15 Expert Tips on How to Write Ad Copy That Converts
Anyone can attempt writing ad copy for digital marketing, but learning how to write ad copy that sells takes practice and finesse.
Great ad copy can entice viewers to click on your ads and enter your marketing funnel. It also helps build your brand's voice and personality, helping you stand out from the crowd.
So, how can you write amazing ad copy that increases conversion rates? It’s all about addressing your target audience's pain points. When you can articulate their problems and offer solutions, you’re halfway there!
Here are 15 tips that will guide you on how to write ad copy that will draw eyes and drive action:
How to Write Ad Copy Like a Pro
Whether you're creating ads for Facebook, Google, or another platform, these fifteen tips will help you master writing ad copy that converts. We've even included some ad copy writing examples to better demonstrate how to practice these tips:
Find and Understand Your Target Audience
The first step in how to write an ad is knowing who you're targeting and what they want. Your product may be the best thing since sliced bread, but your ad will fall flat if they’re speaking to the wrong people.
For example, if you are marketing artisanal vegan cheeses, you may initially target plant-based diet enthusiasts. However, as you research deeper, you might discover sub-niches such as gourmet food enthusiasts, and environmentally-conscious consumers or people who are lactose-intolerant.
You can then tailor your copy to those demographics i.e for environmentally-conscious consumers, you might highlight your ethical sourcing practices.
Be the Ultimate Solution to Their Problems
What is the main reason we click on ads? To solve our problems. Whether it's a need for convenience, saving time and money, or improving our lives in some way, we want solutions.
As such, you’ll want to focus on your target audience's pain points when writing ad copy.
Let's say you're promoting your copywriting services to help improve website traffic. Instead of saying:
'Get more website traffic with our copywriting services', consider your audience’s pain point, such as:
'Tired of low website traffic? Let us craft a compelling copy that boosts your views.'
Also, notice that the ad speaks directly to the audience using 'your' and 'you'. Again, it's all about connecting and addressing the individual's needs.
Include Case Studies and Statistics to Demonstrate Your Value
Anyone can talk a good game, but backing it up with results is what encourages leads to convert. This is even more prevalent if you’re a service, as nobody wants to hire a company with no track record.
Here's how to provide tangible evidence of the effectiveness of your product or service:
- Mention Notable Achievements: If there's a particular achievement you're proud of, mention it in your ad. For instance, "Boosted ABC Company's web traffic by 200%."
- Provide a Link to Detailed Case Studies: Include landing page links with relevant case studies. This way, you're providing evidence of your success and driving traffic to your website.
- Use Client Testimonials: Include testimonials that showcase exactly how you helped a client overcome their pain points. For example, 'ABC company helped me double my click-through rates and overall revenue with their copywriting services.'
- Incorporate Industry Statistics: Showcasing industry statistics can add weight to your claims. For example, 'Did you know that 70% of businesses increase their sales after investing in professional copywriting? Let us help you achieve similar results.'
Add FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
Using FOMO in your ad copy creates a sense of urgency and scarcity.
This powerful psychological trigger tells people they must act now, or risk missing out on your world-changing product or service. And it certainly works! Research shows 60% of millennials made purchases based on FOMO.
Here's how to incorporate FOMO into your ad copy:
- Limited Time Offers: Create a special offer or discount only available for a limited time.
- Low Stock Warnings: Let potential customers know when an item is running low in stock. This little nudge will instinctively make them want to purchase before it's sold out.
- Urgency in Language: Use words like 'now', 'limited time', and 'last chance' to instill urgency.
- Social Proof: Showcase how people have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from your product or service. This creates a sense of 'everyone else is doing it, so why aren’t I?'
- Rewards for Early Birds: By providing early access or rewards for those who purchase soon, you're using FOMO positively to incentivize customers to take action now rather than later.
Use Keywords Relevant to Your Audience
To match your ad with the right audience, use relevant keywords that align with your users' search intent.
