Ad Copy Examples & Tips For Advertising A Product
Every day we are hit with tons of headlines on social media and email advertisements that strive to grab our attention. But which ones make us truly act?
Writing great copy for your advertisements won’t happen overnight. This is a skill you will develop over time as you learn your customer.
As you implement strategies gained in this article, you will continue to develop your writing skills. Every company I have written for has its own voice and its own customer audience base. You will constantly be tuning your skills to fit different niches.
Some of the biggest things to consider before getting started with writing your ad copy:
- What is the objective? (get a message out, or have someone take an action)
- What point of view will I be writing in? (first person, second person, third person)
- What emotional triggers will I be using? (happy, sad, afraid, urgent, surprised, angry)
- What problem am I solving for the viewer? (make them look sharp, clean up their skin)
- What path will the customer go through next after they click on my ad (don’t say enter your email on the next page, if the next page has a like us on social media pop up instead. Be aware of what’s next so you can lead the customer that way)
Let’s break apart the different areas of an ad on a more granular level. I understand every platform has different text fields available for your ad copy. So, this blog has been written to be used as a general overview of all platforms, not just one.
1. What Audience Will Be Reading Your Ad Copy?
Having a clear understating of who your audience is makes all the difference. Once you ask yourself a few basic questions that I listed below you will have a solid understanding of who you are writing for:
- What goals does the customer have? (raise sales, increase the capabilities of his team, expand brand awareness)
- Where do these customers learn and get information from? (books, magazines, conferences, public figures they follow)
- What are some challenging these customers are going through? (Getting new customers, using Facebook and Instagram ads, growing email list)
- Why would this potential customer not want to purchase my product? (Price is too high, doesn’t think it will work, doesn’t have the time)
- What role does the customer play in the process (Selfish, For a Friend, For a Group)?
- What are some public figures these potential customers are interested in? (Celebrities, authors, musicians)
2. Length of Your Ad Copy
Choosing the perfect length for your ad copy comes down to what you’re writing about.
You’ll be forced to write a small amount of copy in some cases due to the restrictions on characters for the platform. While other platforms you will have full range to include as much copy as you’d like. Remember no one likes to much fluff, get to the point.
I have found that writing long copy for the more expensive products have gotten better results. I can thoroughly tell the story of the product and describe it in full detail. Often using the long copy for retargeting with customer testimonials. It is the only way I can include an opener, subheadings, the testimonial and a call to action inside the writing. The colder the audience the more explaining and selling you will have to do.
Short copy is my often-used choice. I have always found that if you can’t explain your offer in a couple sentences, something is wrong. I get it, some offers require a lot of additional ones and exclusions and such. But ideally, you will be explaining all that on your landing page if they are even interested first. Short copy is often used for my clients “Join Our Email List” fields and lower priced items. E-commerce apparel and accessories tend to sell better with short copy, not many people are interested in reading a paragraph or two about your new tank top. The warmer the audience the less explaining and selling you will have to do.
3. Copy 101
Okay so now that you understand who you are writing for, and how much content you need to write. Let’s break down the text fields you will most commonly be used for your ad copy.
- 9 Words or less typically
- Include your chosen keywords with high search volume
- Make a bold statement
- Cover the overall theme of your ad
- Create a sense of urgency
- Focus on helping and giving instead of telling forcefully
- NO CLICKBAIT
- Confirm headline aligns with content and landing page
- Sense case performs best for headline
- No redundant words throughout the whole ad, from copy to creative. Unless it's a percent or dollar amount.
- Theme Options: Ask a question, Leave a sense of mystery,
To better help you see what’s trending in your niche, I suggest using google keyword planner or SEM Rush. Both of those tools allow you to enter select keywords, and they will show you what everyone is searching for in Google that is similar.
You can see these popular topics and use that information to your advantage to talk about something new before everyone else. Or just simply create multiple concepts off one keyword.
Also, there are tools out there that can generate headlines for you if you insert a few keywords on your topic. However, they usually spit out a ton of stuff you do not need or care to read. I will rarely use these, but when I do I need ideas of sentence layouts.
Headline Generator: seopressor.com/blog-title-generator
With a separate tool, you can test your headline quality with online headline analyzers.
Really, I don’t see these helping much, because I know a good headline when it performs well, and these tools only help you get so far. Use them to get your concepts developed, but don’t use them as the bible. Check them out here:
Headline Tester: headlines.sharethrough.com
- 140 characters or less(depending on product price and space available)
- No duplicate content or copy
- Space out and break up the text if able
- Never talk down to the customer
- Explain the reason why they should buy
- Clarify who you are and what you are selling as a company
- Lead the viewer to the call to action
Web Address Copy (browser link):
- Improved user experience
- Is a minor ranking factor to help you with your search engine keyword?
