Here’s a question I hear constantly when it comes to Facebook ad copy: short or long copy? Which converts better?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a black and white answer to this burning question! Sadly, like most burning questions, my answer will probably disappoint you. What’s the answer? It depends…
As with every type of sales copy, there is no optimum length. There’s only copy that works (or doesn’t). Length is irrelevant if your Facebook ad copy is compelling enough to hold your prospects’ attention. That said, there are a couple of things you can take into account to help you decide how many words you should aim to write in your ads.
1) Where is your prospect in the buying journey?
At the agency, we create different Facebook ad copy for prospects at different stages of awareness. Each awareness stage is given a level from 1 – 5. Level 1 is a cold audience that’s completely unaware of who you are and what you sell. Level 5 is a customer who has already bought from you and is likely to make a repeat purchase.
The length of copy you need to convert a cold prospect will be much greater than the amount of copy required to trigger a replenishment order from a happy customer. That’s because your Level 1 copy needs to build trust and provide enough information to persuade a skeptical prospect you understand them and can solve their problems.
At level 5, it could be enough to say, “Ready restock xyz product? Click here to place your order.”
2) How skeptical is your audience?
If you’re lucky enough to be first to market with a brand new concept, short Facebook ad copy can be enough to generate a conversion. This is especially true if the product is easy to understand (but more on that later).
That’s because audiences are naturally intrigued by novel products and ideas. If your product is new, compelling and meets a real need you won’t need to say much to get people excited.
Sadly, most products aren’t lucky enough to be completely unique. It means your copy must work harder to overcome objections from a skeptical audience.
If that’s the case, you’ll likely need longer Facebook ad copy to explain why your offer is superior and unlike every other product in your niche.
3) How easily can prospects understand your offer?
Some products are very easy to understand. Like say…a pair of slippers. 99% of people on the planet understand what to do with a pair of slippers, especially if the slippers have been made to a standard design by a traditional slipper manufacturer.
It means you don’t need to go to great lengths to explain the mechanism by which your slippers solve your prospects’ problems. Your Facebook ad copy can simply focus on the features that will appeal most to your ideal buyers in order to convert them.
On the other hand, some products require much more explanation to generate a conversion. This is often the case in the supplement niche. Because they’re formulated in a lab, many aspects of the product can be highly technical and difficult to understand. Remember that a confused mind will not buy. Which is why you may need to write longer Facebook ad copy to win the click-through.
4) Blind copy vs Open copy
Having just mentioned that complex products usually require longer Facebook ad copy, I’m going to throw in a curveball. There are instances when you can write short copy even for complicated products like supplements, software and infoproducts.
Why? Well, the goal of your Facebook ad might not always be to generate an immediate sale. Facebook ads are designed to drive traffic to your website or landing page. That means you can allow your landing page copy to do the bulk of the selling for you. Not your ad.
If that’s the case, the purpose of your Facebook ad is to ‘sell the click’ and not sell the product. It means your ad doesn’t need to make a sales argument. It just needs to grab attention and generate enough curiosity to make prospects click the ‘Learn More’ button.
Your Facebook ad is therefore ‘blind’. So your prospect doesn’t know for sure what they’ll find when they hit your landing page. This works well if you’re taking prospects to a pre-sell page OR if the copy on your sales page is absolutely killer.
5) Can you lean on demo videos or visuals?
Some products are best sold using visuals like static images, gifs or product videos. Products in the fashion and beauty niche can often sell well with just a tiny amount of copy.
That’s because Facebook ads containing beautiful images are often enough to persuade your prospects to buy. Demo videos can also work well in visual niches. If you’re dealing with a highly visual product, you’re unlikely to need a lengthy sales argument to win a conversion.
6) What’s the price of your offer?
If you sell low-cost impulse buy products, you probably don’t need to waste time making a long-winded sales presentation. Prospects are unlikely to have any kind of price objection, or need a ton of time to think through their purchase. They either want it in that moment…or they don’t.
All you need is short Facebook ad copy that tells your prospects what the product is and how to buy.
7) Who is your audience?
Every product and every business is unique. It’s why there’s no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to the length of your Facebook ad copy. Some audiences respond well to story-based ads. Some audiences want to know the Why behind their favourite brands. And some audiences just want the damn thing you’re selling and to get on with their day.
Variables like age, employment status, education level and interests can have a huge impact on the type of Facebook ad copy your prospects are more likely to read.
Ultimately, it all comes down to testing. There’s only way to know for sure if short or long Facebook ad copy will give you the best conversion rate. That’s to run some ads with different amounts of copy and to see what gets the best results.
The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can test many variables before throwing a ton of money into the ads machine. Short, medium or long copy is just one of the variables you can test. The reality is, there’s no straight answer as to whether short or long copy works best for conversions. While there are certainly factors to consider when writing long or short Facebook ad copy, testing is the only way to know what will work for your audience and your offers.
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