Keywords are specific words or phrases that people use to search for products or services online. As such, you'll want to incorporate them into your ad's headline and copy, increasing the chances of your ad appearing for relevant searches.
However, it's advisable to experiment with keyword placement in ads to determine what works best. Sometimes it's more effective to include your primary keyword in the headline, while at other times, it may be better suited in the description. Keep testing different placements until you observe positive results.
Include a Relevant CTA (Call to Action)
Your CTA is the final push for your audience to take action.
Some people need clear direction on what action to take next, so make your CTA clear and specific. You can never assume that your audience knows what steps to take next, hence a well-crafted Calls to Action is crucial.
Your CTA can be as simple as 'Shop Now' or 'Sign Up'. Alternatively, you can use FOMO phrases like 'Limited Time Offer' or 'Sale Ends Soon'. Just ensure your CTA matches your ad's intent and is relevant to your audience.
Use Emotional Triggers to Evoke the ‘Feels’
Like it or not, we're emotional beings and often take action because 'it felt like the right thing to do'. As an advertiser, you can use emotional triggers to take advantage of this human tendency.
Some common emotional triggers include:
- Fear of missing out (FOMO.)
- Social proof (testimonials, reviews, ratings.)
- Desire for exclusivity or prestige.
However, you want to evoke the right emotions, or ones that best align with your product or service. Is it hope, excitement, trust, or something else?
For example, a traveling company selling vacation packages might use phrases that evokes relaxation and escapism: 'Leave the city bustle and book your dream vacation now'. Or, a fitness brand might use, say, 'Radically increase your fitness level and feel stronger than ever before' to evoke empowerment and confidence.
Of course, sometimes emotions don’t play a significant role, especially in more fact-driven or utilitarian advertising scenarios. Nonetheless, a touch of emotion can often be a crucial factor in people taking action on your ads.
Create Powerful Headlines that Turn Heads
Headlines should be short, easy to understand and above all else - compelling. It’s the first thing people see, and the first trigger to make people enter your marketing funnel.
So, how do you write a compelling headline for your ad copy?
- Use numbers or statistics (e.g. '8 out of 10 customers agree')
- Ask questions that tap into the audience's pain points ('Struggling to find the perfect gift? We have you covered.').
- Mention benefits over features ('Experience healthy, radiant skin with our all-natural products').
- Be creative and use humour, puns or play on words. (‘Bean there, done that? Try our exotic coffee blends for a fresh brew experience!’)
- Trigger emotions to evoke a response ('Feeling run-down? Boost your energy with our new supplement').
We've mentioned these tactics before, but it's worth repeating because they are often the key to a successful ad. Remember, headlines should stop people from scrolling through their mobile devices to take a second look - so make it catchy and memorable!
Spy on Your Competitors
Many successful marketers will hate me saying this, but spying on your competitors works. This doesn't mean copying their content word for word, but rather taking a look at what they are doing and differentiating yourself.
If you see a competitor using a particular tone in their ad copy i.e humour or seriousness, you can adopt a similar approach. Of course, make sure to put your own spin on it so that you’re not seen as a copycat.
You can use useful advertising libraries like the MagicBrief Ad Library, Facebook Ad Library or TikTok Creative Control Centre to find industry relevant ads that are currently running. You'll see what's trending and what ad copy strategies your competitors have in common.
At the very least, looking at competitor ads points you in the right direction.
Keep it Simple and Don't Waste Time
It's easy to get carried away when writing ad copy. But remember, the quicker you are to draw their attention, the more likely they are to explore your ad.
Keep your ad copy simple and direct. Avoid using industry jargon or overly complex language that can confuse or bore your audience. Instead, use clear and concise ad copy that instantly offers some value or benefit to the reader.
Let's take two examples to demonstrate the above point. Which of these two is more effective?
'Unlock the Full Potential of Your Digital Presence with Our Comprehensive SEO Solutions!'
