Behavioral Science and Advertising with The Web Guys

If you’re wondering how to make your Facebook ad copy pop, you’re not alone. The fact is that carving out an advertising niche on the overgrown platform can be daunting at best. While there are plenty of shiny, new advertising developments out there, including immersive experiences and chatbots, balancing a realistic budget with pricey innovations can leave you feeling deflated. Fortunately, there are advertising fundamentals that flow from the behavioral sciences that are easy to employ, don’t break the bank, and can give your ad copy that wow factor you’re looking for.

Cognitive Fluency

A behavioral-based advertising principle that packs a considerable punch is cognitive fluency, which refers to the concept that the simpler and more concise your advertising message is, the more effective it’s likely to be. A study addressing when fluency signals truth finds that statements we hear repeatedly are more likely to be judged as being true, and a potential reason for this is that such statements are easier for us to process. When previous reliance on fluency in relation to truth judgments has served us well regarding past purchases, we are that much more likely to use fluency as a positive indicator in future consumer decisions. In other words, cognitive fluency builds upon itself, and in an arena as fast and furious as Facebook, taking cognitive fluency into careful consideration is well advised.

Social Norms

There is perhaps no greater testament to the fact that we are social animals who look to other people for guidance on just about every topic, including purchases, than Facebook itself. When Facebook is pushing a product aggressively, it means that the product has a following of people that are like a given Facebook user in some way – according to its finely tuned algorithms. Facebook fans understand this connection and tend to imbue such advertisements with more credibility than they otherwise might.

Authority Bias

Authority bias is the tendency to put greater weight on an authority figure’s opinion. We collectively anoint certain people and entities with authority in the context of their area of expertise, popularity, notoriety, or bravado. This is especially true when one of the following applies:

  • The consumer in question doesn’t have a strong personal preference on the matter.
  • The purchase in question is a higher-stakes purchase than most.
  • The purchase in question has a higher price tag than most.

While a dentist endorsing a floral service may not have much sway, a dentist endorsing a new flossing system may. Considering whether plying authority serves your advertising purposes, and if so, in what capacity, is a good jumping-off point.


The scarcer a product or resource, the more value we tend to attach. When a product is billed and perceived as being difficult to obtain, interest can skyrocket. A phrase as simple as finally back in stock can punch far above its weight when it comes to promoting interest and drumming up business. In fact, many studies indicate that the scarcity factor may be the most powerful factor when it comes to the intersection of behavioral science and ad copy.


When a consumer lands on ad copy that is relevant to a goal they are currently grappling with, it tends to pack a bigger punch. If, for example, the ad in question references Halloween costumes and the busy parent on the reading end of it has been thinking about pinning down their kids’ costumes for a while now, the ad’s relevance or saliency can make all the difference. The advent of online shopping has helped to foster a more impulsive approach, and when something relevant catches our attention, the outcome can be profound.

Mental Accounting

As consumers, we tend to engage in a form of mental accounting that makes the way advertisers frame specific purchases that much more important. For example, a purchase viewed through the lens of rewarding oneself can be far more persuasive when it comes to luxury beauty items. On the other hand, a getting-the-job-done approach is likely to carry more weight when it comes to a line of cleaning products. Thinking about the ways that consumers engage in mental accounting, which is probably very much like your own, can help you get inside their heads and advertise accordingly.

See More

One of the most critical elements of ad copy on the Facebook landscape is brevity. Facebook’s approach to advertising is constantly evolving, but one thing you can count on is that your ads will only receive so much facetime with potential customers before they need to click on see more in order to take a deeper dive. This means that your first two lines of advertising need to be tight, inviting, easy to read, unique, attention-grabbing, relatable, and beyond. It’s a lot, and while it’s always important to take a big-picture view, this brand of valuable real estate advertising requires tight focus when it comes to your initial rollout. This is your moment to shine, and cultivating your own unique voice can help you get there. None of this is to say that you shouldn’t be putting out excellent ad copy from beginning to end – regardless of the word count – but when you are going for the gusto on Facebook, it’s time to pull out all the stops on those short-form advertising come-ons.

It’s Never Too Late to Master your Facebook Advertising Game, and an Online Marketing Pro Can Help

If you feel like Facebook never lets up, it’s because it, in fact, does not, but understanding the basics of what guides its evolution can leave you better positioned to keep up. If you also feel like all the advertising innovations out there are beyond your budget, don’t despair. The truth of the matter is that by tweaking your ad copy, you can get a lot more bang for your buck, and The Web Guys are here for it. Our digital marketing pros are standing by to help, so don’t be shy – reach out and give us a call at (317) 805-4933 or connect with us online today.