Posted: September 26, 2017

It’s common knowledge that images, great images, stop the scroll on Facebook. But once you’ve got someone’s attention, your ad copy is what makes the difference in whether they click or keep on scrolling.

So how do you create copy that sings? How do you write an ad for Facebook that not only engages your consumer but also encourages them to act?

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing ad copy for Facebook:

Find your audience.
Who are you targeting? Sometimes targeting is easy: if you’re trying to increase mammograms, you’ll want to target women over the age of 40.

But what if you’re trying to push a heart screening? What does that look like?
• People over 50?
• Smokers?
• Overweight or obese adults?

The answer could be all three, but each segment will need different ad copy. You don’t want to discuss smoking to a plus-size audience or to a group of non-smokers – it’s a waste of your precious advertising dollars and could lead to low relevance scores, making the few clicks or conversions you receive come with a high price tag.

Complement your images.
Finding images that stop the scroll is important, but the copy has to be associated with the image in some way.

If you’re focused on women, write for women. Speak to a female experience, a female point-of-view, and in a way that offers them value. With mammography, you might want to speak to the high survival rates of women whose breast cancer is detected early. Or maybe you discuss risk for a woman with a family history of breast cancer.

“Women who detect breast cancer early have a 5-year survival rate over 90%. With a mammogram from our imaging center, peace-of-mind is in reach.”

“Women with immediate family members with breast cancer are twice as likely to be at risk. The digital mammograms at our hospital can detect the earliest stages of breast cancer.”

Stick to your message.
If your goal is to get people to get a cardiac screening, what’s your “why”?
• Peace-of-mind?
• Family history?
• Reaching a certain age?

You have to decide what you want to say and make sure your ad post, description, and link copy all work towards that message. If you’re trying to encourage people to come in for a heart screening, that’s your focus, not that weight-loss surgery would help with their cardiac health.

Know your voice.
The tone of your copy will tell your audience who you are. So you need to convey your brand and organization’s personality in your messaging. Serious, informative, and practical ads can appeal to a reader’s rational side and give them food for thought. Puns, jokes, or silly copy can appeal to people’s fun side and make them more likely to interact with the ad.

“We focus on breast cancer detection all year, not just October.”
“Our mammograms are the breast.”

Keep it cohesive.
You need to decide how you want to reach out to people. If you run serious ad campaigns, fliers, mailing pieces, etc., then you need to maintain that voice across distribution channels. Funny puns should be paired with happy, joyful imagery, or even very silly images. You don’t want to confuse your audience about what you’re trying to tell them or get them to do.

Utilize your CTA.
What do you want the consumer to do? Schedule an appointment? Take a health risk assessment (HRA)? Download a treatment guide?

Facebook CTA options include:
• Learn more.
• Start download.
• Schedule an appointment.

Your CTA and link copy should both follow the ad copy. If your action button is “Learn More,” your link copy could be:
“Find out more about our imaging center.”

If you are offering a download, like an informational guide, chose the “Download” action button and something like:
“Download a free treatment guide now.”

Create a sense of urgency.
When it’s appropriate, push your audience to act in a specific time frame:
• Same-day appointments
• Upcoming seminars or classes – if you have these, use them

“We offer mobile mammography every third Thursday of the month; take a few minutes out of the day to meet us.”

“Attend one of our weight-loss classes Tuesday nights at 7pm and learn more from one of our board-certified bariatric surgeons.”

Include prices.
People respond to numbers. If you have standard pricing for tests, assessments, or evaluations, include that. As patients, we’re often unaware of the prices charged for appointments. Knowing ahead of time creates a sense of security and transparency that fosters an upfront and honest relationship.

“We’re offering a full screening for only $199 – a savings of over $500.”

Sell the sizzle.
In the 1920s Elmer Wheeler suggested that to sell a product or service, you have to “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” For healthcare, you want to show the consumer their benefits. What makes your organization different that makes the consumer’s experience or results better? If your bariatric team includes a dietician and trainer for people enrolled in a weight-loss program, so people lose 20% more weight on average, sell it! If your surgeons specialize in a minimally-invasive surgery that results in a smaller scar, sell it!

The description copy is a great place to add this information. Find your differentiator and push it. Accolades from national associations, awards for the service line, positive outcomes, cutting-edge technology – but most importantly how these differentiators will benefit the consumer, should they choose you.

Craft your ad.
Take everything that you’ve put together and craft your ad. We say craft because you aren’t really creating an ad – that would imply that you’ve made it all up, which isn’t true for healthcare.

So, let’s put it all together: you’ve decided to run a mammography ad for women aged 40 and up, using a happy image of a woman surrounded by her family, you’ve decided to go with an informative style, encourage women to schedule a breast cancer screening, which is only $200 on the first Friday of the month. You’ve created a cohesive ad with a single CTA: schedule an appointment. You’ve included pricing information and created a sense of urgency by including that that price only applies once a month.

Just make sure you’re following Facebook’s Ad Copy Rules. At the end of the day, this is only a Facebook ad – not some mega-expensive Super Bowl Commercial. You have, at most, three sentences to capture a person’s interest in the face of overwhelming stimuli. Your ad is fighting for attention with puppies, kittens, babies, weddings, and any number of posts on a user’s feed.

Don’t overwhelm readers with wordy copy. For most healthcare service lines, a sentence or two is adequate to pull in a reader’s interest. Keep in mind that you are casting a net; you are trying to reach the largest number of people possible, so it’s important not to alienate people.

Want more help maximizing your social spend? Request a free healthcare marketing assessment, and we’ll show you opportunities for success.