If you’ve been writing for a long enough time, you’ll start thinking about your options for driving traffic to your site, free traffic through SEO is the dream, but more often than not, the quickest, most efficient route is paid traffic with advertisements. Before you start shucking out money though, let’s go over five easy tips to help maximize the value of your ads and hopefully give you better returns on your investment.
1. Keep It Short
Before you write your ad, take a few minutes and scroll through your Facebook newsfeed. Peppered between your cousin’s wedding photos and pictures of your best friend’s puppy are ads targeted specifically at you. As you scroll through your feed, make a note every time one of these ads catches your attention. Over time you should start to notice certain patterns regarding length. The posts that get your attention, get to the point quickly and don’t waste your time with fluff.
According to AdExpresso, shorter posts get 23% more interaction than longer ones. Why? The answer is simple: Time is scarce for most people and the less of it they have to trade for your ad, the happier they are. The study was done on Facebook, but we can apply that to anywhere copy is read. Outside the train station, on the side banner for online news, wherever there are ads being shown. Good copywriting will show the reader you have a solution to a problem of theirs. In the age of instant gratification, the sooner you can show them you have the answer, the better.
2. Tone it down!
Think of the last late-night infomercial you’ve seen. How many times did you hear their product was extraordinary? What about one-of-a-kind? Ground-breaking? Cutting edge? Newest Technology?
Chances are you’ve heard these words a lot. So much so, that they have lost the emphasis they used to carry. Just like the gross misuse of the words “literally” and “legit” have done, the overuse of hype words in advertisement has conditioned us to associate certain words and phrases with gimmicks and scams. Today’s consumers are smart, and the moment they hear “BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!”, they are already reaching for the back button. So what should we do?
To avoid being seen as a gimmicky sales pitch, and being lumped in the consumers’ mind with snake oil, you should try to focus on two things: Statistics, and facts. You also want to be sure and put your facts in your headlines where possible. According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 readers will read your headline only, with a mere 20% reading the rest. So you want to use your headlines to highlight your most important points.
3. Get Visual!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This may be true, especially considering that 65% of the population is classified as visual learners with visual data making up 90% of the information our brains process. With that in mind, we should safely assume that if we add a visual element to our copy text, our advertisement will get both noticed, and read more. In fact, according to this study by 3M, presentations with visuals are 43% more likely to persuade than those without. If you are unsure of where to begin and need some ideas, a good place to start is to search keywords relating to your product on Google Images. If you need help finding good related keywords, try the online thesaurus to find synonyms.
4. Affirm The Readers Ability to Choose
Once again, take a few minutes to scroll through your social media feeds, making notes as you go for each ad that draws your attention. Chances are, you’ll notice some of the best copywriting, reaffirms the reader’s ability to choose.
What I mean by this is instead of saying “Click here and you’ll get my best products!”
A better option would be to say “If you want to know more, click here and you’ll see my best products.”
While subtle, the difference is that the second sentence tells the reader that it’s up to them to click, you aren’t commanding them to click. On a subconscious level this makes readers feel like you aren’t trying to sell them something, but are instead making an offer. Lets look at another example. Say you are looking for a new car and you visit two car lots to comparison. The first one you visit tells you that he has the best value on the best cars so you should buy from him. The second lot you visit tells you to look around, and if you see something you like, he can run a quote for you. Chances are, you are more likely to buy from the second lot, because they respected your ability to make a decision instead of trying to make it for you.
5. Write a Call to Action
You can create a great ad, you can write great content, but if you aren’t direct with what you want, no one is going to tell your audience for you. You have to have a clear and direct call to action (CTA). Whether your telling readers to subscribe, purchase and item, or just follow you on Facebook, you really want to focus on creating a CTA that is to the point. When you create a CTA you want to show the benefits of acting. For example, if your call to action is to subscribe to your updates, the benefits would be they don’t miss out on your newest information. A simple example can be seen below.
A little shameless self-promotion there. The point though, is that if you don’t ask your readers to buy your product, click your link, subscribe to your posts, no one else will.
Copywriting in Advertisements
You put your heart and soul into your content to try to create a quality experience for your readers. You spend several hours on each post, and you double-check your spelling and grammar. You take pride in your work (hopefully) and you feel like you have produced a solid product. You put some ads up and you share your new work on social media and you wait for the readers to come pouring in, but they don’t bite. What gives?
If this sound familiar, you aren’t alone. There are thousand of bloggers out there that are also trying to get noticed and wondering why they aren’t succeeding. One solution might be, you need to write better copy.
What is Copy?
When you look at advertisements, they can be broken down into two main parts. You have the visual elements to grab the attention of the viewer and build interest, and then you have the text that tells the viewer why the product or content is relevant to them and engages the viewer. If the copy is good it will lead the viewer to clicking your link or making a purchase. This is known as converting. This text is known as copy. The goal of writing copy is to hopefully get them to click your link or buy your product. Someone who writes copy is known as, surprise, a copywriter. Copywriting is a huge industry and businesses spend thousands of dollars on it every year. It takes practice to master, but with a few simple steps you can improve yours and increase your click-through rates.
You probably already write copy and don’t even know it! Lets look at an example.
Here is an example from an eBay listing. Good copy is still in play here in the listing title. We can see the product in the visual which is a clear photograph, and we can tell by the title that it is new, we can see what it is, and they make use of scarcity. What I mean by this is let’s say we see an ad for the same product, but it just says Tesla Lost Carbon Fiber Surfboard. There is no urgency to purchase here so we may scroll past it. When the seller ads “Limited to 200 Worldwide”, this adds a sense of urgency to purchase, because if we wait, we might miss out. While this does not work for digital products, if you are selling a physical item, the buyer feels more compelled to make a purchase.
Copywriting For Blog Posts
Given the above examples, you should have an idea of what copy is, so how do we write copy for things like digital media? Lets compare two samples.
Ok, so in the first image, we show that we have something, and we really want you to read it, because it’s good. Ignoring the hand-drawn factor, we probably would skip this because A. It doesn’t tell us anything to build our interest and B. It doesn’t provide any value for the reader.
If we look at the second image however, still ignoring the craftsmanship of it, we see that there is value because the ad is offering to teach us something for free. If someone is an author or content creator, they might click on this because we have appealed to them with something they want to learn about. We aren’t just telling them they should take their valuable time to click on something, we are saying hey, in exchange for your time, we will give you something back.
Hopefully you can create something more professional looking, but the concept is the same; if you want to attract consumers, you have to show something that is of value to the viewer, and you have to make them want to see what you have, you can’t just tell them to look at you and expect any results.
I hope these help and if you have any suggestions or ideas, comment below or send me an email on the Contact Page. Thanks!