Does your ad headline have a hook or is it ho-hum?
So many ad managers end up also being copywriters, while a lot of us aren't trained to be copywriters, we just seem to slip into it. Therefore, knowing how to create some great copy, some headlines, particularly those that have great hooks, is essential to the performance of our ad campaigns.
Now, even if you are not writing them, and a copywriter or your client provides copy to you, you can have a great eye to see if you think it's going to convert or not. And as we always do, we test it with our ads and we get the data in. This will also help signal that if the click-through rates are a bit low, you might try a different headline.
So here are some examples because headlines are the second thing that people are going to see when they see your ad. The first thing we spoke about in our previous episode is the creative/image that as they're scrolling through, stops them in their newsfeed. Then they're going to look at the headline. Let's look at those hooks that we can use to create some awesome headlines.
The first thing we can do is use numbers, pretty simple, right? When we're using numbers, it gives our ideal audience a clear, defined goal that it's not going to be some big airy wishy-washy information and now they know that there is going to be like three keys to XYZ or three key ingredients to make an excellent pizza. So using numbers is a very effective way to create a hook in your ads.
Number two, we want to create a sense of urgency. We want people to take action now. This could be just as simple as sale ending soon or doors closing soon. Create that sense of urgency that your audience goes, okay, I'm ready to go and check it out.
Number three is to be clear about your offer. Oftentimes we can get caught up in all the words and everything that's going on. We want to refine it back and just be nice and clear. So an example of this could be a kid's gut health checklist, which is nice and simple. You’re talking to the ideal avatar parent who might be concerned about their child’s health or wellbeing. It's a gut health checklist, right? They know exactly what they're getting in for.
Number four is to ask questions because people love to be asked questions. Use that in your headlines, for example, dreaming of a perfect holiday? There's a number of ways that you can create some hooks in your headlines.
Now let's dive even deeper when we're creating our headlines. We want to make sure that they're congruent with the rest of our ad copy, as well as the page that we are sending the traffic to, because we don't want people to look at the hook, start reading the ad and then get disinterested, or we don't want them to click the link on our ad, go over to our landing page, registration page, sales page, and then not convert and make our numbers drop. We want to make sure that things are congruent between our ad and the copy and our ad and our pages that we're sending the traffic to. And so as we do that, here's a number of ways that again, you can speak even more clearly to your ideal audience with that hook.
Number one, make it brilliant. We all want to make it brilliant. Isn't that our goal? Isn't that what we're setting out to achieve? Sometimes it gets lost, and sometimes as I mentioned, we're getting so caught up in all the words that are going on that we just forget to say more with fewer words. So an example, we cut your tax bill in half. It’s a nice, clear, and precise message. It's brilliant. Instead of waffling on about various other things, remember what the ideal outcome is, what your audience wants.
Number two is put in unexpected wording, for example, the hippie HR manager. It's going to capture people's attention, pique their curiosity, and make them want to read more.
Number three is to tie in some emotional appeal because emotions really stir people to take action. So an example here could be, make dinner time enjoyable. This will speak to a lot of people at various points of where they may be with relationships. For example, it might be a parent who has little kids and their dinner times are not so enjoyable. Been there done that. Or it could be two older people who are sitting at the dinner table. Things are all quiet and it's not quite so enjoyable. They want to get some conversation going and make things enjoyable.
Number four is to emphasize a deal. This is as simple as sale now for 50% off. It's not creating the urgency that we mentioned previously, but it's saying what's happening now.
Number five is to present your USP. For example, the only vegan makeup for mature skin, nice and clear, right? It's saying exactly what your USP, that unique service proposition is and it's calling out your ideal audience.
Here's another interesting fact, which is that some of the best headlines are only five words long. Our Facebook ads are limited because things get cut off, especially on mobile devices and we really don't have that much room, so aim for five words. You can even do a test for that and see how it compares with headlines that are a bit longer.
When it comes to creating our headlines with all those points that I've mentioned previously, a great way to be able to bring things in and stay focused is to use some formulas for these headlines. So let's just have a look at some of these different formulas that you can keep in mind so that you can create some headlines with great hooks.
Number one is the steps to a result. As mentioned earlier again, having a number in there, so this could be three steps to glowing skin.
Formula number two is reasons. For example, four reasons why your bread is too chewy.
Number three is imagination. Imagine making six figures per year. That's another simple headline and what is it that you're ideal customer wants? Figure out what they want and then prompt them to think about it.
Number four is talking about urgency. An example here is, increase conversion rates now. Get whiter teeth now, or get curly hair now or whatever it is that your ideal client is wanting. What is it that they can get now? If they're getting a guide/PDF or an opt-in, what benefit is that opt-in going to bring to them now.
Number five is how to. Here we could say how to sleep better or how to improve your relationships or how to get your cat to eat raw meat. That's another way that you can, again, pique that curiosity. So those are five formulas that you can be using to create headlines with great hooks. To recap they are: steps, reason, imagination, urgency, and how to.
Copywriting is a lot like flexing and building a muscle. It may be a bit stiff and it may not be so easy flowing initially, but the more you do it, the more you're going to understand it. What I get my elite ad manager students to do in one of our exams is to do the fat 50 brain dump. I encourage you to do that as you're writing headlines or you’re just even practicing. I know it can hurt, but it's such a great exercise because it's going to really expand what you may just be thinking of. You might only initially think of a couple of things, but by going through all those previous points of using numbers, creating the urgency, being clear about the offer, asking questions, considering how to make it brilliant, putting in an unexpected word, tying in emotional appeal, emphasizing a sale or order, promoting the USP, all of these things combined with those formulas that I just mentioned the steps to the reasons imagination, urgency, and how to.
Go and write 50 and you will be amazed at the variation of headlines that can come up with. You'll be amazed at the headlines that may just come out of you and be very snappy. Remember to try and keep it short, remember aiming for a five-word headline.