Accompanying text for social ads – How do I build good copy?

Guide to good copywriting for social ads

Finding the right accompanying text for an ad is sometimes not so easy. The closer it gets to publication, the greater the pressure to formulate the right copy – and that’s exactly when writer’s block beckons. The good news is that while there’s no infallible recipe, there’s definitely a good guide to make copywriting for social ads easier. Philipp Reittinger, CEO and co-founder of ZweiDigital, explains the steps you need to take.

1. What message do you want to send to whom?

The better you understand your target group and know what they want, the more successful your ads will be. Therefore, in the first step you need to clarify who exactly the target audience of the ad should be. Reaching them is the basic goal of any copy. Therefore, the text should be less generic and more tailored to the target group. After all, only buyers who feel addressed by the ad’s copy can ultimately identify with the offer in question.

Depending on the age range of the target group or the platforms they use, you have to adapt the wording accordingly. But keep in mind: The message may also change with the respective target group. It’s important to keep the writing style you use consistent. What can help in finding the right target group approach is the corporate language of a company. For example, the company may like to use colloquial language or generally address all customers in the measures.

2. What does the target group get out of it?

Potential buyers are primarily interested in what product or service you offer and less in who the provider is. Instead of talking about yourself as a company, it is therefore important to communicate in a customer-oriented way. This starts with the way you address them: Instead of speaking from the “we” perspective, you should address buyers:inside in the ads with “you, you, you, you or you” directly. You’ll have an even stronger impact if you capitalize the pronouns. In addition, you should focus the copy on how potential buyers can benefit from the product or service. The motto is “Buy this product, and you will get that benefit.” This puts the benefit directly in the focus of the ad.

3. Formulate short, concise key messages

First of all, pay attention! When writing social ads, you should distinguish between the lead and the headline. In some ad managers, the input fields for the headline and the lead are separate from each other. Then it is not immediately obvious that the lead text for ads is the actual ad text and not the headline.

Aim the introduction to “catch” your customers and generate attention. At this point, users decide within seconds whether or not to read on to the next sentence of the ad. The formulation of a question, a provocative phrase or the emphasis of a statement can arouse interest here.

But don’t forget: The actual key message should also be immediately apparent at first glance. So far, there are no instructions on what the perfect headline for a social ad should look like. Meta, for example, recommends keeping it short and not exceeding 40 characters. One thing is certain: The headline must be clear and concise, but at the same time it must not sound too promotional, because that would scare off users from the start. What is well suited is a phrase, a saying, a characteristic product advantage or similar.

4. Communicate clearly and understandably

Nothing scares users away faster than incomprehensible, complicated texts. Attention in the newsfeed is always fiercely contested: posts receive an average of 2.5 seconds of attention, but only 1.7 seconds in mobile use. It is clear that ambiguities in the text lead to users simply skipping the ads.

Instead of talking shop and putting as much knowledge as possible into the copy, use clear, simple language that clearly and concisely articulates the benefits of buying your product or service. A few simple questions to ask might be: What am I offering? What problem does it solve? What do users have to do to get the benefits of the product/service? If the copy answers the core of these questions, ambiguity is unlikely to arise. 5.

5. Draw attention to the urgency of the offer

No one likes to miss out on something – especially if it’s a good offer. Keep this thought in mind when copywriting. Emphasizing the duration of an offer, such as “only a few days left” or “while stocks last” can make potential customers decide to buy more quickly. You can also emphasize the urgency by referring not only to the time, but also to the price or specific values, numbers and statistics in the ad text. Here, the power of numbers acts as an additional encouragement to buy.

6. Align copy and creative

What sounds obvious is not always common practice: Copy and creative must fit together in terms of content and create a consistent image. The user’s attention is usually first on the ad image in the feed before it moves on to the text. Accordingly, it is important to add additional and relevant information with the copy, rather than just reflecting the content of the creative.

7. Lighten the mood with emojis

Too many bells and whistles can quickly make ad copy look unprofessional. However, emojis are indispensable as an attention magnet in a copy. They not only serve to lighten up and structure the text, but can also convey certain emotions. Unlike language, they are also universally understood and work across cultural barriers.

Some brands have already adopted emojis, which customers immediately associate with the brand. So you too could create recognition without the need for many words. You can experiment with the use of emojis as long as you choose them wisely and use them sparingly. After all, an overstimulation by too many colors and shapes must be avoided – as in any other design – also in social copies.

And last but not least: Sensitivity and practice

Good copy is always a balancing act: on the one hand, you should convey important, promotional information, but on the other hand, you should maintain your personal writing style. There is no such thing as right or wrong. In the end, it’s all about understanding your target audience and reaching them with your messages. Often, this requires a lot of practice in addition to a good intuition. Of course, these seven steps for writing social ad copy are not a universal recipe, but they do provide you with a good basic framework that you can use as a guide.

Philipp Reittinger ist Geschäftsführer von ZweiDigital und absoluter Social-Media-Profi. Nach seinem Studium der Wirtschaftswissenschaften in Frankfurt baute er zunächst den Bereich App-Marketing bei Shopgate auf und verantwortete bei Vier für Texas das Thema Performance Marketing, ehe er mit Andreas Arndt 2018 ZweiDigital gründete. Die Social-Ads-Agentur ZweiDigital aus Frankfurt entwickelt für Kund:innen wie Connox, Waterdrop, Longines und SportSpar individuelle Performance-Kampagnen auf Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest und TikTok.

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