Top and bottom funnel: How does the ad body impact performance?

April 2, 2022

When it comes to ads, in any part of the funnel, the creative tends to take center stage, but don't forget about the ad body — it's just as important. 

While the ad body is often overlooked, it can significantly impact the performance of an ad - alone, how much you write can mean a difference in performance of up to 60%. 

One reason is that the ad body takes up a significant amount of space in a feed, and the human eye is first drawn to visual elements

Also, the same ad body won’t work as well for different audiences and another reason may be that the ad body can be quickly changed without needing a designer.  

When considering the differences between top and bottom funnel audiences, or those familiar with a brand versus those not, the ad body's impact on performance becomes clearer.

With top funnel audiences, longer ad bodies improve conversion

The stages of a typical marketing funnel are awareness, interest, decision, and action. Top funnel audiences are not familiar with the brand and have yet to realize their need for a product or service and need to gather more information to decide.

This is why longer ad bodies tend to perform better for top funnel campaigns. A longer ad body provides more space to provide information and persuade the user to purchase. 

The data shows that three lines of text in an ad body perform 60% better than one line. Even with six lines, the performance is still better than just one line, although it may start to decline from the point of optimal ad body length..

In bottom funnel ads, shorter ad bodies perform best

Bottom funnel audiences are the opposite of top funnel audiences. They are interested in a product or service and are more knowledgeable because they have gathered information about it. They are focused on choosing the best brand or option.

For this audience, shorter ad bodies tend to perform better. 

They already have a lot of information and don't need much additional information, so they prefer ad bodies that are concise and straight to the point. 

The data shows that two lines of text in an ad body perform 14% better than 1 line. However, with six lines of text, the ad body is too long for bottom funnel audiences to read and has much lower performance than 1 line, being 59% lower than the point of optimal ad body length.

Keep it short for Bottom funnel and longer for Top funnel

In a comparison between the two audiences, it is clear that there is a significant difference in their performance regarding the length of ad bodies. 

When looking at the relative performance of the different number of lines in the ad body, we found that top funnel audiences tend to prefer longer ad bodies that educate them on the details of the product. This is because these audiences need to gain more knowledge about the offer and may need  to be persuaded and will want to get more information before making  a decision.

On the other hand, Bottom funnel audiences have already done their research and are well-informed about the product. As a result, they do not need a long ad body and will likely ignore ads that are too long. Instead, getting straight to the point and showcasing why the brand is the best option for them is more effective.

Here's a review of how to optimize the ad body for top bottom funnel:

Remember that the ad body plays a critical role in the effectiveness of your ad.

  • Always consider the audience's knowledge of your brand and what it stands for.

  • If the audience is not familiar with the details of your product, use the ad body to provide them with more information to base their decision on.

  • If the audience is already well-informed about the features and benefits of your product, keep the ad body short and focus on presenting a concise argument for why they should choose your brand.

More to read

This article focuses purely on ad bodies in Top and Bottom funnel ads. Learn more with the following insights:

Data section

The dataset from this article is based on 5.5B impressions and 49.6K+ pieces of individual content on Meta (Facebook) platforms. It takes into account data from all countries and industries, with the campaign objective of conversions only. The period is from 1. September 2021 - 16. September 2022.

The data is categorized based on audience type, being either Broad (Top funnel) or Custom (Bottom funnel).

Numbers are looking at correlation only, not causation. Remember to check your own data: numbers for different brands, industries, and contexts will vary.

If you were intrigued about a specific insight, you can go in-depth into the various dimensions and how data can be segmented in Confect, here.