Episode 52: How to Handle a Client Who Is Insisting on Using Their Own Ad Copy or Ad Creative?

So you’ve got a client on board, and they are

Jody Milward

So you’ve got a client on board, and they are adamant about the ad copy they want to use.
Maybe they even have the punctuation, grammar and everything they want all laid out to a T. Or maybe they’ve got images that they’ve spent a fortune on getting or professional photo shoots that are graphically designed. Yet, they’re adamant that this is all on-brand and that this is all the stuff that they want to go out there. You start running it, but the data is coming back, and it’s showing you that people aren’t resonating with it.

Possibly even the copy may not be compliant because chances are your client is not a copywriter. They’re probably not a marketer, but they think they know their audience or think they know how to craft copy, but it actually falls flat. And you can see that by the data that is coming through with your ads.

So you go back to your client and go, “Okay, so this is where we’re at with your ads.” They then go, “No, no, no. That’s the copy that I want, and I want to use these images.” So you’re ripping your hair out because you’re seeing that the data is not actually coming through that’s supporting what your client thinks. While your client may think this is a great ad, great image, and this is on-brand for everything. The data is telling you everything otherwise, what do you do? How do you handle that? That is a great question, and that’s something that many ad managers have faced over the years.

I know myself and colleagues who have had some clients very adamant about the ad copy, but it just doesn’t work. So one of the best things that you can do is try to show them the data. If they want it to work, I mean, as long as it’s compliant. If you read it and you see red flags all over it, it’s not compliant for this reason, this reason, and this reason. Obviously, you’ll be talking to your client before loading a campaign, but if they still want to run with it, then at least you would do your due diligence. You’ve told them all about it. You’ve said, look, I’m afraid that if you run this ad, Facebook will disapprove it, and if that happens, it could shut down your ad account.

Make sure you are upfront, and you tell them all these things. If they say, “Yes, I want to run with that ad,” you go, “Okay, I’ve given you my best advice. I have told you about the risks associated here, but if that’s what you want to do, you’re the client. We’ll run with it and see what may happen.”

If it all gets shut down, well, then you’re positioned as the authority. Then you know what you’re talking about. Unfortunately, the client may not always see it that way at the time. Things could get emotional, but you have done all that you can, you gave your best advice, and you’ve shown them that you are the expert and know what you’re talking about. Hopefully, they will listen to you a bit more next time.

But let’s just say it’s all compliant. But you know that it’s not well-written, and you can see that they may be talking all about themselves. Whereas, a good part of ad copy is going to be showing the person how you can help them. Not sort of saying, I’ve done this and I’ve done this and I’ve done this. It’s guiding them through, showing them that you’re the guide to help them go from where they are now to where they want to be.

So the copy may not be so good again, express this to your client and just say, “Okay, so this is where I feel like where this copy is going here. I’m not exactly sure how it would perform with the ads because generally people really respond to XYZ.” Copy that shows this, this, or this, or is more story-based or whatever it may be. Again, if your client goes, “No, no. I want to run this. This is the ad that is going on.” Okay, fine. Let’s run it. And we’ll see what the data says. Chances are you might have a low click-through rate and may have a low commission rate on the opt-in page.

So again, take that data back to your client. Your client might end up saying, oh, it’s the audiences. The audiences are rubbish. That’s again where you can say, well, actually, I tested these audiences. I’ve run these audiences with many different campaigns before with similar niches to you, and they typically work well. So what I would love to do is do some variations of the copy or possibly the creative. As I said, they’ve got all their nice brand images. They’re all on point, they look professional, and that’s what they want to run with.

How to Run Facebook Ads for clients
And again, a low click-through rate is happening, but you know, the audiences work, and they convert. So going back to your client with the data and saying, “Look, we’ve got this low click-through rate here. I know these audiences. I’ve tested them with lots of other ad accounts. So what I see from my experience working with different ad accounts is XYZ, and this may work well.” It could be what typically works well, very native images. So things that don’t look so graphically designed, like a post from their friend in the newsfeed, can work very well. Or variations of videos, putting videos in, or even slideshows, et cetera.

So testing some other options, communicating and talking back to your client about that. Saying, “Great. We can run with these, but also what would be great is if we can have a bit of a test budget or put 30% or whatever it is, or 10% of the budget towards these ads, and let’s see how they perform.” Or just talk to them about launching these campaigns, and then put this copy and creative in the same ad set. Facebook will see which one it thinks may be the winner. It may not work out so well. It may determine the winner is still one that’s getting a 0.5% click-through rate. And then, if that’s the case, you’ll turn them off and try the other ones.

So communicating with your client, getting clear and showing them the data, even though they’re probably not going to be so data-oriented as you. But at least when you have the data from Facebook, you’ll be able to say, “Look, we’ve launched these ads. We’ve used these images and copy that you’ve supplied, and we’ve tested it with various audiences that we haven’t seen work in the past. Now, as you can see here, it’s only getting a 0.5% click-through rate, and we want our ads to be getting a 1% click-through rate. One of the main reasons it would have a low click-through rate is that people aren’t finding the image, headline, or copy engaging. These are the things that we need to change. I’d really love to be able to test some of these other images and see how they work, as well as some variations on the copy that is more story-based or whatever it may be. So if you’re happy for us to try that, I think that would make a massive difference to the results we’re currently seeing with the ads.”

Having that data in place may help your clients see that you know what you’re talking about. Some think they know their audience, and chances are they do, but they’re not a Facebook advertiser. So they don’t know and see what’s going on. They may just see what all the gurus and the other people they follow are putting in the newsfeed and in their ads, and they think that it’s what works.

They haven’t seen the backend like you’ve seen it. So get the data in. If they’re adamant, fine, let’s run with this. Here’s the data. Express your concerns to start with running the ads, get the data, present the data, and then again, reiterate what you’ve said already. Let’s try some different creative. Let’s try this, let’s try something native in the newsfeed. Shocker…it won’t have all the words all over the page. For example, it’s just going to be you (the client) as a selfie; they work really well. Then let’s change the ad copy, so we’re not just talking about you right at the start and how excited you are for your, whatever it is. Let’s talk about the client and where they are now, where they want to be, and how you can guide them there.

I hope that’s empowered you as you may have these conversations with clients in the future, and maybe you already have. If you have, I’d love to hear about your experiences at I’d love to support you as you go forward and continue to have these conversations.

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