All ads should be two things: persuasive and purposeful. The same applies when writing copy for paid search. You don’t have to be a Hemingway-level writer to create compelling ad copy; but read these steps and you’ll be on your way.
Most account managers face similar challenges when writing ad copy: lack of time or inspiration. Therefore, you need to have a clear idea of the client’s wants and needs before you start. Ask for information. What is the purpose of this ad copy? What are we promoting? How are they marketing it through other channels? Is the client unsatisfied with the current ad copy and why? Answers to these questions will guarantee both the account manager and client have equal expectations.
2. Brand Identity
In most cases, you will find yourself writing “shop now” variations of ad copy for last minute sales, launches and spur of the moment “let’s refresh this” requests. The goal of this step is for you to find out what the brand is all about and use it when writing ad copy.
Typically, whenever you encounter an ad - a good ad - it will appeal to your logic, feelings, or both. In February 2017, Bing Ads hosted a webinar, The Art and Science of Ad Copy Testing, where these appeals are highlighted as five major principles: pain, emotion, fear, ego and contrast. A brand’s identity will use these appeals to connect with potential consumers and what is important to them. Take for example the brands below:
Start by writing down the main focus of your ad copy. This could be a product, brand or promotion. These words will be the root of the creative process. For example, I need to write new ad copy for engagement rings, so these will be my words of choice.
Now, write your selections on a piece of paper, start a 30 second countdown and write anything (I mean it, anything) that comes to mind. This will give you a pool of words to work with and you’ll be able to pinpoint recurring themes you can then incorporate. For example:
Repeat this process as needed. Your final list of words will help you come up with a complete message. Just play around with them until it clicks. This is also a great activity to do in groups and combine lists. Now onto the next step…
Good ad copy works by associating your product or brand to something bigger. An engagement ring is not just a ring. Think about what it represents: a bond between two people, a material portrayal of love or even a new stage in life.
In this case, I’ve chosen to go with the love theme – but not just any kind of love. After looking over my list of words this is what I came up with:
“It’s time to say yes. Find unique engagement rings for that forever kind of love!”
As you can see, the words highlighted were all in my list. All I had to do was complete the thought. We all have different ideas on what certain products or brands represent; putting the ideas into words is the hard part. This list is a way to simplify the process. It is also a technique to increase your CTR. According to the results shared in the Bing Ads webinar mentioned above, compelling ad copy (especially one with incentives, like sales & free shipping) can increase your CTR by up to 157%, and what client wouldn’t want that!
5. Apply Best Practices
After you have created a message, it’s time to polish it. Make sure everything fits within the character limits, brand trademarks aren’t missing, punctuation is appropriate and casing is correct. Calls to action are also essential in paid search. However, you don’t have to limit yourself to “shop now.” In my example, the message is subtler: “it’s time to say yes.” Then, all that’s left to do is launch and save the ad. You never know when you’ll need the inspiration.
Talk to your account team or contact us today to learn how we can create compelling ad copy to drive performance for your brand.