How to Research Your Facebook Ads Like a Pro – And Crank Out High-Converting Ads that Practically Write Themselves (Part 1)

Anna Iveson Blog Banner (1)

Let’s face it, most copywriters do not enjoy doing market research for their Facebook Ad copy. What with all the testimonials to pore over…and all the case studies and scientific journals to review.

You can feel your brain melting, before you’re even half way through the process. It’s no surprise then, that very few copywriters do enough research before they start writing.

And it’s not just newbie copywriters who hate research. Many A-List copywriters pay someone else to do their research for them so they can stick to the fun part – i.e. writing the copy!

Me? I kinda like doing research.

There’s something almost meditative about dissecting testimonials and surveys. PLUS I’m nosey! I find it strangely satisfying to uncover my prospects’ deep, dark secrets.

It’s all part of the magic of writing ad copy, and I bloody love it! 

So with the help of my Copy Chief, I’ve nailed down a super effective research process that lets me…


  • Identify the core avatars in my market – so I know who to speak to…to generate the highest possible revenue from my ad campaigns


  • Uncover a clear USP – so I can communicate a product’s No.1 appeal in a way that resonates with my prospects…and makes them desperate to hand over their cash


  • Craft an irresistible sales argument – by addressing the right problem, at the right time…so I can tap into my market’s core desires and win more sales


It’s not a difficult process. But for my copywriting brain, this process is a really tough sell. 

Why? Because if you’re looking for an instant hack that gives you killer ad copy in 30 minutes or less, you’ve come to the wrong place.

However if you’re looking for a proven research method that helps you unearth the perfect message for your perfect prospects – you won’t be disappointed. 

Today I’m going to focus on what you should know about your buyers. And in the coming weeks I’ll go deep into uncovering your USP…plus HOW and WHERE to find your research data. 

Crucial Customer Insights You Must Uncover

To Make Money from Cold Traffic

Every ad must contain ONE clear argument that will persuade your prospects to part with their cash. The argument you choose will depend on two important factors.

  1. Your prospect’s core fears and desires 
  2. Your product’s unique features 

You’ll find the right message for your ad at the intersection between your prospects’ desires and your product’s USP.

Let me explain…

Your product has certain features that can solve your prospects’ biggest problem. It’s up to you to identify what those features are, and to explain why they make your product the ONLY logical solution to their problem. 

The only way to find that intersection is by carrying out a crap-ton of research into your prospects and your product.

Who Are Your Prospects and What Do

You Need to Know About Them?

To write a great ad there are some fundamental pieces of information you must uncover about your prospects. These pieces of information will help you visualise your ideal prospect – and speak to them in a way they can connect with.

So what do you need to know about your buyers before you write your Facebook Ads?


  • Their No.1 Problem – No matter how frivolous your product, your prospects will only buy if it solves a pain point or problem. If you sell novelty items, the problem you solve might be boredom. If you sell chocolate bars, the problem you solve is EVERYTHING.

When I look at my buyers’ problems I try to break them down into sub-groups so I get a clear picture of what motivates prospects to buy (internally and externally).


  • The tangible problem – how is their problem showing up in their day to day life. It might be a physical thing that’s broken or missing. Or it might be a piece of missing information that’s stopping them from achieving a desired outcome. The tangible problem is your prospect’s EXTERNAL experience of their problem in the real world.

  • The context of the problem – when we think about our prospects’ problems, it’s possible that the same tangible problem could show up in different ways, in different settings. Let me explain…

I work with a client who sells Live Oysters online. The big pain point for all their buyers is not being able to find high quality live oysters nearby. However, there are different ways their prospects experiences that problem. 

For some, it’s that they’re freaking out about hosting a disastrous dinner party. For others, it’s that they’re worried they’re not feeding their children a range of nutritious, home-cooked meals. 

The same problem, has very different implications depending on the context. This point is vital but often forgotten!


  • The emotional problem – how does their problem make them feel? And what negative emotions are brought to the surface when they think about their problem. Think of the emotional discomfort they’re trying to escape.

  • The status problem – when your prospect looks at their current social status – where are they? Chances are, they’re not where they want to be. Your research will tell you the status they feel trapped in because of their problem.
  • Their No.1 Desire – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…but your ads cannot create desire in a market. All you can do is tap into a desire that already exists – and harness it to generate more sales. 

It’s why it’s super important for you to know explicitly what your prospects want from your product.

  • The thing – this might seem obvious, but does your prospect already have A THING in mind that they’d like to buy. This will tell you a lot about their level of awareness when you write your ad. Knowing this information might also tell you what features are appealing to your prospect.


  • The tangible outcome – every buyer has a desired outcome in mind before they buy any product. During your research process, you need to uncover what tangible results your prospects want to achieve when they buy from you. A tangible outcome is something that shows up in the real world. It’s external to your prospect. 
  • The emotional outcome – how does your prospect want to feel after your product has miraculously solved their problem? 

Sometimes, prospects might not explicitly tell you their emotional desire in words. Hell, they might not even know it themselves! But if you pay close attention you can pull out clues hidden beneath their words. Knowing your prospects’ emotional desires will elevate your copy and help you make more sales.


  • The status outcome – when your prospect looks to their future, where do they see their place in the world? Will they perceive an increase in their status? How will that look to them? 


  • Their Core Objections – as soon as anyone tries to sell us a product or service, we’ll always think of 1,000 reasons to say no. 

In last week’s blog, I spoke in great detail about why objections matter…which is why I won’t go too deep into tackling objections here. If you want to know more about objections, you can find out more by clicking HERE

For now let me briefly summarise what you should know about your prospects’ objections:

  • Physical Objections – For some people, certain product features might be off-putting. Perhaps they don’t like your packaging. Or the medium you’re using to deliver an online course. These are all valid objections that might require some creative thinking around your ad (or your product itself).
  • Tangible Objections – Often, a person’s circumstances or lack of means might hold them back from buying. Examples of this could be not enough money, insufficient knowledge, wrong geographical location or a lack of time. 
  • Emotional Objections – In general objections are driven by fear or some kind of limiting belief. These fears are often triggered by negative past experiences. Through your research you need to uncover the false beliefs that create buying objections…so you can shift your buyers’ mindset and prepare them to buy.


  • Their Buying Criteria – Buying criteria is just a fancy way of saying which of your product’s features are most appealing to your prospects. Entrepreneurs often get caught out by not thinking about features from their buyers’ perspective. So they keep droning on about features and benefits no one actually cares about. This will ultimately lose you sales, because you’re drawing attention to the wrong thing. 

Different audiences will be drawn to different aspects of your product. These are important to understand as they’ll form the basis of your USP, which I’ll explore with you in the coming weeks.

I’ve rarely met a business owner or copywriter who enjoys doing market research. And worse still, most people have zero patience for really understanding their ideal client avatar.

Trouble is, your avatar lies at the heart of your Facebook ad copy. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, or how to talk to them – you might as well say nothing at all.

So here’s a reminder of what you need to understand about your prospects before you write a single word of ad copy:

  • What are your prospects’ biggest tangible, emotional and social pain points – AND what’s the context in which they experience their pain point?
  • What outcome do your prospects want to achieve – this could be internal, external or social.
  • What are the core objections in your market? These can be physical, tangible, or emotional.
  • What are the buying criteria in your market. In other words – what features are most appealing to your buyers?

Understand these key insights, and you’ll have the power to out-advertise the competition so you can make more money and scale your business. 

Want the secret to cranking out profitable Facebook Ad Copy in minutes

…even if you’ve never written a Facebook ad before?

Close Menu