Not just any copy will do. You need the right marketing strategy to create a compelling ad.
In this article, I’ll teach you how to write an advertisement that sells, so you can focus your resources on marketing and on improving your products. Keep reading!
What Makes an Effective Ad Copy in Advertising?
While there’s no single right answer to this question, effective ads typically share a few common elements:
- A problem to solve. An ad needs to start with an issue to solve or a need to fulfill so it can present the product or service as a solution.
- Distinctive benefits. A compelling ad’s offer should stand out from the competition.
- A clear call to action. The ad should specify what action it wants the customers to take and how to do it.
7 Tips to Write a Great Advertisement
Now that you know the hallmarks of effective advertising, how do you make them work for your business? Below are seven easy steps to write better ads:
1. Know Your Target Customers
Knowing your brand’s intended audience helps you identify their needs, emotional triggers, and how to resonate with them. Make sure you can answer these questions:
- Who they are. Collect relevant demographic data like age, gender, occupation, and background.
- What motivates them. Figure out their pain points, drive, and what criteria they’re looking for in a product intended to solve their problems.
This data can be used to create a buyer’s persona, which is rough profiling of a particular demographic. Later, this profile can serve as a guideline for the voice, tone, and style that works best for your copy.
Use surveys, interviews, analytics, and observe trends to help you get relevant information, including keywords. Using relevant search terms increases the visibility of your ads.
When selecting keywords for your ads, make sure to aim for the ones with high search volume. You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner to help you out.
Other tools I recommend for researching target audiences are Google Forms, Google Trends, Hubspot, and Similar Web. Various social networking insights like Twitter Analytics are also helpful for this step.
2. Define the Goal for the Ad (Headline)
Whether it’s to click a link or make a purchase, your ad needs a clear purpose. Having one will determine what information to include and which format works best. This also helps you create a relevant headline that grabs people’s attention.
Take a look at this Google Ads’ copy:
As you can see, the ad makes its intentions clear from the get-go, which is to get more people to sign up for Google Ads. It supplements the headline with more call-to-actions that highlight what to expect from the service.
If you’re unsure of where to start, write the call-to-action first and work from there. Cut any information that doesn’t add to the end goal. You can use tools like Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer to see whether your headline is straight to the point.
3. State the Benefits and Back it Up
The most important aspect of advertising is for readers to care. Customers don’t find a list of features compelling if they won’t benefit from it.
Let’s use another Google Ads copy as an example.
The copy immediately specifies the benefit of the headline, which is more customers and easy online advertising. It also details how the benefits work (your ads on Google Search and Maps) and how to afford it (pay-per-results).
Make the offer more enticing with time-sensitive promos that evoke a sense of urgency.
Or, urge the visitors to read testimonials that back your claims.
Whichever approach you choose, start by listing all your products’ features. Then, note the results it can achieve and connect them with your customer’s pain points to craft a compelling message. Use concise, clear sentences to prevent confusing readers.
Having a guarantee like a 30-day money-back policy can also increase conversion, as it makes transactions less risky for customers.
4. Write an Advertorial
Native advertising or advertorial is a longer ad copy that guides readers to solve a problem or inform them about a subject. It’s a great way to establish brand authority and entice readers to know your offer’s better.
According to this study, advertorials get 53% more attention than conventional display ads. Aside from that, there are a few reasons why you might want to use this format:
- When your products are high-priced. People will be more inclined to buy expensive or luxury items if they’re well-informed that the product is worth their money.
- When there are so many features. You might want to expand on these points better to highlight a product’s benefits and practical uses.
- When knowledge is what you sell. Needless to say, information products need to be as educational and helpful as possible.
A notable example of this copy type is “About This Stock and Bond Business” by Louis Engel and Merill Lynch, an in-depth guide about stock investment for beginners. The call-to-action urges readers to contact them to learn more about their guidebook. Which has already earned them over 10,000 inquiries.
The underlying principles to a successful advertorial are similar to short ad copies. You research the audience, understand their pain points, and present a solution. Except that this time, you make it read like an article.
You can learn more about this technique by reading this guide.
5. Make it Visual
Readers absorb visual information 80% better. Appling visuals to your ads increase the chances of them being successful.
To make your ads more effective, use eye-catching, branded illustrations that depict what you offer in a simple but concise way. Ford did this exceptionally well with this ad that highlights its cars’ rear-view camera.
Not only does it showcase an important feature, but it does so in a way that’s easy to understand and resonate with. It demonstrates an issue many car owners face and presents its offer as something that doesn’t only benefit the users but also animals.
You can also take the advertising medium into account and play with other formats. While Publicis doesn’t promote a product, its awareness of Alzheimer’s follows great advertising design principles. It uses a faded-out magazine format to reinforce its message.
Or, if you’re advertising online, you can use catchy thumbnails with your copy strategically placed, so it attracts attention. Let’s take a look at another example by Google.
It features a clean, minimalist illustration with easy-to-read fonts. The call-to-action is placed in such a way that it would be the first thing visitors notice when they see the ad.
It also smartly uses color association. As blue is often associated with intelligence and stability—two desirable attributes for tech products.
There are tons of guides that can help you understand ad design basics, but I recommend starting here.
6. Include a Clear Contact Information and Call to Action
While including a “contact us” section in your copy sounds like a no-brainer, its importance can’t be emphasized enough. For instance, 47% of people are more inclined to click ads that include a phone number.
With online ads, this particular element is even more crucial as it can be used to track how well your campaign performs and how to retarget the reader. You can track conversions from links with tags.
Alternatively, include a contact form on your website and tag it with codes to track analytics insights.
Follow the best practices in creating a contact page. Check that there are no typos or missing details and keep it straight to the point. It’s also a good idea to make the design complementary to your website and brand as a whole.
If you need inspiration on creating an effective “contact us,” there is no shortage of examples to follow. Like this Infinium’s contact page, for example.
It’s also important to mind the placement of the call-to-action. On top of using straightforward sentences, ensure that it’s not overwhelming. Keep the placement strategic, such as above the fold of your website, for instance.
Need some examples? This list compiles a few you can take inspiration from.
7. Comply with the Legal Standards
Last but not least, remember to comply with the regulations set by organizations like the Federal Trade Commission or other governing bodies in your area.
The details might vary depending on where you live. For instance, if you live in Europe, you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Lastly, don’t forget the regulations of the advertising platform you use too. If you use Google Ads, you can refer to their guidelines on the do and don’ts.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult with a lawyer to ensure your ad meets all the legal requirements.
Advantages of a Great Advertisement
Now that you know some tips on how to write an effective advertisement, you might be wondering how this will benefit your business. Aside from increasing sales, great advertisements can also:
- Retain existing consumer base and attract new customers.
- Increase the brand exposure and consumer awareness of your products.
- A lower cost and a higher return on investment, because the better your ad scores are, the less you pay, and the better the positioning will be.
Well-crafted advertisements can serve as a catalyst for successful businesses. Hopefully, you can apply these tips to your business marketing to make more sales and build a stronger customer base. Here you can read more about what role does marketing play in our society. Best of luck!