Advertising, whether online or offline, is only effective if people respond to it. Otherwise, it turns out to be a waste of time, money and effort. Here is a checklist to help you write ads which are compelling and get more response.
1) Identify Your Target Audience
Do you know who you are targeting? Unless you have a clear idea of who you are writing for, you can never come up with effective ad copy. Everyone in the world might be able to buy your product, but there are only some people who have an actual need for it. These are the people whom you should be targeting.
-If you are selling a business opportunity, you are targeting business people.
-If you are selling expensively furnished apartments, you are targeting families with a high level of income, living in a certain city.
-If you are selling dog food, you are targeting dog owners.
-If you are selling expensive leather adventure boots for men, you are targeting young adventurous males with a high income.
Keep the profile of your typical customer in mind when writing the ad. Write as if you are addressing that single person. This will help in giving your ad a personal tone and increase its effectiveness. If people feel that this ad was written specifically for them, it will make them pay attention to your ad.
2) Arouse Their Interest
Once your target audience has been identified, you need to come up with an offer that would interest them. For this purpose, you must understand exactly what their needs are, or identify the problems for which they want solutions.
Sometimes you know instinctively what your customers want. At other times, you may need to carry out a bit of research. Asking your current customers is always helpful. In fact, at times they tell you what they want without asking. All you have to do is listen and listen carefully. Business owners, who understand their customers’ needs well, can never fail.
Let’s take the above examples again and look at the needs of the target audiences we identified:
-Business people typically want to make or save money.
-Rich families looking for apartments want luxury and convenience, along with saving time and effort.
-Dog owners want happy and healthy dogs.
-Rich adventurous men are interested in high quality boots that look and feel good.
Now that you know what their needs are, you need to communicate clearly through your ad, how your offering can fulfill their needs and solve their problems.
3) Focus on Benefits
People don’t buy products; they buy benefits that those products offer. Successful ads always focus on benefits. Your customers should believe that your product will fulfill their needs or solve their problems. Tell them how your offering can benefit them and do so clearly.
The benefits of your offering are derived from the features of your products. Let us look at some examples to clarify this:
Feature / Benefit
-A sound business opportunity/ helps them make money.
-Nutritious dog food/ keeps their dog healthy.
-Well furnished apartments/ provide luxury and comfort.
-Sturdy boots enable them to/ go for the wildest adventure.
Once you have identified the most compelling benefit of your product, center your ad around that benefit and make your product sound desirable. The headline of your ad can either mention the identified problem or be a combination of both the identified problem and the product benefit. For example:
-Earn money from a reliable program.
-Live in luxury forever.
-Premium Nutrition for Your Dog
-Hike in Style and comfort
The second line of the ad should explain the claim made in the headline. For example:
-Do freelance work on your PC
-Our apartments are at premium locations and well furnished.
-Our water proof boots feel even better than they look.
-Our dog food contains all the essential nutrients for your dog’s health.
4) Call to Action
While you are writing the ad, keep the required response of the reader in your mind. To motivate your target audience to respond immediately, you can make special offers that are time sensitive. Examples of special offers are:
-Freebie with purchase for a limited time
-Discount or special price for a limited time.
Depending on your product and your target audience, you can come up with all sorts of creative ideas for special offers that will compel your customers to take action. Moreover, there must be a clear call to action. For example:
It is also important to include contact information in your ad. It can be your website/ social media links or your email address . You may also include your phone number.
5) Formatting Guidelines
While writing an online ad some formatting considerations should be kept in mind.
– Simple and Short
The language used in your ad should be simple. Use simple words and short sentences. Write and rewrite your ad again and again, until it is concise, and the copy sounds crisp and clear.
The maximum character counts for all social media platforms are different. To simplify, here is a rule of thumb. Limit your ad length to 100 characters and it will be good to post on any platform whether it is Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
Make links click able so that it is easy for your readers to contact you. For website/ social links this can be done in the following way:
http://www.yoursite.com. (Remember to add the http:// part, otherwise the URL is not click able.)
Erum Zehra is a digital entrepreneur and the founder of Prestige Interactive. Prestige Interactive specializes in creating stunning business websites for female entrepreneurs to propel their business in the limelight. Download her FREE Website Planning Template today to design your website layout for success!(https://prestigeinteractive.ca/freebies).