Set your eyes on these headlines and take a moment to think about what they all have in common…
“You Won’t Believe the Results One Customer Had While Using Our Product”
“This Product Will Change Your Life”
“The Hot New Facebook Ad Trend Everyone Is Talking About”
“Advertisers HATE This New Facebook Algorithm”
Ready? Drumroll, please…
They’re all clickbait, in some form or another. (Doesn’t the word “clickbait” just make your skin crawl? Mine, too.) Each of the above contains elements that lead the reader to get sucked into the clickbait vortex:
- Deceitful cliffhangers
- Vague language
You see, these headlines are something marketers still use today, and oftentimes really shouldn’t be. Simply put, clickbait is the art of trying to get your audience to click… no matter the cost and the disastrous amount of unqualified leads you’ll get in return. All because we’re psychologically programmed to long for the info that’s left out of the title. We’re being manipulated.
And, marketers knew the prime spot to spread these icky headlines like butter: ads on Facebook.
But, the social media platform’s people weren’t oblivious to this occurring and recently took matters into their own hands—developing a new anti-clickbait algorithm to bury bogus headlines.
It’s a cutthroat world out there trying to beat out your competition with titles that stick to get some News Feed “air time.” So, today, I’m going to share with you 7 rules to follow to write Facebook ad headlines without clickbait, avoiding Facebook’s clickbait crackdown.
You’ll still be able to say hello to a flood of traffic, while avoiding succumbing to icky gimmicks to lure in your readers. That only means you have an even greater chance to convert them into paying customers—they’ll trust more of what it is you have to say.
Okay, great. You’ll have this set of rules to add to your marketing toolbelt. But, what about mastering Facebook advertising to put your clickbait-free headlines to use and reach a mass amount of your target audience? All while keeping current on new algorithms and alterations?
I mean, they undoubtedly changed the clickbait game in a heartbeat and escalated its war against these highly criticized headlines. So, it’s obvious no one is safe. That’s why I’m also here to introduce you to an evergreen course that’ll stop you from feeling at your wit’s end when developing a Facebook ad strategy that works (and stands the test of time).
Put your feet up and relax. You’re life is about to get a heck of alot easier.
7 Rules to Write Facebook Ad Headlines Without Clickbait (& Avoid Facebook’s Clickbait Crackdown)
1. Dish out some numbers.
Go ahead and reel in the reader with something they can actually sink their teeth into. Incorporate numbers into your headlines when speaking to the amount of steps, minutes to be saved, rules, you name it. The proof is in the pudding when it comes to using digits in your titles thanks to a study by Conductor.
Why do they work so well? You’re promising something specific—unlike clickbait when you’re left skimming the article to find out the title actually has nothing to do with the content you were led to. Plus, dishing out some numbers in the headline makes it easier for you, as the author of the content, to stick to the script and give your audience what you promised.
2. Step away from hyperbole overkill.
Raise your hand if you want to write headlines that garner the attention of your readers. Yeah, I’ve got a feeling you just reverted back to your school days being all like, “Oh, me! Me! Pick me!” That explains why we see hyperboles left and right when we’re scouring content across the Internet. You know the ones…
This simple sales technique will blow your mind.
The new Facebook algorithm everyone is talking about.
Facebook advertisers hate this new update.
Our business tried this new headline equation and you won’t believe what happened next.
Say it with me now… gross. They can be downright annoying. Yes, top sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and even Huffpost use them in their post headlines. They’re often overused, however, and can seriously pollute your brand’s reputation if your content doesn’t live up to all that hype.
So, stop tricking your audience with over-exaggeration schemes. Instead, combat hyperbole overkill and pull some of these modest “power words” from CoSchedule.
To help get you started, let’s take a look at a few Facebook ads that are killing it when it comes to using some of those “power words.” First up is HubSpot.
Brand New. Transform. Forever. Whew. Sprinkling those into the mix definitely makes it easier to capture my attention. How about you?
Next up is Next Vacay, helping make regular travel affordable and escape the cubicle life.
