5 Copywriting Examples & Formulas to Recharge your Social Media Marketing
Ever sat down at your desk and felt like your mind was a blank page with the cursor blinking expectantly? We know that feeling. And we’re here to help. Copywriting formulas are proven methods for capturing your audience’s attention and—when employed effectively—moving your audience to action. Here, we've gathered five classic copywriting examples and their corresponding formulas, which are a natural fit for social media marketing. These copywriting examples and formulas will spark your creativity and get your mind buzzing with inspiration, and best of all? They’re repeatable. So go ahead and take a look at these tried-and-true frameworks and then give them a shot yourself.
Problem + Agitation + Solution (PAS)
The most successful social media ads position your services as the solution to your audience’s problems, making the PAS copywriting formula a great one to remember.
- Problem: Prove that you truly understand your audience and their pain points.
- Agitation: Emphasize just how challenging this problem is.
- Solution: Show that there is a solution, and you know what it is.
In order to effectively apply the PAS formula, ask yourself, “What is a problem my company can solve for my audience?” If you use personas, this is a good spot to reference them. For an example close-to-home, one challenge Spredfast’s audience cares about is delivering exceptional customer service. With that knowledge, let’s look at a few social ad options using the PAS formula:
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Many tried-and-true copywriting frameworks can help you position your brand as the solution to your audience’s pain points.
The Open Loops Technique
The open loop technique consists of opening a story in your social media post without ever bringing the story full circle, to close the loop. Our brains are hardwired to seek out satisfying endings and discover answers. George Loewenstein of Carnegie-Mellon first brought this tendency into the public eye in the early 90s when he developed the information gap theory of curiosity. As Wired notes: “According to Loewenstein, curiosity is rather simple: It comes when we feel a gap ‘between what we know and what we want to know.’ This gap has emotional consequences: it feels like a mental itch, a mosquito bite on the brain. We seek out new knowledge because we that's how we scratch the itch.”
We see the Open Loops technique everywhere—and with various levels of success, from tv show cliffhangers that provoke a Netflix binge to the clickbait that promises “you won’t believe what happened next!” This prevalence makes it crucial to use this technique carefully, and to always provide a satisfying pay-off for every reader you inspire to click through and read more.
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Before + After + Bridge (BAB)
Once you become familiar with the BAB copywriting formula, you’ll start to see it everywhere. And that’s because 1. It’s simple, and 2. It works. The more emotion you can tap into, the better.
- Before: Paint a picture of your audience’s life as it is right now (Ex. A).
- After: Now, paint a picture of how that life could be easier, happier, and overall just plain better (Ex. B).
- Bridge: Connect those two worlds with your product or service, to show how example A can be transformed into example B.
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3 Reasons Why
This “formula” reads more like common sense, but its direct clarity can pack a powerful punch. Jot these questions on a post-it and refer back when self-editing your work. If your copy doesn’t answer these questions, ask yourself if it’d be stronger if it did. Often, that answer is yes.
- Why are you the best?
- Why should I believe you?
- Why should I take action?
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Attention + Interest + Desire + Action (AIDA)
- Attention: Use your copy or headline to capture your reader’s eyes
- Interest: Give more details that will pique your reader’s desire to learn more
- Desire: Highlight the benefits of your offer
- Action: Provide a clear call-to-action
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Next time you scroll through Facebook, watch a commercial, or flip through a magazine, take note of what catches your eye. It’s likely you’ll spot one of the formulas above out in the wild.