Punchy, eloquent, and engaging copy is the backbone of advertising. While a picture can say 1000 words, text can be an exceptionally effective way to communicate with consumers and persuade them to take a specific action. Advertising is evolving, and you need to evolve with it. While traditional models of advertising still exist, businesses are now having to adapt and adopt digital methods to stay relevant with audiences. In saying all of this, what’s the best way to write advertising copy so engaging and thought-provoking, that the ads turn into leads? Here are 5 tips.
1. Do your research
Look around at absolutely everything, including your own previous adverts and competitor adverts. Read, read, and then read some more. See what draws your attention in and what doesn’t. Jump online and do a little bit of digging into certain advertising campaigns. Often, there’s a lot of information out there that discusses whether a particular campaign worked or failed and why. It’s also a good idea to have a read through the different varieties of copy that can work in advertising, including:
- Long copy etc.
All of these styles have different advantages and disadvantages and while one may work for your competitor, it may not be the avenue you particularly want to take. You need to delve into researching your brand, your past, your audience and your future. All of these elements will help you form a tone and a voice that should carry consistently throughout your entire advertising copy. Another tip is to create a persona from your research – who are your customers and how should you talk to them? Is your key audience over 50? If so, you’ll need to speak to them in a different way than you would to millennials.
2. Package it up
Some of the best advertising campaigns are lengthy promotions, where all elements work together to create a full-blown operation. When looking to create advertising copy, have a dig around your own archives and see what worked. Never be afraid to recycle an idea with a new spin. It’s also a good idea to write down several ideas of copy before settling on the final one. Practice makes perfect, and there are often many ways you can say the same sentence. Having a look at old advertising campaigns and rewriting them will help you find your voice. When it comes to a full campaign, make sure every element of the advertising is in the same tone, voice, and style of writing. This doesn’t mean that every element needs to be long form copy, but it does need to have the same tone. While your Email Direct Marketing (EDM) may be longer and more emotionally engaging, your Facebook ad might be witty and snappy. As long as your audience can ‘hear’ the same person speaking across the two mediums and can associate it with your brand, you’ve done your job correctly. So in summary, finding the voice, packaging all the advertisements up into a neat campaign and engaging with the audience is key.
3. Understand the audience
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when advertising is writing copy for the wrong target audience. Consumers want nothing more than a brand or company to understand what they need and want. So, we’ll let you in on a little secret: most of the time, audiences want you to solve their problems. Once you understand this, copy will flow a lot more easily.
If you think your audience wants simple solutions, consider using plain and straightforward language in your advertising. Phrase the copy in a way that shows you understand not only what they want from you, but also how they’re prepared to get it. Make headlines short and snappy to reel them in, and then present the facts and benefits without the background story.
Pull on emotional strings
On the contrary, if you think your audience wants to hear the story, give it to them. Play on their emotions and explain how your product or service provides a solution. By building a memorable story and picture, people will be more likely to buy into your product or service.
Be on the same level
Talk to your audience, not at them. Consumers want to know that brands understand them, they don’t want to feel spoken down to. You might want to adapt conversational language so consumers will feel they are being spoken to directly.
Create a Fear Of Missing Out
Another good tip is to utilise FOMO. Yep, FOMO is a legitimate psychological thing, and there are so many people out there who have a fear of missing out. Drawing on this feeling is almost a guarantee that you’ll see new customers. A good way to do this is using countdown timers or creating a sense of competition. No matter which direction you take, make your copy engaging, real and unforgettable. Even if they don’t purchase or sign up straight away, when they are ready to make that step, they’ll come running back to you.
4. Don’t be afraid of buzzwords
Consumers like to see, at an immediate glance, what you can offer them, especially if the offering is over and above expectations. For example, things like ‘free shipping’ or ‘free returns’ are excellent incentives for people to purchase your products. And while you don’t want to sound too salesy, it’s important to realise that you are selling something, so you need to find the balance between generic copy and sales copy. In fact, it’s been proven that words such as ‘Shop Now’, ‘Fast Shipping’ and ‘High Quality’ generate clicks and follow through. As a rule of thumb, only use these words when you’re improving the sale process or the life of the consumer. Once you’ve reeled them in and they’re reading your ad, your audience don’t want to hear about how incredible you are. They want to hear about how incredible you can make them feel and how incredible you can make their lives. Don’t be afraid to use the term ‘you’ so it’s nice and personal, and show them how your product or service will improve their life. How much will they save? Should they ‘Visit Today’? Is your service ‘Fast, affordable and accurate’? All of these words appeal to your audience. They don’t care how you make it happen, they just care that you make it happen.
5. Write correctly
There’s nothing worse than advertising copy that simply doesn’t make sense. When writing advertising copy, there are some do’s and don’ts that you should pay attention to.
Writing ad copy – do’s
Use language that the majority of people understand. Ensure your grammar, spelling and structure is correct. Think about online and traditional advertising and adapt when needed. Think about the language your customer is going to appreciate the most, not what works best for you.
Writing ad copy – don’ts
- Don’t fall into the trap of making promises you can’t keep.
- Don’t try too hard to be funny, audiences can see right through this. Keep in mind that while some people will appreciate slapstick humour, others may prefer dark humour. And then there’ll be a whole other section of your audience who won’t appreciate humour at all. Humour can divide and offend people, and that’s the last thing you want to do as a brand.
- Don’t try to be so clever that no one understands what you’re talking about. Not only is this frustrating, but it’s also condescending for audiences.
- Don’t try to trick your consumers into thinking they’re reading an article, when all they’re reading is an advertisement.
- Finally, and we can’t stress this enough… proofread everything. Twice!
The ultimate recipe for good copy
Writing advertising copy can be a bit like navigating a minefield. Tread lightly because you never know when something will blow up in your face. Essentially speaking, good advertising copy needs to have four things:
- It needs to show that the company can solve a problem.
- It needs to paint a picture of what the consumer’s life will be like once their problems are solved.
- It needs to show that you will deliver on your promise.
- It needs to encourage a subscription, download, share or purchase.
If you use this recipe, your copy will utilise the self-interest of the customer and provide content that is engaging, unique and interesting. MVP Print can help your sales copy come to life. With high-quality design and printing services, same-day despatch and Australia-wide delivery, you can get your advertising collateral prepared fast. Contact MVP PRINT for your printing needs today.