Every day, thousands of authors take a swing at Facebook ads in the hope of eventually hitting the ball out of the park. What I mean by that – what the authors actually do is they try a wide variety of demographics and interests, use a variety of different visuals (images and videos), and even change their ad copy frequently.
However, for some strange reason, many authors still do not know what they exactly need to do to nail a profitable Facebook ad. In their effort to crack the ad game, they seem to be just handing money to Facebook.
That's why in this post, I'll guide you on how to create the perfect Facebook ad that will sell more books and reach more readers.
1. Narrow Your Audience Through Facebook Targeting, Then Write to Them
If you ask any writer, then he would invariable say that writing a 50,000 words book is far easier than writing a 100-word ad copy to sell that same book.
However, to be successful on Facebook, you need to nail the ad copy to near perfection as much as you need to nail that central idea of your book.
So, what is the secret sauce to writing an ad that appeals to your core audience?
Well, the secret sauce is that you write it as if you are talking to only one person and not everyone.
You choose your ideal reader, maybe put his persona in words and then write for him. Only him. This single-target reader is the one you must charm and convince.
Understand that writing a Facebook ad copy is very different than writing content for your website. You generally try to target a wide range of readers on your website, and you certainly display many distinct personalities. However, on Facebook, you can narrowly target your audience then move outward to appeal to a more wider audience.
Here's an example. You can target your ads to readers who are over 45 that live in the U.S. and are interested in Jack Reacher and E-Readers. Now you can write targeted ads that speak to that very specific audience.
2. Targeting mantras to pin down Facebook Ads for authors - Different Ads for Different Readers
Readers come to discover and read your books for a variety of reasons.
So, why would you utilize a single blanket advertisement for all sects of your readers?
In fact, trying to reach as many readers as possible should never be your goal.
Well, this isn't entirely wrong, but it's not the right approach to running Facebook ads.
What this does is it brings down your chances of finding any significant success with running Facebook Ads.
Although it might feel wrong to target a small group of readers, that's how you succeed and get more sales in the long run.
For example, let's say you write action-packed thrillers like Brad Thor books and also psychological thrillers like Gone Girl. Many readers will be interested in your Brad Thor-esque stories, and many others will be interested in reading your Gone Girl kinda thrillers, but you must not club these two sets of readers in just one ad. Instead, you create two or more ads with distinct ad copies speaking to the specific readers about their love for either the Brad Thor kind of thrillers or the Gone Girl kind of mysteries.
3. Your Offer Will Make or Break Your Campaign
"Strong copy will not overcome a weak offer but…in many cases; a strong offer will succeed in spite of weak copy written by marketing morons."
Here, Late Gary Halbert, a renowned advertiser of the 20th century, is talking about direct response copywriting, but today, this principle applies to almost every form of advertising.
Ask yourself – "Do you have an offer that your audience will love?"
If NO, then go back to the whiteboard. Brainstorm and think of a better one.
If YES, then you have a great shot at creating an ad that will pay off!
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a fact.
Okay, let's do a test right now!
Which one of these two appeals to you the most?
Now, let's agree that both are great ads.
But one of them is still better.
Which one is it?
You guessed it right. The second one!
Because it focuses on how the user will look with the product on!
When you look at the second ad, you know how the product will look on you.
So, the question here is how you can replicate this in your ads for your books.
And that's what great offers do. They sell without selling.
So, you got to find a way that makes your ad look a notch higher than your competitor's.
Even more important part is that your readers shouldn't feel as if you are selling to them.
That is a big turn-off.
Think what is your reaction when you are being sold to. People do not take very kindly to those things.
So, how can you do that?
How do you know what your audience loves to click on?
4. Choose Creative Wisely
After you nail your ad copy, targeting, and your offer, you still need to do one more important thing - Make your ad stand out using visuals!
If your ad looks just like every other ad on Facebook, well, you simply don't exist!
Only a perfect ad copy will not take you there. You also need an image that can grab your audience and make them stop scrolling!
So, how exactly will you make sure that your ad creative makes a difference?
I have two points for you.
--> Use Text Creatively - Facebook no longer disapproves your ads based on the amount of text on the image. But the text that goes on the image still matters! Facebook rates you Low, Medium, and High depending on the text you add to the image.
But there is one secret you should know.
Facebook loves Ad Images that contain little or absolutely zero text.
So, if you really have to use text on your image, do it creatively and do not forget to practice brevity.
--> Remain consistent
The visual (image or video) you choose should remain consistent everywhere – from your ad copy to your landing page, where the ad will take your reader when he or she would click the button on your ad!
