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Ad Intelligence 101 |


What is Ad Copy? 5 Tips for Writing Better Digital Ad Copy

April 12 2018 by Ken Roberts
Write better digital advertising copy
Write better digital advertising copy

Write better digital advertising copy

It's easy to overlook ad copy when building new creatives. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the design process that we disregard the message itself.

What is ad copy? While design is important, copy drives visitors to your site. Whether it's the headline or the call-to-action (CTA), your ad copy needs to be compelling, concise and clear.

Below are five recommendations to improve your ad copy, and craft a message that turns browsers into buyers.

1. Make Your Headline Meaningful

As a brand, you only have a few seconds to make an impression. A meaningful headline is one of the most critical elements of a successful ad. 

Consider these tips when crafting headlines: 

  • Ask a question to immediately engage your audience. Attract the consumer with a thought-provoking question that makes them want to read more.
  • Fix a problem in your headline. Consumers make purchases to solve their problems. Advertise a solution to a problem that relates your product and your audience.
  • Use keywords. Be direct with what your advertising. Connect words in the consumer's search query with words in your headline.
  • Make it funny. When someone hears a funny joke they tend to remember it. Leverage humor in your headline to help separate your brand from the rest.

>> Related read: How to Write Attention Grabbing Headlines That Convert <<

2. Use Keywords

You should also use keywords in the body copy of the ad. Think: What words would my ideal persona search for? 

Crafting ad copy with keywords is a science. You want to balance specific and general keywords, while still sounding natural. Specific keywords target your persona, while general keywords target a broader audience. Ensure you have a mix of both.

But—above all else—focus on readability. Don't try to force keywords into your body copy. Stuffing keywords into supporting body copy can make your message unclear. You only have a small window to communicate your message; too many words will cause the audience to lose interest.

We must also recognize all the change surrounding the impact of keywords. It’s less about what and more about why. The intent of your keywords matters. Why is the consumer searching for information? Do they want to make a purchase? Are they looking for a specific website? Think about why someone is searching for your brand and develop keywords based on their intentions.

3. Always Add Value

Write ad copy that speaks to your target consumer. Don't waste their time with unrelated offers. Clicks are great, but qualified clicks are even better.

Define your targeted audience before you write your copy. Profile your persona around insight from your audience. Ask yourself: 

  • What kinds of questions do they ask?
  • What are their common pain points?
  • What are their personal demographics?
  • What kind of content do they consume?
  • Ultimately, how does my product or service make his/her life better? 

This will help you develop a strong understanding of who your reader is and will allow you to better speak their language.

4. Remember Your Call-To-Action

Remember your call-to-action.

Don't assume people know what you want them to do. Spell out the next steps using simple, straightforward language. 

Consider your goal when drafting your CTA. Do you want to drive traffic? Collect leads? If you want your audience to download content, include the word "download" in the CTA. If you want them to visit your site, use the word "visit." The best CTAs use strong action verbs like join, subscribe, and launch.

5. A/B Test Your Ad Copy

A/B testing your ad copy is a great way to remain agile, and see which elements work best. If you’re not familiar, A/B testing is a way to compare two things and see which performs better. Consider using different word combinations in separate ads to see which copy is more compelling (use two different headlines or different ad copy). Focus on the benefits of your offer in one ad, and the value proposition in another. Run both ads and determine which ad copy is more effective.

Bottom line: Ad copy is more complicated than it sounds. It's more than just words. It's a science. Keep it clear, concise and compelling, and you'll have yourself a successful ad. 

About Author
Ken Roberts

Ken Roberts has been immersed in marketing and technology for over a decade, merging creative strategies with the latest technology, to bring products together with the people who need them. With degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and an MBA, Ken’s background in product management, marketing, sales, analytics and technology lends to his ability to attack product challenges on multiple levels. Ken began his career developing software solutions for medical records before transitioning to marketing. Ken focused on building marketing departments and operating in-house agencies. Ken’s experience with digital platforms, internet based marketing, lead scoring and business intelligence, and reporting, as well as a keen market understanding, are a welcome addition to Pathmatics, only matched by a leadership philosophy that encourages high creativity and ownership from his team.

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