If you’ve ever had to crank out a series of Facebook ad variations in super quick time, you’ll know how frustrating it can be when writer’s block hits. You’ll also know how infuriatingly easy it is to run out of inspiration for ad copy…especially if your clients need multiple pieces of test copy to sell the same product.
I regularly write ad copy for clients with 6-7 figure annual ad budgets. And let me tell you, these clients need a HUGE volume of ad copy. It means I have to dig deep into my idea bank to pull out hooks and angles which will appeal to different…
- Awareness levels
- Personality types
Now I don’t know about you – but for me – the most torturous part of writing ad copy is getting started. But once I have the hook nailed, I’m on a roll…and the rest of the ad copy pours out like liquid butter.
Which is why I’m a huge fan of developing systems and frameworks to make hook generation faster, easier and more fun.
So today I’m going to share 5 of my favourite Ad Hook types – which you can borrow to help kickstart your process for writing ads.
(In total, I’ve identified around 20 different types of ad hook. But you’ll have to wait on the rest while I work on a more comprehensive breakdown of all the different hook types – plus dozens of examples you can swipe for inspiration. So, keep a look-out. It’s in the pipeline as we speak!)
- Problem/Solution – The problem/solution ad hook is without a doubt the most common formula for writing any kind of promo. You start by poking a finger in your prospect’s wound. Then you agitate their pain a little. And finally you present a solution to that problem.
If you’re relatively new to ad writing, the problem/solution ad hook is a foolproof starting point for any ad. The key to a winning piece of problem/solution ad copy?
It’s being ultra-specific about your ideal prospect’s problem…instead of doing what most advertisers do – which is addressing a 20,000 ft problem. Your ad copy should express how a problem is manifesting itself in the day to day life of your ideal client avatar.
Here’s a top tip for you. If you’re struggling to get specific enough with your pain point, that’s usually a sign that you haven’t done enough ideal client avatar research.
The ad below was one of a number of copy variations for a creative journaling bootcamp. My research showed that buyers were at various different stages of awareness. So this ad copy aimed to address a very specific problem, for those further along the awareness scale.
2. Education – Education hooks work really well on Facebook because they look and feel like native content. This is beneficial for 2 reasons.
Firstly, native content allows your ad to blend in with user-generated content. This helps you bypass people’s “ad blinkers” – so you’re more likely to get them to pay attention to you. Secondly, Facebook may reward your ad with a higher quality ranking – which can help lower your ad cost.
For an education hook to work, you need to share a piece of interesting, uncommon information. That piece of information should create curiosity and open up a loop, which can only be closed by reading the rest of your ad copy.
If you write ad copy with an Education Hook, it’s important to do two things in your opening lines of copy:
- Present your interesting and unique piece of information in a way that calls out your ideal prospects. Your goal is to make it clear WHO the information is for, so that the right people pay attention to your ad.
- Don’t be boring. The risk with Educational Copy is that you might get too long-winded and lose pace. Remember that Facebook audiences are fickle. If you bore them, they’ll scroll away…without giving you the benefit of the doubt. Keep your copy punchy…keep to the point…and keep to your goal of converting your audience to a lead or buyer.
I was asked to write the ad below around the time when the US government was due to release a stimulus cheque. The client was keen to steer potential buyers to invest this windfall in their online program.
My fear was that I’d get a ton of negative comments for trying to coerce people to use government money to pay for a biz op course.
So I opted for a softer, educational approach – and the results were crazier than I could have expected. This ad generated hundreds of positive comments and shares in the space of a couple of weeks. Phew!
- Story – Stories are another algo-friendly ad style, which sit naturally in the newsfeed – and go down really well with cold audiences. Why do stories work so well?
Well, people will always love to read stories – because we’re wired to absorb information in story form. Plus, stories are a great way to ‘Trojan Horse’ your sales message…without sounding overly promotional. And because Facebook is a social platform, it pays to blend in!
One mistake I see a lot with story-style ads is that advertisers add too much fluff. Remember, your Facebook ad is not an email to a warm audience (who might cut you some slack if you ramble a little).
It’s being pushed on a cold audience – who will ruthlessly cut you off, if you go off on unnecessary tangents.
The story below came from a genuine testimonial. It was deeply emotive – and allowed me to tell a story about a sensitive subject…without causing offense or upset.
- Recent news or timely events – Call me an opportunist, but sometimes it pays to jump on a news story bandwagon. Here’s why Recent News makes a great hook for Facebook Ads…
People love novelty. And sometimes it can be hard to think of anything new to say in a saturated market. So, if there’s a breaking news story in your niche – why not seize the opportunity to share something novel and exciting?
That’s not all! We’re always told to enter the conversation that’s already happening in our prospects’ head. So why not piggyback on a high-profile news story that everyone’s already talking about?
The copy below is terrible, but this received a TON of comments and shares from people who were affected by a series of autumn storms in Northern England. This business moved fast and struck while the iron was hot. Kudos to them!
- Surprising mechanism – if you’re writing ads for a product in a saturated market, it can be tough to stand out. I mean, customers have probably heard All The Claims before. That’s when you need to find a unique and surprising mechanism – to explain why your products are better than your competitors’.
A surprising mechanism can be a physical feature like a brand new, never-before-seen widget that improves product performance. Or it can be a unique methodology or system that will help your prospect achieve their desired transformation.
But before you dive into a unique mechanism hook – here’s a word of caution. Try to avoid opening your ad by talking about product features. Because if you do, you’ll sound too obviously like an ad (and that’s what we want to avoid).
The ad below is for a foraging book. The book itself is not groundbreaking. But the author’s personal story was super interesting to this audience. That’s because she discovered a mushroom, which helped her escape her wheelchair. So the mushroom became the surprising mechanism I used to pull people into the ad.
As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to present an offer on Facebook – besides the typical ‘buy…buy…buy’ ads that clutter up the newsfeed. So next time you write a piece of ad copy why not try one of these ad styles:
- Timely events or breaking news
- Surprising mechanism
You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to get started, when you have a prompt to get you started!
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