Take it from a copywriter: Writing ads is more challenging than writing blog posts or website copy.
Why? You’ve got to accomplish a lot with a little if you want to stand out. Good ads pull from a playbook of proven strategies, yet tweak the formula with something unique and memorable – something that triggers an emotional connection, which leads to purchase. Reboot your clients’ ad campaigns with these 6 copy writing strategies for successful ads:
1. Start With Keyword Research
If you aren’t starting with keyword research, you’re wasting your time. You’ve got to know what keywords users are searching for when they are seeking your products or services. This is important for Google Adwords relevancy, too.
Look for strong keywords that target your audience at different points in their customer journey: The users who know nothing about what you do (not even that they need your services!), those who know a little about what you do and want to narrow down to the right service provider, and those who are almost ready to hire you but trying to determine the service level that’s right for them.
Get our nuts and bolts guide to how to conduct keyword research, then create a spreadsheet of keywords you can rank highly for.
2. Comparison Shop
No matter what industry your customer is in, odds are they’ve got a small pool of local competitors.
This can be good or bad: It’s bad if your client’s competitors have already aced their ad campaigns (they’re getting all the new business), but it’s good news because your ads only need to be better than the competition’s to win you eyeballs. Eyeballs, through a genius content marketing strategy and stellar ad copy, turn into paying customers.
Study your competition’s ads. How are they appealing to customers? What keywords are they using and which ones are they neglecting (which is where your opportunity lies). Researching other ads will help you get a sense for what your audience might find effective, how other brands are speaking to your customers, and how you can assert your competitive advantage and dominate your niche.
3. Hit the Big Four
Emotions drive user behavior, and they are one of the best ways to increase your conversion rates with ads. When your ad evokes a particular feeling, customers are more likely to buy. That’s why ads for home insurance often feature fires and floods: Home insurance companies want to make people feel afraid, then associate home insurance with safety and security.
Neuroscience-based marketing recognizes four base emotions: Anger, sadness, happiness, and fear.
When you create different ad iterations that spark each of these emotions, you will appeal to people at different stages in their customer journey and who have different mindsets. If you only targeted happy emotions, you would miss out on a lot of potential conversions.
4. Don’t Abuse the Thesaurus
When coming up with four variations of ad copy to trigger each emotion, some marketers turn to the thesaurus. Instead, a smarter impulse is to vary the tone of the ads. Create some that start with questions and others that begin with statements. Avoid overusing adjectives. By tweaking the message and tone, rather than the language, you can make a basic ad take on different meanings.
5. Give Your Landing Pages Some Love
Let’s face it, your ads are really only as good as your landing pages. If you’re getting a ton of clickthroughs but users are not buying, then the likely culprit is your landing pages.
Read through them with a critical eye. Are they answering all the questions users have about your product or service? Is the language emotionally (and intellectually) appropriate?
Strengthen landing pages to boost ad conversion.
6. Test, Test, Test … and Tweak, Tweak, Tweak
You’ve brainstormed a hundred ads (okay, maybe forty but it felt like a hundred). You’ve spied on your competitors. You’ve put yourself in your client’s customers’ shoes at every stage of the customer journey. Now you’ve got to test your ads, then test again and again to see how close you are to bullseye. Encourage your clients to test their ads–and you can help guide them in the right direction!
To test, play March Madness with your ads. Pit two ads against each other, crutch the numbers, and remove the weak ad. Place the winner against another ad and repeat. Keep going until you understand not only which ads works the best, but why they work. As you begin to see why one ad works and another does not, you can revise mediocre ads by building upon what works.
One thing many marketers overlook is how the simplest tweaks can be effective. By switching a verb, reordering words, or changing your capitalization, you can turn a lackluster ad into a high converter.
Now that you understand what makes ad copy successful, dazzle your clients! Maximize the effectiveness of their ads by paying attention to their user personas, brand mission, keywords, and campaign strategy– and build out ads that speak from their brands’ heart, that capture consumer attention, and drive sales.
Lindsey D enjoys learning new things, researching, and applying her writing skills to improve your web content and your web presence. She can work with you to develop a content strategy for your business or write high-quality content that follows your stated goals for increasing ROI, connecting to your target audience, boosting brand awareness, and more.