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AI-Powered Social Ads: The Ultimate Guide

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AI-Powered Social Ads: The Ultimate Guide

Blog / AI-Powered Social Ads: The Ultimate Guide

AI-Powered Social Ads: The Ultimate Guide

Can you use AI to write your ads for Facebook and Instagram? Or will you just be putting your customers off with copy that sounds like it’s written by robots?

When Chat GPT went live towards the end of 2022, many thought that this would mean that business owners would be able to completely do away with copywriters or marketing agencies. Instead, they’d just be able to instruct AI to write an ad, and see the cash roll in.

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The reality isn’t quite like that. But it is true that AI-powered social ads have become an integral part of many digital marketing strategies. And you’ve probably seen (and perhaps bought from) many more AI-written ads than you realise.

Because AI can be excellent at helping you target specific audiences and deliver personalised messages that resonate with them. And not only is it capable of delivering compelling copy, it can also help with the technical side: targeting ads and delivering them.

However, you have to know how to use it well for it to be effective. And many people (even most people) experimenting with AI don’t know how to use it well.

Let’s explore how you can use AI to your advantage, creating well-crafted ad copy and driving up your ad performance.

Understanding the Role of AI in Social Advertising

Marketing professionals use AI technology to supercharge their social ads in multiple ways. Most notably, it can be used to analyse vast amounts of data, making it much easier to make successful data-driven decisions.

For example, it helps marketers identify the most relevant audience segments, optimise ad targeting, and deliver personalised messages easily and quickly. This kind of research used to take many hours when done manually. AI means it’s incredibly quick and simple. It’s also more accessible: you don’t need to be a data expert to be able to use AI to target your ads (and therefore make more money).

As well as targeting, AI algorithms can analyse user behaviour, demographics, and interests to determine the best time and platform to display ads. For example, you might have been running an ad on Instagram at 7am, thinking that worked best for your audience. But AI tells you that actually, you’ll reach more people on Facebook at 10am. This level of automation and optimisation is incredible, and allows marketers to reach their target audience vastly more effectively and efficiently.

And because AI algorithms can process and analyse data much faster than humans, it enables marketers to make real-time adjustments to their campaigns. This agility is crucial in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, because if you can’t make changes fast, your competitors will.

In terms of planning, AI can identify patterns and trends in user behaviour, allowing marketers to optimise ad targeting and messaging based on these insights. And AI-powered social ads can deliver personalised messages that resonate with individual users, which naturally increases the chances of engagement and conversion.

For most of this work though, you’ll still need a high degree of knowledge to be able to make AI work for you. If you weren’t already doing your own ad targeting, for example, you’ll struggle to do it with AI. Because the knowledge you need to prompt and use AI effectively is the same as the knowledge you need to manage your ads yourself. Though of course, this may change as AI develops.

But when it comes to writing the copy, you may well find you’re able to use AI to help you.

The Importance of Compelling Copy in Social Ads

While AI technology can optimise ad targeting and delivery, the copy is what ultimately captures the attention and interest of your audience.

Compelling copy is crucial in social ads because it has the power to evoke emotions (such as desire for a product, or relief that someone finally understands your problem and can solve it). It’s also the copy that conveys value, and persuades users to take action. It’s what makes the difference between a user scrolling past an ad or clicking on it.

The impact of copy on ad performance cannot be overstated. A study by Facebook found that 56% of ad performance is determined by the quality of the creative, which includes the copy.

And contrary to popular belief, copy doesn’t necessarily have to be short to be effective. In fact, the opposite is very often true. This study by Ad Espresso shows that mid to longer length copy produced more leads at lower cost than single-sentence ads that relied on images to sell.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and get Chat GPT to write you a long, waffly ad. Whatever the length, your copy must be clear, and tailored to the target audience. But what we can say for sure is that without compelling copy, even the most well-targeted ad may fail to generate results.

Writing Effective Copy for Social Ads (or getting AI to do it for you)

Whether you want to write your own ad copy, or get AI to do it for you, it’s important to remember a few key rules.

  • Clarity wins over cleverness. Social media platforms have limited space for text, so it is crucial to convey the message effectively in a few words. And that usually means being direct and clear.
  • Using active voice can make the copy more engaging and impactful. Active voice creates a sense of action and urgency, which can capture the attention of the audience. For example, say ‘Your kids will love our new rocket toy’ not ‘This rocket toy will be loved by kids’. AI can sometimes get this wrong, so be ready to edit.
  • Make sure you highlight benefits, not just features. Your audience naturally wants to know what your product or service does, but they’ll be persuaded to buy by the value or benefit they believe they’ll get.

