What convinces people to click on your Ad? – The BJ FOGG Behavior Model

Inet Kemp

You are running a Facebook advertisement and it just doesn’t convert. Why is that? There is an image and there is your ad copy. Your image is the first thing that will catch the viewer’s eye. Images account for 75-90% of the effectiveness of a Facebook ad. I will post a blog soon about effective images and the effect of pattern interruption.

But in this post, I want to consider your ad copy. If your hook and your ad copy are not congruent with your image and it does not speak to the problem that your user has, your ad will not convert either. True, the right image will contribute much to triggering the user to act on the ad. But the purpose of this post is to speak about human behavior, not about imagery. In this post, we will look at some examples of ad copy and what it is that triggers a person’s behavior in getting him to act on an ad.

Motivation, ability, and triggers. That is the sum-total of what makes people act. Dr. BJ Fogg believes that people’s change in behavior is driven by these three factors. He shows in The FOGG Behavior Model that these three elements must come together at the same moment for a change in behavior to happen. In short, this model is shown by B=MAT.

B=MAT or B=MAP where

  • B: Behavior
  • M: Motivation
  • A: Ability
  • T: Trigger (or some use P for Prompt)

Wave.video succeeds very well into bringing these three elements together. (See the ad below). What would be the biggest problems for a user to create high-quality videos? The motivation to have a beautiful video is already there. But the steep learning curve to master the software is a perceived difficulty which will make a reader hesitant to invest and will stop a user from taking action to buy the software, or learn more (the Learn More button on the ad), which in this case constitutes the trigger.

If Wave.video went on to focus on showing amazing videos and what can be done to make this even more impressive, the ad will fail and the conversion rate will be extremely low.

Wave.video understands the reader’s problem and that is why they address those objections quite accurately. They tell you that it is easy to create high-quality videos and so removes the perceived difficulty that most users tend to believe is true about video editing software.

If you look at the red dot on the graph below, this shows how Wave.video succeeds in changing the reader’s perceived ability from “Hard to Do” to the “Easy to Do” area (the yellow dot at the right in the green area where the action takes place). The green area is where Triggers (or Prompts) will be successful in getting people to act on it. Read more on triggers further down. Triggers are the text you place inside your Call To Action Buttons.

Note that if only one of the three elements in the BJ Fogg behavioral model is missing, action will not take place. Wave.video also understood that users find good video software expensive and it is no secret to users that video-editing is a hugely time-consuming task.

Wave.video then further elaborates on how you will save time and money if you choose to use their product.

Making a promise of time-saving and financial saving, perceived difficulty decreases, ability increases. Low pricing or affordable payment options and time-saving features such as an easy way to master software that is normally hard to do are both factors that also increase or enables the user's ability to take action and buy the new video software. So,

Making a promise of time-saving and financial saving, perceived difficulty decreases, ability increases and as illustrated in the graph below, does motivation move from low (the red dot) to high (the yellow dot) into the green area where prompts succeed.

Wave.video then also offers over 300 million creative assets from 5 top providers plus 2 million free assets, a free plan without watermarks, a brand manager for different brands and a monthly competition where you can win prizes. These are all features that increase motivation. As illustrated in the graph below, this is when motivation will move from low (the red dot) to high (the yellow dot) into the green area where the prompts are succeeding.

Wave.video took both motivation and ability into consideration. Motivation moved from "Low" to "High" and Ability moved from "Hard to Do" to "Easy to Do". And this is what is displayed in the graph below.

In this case study, both elements, motivation, and ability changed. Motivation increased and ability increased (perceived difficulty decreased), and that is what pushes the red dot from the failing prompt pink area into the successful prompt green area with one action.

There are three main types of triggers. Those are Facilitators, Sparks, and Signals. Triggers would always be a button that prompts the reader to "Buy Now", or "Learn More", or whatever action you want the user to take.

  • Facilitators. Facilitators work well when motivation is high but the perceived difficulty is low. An example of this is Capitec Bank's market offering. As said by Capitec themselves: “Delivery of the most simplifiedaccessible and affordable banking to consumers in a personalised manner.” Capitec has made it much easier for consumers to do banking. They have succeeded to eliminate long waiting queues, replaced paperwork by biometrics (a fingerprint reader) and their bank costs are a fraction of that of other banks' fees. Wave.video claims that creators and businesses can make videos at a fraction of the cost and time. That is a great facilitator.
  • Sparks. Sparks should be used to increase motivation. Signing up for Newsletters, for example, is an easy task. But motivation plays a role here. Wave.video then also offers over millions of creative assets of which some is free, a free plan without watermarks, a brand manager and a monthly competition where you can win prizes. These are all sparks to motivate the user to take action.
  • Signals. Signals are used when both motivation and ability are high. For example, you are offered a product that you desire while it is also easy to use and also priced very affordably.

Promo.com who also sells video software addresses these objections right at the start of their ad-copy. They know, these are the very first questions that will come up in a reader’s mind.

“How difficult is this software to learn? How expensive is this software?”

Right from the start, they tell the reader that creating videos USED TO BE hard and expensive. This raises my curiosity from the get-go.

The first thought that came to mind as a response to this is: “What? Really? Has this changed? Yes, I can really do with something affordable and easy to use since I KNOW how difficult video editing can be and I KNOW how time-consuming it is to create videos. I also KNOW, to have access to an amazing tool to do great video editing is typically heck expensive.”

And right there did Promo.com addressed my objections and removed the elements that will cause the greatest friction. Then they tell me that there are already templates and all I need to do is to add my logo and message.

Promo.com then ends their copy with: “It’s that simple.” This ad copy is short, to the point, but very convincing. They succeeded because they knew so well what the biggest barrier to entry is.

Let us consider another scenario. Abigail K Confident Creative is a specialist women’s portrait photographer who targets women and challenges them to show their beautiful confident selves.

She advocates that your target audience will see you the way you see yourself and consequently your brand. She calls herself “a Confidence Crusader on a mission to elevate the confidence of the feminine collective.”

Her message is about motivating women to take action. She shares tips and tricks to build a confident personal brand. In her video, she encourages women to put themselves out there. This is all about motivating women who lack confidence and to be honest, which woman wouldn’t like that?

This task is not about skill but rather about desire. It is not difficult to stand in front of a camera. But showing up confidently is. To many women, this is really a challenge.

She addresses their problem and then speaks to their objections.

In the video, she asks: “Have you ever felt too shy to put yourself out there?”

If you tell these women instead that this is easy to do and all you have to do is to step in front of the lens, you’re going to fail. But if you tell them that they will get free tips and tricks and a free video series, this becomes a spark of motivation. It raises their motivation to act.

If they get some tips for free, it lowers their risk of failure and disappointment.

The BJ Fogg behavior model is a highly recommended tool to use whenever you construct your ad copy.

If you would like to learn more about marketing yourself and writing your own ad copy, I highly recommend the Agency Overdrive course offered by Isaac Rudansky. He uses the BJ Fogg behavior model in any of his ad copy and he is simply a brilliant teacher. Over 150,000 freelancers, agency owners, and small business owners have purchased his digital marketing training.

If you would rather want to leave it in the hands of an EXPERT so that YOU can spend your time growing your business and not waste 75.8% of your Ad Spend like the average user, how about you book a free demo and strategy call with us here, risk-free.

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Inet Kemp
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