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May 30, 2024

Best Practices for Writing Digital Ad Copy that Converts

By Janelle C. 3 Minute Read

Implementing paid advertising into your broader marketing strategy can pay off big. There’s a reason that digital advertising is popular, with pay-per-click advertising (PPC) yielding an average ROI of 200%, according to Wordstream. On top of that, according to Ranktracker, 84% of brands and marketers say that they see good results with their PPC ad campaigns. Whether you’re interested in incorporating paid advertising into your broader marketing strategy via display ads or social media ads, digital advertising gives you the widest reach to engage with your broader audience. Unfortunately, you’re competing for attention with not only everyone else in that space, but also your audience’s own attention span. With this in mind, a successful digital ad campaign is dependent on your ability to write copy that cuts through the noise to resonate with your end user. 

While PPC campaigns vary across channels and industries, there are universal truths to writing compelling ad copy that converts. By following the best practices listed below, you can ensure your ad copy is compelling enough for your audience to click. Like everything else in your broader marketing strategy, giving your ad campaigns time to generate actionable data is key. From there, you can optimize your ad copy to further resonate with your audience. 

Define your Audience

Defining your audience as clearly as possible is step one for any marketing campaign. Don’t be afraid to get granular when personifying your end user. When you can clearly visualize your audience, you can write copy that speaks directly to them. Plus with advanced targeting allowed by ad platforms, finding and reaching your audience is easier than ever before. Age, gender, relationship status, income brackets, education level, and communication preferences are all great demographics to factor into your audience segmentation. 

Lead with Action

Now that your audience is clearly defined, writing language that speaks to them becomes a much easier task. Take it one step further to identify what they want and what their pain points are. How will your product or service help them? It can be easy when writing initial copy for your digital ad campaign to talk about who you are and what you do, but your audience likely doesn’t care, yet (trust us, it’s nothing personal). They want to know quickly and succinctly how you can solve their problems, and from there will likely want to get to know more about your business. Don’t forget to let your end user know how they can take action as well, by writing compelling language for your calls-to-action (CTAs)

Cut Down Words for Concise Language

You see your end user clearly and know exactly what they want and how you can help them, now imagine them on the other side of your advertisement. Are they seeing your ad in an online publication, or while scrolling on their social media feed? You have seconds to capture their attention, and maybe even less. You’re not only competing against other advertisers, you’re competing against your end user’s attention span. Be clear and don’t mince words when it comes to talking about how you can help solve their problems. 

Incorporate Compelling Statistics

PPC visitors convert 50% more than visitors from organic search, according to Unbounce. Bet that statistic grabbed your attention! Well placed statistics, especially those that emphasize how your end user can save time or money when working with your brand, can be especially compelling. If your business sector and audience are data driven, leading with compelling numbers can be a great way to grab (and keep) their attention. 

Compliance State of Mind

Some industries, such as healthcare and financial services, have strict regulatory compliance guidelines they must adhere to when advertising digitally. Be sure to factor in any disclaimers you’ll need into your ad content. Depending on how much verbiage you’ll need to work into the ad, it could reduce the amount of space you have for the copy, meaning you’ll have to be even more clear and concise with your language. 

Evaluate & Test

So you’ve done it, you’ve written compelling ad copy that you believe will resonate with your end user. Now, it’s important to give it time to work. We recommend you let your ad campaign run for, at the very least, 3 months before evaluating your campaign’s performance. Once you get a baseline for how your ads are performing, you can a/b test your copy to fine tune your messaging and see what language most resonates with your end user. 

Whether you’re getting your first digital ad campaign up and running, or have multiple campaigns under your belt, honing in on your ad copy and refining your messaging can help to resonate with your audience and improve your return on ad spend (ROAS). By defining your audience clearly, leading with actionable language, incorporating compelling statistics, adhering to compliance regulations, and continuously evaluating and refining your approach through testing, you can create campaigns that stand out and drive results.

Janelle C.
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