Advertising is one way to get your business in front of potential customers. It can create awareness, build credibility, and generate leads. But generic and bland ads don’t work anymore because customers are jaded seeing the same ads everywhere.
It seems like every company is competing for your attention, and it’s becoming harder to stand out.
So, here’s the million-dollar question: How do you write effective advertising copy?
It is impossible to find a universal formula, but there are some things that all successful ads have in common. In this post, we’ll explore how to write good ad copy that stands out. We’ll also go over some examples that have been proven successful in the past.
What is a good ad copy?
An effective advertisement doesn’t just promote a product or service; it grabs attention and speaks to customers’ problems, desires, and needs. It’s not about being clever or funny; it’s about understanding your target customer’s core desires and fears and addressing those in your ad copy. You can test various ad angles to see which one resonates the most with your customers. Good brand copy should be clear, focused, concise, and intriguing.
What is the difference between bad ads and good ads?
The biggest difference is that good ad copy sells while bad copy doesn’t. You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention, so make sure your message is loud and clear.
Bad ads are often unoriginal, have confusing messages, use too much jargon, or are simply irrelevant to the audience. On the other hand, effective copy is specific to the target audience, uses a conversational tone, and focuses on benefits rather than features. It also avoids being salesy and instead engages the customer in a conversation.
Generic ads full of hype and empty promises will not get customers’ attention. They’re more likely to tune them out.
Anatomy of good ad copy
Let’s look at the anatomy of a good ad and how we can apply these elements to our own work.
Written for one reader
Although I hate marketing cliches like “write for one reader,” this is a fundamental principle to remember when writing your ad copy.
Write ads like you’re speaking directly to one person. You need to understand what that person wants and needs and then address those desires in your ad copy. You have to know your target audience so well that you can write specifically for them and speak their language.
Your tone of voice must match your potential customer’s personality type.
Laser targeted at your target audience
A Facebook ad or a Google ad allows you to target people more precisely than a print ad. They help advertisers to reach their ideal customers with laser-like precision. For example, you can use Facebook ads manager to target people most likely to buy from you by selecting their location, age, gender, interests, or keywords. Google ads triggered by keywords are especially useful because they can help you find new customers ready to buy. You can also target people based on their behavior and search activity online. For example, if you sell dog food, you could target people who recently searched for information about dogs. So make sure you have a solid paid ad strategy in place.
A good hook
Any good advertisement should have a hook to grab the reader’s attention and get them intrigued enough to read on. This could be a powerful statistic, an interesting fact, or a provocative statement. Tap into research, trending topics, and the latest news to come up with your hook.
An irresistible offer
In marketing, an irresistible offer makes potential customers feel foolish if they don’t take advantage of it.
- It’s an offer that’s too good to refuse. Value stacking and bundled offers are great ways to add value to your offer.
- It creates a sense of urgency, so the ideal customer feels like they need to take action now.
- It will have minimal to zero risk for the customer. A no-questions-asked refund policy is a good example of risk reversal.
- Show social proof in your to earn the trust of your potential customers. For example, you can include customer reviews in your PPC ad copy or even have a dedicated page showing off all the positive comments from your social media accounts.
- Make it easy for customers to take advantage of your offer by lowering the entry barrier. You can reduce friction through technology or price through payment plans or discounts.
- Build up the perceived value of your offer. People love to know that they’re getting exclusive access or insider information. You can increase the value of your offer by offering access to an exclusive community of experts or by providing early access to new products and services.
A clear goal, marketing message, and Call To Action (CTA)
Your ad should have a clear purpose. What do you want the customer to do? Buy your product? Sign up for your service? Download your app?
Your goal should be crystal clear, so you can tailor your message and CTA to achieve that objective.
Call out benefits
The best ads always focus on benefits, not features. Your product’s technical specs and capabilities are rarely enough to convince customers to buy.
People are trained to assess everything by running it through the “what’s in it for me” filter. If you try to answer that with your boring product features, chances are they’ll tune you out.
So the real question you should be answering is, how will your product feature help them?
Focus on how your product will improve the customer’s life. What are the benefits of using your product? How will it make them happier, healthier, more productive, or wealthier?
Be specific! Generic claims like “our products are the best” mean nothing to customers.
Two copywriting tactics for busy marketers
AIDA is a copywriting technique frequently used in digital marketing. Here’s how it works:
Attention: You grab your reader’s attention with an interesting statement.
Interest: You build the reader’s interest by making them curious about what you have to say.
Desire: Once the reader is interested, you build up their desire.
Action: The final step is to convert them into buyers by asking them to do a specific action.
PAS is another writing technique used by smart marketers. Let’s break down the framework.
Problem: You call out the problem your readers are experiencing.
Agitate: You agitate the problem further by describing the negative consequences of the issue.
Solution: Now, you offer your product or service as the solution to the problem.
Finally, you ask the reader to take some action.
Great ad copy examples
Let’s look at some great ad copy from marketing pros that you can use as inspiration.
The Facebook ad starts by capturing your attention with a subtle pattern interrupt. Then it hooks the reader with an interesting stat and builds their curiosity. Finally, there’s a call to action.
Here’s an example of a Facebook ad copy calling out the benefits.
Here’s another great ad copywriting example from Clickup.
Here is a good marketing copywriting example from Soul circus. This Instagram ad tries to create a fear of missing out (FOMO) by mentioning the offer is limited. They also increase the offer’s value by bundling multiple event access into a single pass and demonstrating the value by value stacking.
Pair your copy with complementary images and videos
The best ads make sure that the copy and the visuals work together. You need to combine your ad copy with complementary visuals to maximize the impact. For example, if you’re advertising a mattress, you might want to use pictures of people sleeping on a bed. Combining visuals with effective ad copy will boost sales by hitting the emotional triggers.
In this post, we’ve looked at the elements of a good ad copy and how to write one. All successful ad copies have a few things in common; use these when creating your next advertisement. We’ve also looked at the tools and tactics to create great advertising copy. If you follow these simple steps, your ads will be more effective at driving sales.
Remember: when writing ad copy, it is important to keep in mind your customer goal and pain points to tailor the message to match that. Consider adding complementary visuals to increase conversions by increasing emotional triggers. Most importantly, always A/B test different versions of your ad copy to determine what works best with audiences.