- Doesn’t have to be your title word for word
- Make sure you are saving your images and pages with a – not a _.
- Do your best to make sure the link displayed is relevant to the offer or ad at hand. Some sites allow you to change the way this is displayed.
- Avoid hashtags and other symbols if able
- Save in all lowercase for search sensitive search discoveries
Bullet Point Copy:
- Keep it short and sweet, I typically try to keep all this on one line
- Call out your selling points such as your shipping speed, return policy, or sample program
4. Copy in Your Creative
Copy on Your Photo:
When it comes to adding the copy to your photo, you must be selective. Some platforms limit you to a 20% text rule, so you must play it smart. I often find that the text I mainly include on photo images is calling out the big picture of the ad.
It is great to test that vs a catchy headline inside your graphic. Avoid saying the same thing in your ad copy, be unique here.
Lately with all the advertisements taking over social media platforms. It has proven that photos without graphics blend in more and work better for cold traffic. And images calling out offers and such work well once someone has already gotten to know you.
As always, test these for your business.
Copy on Your Video:
I am not going to get very deep on the copy in your videos. Because that can go in a few different ways depending on what channel your advertising on. For example, Faecbook and Instagram don't like a lot of copy in your videos.
Writing copy for you about us video, product review video, or infographic style video. All in all, videos move fast, like fast. 24 photos on the screen every second fast. (frames per second). So, to tell your story with an infographic I’d suggest spacing out your writing to make sure it is legible and easy to take on the message.
Don’t make the user fight between the background video and the text too hard. When it comes to an infographic style video I have found that making the text bold and big has gotten me the best engagement and return.
For videos make sure you are transcribing all your videos by implying uploading your script to the platform. I suggest getting it translated into a few different languages, so you can get more views from other potential customers.
Copy on Your InfoGraphic:
Most ads you will create Infographics work best for describing timelines or the process of something. The focus is on the graphic, but the way it is explained is just as important.
Do your best to clearly label the bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, or funnels you create. Make sure the creative is relevant to your audience.
5. Call to Action Copy
Writing your CTA (Call to Action) copy depends on the stage of the buyer (stranger, prospect, warm lead, purchased). You may be speaking to a stranger that will need to learn more. Or perhaps you are retargeting someone that added an item to their cart with an ad, a shop now button would perform best here.
Avoid being too vague with your CTA. Saying things like, try the best thing in new jersey now.
Remember don’t be redundant and say Learn more 3 times.
Call To Action Built into Ad Copy With Link:
Often including a link in the ad copy text allows me to grab the people who prefer to click on links. Take a good look at where people are clicking on your ads from your data. You may be surprised by how little button clicks you have compared to overall clicks.
A link with a clear vision of where you’re going works best. If using a URL shortener tool, be sure to change the name of the end of the link to complement the offer.
Link Shortened Tool: bitly.com
Call To Action Button:
Tells the story of both what you want them to do and what’s on the next page, make it convenient, Action packed, make sure the color sticks out, looks clickable with rounded corners, short and sweet copy no more than 8 words, on brand color or red or green to play it safe.
For the closing button in certain areas feel free to get creative. Yes, the standard X to close a window is always tried and true. However, including verbiage to close a window such as (No thanks, I will pay full price. No thanks, I’m not interested in protecting my skin.) can benefit you greatly.
Mainly used on email gathering pop-ups and unique squeeze pages. This strategy is an easy way to make a customer be more inclined to take your offer.
Consistent color for branding purposes on all channels.
6. The Landing Page Ad Copy
Okay, I’m not going to explain much here with regards to landing pages. I just want to make a solid point, make sure the copy feels slightly like the ad that they clicked on. Now that the customer clicked on your ad you just changed their consumer buying behavior.
It is good to test different writing styles but maintaining a brand image through copy is important. You want the customer to feel like they are still looking at the same brand. You don’t want any confusion with the customer or they will leave.
7. Testing & Optimizing Your Ad Copy
Testing your copy is essential. I have seen trends over time that I use when beginning campaigns. But once I launch I often see things I need to change to compliment that audiences needs. You will never know till you try, and it's not that expensive to test.
Clearly understand your landing page and offer before beginning by testing it yourself, it is important to read and feel what the customer does as they go through your funnel. Choose an objective and call to action based on what you want the customer to do. Understand who your audience will be researching keywords, blogs, and groups. Avoid duplicate content to make the best use of ad space. Be aware of how much text certain platforms allow you to include in your images and videos.
About the Author: Blake Hickey - For over 12 years my passion has been helping fashion companies BREAKTHROUGH the noise of online media and massively increase their profits. As founder and creative director of Hickey Media, I continue to find ways to help my customers excel. Connect with me on Instagram @HickeyMedia or LinkedIn. Or join my Facebook Community of both established and aspiring apparel, jewelry, and accessory businesses owners and employees that support and refer one another.