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Clickable Ad Copy: 6 Quick Tips

I recently came across a quote that I find so relevant to all my client's marketing tactics (and my own!):
"People don't read ads. They read what interests them."
Right?! I can't remember where I found it, but it's been extremely helpful in crafting ad copy. This quote got me thinking about  what makes ad copy effective? Is it something that applies to all businesses? Is there a secret? In my experience running ads on Google, social media, and the display network, I've found the winning combination of what captures people's attention and makes them click. Here's what works:

It's Actionable

Whether we recognize it or not, we all still need to be told what to sometimes. We think we can figure it out, but we often need tips to guide us along. And this includes ad copy. While an aesthetic ad with engaging photography may catch your audience's eye, you need to tell your readers what to do next. Some types of ads will allow you to select a call-to-action (CTA) but including the next step within your ad copy doubles your chances of achieving it.

Here are a few types of desirable CTAs to try using in your ads.

  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Shop Now
  • Buy Now
  • Let's Talk
  • Get a Quote
  • Contact Us
  • Try It
  • Book Now

It's User Focused

The term "user focused" gets thrown around a lot in the marketing and advertising industry. It wasn't until I started consciously incorporating user focused copy that I actually recognized its value. But what does user focused mean? Besides the obvious point that it's copy that's focused on the reader, user focused copy does NOT use the words:

  • We
  • Us
  • I
  • My
  • Our

User focused ads are all about YOU. People tend to be selfish and don't pay attention to details about you and what you are doing. They'd rather read content that resonates personally with themselves. You can probably guess what types of words you should be using:

  • You
  • Your
  • Yourself

It Offers an Incentive

If you're placing ads on Google, yours will be stacked with other ads from your competitors. If you're running ads on social media where your audience isn't actively searching for a solution, it's easy for someone to open a new tab and research what your competitor is offering. When possible, try to use numbers in your ad copy and choose those numbers based on what your competitors are offering. Another vendor has a 10% off sale? Offer 15% off! Using numbers this way makes it simple to identify which offer is better.

It's Benefit-Driven

Your ad copy should answer the following questions: What's in it for them? Why should they click through? What will they achieve by purchasing from you or downloading your offer? Speak to that very clearly in your ads.

Use a verb like:

  • Achieve
  • Accomplish
  • Accelerate
  • Boost
  • Connect
  • Create
  • Deliver
  • Execute
  • Join
  • Plan
  • Save

It's Relevant

Another scenario where the aforementioned quote is crucial to effective ad copy. Your ad needs to dig down into your reader's underlying intent and speak to it clearly. There's no "one size fits all" solution for this recommendation. Your relevancy will depend on your offer, industry, persona's characteristics, and interests.

Can't speak effectively to multiple pain points in one ad? Don't! Split your campaigns up into meaningful buckets that allow you to focus on the specific challenges you need to speak to in order to resonate with your audience.

Bottom line: Research what your target audience's needs are through market research and real interviews with your current customers!

It's Concise

Less is more when it comes to ad copy, especially because you're usually limited to a specific number of characters. Even with Google's expanded text ads, try to communicate your value proposition in as few words as possible. We know that people typically tend to skim content, so save them the hassle by making it clear and simple.

There's a reason why brands like Apple or Coca-Cola still invest in advertising: it works! Even if your sales are strong, it's a smart way to build and maintain brand awareness, introduce new services, and stay relevant among competitors.

What are your biggest challenges in running ads? Not seeing a high click-through? Not getting sales?

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