Whether you’re new to paid content, or are a dab hand with online ads these seven tips for your creative and copy will help to make sure that every time you spend you’re seeing the right results and making a positive impression with your audience.

  • Before we start an Ad of my own. If you’re looking to make the most of a small budget, and find how to best reach the right people online then my one-day Paid Content Essentials workshop is for you. Looking at where to advertise to reach your audience, how to create great landing pages and Ad copy, and a deeper dive into Facebook and Google Ads, plus the stats you need for stellar evaluation. More details and next dates booking now here.

7 tips for paid content and ads which work

1. Talk about results, not services or products

No one likes to feel they are being given the hard sell, particularly where something is dropping into their news feed but they do like to have their problems solved, and lives made better.

Whether you’re advertising services, products, events, or even looking to increase your on-platform reach and engagement make sure your Ad copy speaks to the benefits and the results someone can expect rather than diving in with talking about the thing itself.

Think about explaining the outcome rather than the feature which gets the person to that place. On Google Ads know what question people are trying to answer with their search terms, and do some research to think about when and how people will be looking for their answers – on their lunch break, over the weekend – to drive not only what you say, but when you say it to them.

2. Use pictures of real people

Pictures of real people perform better for Ad content just as they do in your organic content. Facebook Ads has a stock image library included for free if you don’t have your own pictures ready to go.

Whichever route you take to source your images remember people are drawn to people and, especially on mobile, Ads featuring faces will perform better.

Have some pictures but need to make them look a little, well, more ad-ready? You can use Adobe Lightroom or other similar products to do some simple editing and add pre-sets (ready made filters) to take the gloom out of images and sharpen up the focus.

3. Video isn’t just for organic content

Just as video is the best performing content organically so too is it powerful in paid. People remember video better, video ads are shared 1200% more than text and link content combined, and people spend an increasing amount of their time online watching videos.

Get your video right and you can tell a compelling story, emotionally resonate with your audience and show the difference your service can make in their lives. Not sure about making video content? We recommend the one-day course from Dan Slee and Ste Davies – more info here.

4. Start a conversation

Unlike billboards, or mass media ads in traditional channels online ads don’t have to be a one-way push at people, but can be the start of a conversation.

A great way to do this is by adding a poll, or video poll, to your Facebook Ads, as this encourages people to interact as well as giving you insight into what they think. Advertising your country park? Run a poll on favourite seasons to get outside. Or looking to get people to take up a panic pendant service for a vulnerable family member – run a poll on what the most important thing is to them.

5. Speak the language of your audience

Just like getting your tone of voice right for your audience and your organisation across the rest of your channels, using the right language and tone in your ads is important.

You don’t want to come across as some 1950’s car salesman pushing the benefits of the new Plymouth hatchback, or one of those endlessly looping informercials on TV. In the same way you want to use images or video which resonate, make sure your voice and tone do to and that you’re talking about benefits to your audience, not a list of features or things which only matter internally at your organisation.

6. Don’t try to create one ad to rule them all

Boosting a post you’ve already made to your Facebook Page might get your some better reach, or engagement stats, but if you want to see results on traffic to your site, sign ups, or other actions you’re going to need a range of ads to cover different targeting, different points on the customer journey, and to nudge people along to making the commitment with you. Remember people respond best to things which very closely match what they have in mind – if you’re advertising jobs you may want a range of ads of specific roles targeted at people most likely to put in quality applications rather than one broad ad for everything at your organisation with little targeting attached.

Both Facebook and Google allow you to create multiple ads on the same targeting and objective (called Ad Sets in the former, and Ad Groups in the latter). By creating multiple ads for the same audience you can optimise what creative. copy and CTA works best for them and hone what you do during your campaign (see below for more on optimising your ads).

7. Always be learning

This is true of everything you do online – not just ads and paid content – but here I’m talking about two things. Using the A/B testing available in places like Facebook Ads to optimise and learn what works in the ad itself, and looking up and around and learning from others – Facebook Ad Library is a great place to start for this.

Let’s start with A/B testing. This lets you change different parts of your ad – copy, creative, call to action – and split your audience so half see version A, the rest see version B of your ad. You can then see which performs better and optimise your ad over time to make the most of your budget. Facebook and Google Ads both have this functionality built in, and Facebook can even create dynamic ads where it automatically pulls together a high-performing ad from a pool of information you provide (although this is really intended for showing relevant products to people who’ve already visited your website or app).

And what about what others are doing? Well, unlike organic content it’s a little harder to poke around on your own to find examples to be inspired by given not all ads will be shown to all people. Facebook has created their Ad Library though and you can dip into here and search through different categories to see the sorts of ads others are placing.

Build these seven tips into what you’re doing with your paid content and ads and you’ll see a better return on your budget.

Need a little more help to get started or gain confidence? I have just the workshop for you…

Book now for Paid Content Essentials

I’m running a Paid Content Essentials one-day workshop diving deeper into online advertising including Facebook Ads, Google Ads, landing pages and more – even if your campaign (and training) budget is small!  Find out more and next dates here.

  • Paid Content Essentials – Birmingham – 28 April 2020 – book now (early bird rate if you book before the end of March – get an extra 25% off with code VIP)
  • Paid Content Essentials – Manchester – 14 May 2020 – book now (early bird rate if you book before the end of March – get an extra 25% off with code VIP)
  • New dates booking soon for this workshop: Glasgow and London – follow on social media or drop me an email if you’re interested in these or in-house dates.

If you need a hand with anything else or would like to talk about me running the workshop in-house for you do get in touch. I’m happy to take a look at what you’re currently doing, share my experience to help you build something new, or come in and share some of my knowledge and skills with you and your team.