Crafting Attention-grabbing Headlines

Headlines play a crucial role in social ads as they are usually the first thing people see. A compelling headline can, therefore, grab attention and entice them to read the rest of the ad. Whereas a weak headline might mean they just scroll by without reading.

Keep your headlines short, but not too short. It needs to be long enough to say something important or eye-catching, but not so long that it’s hard to take in or read. Using numbers or asking questions in headlines can be a great idea, helping to pique curiosity and encourage engagement.

And it’s naturally important to incorporate keywords that are relevant to your target audience. This can help improve ad targeting (in the same way that using keywords in your website copy is good for SEO). And it can also increase the chances of capturing their attention, since you’ll be using the words they use themselves.

Using Emotional Triggers to Connect with Your Audience

Emotional triggers play a significant role in ad performance. Ads that evoke emotions are more likely to be remembered and shared by users.

But to use emotions you need to understand your audience well. What are your customers’ pain points, desires, and aspirations of the audience? For example, people who want to buy from a fitness brand will have aspirations around getting healthier and fitter.

By connecting with the emotions your audience has, you can show them you understand them and therefore increase the chances of conversion.

Leveraging Social Proof to Boost your Credibility

Social proof such as testimonials and reviews is a powerful tool in social advertising (or in any kind of marketing).

Because the actions and opinions of others have a significant influence on our own behaviour. When people see that others have had a positive experience with your product or service, they are more likely to trust and engage with it.

As well as testimonials and reviews, you can use user-generated content that showcases the positive experiences of previous customers. This helps you build trust and increases the chances of conversion.

Creating Urgency and Scarcity to Drive Conversions

Creating a sense of urgency and scarcity in copy can be highly effective in driving conversions. When users feel that they have a limited time or opportunity to take advantage of an offer, they are more likely to act quickly.

If you’re selling an offer that has a time limit or a limited number, it’s easy to invoke scarcity in your copy. You can use phrases such as “limited time offer” or “only available to the first 100 customers.” You can also incorporate countdown timers or limited stock notifications.

But these things won’t apply to every business, product or campaign. In that case, you can often find a natural urgency to use in your ads. Think about your customers’ lives, and how your product or service will improve them. And then think about what happens if they don’t buy. Does this make buying seem more urgent?

For example, a financial adviser might be able to talk about how their customers will end up losing money on bad investments if they don’t use them. Or a builder about how problems become more expensive to fix if they’re not dealt with early.

Testing and Optimising Your Copy

Testing and optimising your ad copy is crucial to maximising its impact. And this is just as true for ads written by AI as it is for ads written by a copywriter or by you. Because while AI can be smart, it doesn’t know what your exact audience will respond best to. Like humans, it can only guess.

Use A/B testing to help you determine which copy variations will perform best in terms of engagement and conversion. When conducting A/B tests, it is important to test only one element at a time, such as the headline or the call-to-action. If you try and test multiple things together, you won’t know the specific impact of each element on your ad performance.

How to prompt AI to write your ad copy

There are 2 keys to writing AI ad copy that converts.

  1. Make sure you understand the basics of good ad copy (as we’ve just outlined here). Even if you’re not doing the writing, you need to recognise good writing when you see it and be able to edit what AI gives you.
  2. Know how to prompt it.

To prompt AI, you need to be specific. Imagine that you’re briefing a human write who’s never heard of your business before. There’s no harm in adding detail, but if you don’t add enough, you’ll get bland, untargeted copy back.

Always include details of who your audience are and what your product or service is. This article by Clickup has some great examples and explanations of good prompts for AI Facebook ad copy.

Embracing the Power of AI in Social Advertising

AI-powered social ads have already revolutionised the way many businesses reach and engage with their target audience. Currently, bigger businesses have taken the most advantage. But AI is capable of helping businesses of any size. And provides a huge opportunity for those who don’t have the budget to pay for a team of media managers.

At Traffic Radius, we’ve been exploring ways to use AI to help our clients get better results for a while. It means that we can reduce our costs, and our clients, without losing performance. And it makes it much easier to get last minute campaigns off the ground fast.

However, we’re cautious. Because while it’s a great tool, it can’t do our job for us. And it needs specialist knowledge to use properly.

So if you’re interested in improving your social ads, or starting to run them, let us know.

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