You can write rock-solid ad copy

Feeling intimidated about writing your digital ad copy? It’s understandable. With an average of 8 seconds to hook your ad viewer you need strong headlines, a well-defined value proposition, and a clear call to action. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s break down our 10 best practices for writing ads. 

Ad Copywriting Best Practices:

1. Write Within The Platform Guidelines
Seriously. If your text is truncating before you’ve hooked your audience – your copy is a waste. Facebook, Instagram, and other major players are consistently updating their platform and the character limits can change without warning. You can find our up-to-date copy spec guides in the footer of this page.

2. Start With Multiple Copy Variations
Find out what plays best with your audience by starting an ad set with multiple copy variations. Try different copy lengths, different headlines, and different tones – if one set of copy is outperforming, turn off the others, and test that version further. The more copy sets you test, the more you’ll be able to inform your writing on what plays best with your audience. 

3. Power Words
Don’t use passive voice – especially in your headlines! Power words evoke emotion and compel your reader to take action. Here are a few of our favorite power words to work into copy:


4. Try Negative Headlines
A study by Outbrain found that negative superlatives like “bad,” “worst,” and “never” work 30% better at catching attention than positive ones like “always” or “best.” Why? The report points to the evolutionary benefits of responding to threats. After recording the physiological responses (sweat output & heart rate) the study found that negative stories grabbed attention and provoked a reaction… positive stories? Not so much. Use this when you’re crafting your headlines and your ad copy. Don’t be a doom crow, but use strategic negativity to instill a sense of urgency in your target audience.

5. Emojis
A study at Tokyo Denki University tested how our brains process different types of characters. It found that the emotional processing center of the participants’ brains was activated when they read text with emojis. If the goal of your writing is to evoke emotion, emojis can get you there!

6. Convey Features
Pick a few key features of your menu offerings and expound on what they are. You know all about your items and how they’re sourced, but your audience might not understand what you’re really offering them.

7. Promote Benefits
For the features you’re highlighting, expound on the benefits of that feature. It may sound like you’re being too overt, but connect the dots for people. For example, you might offer cauliflower crust for your pizzas. Touting the benefits of that could look like, “Try our delicious, keto-friendly cauliflower crust that’s high in protein, low in carbs so you can feel great about eating whatever you want.

When you explain how your feature can impact the daily life of your customer even simple things that can be assumed you lighten the cognitive load of your text. You also walk your customer through imagining themselves using your product or service (and making their life easier in the process.)

8. Have A Clear Call To Action
Take your key features and benefits and craft a clear, concise call to action. Going back to our tasty pizza example, if the highlighted feature is how it’s low-carb, a CTA might be a simple, “Try It Guilt-Free Today.” If you’re highlighting that it’s part of the build-your-own pizza deal, the CTA might be, “Start Building Your Pizza.” The call to action needs to be a plausible next step to move your customer towards experiencing the benefits of the feature you just highlighted.

9. Optimize The Start Of Your Primary Text
Make the first sentence of your primary text a hook or a CTA that will be visible in every view before the text truncates. The primary text is the ONLY copy for your Instagram ads, so you can’t rely on your headline to draw people in or tell them what to do. 

10. Address Common Objections 
Everybody has purchase hesitations from time to time. If you address common objections or barriers to conversion in your ad copy you’re more likely to close sales. For most people, those hesitations revolve around cost and ease (or in the case of veggie crusts – taste). By including copy about how simple and affordable it is to order from you or you guarantee satisfaction with your cauliflower crust, you’ll capture and KEEP your audience.


Digital ad copy is easy to update so it’s way lower stakes than writing for print! If it’s still something that falls outside your wheelhouse (or you just don’t want it on your to-do list) reach out. We’re always here to help.