Newest. Obsession. Okay, I’m intrigued and want to click to learn more about this new travel system. Heck, especially when they tell me I can fly to Paris for less than $500.
Go ahead and sweeten up your vocab with some of these words. You’ll be glad you did because it’ll be a walk in the park for you to finally tap into your reader’s emotions.
3. Answer the infamous “So what?” question.
Your headlines should always be centered around what your audience will get out of a simple click—responding to their question of “So what? Why should I care to take time to read?” Whether it’s to save them time, money, drive more traffic to their site, increase sales, grow their Instagram following, you name it, make it the crux of your headline.
Take 17hats’ ad headline as an example.
The company is telling me there’s one thing that can help tame the chaos of being an entrepreneur. They’re speaking to a benefit to their offering and telling me why I should care. I’m hooked. Aren’t you? In the end, find a way to weave in messaging that communicates the fact that your content or offering is the solution to their problem they’ve been trying to solve all along.
4. Speak your audience’s lingo.
If you’re looking to write Facebook ad headlines without clickbait, chances are you want to target a specific audience and bring in those qualified leads. Am I right? Thus, it’s important to remember who you’re speaking to and really make an effort to connect with them.
Stalk your prey, so to speak, in an effort to mimic their language. After all, the lingo Buzzfeed uses in its headlines is 100% different than that of The New York Times. So, don’t even think about spewing out crummy corporate jargon or words your audience isn’t familiar with. Make them believe you understand their world, and it’ll be that much easier to get them to fall hook, line, and sinker for your headline.
5. Be transparent & fend off the “curiosity gap” phenomenon.
Did you know there’s a psychological phenomenon out there called the “curiosity gap?” Yup. It’s all about providing just enough information to make your readers curious. Then, nudging them to click in order to read more and obtain the information they’re missing. Sounds like this phenomenon runs a verrrrrrry fine clickbait line, does it not?
But, despite that, marketers are using it. And, in no way am I saying you should completely ban curiosity from your headlines. That is, if you’re into getting more generic click-throughs over targeted ones. Nor am I saying you should write boring titles.
What you should do, however, is remain clear in your messaging, while still being clever enough to stand out from all the noise. Take Blue Apron’s ad headline as an example.
It tells us the “what” (Blue Apron) and the “why” ($40 off) in a crystal clear manner. And the numbers don’t lie. The clearer your headline messaging, the higher your ad’s click-through-rate, according to Conductor.
Stand firm and let headlines tell the story once again.
6. Be authentic.
This rule should be a walk in the park and an important one to remember. It can be tricky to avoid succumbing to the pressure of using clickbait gimmicks. Especially when you feel your content isn’t getting the love and attention it deserves.
But, remain true to your brand and continue to speak your voice. Not another’s. Those clickbait addicts might find it working for the time being, but they’ll soon come to the realization they’re bringing in garbage leads as a result of using shoddy headlines.
7. Test, tweak, and repeat.
Maybe you feel your headline was straightforward while still being witty enough to garner attention, but your audience didn’t seem to agree. There’s no time to get your feelings hurt. Instead, A/B test your Facebook ad’s headlines. After all, it’s the most important part of your ad.
Test a longer headline in Version A, and a shorter one in Version B. Or, add in a power word in Version A, and leave it out in Version B. Utilize scarcity in one, and no scarcity in another. There are so many options for simple split testing, so take advantage of this capability, tweak your ads, and repeat.
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It’s time to let your competitors do the duping and use clickbait all they want—they’ll just get buried in the overflow of activity across News Feeds everywhere. Meanwhile, you can continue to build upon the trust your readers have for your brand simply by taking some extra care with your messaging.
And, thanks to the mini rulebook shared here today, your headlines will still be bringing in a flood of traffic, all while avoiding Facebook’s clickbait crackdown. Not to mention, you’re now familiar with a trusted ad strategy training course to help grow your business and stay one step ahead at all times using the social media platform.
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Which of the rules shared here today did you like best? Or, is there one you would add to the list? Share with us in the comments section below.