How to design a Martial Arts School Facebook Advert that converts

When putting together Facebook ads you often get lost in the mechanics – the audience, the bidding etc. But what about the actual ad itself? What images should you use, what should you write? If you’re a Martial Arts school owner, chances are you want a good percentage of your advert to lead directly to a booking – here we break down what you need to include in a Facebook ad to get new bookings:

The Image

You need an image that stands out. Remember: Facebook ads are a type of ‘interruption’ advertising, people are often passively scrolling through their feed while sitting on the sofa, you need an image that jumps out. Use bright colours and interesting action. If you have an exciting image from your Dojo, use it! Don’t just rely on stock images. One tip is to make either crank up the contrast/saturation of an image to make it more vibrant, or to make the image black & white – in a sea of colour images, a black & white image may stand out more. And make your images SQUARE. A 1:1 image will occupy much more screen space, not just on mobile devices but on desktops and laptops as well.  The image is the first thing you’ll see, so it needs to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

The Ad Copy

Okay so we have our image sorted – what do the words need to say? Often you have a general message in mind (eg. Martial Arts helps kids focus) but you may not know how to say that. Here’s a proven formula to structure Facebook ads that convert into bookings: 1.) Start with a Question If you read a question, can you help but automatically answer it in your own head? Hopefully I’ve just proven my point and you’ve answered ‘No, I can’t help it, I always answer questions that I read in my head – what an astute observation by a excellent human being’ (Thanks guys, you’re too kind). Asking a ‘Yes’ question is a good tip – this is an old sales trick, and you might already use it when trying to get students to sign up to your classes – but it works in writing as well. Ask a question where the only possible answer is ‘Yes’. For example: ‘Do you want to earn more money?’ or ‘Don’t you wish you had more time to do the things you love?’ – getting that positive “YES” response is a way to nudge people into saying ‘Yes’ again when you ask them to make a booking with you. You can also ask a question that sparks a little intrigue – something that makes people keep reading. For example
Do you know the “One Thing” that I’ve found helps children’s focus and drive?’
or
Did you know how I removed most of the stress that comes with being a mother of 4?
You see examples of this a lot online, and it’s important not to become what’s called ‘Click Bait’. ‘Click Bait’ is writing that’s sole purpose is to get you to click on a link and visit a website, even if the ad is blatantly lying. People can sniff this out and they hate it. So my advice is: don’t lie! Don’t over promise, or hide the truth of what you’re offering. If you’re reading this you’re probably a Martial Artist so I don’t have to tell you the importance of integrity and respect. 2.) Build Rapport After asking a question, write a couple of lines that prove you know your audience and that you understand their pain. People don’t want to just think that they understand you, they want to think that YOU understand THEM. If you’re marketing Adult classes and you used to be out of shape or afraid to start Martial Arts, talk about that experience briefly. If you’re marketing Kids classes and you’re a parent, let the audience know you understand how hard it is to raise a child, and how hard it is to get them to take an interest in activities outside of playing on their phones! You can say something like
“Often kids come to our classes feeling uncomfortable in their own skin and a little lost. We were all kids once, and we remember that feeling. But the amazing thing I’ve found with Karate is it teaches kids to respect themselves first – and everything else comes from that” 
or
Sometimes it feels traditional values like respect, discipline and the importance of drive and focus have been lost in the modern world. Schools certainly don’t teach it – and many parents don’t seem to do much to teach their children to respect themselves or others”
This lets the reader know you understand their problems. You’re not just selling a Martial Arts class, you’re offering a solution! 3.) Introduce the Offer (and suggest a time limitation) Here’s where you explain what you’re offering. If you’re looking to push people to make that booking, one tip is to suggest some time sensitivity. You can say something like
“This Tuesday, we’re offering a free trial lesson all children aged 7 – 11 in Nottingham”
or
“This week, you can book a free trial class in one of thousands of locations all over the UK.”
Again, make sure you’re not lying! Don’t say ‘This week only’ if you’re offering these classes every single week. But if you offer beginners classes on Tuesday, it’s perfectly fine to say ‘This Tuesday I am offering a free beginners class’ 4.) Include a Call to Action (CTA) Your ad is going to have a ‘book now’ button on anyway, but people are used to reading Facebook posts not Facebook adverts – so be sure to include a link to your booking page in the text of the advert. Use a service like https://bitly.com to keep your links short and obvious. You also need to make it very clear that they need to click the link to access the offer. Actually use the words ‘Click here’ so there is no doubt what they need to do:
This week, you can book a free trial class in one of thousands of locations all over the UK. Click here to find your nearest school and claim a free class —-> http://bit.ly/2uyagVM
So, if we put all these elements together here’s an example of an advert optimised for conversion for our site getintomartialarts.com: You’ll notice I’ve not used any Martial Arts imagery for this particular ad, and that’s a choice I made for this particular advert because I’m trying to reach an audience that haven’t considered Martial Arts as an activity for their child before. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use Martial Arts images for your adverts! Try different styles of images to see what works best for you. Here’s how the advert looks in Facebook Ads manager: You want to make your Headline sum up what you’ve said in your advert text (Despite being called a ‘Headline’, in this type of Advert it’ll be read last) and the News Feed link description clarify your offer – and make the “Call To Action” a ‘Book Now’ button. See the image above for the example. If you have landing pages set up for a particular class, you’ll want your advert to link to that page. If not, link directly to your booking page. Don’t link to your home page unless you have a booking form on that page. The general rule of thumb for ‘conversion’ ads is: try and have the LEAST number of clicks required from first seeing the advert and the action you want the person to take (eg. Booking a Class).

Targeting your Audience

Here’s some great information about how to target people in your area who might be interested in Martial Arts schools:
This video will show you how to target people in a certain location, who meet certain requirements – and this video is relevant no matter what type of advert you’re running. But if you’re running these CONVERSION ads, you may want to make one more change to the default settings: you want to change the Ad placements so your advert ONLY appears in Facebook’s Newsfeed – not anywhere else. We think this offers you the most bang for your buck when trying to convert people and get them to make a booking. On Facebook ads manager, you want to select the Ad Group this ad is running in and change unselect everything aside from Facebook Feeds: If you follow this formula for your Facebook ads, you should see more students booking onto your free lessons.

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