'Boost Your Website's Traffic with Our SEO Services!'
Between these two examples, Example 2 draws attention faster to prompt a click-through. It's clear, direct, and immediately communicates a key benefit (boosting website traffic) of the offered service. On the other hand, Example 1 uses a more complex phrase, "Unlock the Full Potential of Your Digital Presence", which sounds more like a blog post.
A/B Test Your Ads to See What Works
Writing the best copy won't guarantee success with your target audience. After all, we're not mind-readers and can't say precisely how our audience will react. That's where A/B testing comes in.
A/B testing lets you gather quantitative and qualitative feedback from two or more versions of an ad (Version A, Version B, etc). These data-driven insights allow you to fine-tune your ad copy to near perfection.
When A/B testing, use different word combinations, headlines, and body copy, to see which versions excel. You can also experiment with ad placements on various social platforms.
If you see a particular ad variation performing better, learn what components contributed to its success. Was it the shorter headline or the more dynamic call-to-action? Use this valuable information to optimise future ad campaigns and improve ROI.
Focus on the Benefits, Not Features
Features tell, but benefits sell. What do we mean by that? While features describe specific attributes of your product or service, benefits explain how those features will improve a customer's life. As a result, benefits sway consumers to make a purchase.
For instance, if you're selling a smartwatch with various fitness tracking features, one might be "heart rate monitoring." To the layman, that might not mean much. But, explaining the benefit of "keeping your heart healthy and reaching your fitness goals" is more likely to resonate with potential customers.
Keep Up With What’s Trending
You may wonder how trends relate to ad copy, but they sure do. Keeping an eye on industry trends and hot topics can help you create ads that feel fresh and relevant to your audience.
Dove, for example, was one of the first companies to promote body positivity in their ads. Back then. you could have used this trend by creating inclusive ad copy that celebrates diversity and promotes self-love.
Another trend is sustainability and eco-friendliness. If your business aligns with these values, include them in your ad copy. You'll attract customers who are passionate about these issues and more likely to support your brand. You can also use trending hashtags and keywords in your ad copy to make it more visible on social media platforms.
Constantly Optimise and Revise
Digital advertising platforms are evolving, and how people consume content constantly changes. You might've written a stellar ad copy today, but it might be outdated or less effective in a few months. The advertising world is not static, nor should your ad copy be.
Every few months, revisit your ad copies. Look at the performance metrics. Are they still delivering the results you want? If not, it's time to tweak. Sometimes, minor changes like a new headline, a different image, or a more enticing CTA can reinvigorate an ad campaign. Again, this is why incorporating current trends are so important - yesterday’s news is old news in the advertising world.
Optimise Your Ad Copy for Platform Constraints
Different platforms offer different character limits for ad copy, so you'll need to adjust your social media ads messaging accordingly. Let's take Google and Facebook ads as examples:
- Text Ads: Headlines of up to 30 characters and descriptions with a 90-character limit.
- Display Network Ads: Various constraints, with headlines up to 30 characters, a long headline of 90 characters, and descriptions maxing out at 90 characters.
- Ad Extensions: Specifics such as site link extensions having a 25-character limit for link text.
Facebook Image Ads
- Primary Text: Preview of ads display up to 125 characters. You can include additional next, but users must click 'See More' to see it.
- Headline: Maximum of 27 characters to prevent truncation.
- Link Description: A short text that displays underneath the headline on the desktop, maxing out at 27 characters.
As you can see, advertisers don't have much space to work with on these platforms. As such, your copy should be as concise and compelling as possible.
In summary, writing great ad copy helps any business owner connect with prospective customers and drive conversions. The tips outlined in this guide are powerful tools that can significantly enhance your advertising campaigns, making them more compelling and effective.
As you delve into the world of ad copy, remember that practice, testing, and adaptation are key to honing your skills. Through diligent application and a commitment to learning, you'll improve your ability to communicate with your audience and significantly impact your business's bottom line!