Facebook Ad Copy: Does Longer Ad Text Perform Better?

The way you craft a Facebook ad will determine its success. Facebook ads offer you the chance to reach millions of potential customers. But it does have its limitations.

For one thing, the image you use for the ad has to be a certain size and ratio. The link and description have to be limited to a certain number of characters or they get cut off.

Fortunately, you can play around with the ad text. The ad copy can be a couple of words or can be as long as a short story. You get to decide.

Many copywriters think that with Facebook ads, the shorter the better. After all, most people have short attention spans and will probably only read the first few lines of a Facebook ad. 

But does shorter ad copy actually work better? Let’s find out.

The Experiment

Last year, AdEspresso conducted an experiment to determine the most effective length for Facebook ad copy. They tested different ads offering the same product. Everything about the ad was the same except for the copy.

There were seven different versions of the ad. Here’s a rundown:

  1. One sentence (with data)
  2. One sentence (a question)
  3. Bullet points
  4. Bullet points with emojis
  5. One paragraph
  6. Three paragraphs
  7. Six paragraphs

They then set up a poll to ask marketers which version they thought would perform best. Almost half of those polled answered that Version 1 would win. 

Surprisingly, not only did that version not win, but it also had a much higher Cost Per Action (CPA). Ultimately, the version that did best was Version 5 (one paragraph), with Version 6 (three paragraphs) a close second. Version 7 (six paragraphs) also did well.

Aside from the fact that the three longest versions brought in the most leads, they also had the lowest CPAs of all the versions of the ad.

The experiment proved that you will observe significant changes in the performance of a Facebook ad simply by tweaking the ad copy.

Why longer ad copy does better

If you have a good copywriter, longer ads will work.

So why, if people have short attention spans, does longer ad copy work better? Also, if you make an ad copy longer, doesn’t it alter the message?

Well, yes, it does. And that’s actually a good thing. Longer Facebook ad copy gives you the opportunity to present more aspects of a product or service. It lets you play around with your message so that it catches the interest of a wider variety of potential customers.

Copywriters and digital marketers tend to avoid long-form copy because of the belief that nobody reads online. But if you are writing long-form copy, write it for the people who do read online.

Longer Facebook ad copy also performs well because, if done right, it can be incredibly engaging. In a platform saturated with short and snappy ad text, longer copy stands out and gives Facebook users a unique experience.

An important caveat

It’s worth noting that a lengthy Facebook ad copy only works if it is well-written. If you don’t have a seasoned copywriter, it’s probably best to stick with short ad text or bulleted ads. These forms may convert better than a longer but poorly written copy.

Do you prefer short or long Facebook ad copy? Share your thoughts about the AdEspresso experiment in the comments below.


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