Ad Copy Tips, Best Practices, and Examples
Writing great ad copy isn’t easy. In fact, you might want to bring a professional copywriter onboard to help out, particularly if you suspect that your ad copy might be one of the things holding you back from getting the results you want.
If you need to (or want to) write it yourself, though, you’ll want to follow a few copywriting best practices.
Three Best Practices for Writing Ad Copy
#1: Focus On What Your Prospect Wants
What does your customer want to accomplish (or avoid)? Focus on this when you’re writing your ad copy.
Here’s an example, from Digital Marketing Institute’s Google ad:
The headline ties into what prospective customers of Digital Marketing Institute want (“100% Online Certification”) and the description emphasizes what students might get (a pay raise and/or a promotion), as well as focusing on the benefit of learning “from the comfort of your home.”
#2: Split Test Your Ad Copy
However appealing you think your ad copy is, there’s really only one way to know for sure whether it’s working as well as it should: by running split tests.
This means having more than one version of your ad copy, with different wording. For instance, Digital Marketing Institute could potentially test their ad with three different headlines:
- SEO Courses | 100% Online Certification (the original headline, called the “control” for the test)
- SEO Courses | Get Qualified in Weeks (variation A)
- Master SEO from Your Own Home (variation B)
It might be the case that the control is the most effective headline, or variation A or B might show a better conversion rate.
By split testing, going with the best variation, then coming up with new tweaks on it, you can create ad copy that maximizes your conversions.
#3: Write Different Copy for Different Groups
Where possible, you’ll also want to write variations on your copy to tailor your ads to different groups. For instance, if you sell products aimed at kids, you might want to run ads on Facebook targeted at two distinct sections of your audience: one for parents and one for grandparents.
The language you use and the benefits you focus on in each case will vary – and by tailoring your ad copy to these different audiences, you can make sure you’re speaking to what matters most to them.
Three Key Tips for Writing Your Ad Copy
Maybe you’ve sat down to write the copy for a bunch of new ads – and your mind is blank. Here’s how to make it easier:
#1: Come Up With Lots of Ideas
Don’t just pick the first idea that comes into your head. Instead, brainstorm different possibilities. Write down as many different ways of approaching the ad copy as you can think of – even if some of them sound silly. (Sometimes, a not-quite-right idea can lead you on to a perfect one.)
#2: Don’t Rush It
Some ads might need as little as ten or twenty words of copy. It might seem like something you should be able to dash off in a couple of minutes… but don’t underestimate how long it can take to find just the right words. If possible, give yourself time to draft your ads, then set them aside for a day or two so you can come back and look at them again with fresh eyes.
#3: Get Someone Else to Proofread
An ad that seems crystal clear to you might be confusing to someone else – and typos or grammatical errors that slipped past you might be easy for a colleague to spot. A careless spelling mistake isn’t going to give a good impression of your business, and you might miss out on valuable clicks as a result.
Three Examples of Ad Copy in Action – And Why It Works
Example #1: MeetEdgar Ad on Facebook
This ad from MeetEdgar makes great use of emojis for the first three bullet points, and focuses on the potential customer, with phrases like “that could be you,” and “get ready to shine on social.” It clearly explains what’s on offer – a free 7 day email course – and their headline “Stop Second-Guessing Your Social Media Strategy” is a great one: let’s face it, who hasn’t second-guessed their strategy?
You might not be keen on the ungrammatical use of “inside of,” though arguably that helps give the ad a more friendly, conversational tone.
The octopus emoji, used three times for the second set of three bullet points, can be used to imply doing many things at once, as well as tying in with MeetEdgar’s octopus logo. It could be confusing to people who aren’t especially familiar with emojis or MeetEdgar, though.
Example #2: WordPress.com
This is a simple but effective ad from WordPress.com, with an image of a laptop keyboard and some dollar bills. The “6 Ways to Monetize a Blog” headline works particularly well, as prospective WordPress customers will know exactly what they’re getting when they click the call-to-action (“Learn More”) – they’re going to see a post with information about how to make money blogging.
While you could question the image here (it has rather a stock photography feel), the text is simple, clear, and does its job.
Example #3: GoDaddy
This Google ad for GoDaddy is very clear about the benefits of their service: you can build a website in under an hour, with “no experience needed”. The numbers (1,000s of templates, 24/7 support, 1 hour) all help make this ad seem concrete and credible. “Start yours for free today” is a great call to action, too.
Writing great ad copy, and testing it, can take time – but if you can nudge up your conversation rate, it could be well worth every minute you spend. Use the best practices and tips above to craft your own copy, and try out at least two different versions with a real-life audience to see which works best.
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