Swipe ideas from some of the best Facebook ads
Whilst these types of graphic (using illustrations of people rather than photos) are commonplace, they seem to be pretty effective.
The copy is short but effective, and cleverly opens with the word 'people'. After all, marketing and advertising IS all about people.
The ad also uses the classic 'how to' copy that is designed to get you thinking about answers, rather than treating it as an advertisement.
Advertiser: Alli AI
Find 150-200 niche backlinks in the next 90 minutes is the opening line to this ad, and it sums it up nicely what you're going to be getting for your money.
If you're in the digital marketing industry, as I am, then you'll know how valuable this is by default - there's not much more explaining that is needed. But the next sentence is clever, because it then asks a question.
This breaks the normal convention of opening with a question and then giving the reader the benefits.
Using screenshots of the product in action is also a tried-and-tested technique to give the reader an idea of what to expect.
However, from a digital marketing perspective I'm going to advise you not to use services like these, because they're against the terms of Google, and may land your website with a penalty that'll feel like you've gone to prison.
Advertiser: Awards Intelligence
Back in the earlier years of the internet, freebies were what it was all about. And with this ad by Awards Intelligence, they understand that this is as relevant today as it was 20 years ago.
I don't think anyone will be under no illusions as to what's going on here... it's a classic magnet so that they can capture your details as a lead. As much as we know that, it's still a great tactic for getting people engaged with a brand.
Great use of visuals, although I would be tempted to include a photograph of a real person holding an award or a medal.
Notice the call-to-action button too ('Download Now'). Although it's not really a button (the whole ad is the button), it acts as a motivational trigger to get people to act now.
Advertiser: Click Intelligence
This copy opens with a question, which is always an effective way of getting people thinking right out of the blocks.
Below that, there's another hypothetical question with just one answer: 'yes!'. This is a classic sales technique. Getting someone to say yes is a compliance technique that helps people to justify their actions.
Note the green icons too - which accomplish the same thing.
There's a little bit of tidying up of the grammar needed in the graphic, but overall this is a strong ad with some excellent copy.
Advertiser: Currys PC World
Currys use of the pun don't lose your cool to advertise a fridge may only be mildly amusing (and perhaps a little predictable), but it's the video which really captures your attention in this ad.
I'm afraid that I couldn't show you the video itself, but it shows a close-up of the main features of the fridge. I'd have liked to have seen the use of real people involved in the video, though.
Dyson clearly understand that the judicious use of displaying products actually being used works well with consumers. It helps them to visualise what those products can be used for. Its the closest thing to actually having the product in your hands (a tactic that sales people have relied on for decades).
Let's be honest, their products are visually striking too, with strong bold (but simple) colours that grab your attention by the eyeballs.
The inclusion of the price is wise. People naturally think that a Dyson is going to cost a lot more money, so it breaks the myth.
A money-back guarantee is there to take away the risk and concern (it's still a big purchase) and to build trust and reassurance.
And because we consumers are an impatient lot, the next day delivery copy satisfies that nicely.
Chances are that as a business owner you'll be using one of the services advertised by their logos in this ad for your marketing actuvities, whether it's Mailchimp, WordPress, Amazon, Facebook etc.
These instantly-recognisable icons have been used in order to create familiarity right out of the blocks, which automatically reduce friction. When you already use something, it's far easier to sell a related product if some familiarity already exists.
The advert's premise is simple and straight-to-the-point, giving users the opportunity to download a comprehensive guide to the most popular marketing channels.
Note the use of the word Super in the title. This simple but highly effective word has the ability to turn bland into bling.
If I'd have created this ad, I would have made the words SUPER BUNDLE stand out more using a contrasting colour such as red or yellow to give it more emphasis.
Advertiser: Facebook for Business
Given that Facebook are experts at psychological marketing techniques, I'm a little underwhelmed by their ad, which is advertising Facebook ads themselves.
Sure, it covers the basics (it's simple, and gets the message across), but I feel that it can be much better by:
1. Explaining the benefits (eg grow your brand)
2. Using stronger, and higher-contrast colours
3. Being clearer about ad placements
4. Adding a strong call-to-action
5. Including an offer/incentive, such as £15 free credit
Advertiser: Filippo Loretti
This Facebook ad From Filippo Loreti has class written all over it. The striking use of blue makes the watch appear desirable from the outset.
Notice how the ad opens with Thinking of buying...? That's a technique used extensively to get you to start thinking of your own situation. It's common because it works well. It frames the reader and gets them ready for the message or call-to-action.
The next sentence is particularly clever. It is designed to punctuate your thought processes.
At first glance it looks as if they've got something bad to say about the Filippo Loreti watch. But in effect, it's getting you to read an independent review on a well-respected publication, Business Insider.
That third-party review on BI does the job of removing all the objections you may have formed, prior to visiting the retailer and buying a product.
Whoah! This ad has it all.
It may resemble something you see on shopping TV ads, but let's be honest, the strategy works.
