How to Write Effective Ad Copy: The Proven Techniques for Copywriters

The dos and don’ts for creating Facebook and Instagram ads.

Do you want to showcase more tangible results in your copywriting portfolio? With ad copy, you can easily track the direct numbers and conversion rates of your work.

Ad copy is one of my favorite forms of copy. It’s short, punchy, and involves experimentation. If an ad isn’t connecting with your audience, you get to learn from it and try a different approach. As copywriters, we should always be striving to improve our work!

So, if you’re ready to try writing ad copy, start here. 

After writing and managing over $1.5 million dollars in personal Facebook ad spend (not to mention over $3 million of client ad spend), I’ve put together this simple list of how to create effective ad copy.

The Components of Facebook and Instagram Ads

Have you ever wondered how Facebook sends you ads that relate to your specific interests?

Let’s say you’re passionate about your health and wellness. You often search the web for healthy recipes and exercise routines. So most of the ads you receive are for products and brands that improve your health. It feels like the ads are practically reading your mind.

Okay, so Facebook doesn’t have mind-reading capabilities, but their ad targeting is very extensive and specific. With Facebook ads you can target your audience by location, gender, interest, and more.2

Targeting lets you speak to your audience’s specific experiences and emotions – which makes ad copy more successful. You can also create different ad variations for different audience groups.

From here on out, I’m going to walk you through exactly how to create successful Facebook ads. Plus, Facebook owns Instagram, so know that the process is similar for both platforms.

Each Facebook ad variation includes three components:

  • Audience. The target audience the ad gets sent to. You can target by characteristics like age, gender, interests, and behavior.
  • Visual. The image or video that accompanies the ad copy. You’ll want to make sure the visual looks like it belongs with the ad. For example, if you’re promoting a plant store, then picture the exact plant that’s mentioned in the copy.
  • Copy. The text that’s included in the ad to sell the product or service. This is where your powerful, emotional, direct response copy comes in.

Of course, your ad also needs a Call to Action (CTA). Such as buy the product, sign up for an email list, or take the next step in the marketing funnel.

A Facebook ad is a one-time opportunity to get your audience to take action, so I recommend capturing their email to continue the conversation in their inbox. This creates more opportunities to communicate your benefits and incentivize them to buy.

One exception to the email signup CTA is if you’re selling an e-commerce product like clothing. In that case, you’ll likely want to compel them to click through to the online store to buy. 

Let’s talk about how to incentivize both click-throughs and email signups.

6 Dos and Don’ts for Creating Ad Copy

A Facebook ad has one shot to get the audience to take action. Here’s how to make your ad compelling enough to hook their attention and get them to take the next step.

3 tips for making your ad copy effective:

  1. Give Your Audience Something Valuable. An irresistible offer or freebie incentivizes your audience to take action because there’s value in it for them. These are two compelling offerings:
    • Opt-In/Freebie. Create a value-packed piece of content or offering that the audience can receive in exchange for their email. This could be a PDF, access to a webinar, or a free strategy session.
    • Gift or Discount. If your goal is to make a direct sale on an e-commerce product, offer a discount like free shipping to get the audience to click through to your site.
  1. Create Ad Variations. Create variations of your ad using the 3 components we went over earlier – audience, visual, and copy. I recommend creating a minimum of 5 different versions of the ad. Examine the ad that performs best and use similar tactics to improve the others.

    Facebook lets you create different variations for different audiences. For example, you can tailor your visual and copy to different genders to promote the same product.
  2. Focus on Benefits, Not Features. Features are the technical aspects of the product or service. Benefits are why that feature matters to the audience’s life. Like most sales copy, your ad copy should highlight the benefits of the product or service.

For example, maybe a program feature is access to a members-only Facebook group. The larger benefit is that the community offers valuable support and information, so the member doesn’t feel alone in the process. Tying the benefit to emotion makes it more compelling.

3 mistakes to avoid when creating ad copy:

  1. Boosting Your Post. Boosting your Facebook post isn’t the most effective way to reach your audience. Boosted posts aren’t targeted and thoughtfully created to reach just the right person.

Boosted posts may generate likes and comments, but if your end goal is conversion, using an ads manager with targeting and tracking capabilities is much more effective.1

  1. Talking to Everyone. Call out your specific audience right away in your copy. You want to hook the attention of the specific people you’re speaking to. Doing this won’t turn other people away. 

People outside your target audience will keep reading your post if they’re interested. But speaking to your audience makes the copy more effective for that specific group.

  1. Skipping over Facebook Ads Policy. Facebook has a specific set of rules for creating ads. Be sure to review all the Facebook ad policies to reduce the possibility of your content getting flagged or blocked. This policy prohibits you from…
    • Using certain phrases, such as “work from home”
    • Making financial claims
    • Using “you” too often

As you know, “you” is a powerful word that we use to resonate with our readers as copywriters. But you have to tone it back a bit in your ad copy.

These tips help you reach and resonate with your audience, but don’t be afraid to test things out! You can get creative with your copy, knowing that you can adjust the variation if it doesn’t perform well. If you love experimenting and optimizing, ad copy will be a fun learning experience for you.

As a copywriter, you’re only responsible for creating the ads themselves. But if you’re interested in expanding your offerings to include ads management, I recommend taking Ads Magic. This course will teach you everything you need to know!

Learn How to Write Effective Ad Copy

Now you know the basics of creating Facebook and Instagram ads. For a deeper understanding of the copywriting tactics that lead to results, learn more in my course, Write Your Way to Freedom.

This course teaches you effective copy, emotional techniques, and how to write direct-response copy. These tactics are vital to writing ad copy that connects and converts

Plus, you get access to a supportive community of other copywriters who are on the exact same path as you. Our encouraging Facebook group helps you build confidence and knowledge as a writer. *hint, hint… see how I positioned the benefit over the feature here?*

To take the first step, sign up for my free Masterclass: How to Build a Lucrative Freelance Copywriting Career.

Master ad copy and add more results to your portfolio!

Prefer to Watch?

Watch my Youtube video on writing ad copy. And make sure you subscribe for more copywriting how-to’s released weekly.


  1. Intigress
  2. Wordstream

About Sarah

I’m an entrepreneur on a mission to help other people become entrepreneurs.
My blog is a place where I provide business building advice and explore how we can create more meaningful work.

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