There are 6 major components to writing effective advertising copy and the order is essential to success:
· Get Attention
· Showcase Benefits
· Offer Proof
· Call to Action
Wherever you are placing an ad, be it online, on a billboard, or on the radio, the first thing you need to remember is that at the end of the day it’s all sales. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.
By following these components you will be well on your way to great advertising sales:
- Get Attention
It is said you have 8 seconds to get someone’s attention and within an advertisement, you have the headline to grab their attention and hold it.
You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more while still being meaningful.
The best headlines mirror the needs and goals of your audience. It gets them to click and/or take note because you are promising to solve their problem. Even if it’s a problem they did not know they had till now.
Consider these tips:
Ask questions – be thought-provoking to make them want to learn more, or maybe identify as the audience of your product/service.
Fix a problem – provide a solution that your product/service relates to.
Use keywords – When online, using keywords that you are targeting can help ad performance but even offline keywords can help people recognize your product/service. What words is your audience searching for when it relates to you? You want to use a balance of specific and general words in the headline but also in the body of your ad while still sounding natural. It is crucial to not sacrifice readability for adding keywords.
Be personable – avoid being too formal (even when writing for business to business). Talk to your audience like you are their friend, be witty, funny, talk to them directly. Treat them with respect and dignity. After all, all business comes down to people.
The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement. You don’t just want to copy your competition, you want to stand out from all the noise.
- Showcase Benefits
You have to the benefits of your products/ services and, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. You need to speak to your audience directly, don’t waste their time with unrelated offers or information.
What questions would they ask? – answer these directly and simply now.
What are the common pain points they have? – answer how your product/ service helps solve these.
Where are these people, what are they like? – this helps you speak directly to them, using language and tone that they use.
What kind of content do they consume? – this helps you identify options for providing information (if they are avid YouTube watchers then a video may be a good way to support your ad copy.)
How do you make their life better? – Don’t waste time telling them about how amazing your brand is, they will work that out themselves. Your job is to tell them how your product/service will improve their life.
- Offer Proof
You have people’s attention now you need to prove you know what you’re talking about and that you can help. Many advertisers will say what they think people want to hear, but this often leads to underqualified traffic. It is important to cut the crap, make people’s life easier, and get to the point. Back up what you say.
Some ways to do this are:
Stats and Numbers – Don’t get stuck in the world of industry or technical jargon. Provide stats to help support your claim. Real numbers can help people make an informed decision about your product/ service. Establish trust by being transparent, don’t just say they will save tell them how much.
Social Proof – Word of mouth is an old-school technique but a very powerful one. People still trust people more than what a company claims so supporting your ads with the numbers of customers you have, testimonials from an influencer, or opinions of other customers can greatly benefit your ad performance.
Consider the information that establishes credibility and past performance.
You need to convince people to purchase your products/services. Though some people may be on your site with an end goal in mind, many are there browsing. Tacking in information and discovering what solutions you offer for potential problems. For this reason, you need to spur your audience into action.
Two ways to do this are:
Emotion – though business should be a logical matter people do not make decisions based on logic alone. They are driven by emotions like fear, anger, joy, compaction. Negative words like stop, avoid, never, or worst can actually improve your overall ad performance for this reason. Making people laugh can make you memorable (good or bad), making them angry at their situation, and offering a solution can help calm them and help build a reliant association with you. Creating fear, specifically, the fear of missing out can help drive immediate action.
Logic – Since logic is the other side of decision making it is important to use it to persuade people. Address their pain and your solution for it. Be preemptive and answer the most common objections.
Each product/service has its own common objections people may use that you should try to address now.
“Like that slice of your mother’s pie on new year’s eve, right when you start your new diet. But it can technically is not the new year yet, right?”
In business the most common across the board are: How much it will cost and how much of a hassle will it be. This can be easily preempted with some forethought and clever copy. Allowing you to stand out from the crowd.
- Call to Action
You need to assume they don’t know what to do next once they are persuaded. Be it to download something, book a demo, fill out a form or purchase something offer clear, simple, direct instructions on what to do.
Often people will click out of curiosity, or reminders – it happens more often than you think – so it is important to capitalize on that tendency. Don’t just think about the verbal elements of a call to action (like “Download Now”) but also the placement of the element should be adjusted to the related information or in the most standard placement where people expect them to be (such as the social share links on the bottom right side of a post or a cart at the top right corner of the site/menu).
There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about your product/service and help them feel like they are taking the right next steps with you.
Online ads get stale quickly and will lose performance tracking over time. For this reason, it is important to remain current and fresh, using updated/new ad copy regularly.
To help do this:
A/B Test – test your ads adjust each other (testing different headlines or body copy or even the placement of a CTA) to see what works best for conversions. Test if a more benefit forward ad works better than a value perception ad if a fear-provoking ad works better than a witty ad. Ad writing is a science and the more hard data about what your audience converts with the better your next ads will be.
Research – How are your online competitors doing their ads? Looking at how your direct competitors and indirect competitors and speaking to your audience can help you get some ideas and insight.
Your Data – Past ad performance can give you an idea of what is and what is not working. Take note of them to help you develop new copy and avoid repeating poor copy.
Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness. We can help you with this too. Get in touch with us!