No matter how many 'How-to guides' you read, you won't get effective results from your Facebook Ads for author brand if you are not consistent."
5. Track Sales, Not Some Vanity Metrics
Here is the thing, clicks, comments, and social engagement are cool, but what really matters is how much money you made from your ad and not how many people shared your ad.
Let's consider a scenario.
Let's say your ad is getting a lot of clicks at a very low cost. Then it's very easy to get false expectations because your ad is seemingly working. But if your royalty column is not inching upwards with those clicks, then you need to give your ads a rest.
I can't remember how much money I've lost because of this false notion of ads that seemed to be working.
My thinking was: "I just need to be patient, and the sales will come. After all, people are liking, commenting and sharing my ad."
And then, I invariably increased my daily budget, thinking that it would give me more exposure and probably some readers too.
But those sales never came, and I ended up losing a ton of money.
Now, you may think this was so silly, and it will never happen to you, but I'll only say, just don't be so sure yet.
The truth is, it doesn't matter if you're getting thousands of likes, shares, and clicks. If you are not getting sales, something is not working. It may be your ad. It may be your book cover. It may be your book blurb. It may be your look inside matter. It may be your audience. But whatever the case is, you need to stop the campaign and figure out what's going on. Else, you'll keep losing money.
Now, don't get me wrong.
I'm not saying that engagement isn't important. To some degree, they are.
What I'm trying to say is that you should always keep track of your book sales, increase what works, and get rid of what doesn't.
Bottom line is - Sales first. Engagement second.
6. Maintain Consistency with a Single Call-to-Action
The most effective Facebook advertisements for authors have a defined objective. Are you attempting to raise brand recognition, generate leads, or sell products? Whatever the case may be, your advertisement should have a clear call to action. Without it, consumers will notice your advertisement but will be unsure of where to click or not.
7. Establish Specific Objectives (But Do It This Way)
This one may seem redundant or uninteresting. I was even considering leaving it out of this tutorial. However, goal setting is critical, and with so many people skipping this stage, I chose to discuss it briefly.
Setting objectives is critical in advertising because it enables you to track outcomes and determine whether or not your ads and campaigns are on track. Without a defined course to follow, real results will never occur.
8. Use Simple, Easy-to-Understand Language
Copywriting is not considered to be high literature. Perhaps you studied poetry in college, but flowery language muddles your point. It's time now to tone down the verbosity.
Your first aim should be to create a Facebook ad that is simple to understand—by anybody, even a fifth-grader. When someone views your advertisement, they should instantly understand what you are selling.
9. Be Honest About Your Numbers
If you're selling a tangible product such as an ebook, your customers want to know the price. If you're holding a deal, customers want to know how much they'll save.
If there is a copywriting method that really works, that is 'Use Numbers.'
10. You Don't "Create" Successful Ads. You "Build" Them
Authors believe that successful campaigns are "created," but as a seasoned marketer, what if I tell you that they are not.
No matter how talented or lucky you are, you can't produce a winning ad out of thin air.
You need to find the right audience and what makes them tick, and then you build your campaign based on those.
So, the keyword is "Build."
Think of your ad as a building.
Like a building, first of all, you'll have to start with a solid foundation.
Then, you'll start putting together a series of building blocks like your ad copy, targeting, visual, headline etc. to give shape to your ad.
Finally, once the entire ad is done, you'll start working on the less-important details.
If you skipped these first steps, your ad like a building would fall quickly.
And if you are meticulous in collecting and putting together key data points are the foundation of your campaign, eventually, you will get your winner ad.
But, how can you find these data points?
Through testing and optimization.
Optimizing an ad, boils down to two things:
Do more of what works.
Quit doing what doesn't work.
This is really the key to building a successful campaign.
If you'd like to learn more about targeting and categorization, I have produced an excellent guide to Facebook Ad Targeting options that is worth reading.
Moral of the story
Assume nothing. Test everything. Because when it comes to testing, your opinion doesn't matter.
I know you might be skeptical.
You've already spent so much money and time trying different strategies and hacks, and you're afraid of failing again. But if there had been another easier way to succeed in Facebook Ads, trust me, I would be using it. The only way to succeed is still to move forward and try more different things.
And I want to be completely honest with you. Even if you implement these techniques, I can't guarantee you'll create a winning ad.
Because there are way too many factors that can influence your results—like your book's genre, budget, your experience, and even the country that you are targeting.
But what I can guarantee is: this information will legitimately put you on the right path to a more impactful and profitable campaign.
And that deserves a chance from you. Don't you think?
Still, it's up to you but I'd love to know your thoughts.