An image of a phone resting on a Mac keyboard with some in ear headphones next to the keyboard. On the left side of the image there is an orange rectangle with a grey rectangle layered over the top with orange text reading ‘Eight essential ingredients for a great Facebook ad headline’ and on the right side of the image there is an orange circle with white text reading ‘Jo Francis’

Eight essential ingredients for a great Facebook ad headline

The headline… How important is it? I mean, let’s be honest, Facebook only gives you 25-40 characters, so how creative can you be?

You Need To Make It Work! 💥

See what I did there ☝️

There are three things of key importance in Facebook ads; the headline, the image and the first line of your main copy (that’s the line people see before they hit read more). That first line I would say is MOST important, but the often neglected headline is still essential in driving home the message of your ad.

The headline is your space to reiterate what you’re offering, making sure that, at a glance, the user knows what your ad is about.

Not easy in such a limited space, right? 

Here’s some examples of companies I think are getting the headlines in their Facebook ads right, and I’ll tell you why.

1. Play to an emotion

Of course I’m including Gavin! He’s a total Facebook ads expert so is always going to get it right, but the headline in this promo of his podcast episode does exactly what it should do. It plays to an emotion AND offers a solution. Top marks! 

2. Create urgency

Katya nails the headline in her Facebook ad here whilst also utilising the image to re-emphasise the point – she’s creating urgency, telling you what a saving you’ll be making and is totally open about the cost.  There’ll be no wasted clicks here – having the cost in the headline means that users aren’t clicking shop now just to find out the price – if they click, they’re already interested.

3. Use intrigue

Andrew & Pete make great use of intrigue in their Facebook ad headline, making it hugely clickable for their target audience.  It’s a no-brainer that small business owners are going to want to know more about how to get a new client for just £1. Again, this headline is really well backed up by a supporting image that explains a little more. 

4. Include a review or feedback score

The Protein Works show how a great testimonial, piece of feedback or rating / review score can be used really effectively as a Facebook ad headline. They’ve really worked the killer combination of single line ad copy, image AND headline and it totally works. Nailed it! 

5. Combine numbers and curiosity

Use of numbers in Facebook ad headlines is always a good tactic and here they tie it in with the element of curiosity.  Come on, who doesn’t want to know the three shoe styles for Autumn? (So awkward when it’s too cold for flip flops but not quite winter boots season…).

6. Make an offer

Fealty Paws also make great use of urgency here, combining the first line of their Facebook ad with their headline – so you know you’re getting 50% off if you shop now, but they’re also telling you this is the last week of the promotion. (Guess who hit the SHOP NOW button… £25 for a little fluffy bit of heaven for my fur babies….). 

7. Ask a question

Adzuna uses some great question based headlines in their Facebook ads. Question headlines often lead to more clicks than straight out statements. It’s based on basic human curiosity and the desire to learn more.

8. Use numbers and lists

Active Campaign have tapped into the numbers / lists concept really well in their carousel ad.  People love “10 things”, “8 reasons”, “12 ideas” whether that’s in a blog, a video or an ad – it’s definitely another way to generate curiosity.

What are the key things to remember as options to include in your headline when writing your ads?

  1. Make sure you have one! It’s easy to leave it out as it is “optional”
  2. Reiterate why your product/service is so awesome
  3. Use it to highlight a promotion or offer
  4. If it’s time limited or there’s an element of scarcity – put that in! 
  5. Add in social proof (reviews) 
  6. Include numbers 
  7. Ask a question 

And don’t be scared to play around with your headline – that’s the joy of facebook ads, you get to test, tweak, compare and learn all the time.