7 Steps to Producing Outstanding Ad Copy
Ad copy is the written word in all advertising communications. It’s easy to understand then, why writing great ad copy is important in persuading the advertisement’s audience to buy a product, or to influence their beliefs. Without compelling copy, advertisements will fail to generate the sales, engagement, or excitement that it needs to in order to be successful and increase your advertising return on investment (ROI). It’s also important online, where writing consistently good copy helps to increase your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and get your company/product found in search results. With that said, here are 7 steps to produce outstanding ad copy for your company:
1. Research Your Audience
Knowing your audience is important in building great copy. Thoroughly research your target audience and generate a character profile based on what you find. A character profile is a description of your typical customer—What their wants and needs are, what they’re interested in and where they go online, and how they like being communicated with and the types of language that’s most effective with them. There are many examples online, but Hubspot’s example buyer’s personas is one that I especially like.
2. Define Your Goal
You must decide based on your research what kind of engagement/conversion goals you want your ad to have. You may just want to increase general brand awareness in certain markets, but setting goals let you know what you need to track in order to gauge the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and the copy you write. A campaign without metrics to track it is just guesswork, and you won’t be successful if you don’t know what works for you. You might not even be able to gauge if you’re successful if you don’t have the proper metrics for your campaign, so it’s very important to set these goals and how you’ll track them.
The headline is the most important part of writing outstanding copy for online communications especially. It’s what gets the user to look at what you wrote in the first place, and if it’s compelling enough to cut through the clutter, then you can get your message to more people. If you are able to, A/B testing different headlines to see which are most effective will help you to increase your engagement and get your message read.
4. Identify Your Main Differentiator
What makes your product/service/company so great? Find your unique selling proposition; the one characteristic that puts you over the top and tailor the wording to your intended audience. By doing so, you say what you can offer them in a way that gets their attention. This statement should be concise and compelling; don’t crowd your unique selling proposition with fluff or excess words.
5. So What?
Otherwise known as they “Why” of your copy. Why should they buy/think the way you want them to? Let the target audience know why your unique selling proposition is important to them. This can be part of your Call to Action (CTA), or before it, but you want to go big here. Make your ‘So What’ engaging and unique, but don’t get to fancy with it. If you use too much humor or get too fancy with your copy, you could lose the interest of your audience and get distracted from making the sale. Your copy is important, take time to develop it around your main differentiator.
6. Focus and K.I.S.S It
This is not another step entirely, but a mentality to keep throughout your copywriting process. Make sure your message is focused and simple to understand. If your copy is too hard to understand, your target audience will lose focus as well. Bad stuff.
K.I.S.S is the concept of Keeping It Simple, Stupid, which is a design principle that avoids unneeded complexity in many forms of communication, including advertising. Include every word that needs to be in your ad copy, and not a word more. A definite way to see if you’re including too much is to test different versions of copy against each other, and measure the conversions of each to see which version is more effective with your target audience.
7. Call to Action (CTA)
There’s enough information out there on CTAs to probably fill a whole book, but what’s important is that you have a call to action based on the goals that you set in the beginning. The call to action is what you want your target audience to do, whether it’s read more, buy now, or sign up. Your call to action is important in increasing your conversions, so writing a really concise but awesome CTA is important for your copywriting success. As with most parts of the copywriting process, the key to an outstanding CTA is testing. By A/B testing different CTAs, you’ll be able to definitively figure out which ones are most effective in reaching your conversion goals. Depending on your medium and what kind of ad campaign you’re running there are a multitude of ways to track how your ad is performing.
More: Read our recent guide to learn how to optimize your CTAs.
Copywriting is a very important role in the marketing communications scheme, so it’s important that you get it right, even if you need to hire outside expertise. Take the time to develop some really amazing copy and you’ll be able to cut through the clutter to your intended audiences.
Questions about copywriting or DDG? Contact me!