Let's have a closer look. It's got:
1. Social proof (30 people got this offer)
2. Urgency/FOMO (Expires June 30)
3. Authority (Award-winning wine)
4. Incentives (Promo code and Save $60)
5. Interaction (Take the quiz)
6. Power words (Love, Save, Free)
7. Visuals that show the product, the unwrapping experience, and a real person
It's clear that there's been a lot of thought gone into this ad, and the great thing is that the style and method can be plagiarised (in the ethical sense) for your own ad quickly and simply.
Advertiser: Game of Thrones
Erm, because it's Game of Thrones, and because it's a hot topic.
Notice how the copy opens with a question? That's designed to get you thinking and imagining right from the outset, which is a good tactic to use.
I also like the embedded poll option too. Any type of interaction on an ad is going to see a larger amount of clicks.
VIsuals are great, too.
Gillette may have faced a consumer backlash earlier on this year over their involvement in the #MeToo campaign, but this ad shows that they're moving on and making all the right noise.
Notice the similarities to other razor ads - they knew they had to innovate to stay abreast of their competition (especially by providing a subscription option), and they've nailed it here - at least with their visuals.
I can't help but think they could have gone much further with their copy, though. Sure, it's short, sweet and succinct, and they've let the visuals done the talking, but I would consider offering some type of incentive too, such as a one-month trial, or 'sign up and get two months for the price of one'.
Good effort though, Gillette.
Not so long ago we marketers would laugh at Google's attempts in advertising. They were often clumsy and badly-worded. It looks like they've finally hired a better team to take care of their ad campaigns.
Google have used a simple approach with this advert, keeping it easy-to-understand, and highlighting the benefits of getting some free training under your belt.
They've made sure they include the word 'official' in their copy, which is good. There are far too many so-called experts peddling their digital marketing courses (am I one of those?), so this tactic gives a lot of credibility to the ad.
Advertiser: Horse & Rider
Yes, I know this isn't a real ad, because it hasn't got 'Sponsored' underneath the title.
But it really could be. This would make a good engagement ad for brand awareness (and lead generation), because it's highly interactive.
This popped up on my timeline and it already had more than 100 comments in the first ten minutes. That's good social media!
Oh, and it's a bit fun too.
I tried using predictive text just for a laugh, and it came up with...
My horse is a great example of effective copywriting and marketing persuasion. Just goes to show how obsessed I am with digital marketing, eh?
Pictures of food ALWAYS grabs eyeballs. That much is guaranteed. Chuck in some pills and you've got a winning combination. Probably.
Notice the way that iHerb have not gone for a typical 20% off or 50% off. They've used a non-conforming 22% off instead, which breaks the pattern, which all good advertising should do.
Sometimes, the most effective ads are the ones that just come out and say what it is you're offering your customers.
And this ad from Join Papa does just that.
There's no messing around. No deals, incentives or lead magnets. Just a list of things that you can use Papa for (groceries, airport trips etc.). That's all is needed to put ideas into your head.
Book your safe, affordable ride today is a good call-to-action, not just because it's strong, but also because they've included the word 'safe' in the sentence. They obviously know that safety is a motivating factor for those wanting to book a taxi.
Advertiser: Kendal Calling
Thanks to the widely publicised environmental movements that are all the rage at the moment (and so they should, too), Kendal Calling has jumped on the newsjacking bandwagon.
It's a newsworthy cause, of course, and it's not in the slightest bit controversial, unlike others that ride the tailcoats of hot topics in the media.
These types of collaboration are what make marketing such an interesting area to work in.
Having studied more than a hundred ads in this guide at this point, one thing is becoming clear: the big companies tend to go for very short, simple but powerful sentences in their copy.
Smaller businesses tend to use two or more paragraphs, making their copy much longer, and using several different techniques.
I believe there's a reason for this. The large brands have already established several things: trust, brand recall and social proof, so there's no need for them to use these techniques.
That allows them to create short, punchy statements, as LinkedIn have done with this excellent Facebook ad.
Once again, this ad starts with an opening question which immediately puts the emphasis on the reader and their situation.
I like the opening sentence, because it combines a question with a statement of fact, which works doubly well.
It then uses a classic FOMO (fear of missing out) tactic by asking are you?.
I'd have done more with the graphic, and included real screenshots of a calculator or quiz in a real web page, but overall this is an effective ad.
Advertiser: Pier 1
Have you noticed a pattern with many ads (ok, this wasn't a 'proper' ad) where they begin by asking a question?
Posting a question (in this case, a rhetorical one) to your readers is a great way of beginning your copy, there's no doubt.
Questions generate thought processes within our minds that force us to use our imagination.
There's one caveat with using questions. You need to ask a question that doesn't invite a reply of who cares!.
If you're going to use a question as an opening sentence, then make sure it's relevant to your reader, and always ensure that it's followed by a strong value proposition.
Advertiser: Shopify Plus
Over the last year or so, I've seen some excellent marketing campaigns coming out of the Shopify HQ, and this one is no exception.
Firstly, I love the simple colour scheme (there isn't really one!), because it's striking and is begging for your eyeball's attention.
Secondly the language used is clever, because it makes a series of statements that makes you ask What? What? What?. Naturally, you want to keep reading until you find out what the hell they're going on about.
It's a difficult tactic to get just right. And for Shopify Plus, they've nailed it.