “click to learn more.” Your engagement goal may just be to hear from your audience on the ad. Asking them a question, interacting with them, or asking for their feedback is something you would never do on AdWords, but it’s a great way to build trust and value with a new audience, and lay a foundation for a purchase later on.
Your AdWords mantra? “Tell, don’t show.” Ad copy in AdWords deserves the bulk of your brainpower. You don’t have images or every marketer’s new best friend, video, to set your brand apart from the crowd. Offer a clear, targeted solution and lead with your strongest tagline as your headline.
While AdWords may be black and white, everything’s technicolor over on Facebook. This doesn’t give you a hall pass to write lackluster copy, but you should let your image do the heavy lifting. Swap your mantra to “show, don’t tell” and let your copy act as a complement to strong imagery.
While stock photos are better than no photos, try producing or sourcing imagery that tells a story to your customer. Images can say just as much as copy, so make sure they say the right thing, and fill in the gaps with your words.
Facebook ads allow you to create copy for specific audience behaviors and interests that align with your business or campaign goals. This means that you can get equally as targeted with your ad copy.
Would users interested in PowerPoint also be interested in what your company has to offer? Write ads that call out that interest and tell your audience how well your software pairs with Adobe Creative Cloud.
AdWords offers you a more specific type of targeting, keywords. We’ve already outlined that this audience is more ready to make a purchase, so this makes things a little easier for you. You’re audience is already pretty targeted, so your copy should also be targeted towards a specific action, instead of an interest.
If you know that people searching for this particular keyword are ready to buy, put ad copy in front of them that pushes them to purchase. If your keyword indicates early-stage research, pull out your most persuasive argument in 30 characters or less.
Ah, the magic keyword. It rules supreme in the world of AdWords and needs to feature prominently in your ad copy while maintaining a conversational tone. Write copy that meets the pain points of your target audience and you’ll set your ad apart from other brands targeting the same keyword or using dynamic keyword insertion.
Facebook is free from the shackles of the keyword, but your ad copy should still be focused on one goal or a main point that acts as a kind of keyword. Identify this word or phrase before writing your ad to ensure that your message remains clear, concise, and valuable to your audience.
The Key Takeaway Here? Don’t Be Lazy
Yes, writing two versions of copy means more time, but the payoff will be worth the extra effort. Like ads themselves, the more targeted you can get with your message, the better the results. In a marketing landscape where competition has never been so fierce, it’s crucial to give your customer the best experience possible, and that starts by tailoring your copy to every stage of the buyer journey on every platform.
Meg is a San Francisco-based Content Strategist. Her background is in copywriting, she has a love-hate relationship with grammatical correctness, and she just can’t quit the oxford comma. When she’s not writing, Meg can be found exploring with her two pups and fanning the sometimes-literal flames of her fledgling cooking skills.
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