Have you been tasked with developing new ad copy for your ad campaigns? Are you setting up your first campaigns or iterating on top performers? In either case, the first step in the process of creating ad copy is understanding the important elements of advertising copy.
The more digital marketers I meet, the more I realize most of us are much more data-driven than we are creative. The work of digital marketers today involves so much data analysing and performance reporting that we spend very little time thinking of new ideas.
There’s really no way of completely automating this part of our work, but it’s nonetheless very important. After all, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful campaign often comes down to good copy.
Regardless of your strengths as a digital marketer and campaign manager, understanding the elements of ad copy that lead to high performing ads is very important and the topic of the following article.
The most important thing to remember is that ad copy is not just words – it’s a message. It needs to tell a story, convey a brand promise, and persuade people to act. Easier said than done!
The first step to creating effective advertisement campaigns is to study the ad copy elements that have worked for you in the past. After reading about the following ad copy elements go back to your existing campaigns and try to find some patterns.
Quick Tip: When you notice high-performance ad copy elements make those the focus of your next creative test.
Below are 12 copy elements to include in your new ads. These can’t be used all at once (although I’d love to see it tried). So instead consider including 2 elements in every new ad concept.
Regardless of how attractive your offer is, your ad should demonstrate to a certain extent the actual benefits to your product. This appeal to the rational side of your customer is especially important if you’re brand isn’t known by your customer.
With no tangible benefits mentioned, your ads might see very low conversion rates. But too much is just as bad as too little! Keep the ad focused around one central idea. When word count is limited, it’s easier to be convincing about a single benefit than about 3 or 4 briefly.
The most important element to include in your ads is a call to action. We sometimes see advertisers forget to test the different options available. Rotate between “Learn More”, “Buy Now” and the other options offered by the networks on which the ads are running.
Good ad copy must be able to elicit an emotion from your audience. Think about the kind of emotion that can connect with your audience the moment they see your ad. Are they in a rush or trying to relax? Are they looking for sympathy or motivation?
There are so many possible ad copy variations, which could each contain different emotions. Take some time to work on your copy while emphasising different emotions within it.
Some industries run far fewer offers in their ads than others. If you happen to be marketing a product that doesn’t have offers you might have to be creative. Try offering content such as a whitepaper or unique analysis that could entice your clients to visit your website.
Another common element of ad copy is a mention of time. You might want to mention the duration of your offer or the recent release date of your newest product. Be careful with this element, as it might come off a little aggressive.
Be sure that your limited time offers is believable. Customers will certainly be able to sense whether or not the offer is true. Most important, once the offer is over, don’t forget to pause the ads!
Every brand has a unique look and its very own communication style. The tone you choose in your ads creates that personality for your customers. It’s not always possible for campaign managers to sway from the brand identity, but if you do have that flexibility make sure to take advantage of it.
From fun and casual to confident and professional, experiment with different tones. Playing with this specific element is also a great way to learn about your audience. The highest-performing tone will tell you what kind of personality your audience is most interested in buying from.
Why not ask more questions in your ads? Portraying a sense of curiosity and interest in the needs of your customers can go a long way.
There’re many ways to create credibility in just a few words. You could mention testimonials or customer reviews. You could mention awards you’ve won or big name partners that you work with. Has your company achieved some recent successes worth sharing? One last tactic could be to use an impressive statistics about your industry to demonstrate your expertise.
Social proof provides a level of status or prestige to your brand. Being able to demonstrate your connections in an industry will inspire confidence in your product or service and improve your ad’s performance.
It’s sometimes said that human beings are wired for negativity. “If it bleeds it leads” and attacks on competitors can create strong reactions. On the other hand, while these could temporarily improve campaign performance, they harm your brand. Try to avoid too much negativity in your ads and focus on the optimistic future promised by the benefits of your product.
Power words are words that seem to have a greater impact on us. They contain strong imagery or emotions and can help make a message more memorable. We found great lists of power words, which includes words that tap into safety, urgency or value. For instance, including words like “backed”, “lifetime”, “tested”, “certified” or “proven” would certainly all add safety to your messaging.
The 9th element mentioned was positivity, however in the point we’d like to point out the risk of over-the-top language. A key element of ads is believability. Don’t be tempted to exaggerate when trying to make your ad copy catchy and interesting. Stick to the truth as exaggeration will turn prospective customers away.
Bold letters and colour can really catch the attention on a black and white page. While not all ad networks will allow you to create this type of text formatting, whenever it is an option adding a little color can make simple text ads into real thumb-stoppers.
At this point in the article your head must be full of new ad copy ideas. The next step creating a process to test all of them!
As a marketing managers, you’ve certainly heard of A/B testing and ran your fair share of tests yourself. We suggest you think through how you’re going to be running these A/B tests before launching the new ad copy.
To test the impact of an individual element on performance we suggest thinking about how to create variations of your winning ads. If your testing emotions in ads, try implementing these emotions without changing the integrity of the message. For instance:
An online learning platform testing different emotions might vary an ad while keeping the value proposition intact in the following way:
Start to Learn Faster By Learning At Your Own Pace
Learning is Hard So Start Learning At Your Own Pace
Different versions of the same ad is to run split tests, which will run both ads in parallel and allow you to determine the message that improves the performance. Note that some ad platforms don’t allow this type of testing, but it should be possible in most cases.
After the test is complete you’ll be able to determine know which emotion has worked best. As you can imagine the process of creating your new ad copy and analyzing the results is very time-consuming. This is why we created Flowin.
Flowin offers an A/B test dashboard that allows you to analyze your A/B test results in seconds. Not only will you better understand the result of your creative test, but a lot of time will be saved. If you have any question about implementing these processes in your organization don’t hesitate to reach out!
Authenticity comes from being true to yourself. This means keeping your brand identity in-mind when communicating with your clients through ads. Avoid copying competitors, as this will only reduce the uniqueness of your brand.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The advertising copy experts of this world can motivate customers in as little as 7 words. (Highway billboards rarely contain more than 7 words. Take a look next time you’re on the road!)
While it’s challenging to share your product or service’s benefits in few words, as a marketer, being concise is a valuable skill.
If you want your ad copy to be amazing, then you have to make it unique. Potential customers won’t pay much attention to your offer if it looks and feels like all the others that appear throughout their day.
Quick Tip: Remember your customer will see your ad and those of your competitors at the same time. Make sure your ad stands out!
If your competitors all use the same copy that’s great news. Avoid the familiar phrases prospects will be used to seeing and test something different companies.
Creating a compelling ad copy for your digital marketing campaign is not a difficult task. All you have to do is take note of the important elements an ad copy must possess and the tips necessary to create an amazing copy. When you put them into practice during your digital marketing campaign you are sure to see positive results.
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