Knowing how to write ad copy is a necessary skill in marketing. We see ad writing every day. It’s present in all forms of media like commercials and billboards. In fact, it’s even recited to us by store associates. Writing advertising copy functions similarly to a call to action. The primary goal is to influence someone to perform an action. For example, a customer purchasing a product or subscribing to a mailing list. Are you still unsure of where to start when writing your own ad copy? This article will teach you how to write ad copy while covering the tricks and tips for writing them.
What Is Ad Writing?
Before we explain how to write ad copy, we need to define ad writing. Ad writing or ad copy is a type of copywriting used for ads. Everything you see in an ad is considered ad copy. It functions to influence a brand’s target audience to buy a product or a service. Ad copy comes in two different forms, written and video. Written copy are the ads you see on Instagram. Video copy are the commercials you see while watching television. They vary in length. For example, the five-second ads we see on a youtube video are short ad copy. Long ad copy are the commercials we see between our favorite television shows. In addition, there are six main types of ad copy; educational, expository, human interest, institutional, reason why, and suggestive.
Educational Ad Copy
Education ad copy persuades an audience to purchase a product through teaching. Ads that tell you about a product are a form of educational ad copy. For example, a commercial describing a six-blade razor as the best razor to get the closest cut is educational copy. This tactic introduces a potential customer to a product’s benefits and special features. Introductory ads often take advantage of this narrative structure as well. In the previous example, introducing the razor as a six-blade razor that gets the cleanest and neatest cut sets it apart from other razors on the market.
Expository Ad Copy
Expository ad copy is similar to educational as its primary purpose is to inform. However, expository ad copy supplies information by exposing it instead of teaching it. To clarify, it’s more objective than educational ad copy. In educational copy, stating that a six-blade razor is best for getting the closest and cleanest shave is teaching the audience something. In expository ad copy, stating that the razor is a six-blade is exposing information.
Human Interest Ad Copy
Human interest is one of the most popular forms of ad copy. Instead of informing or sharing information with a potential customer, it plays into their emotions as a persuasion tactic. Primarily, they sell the product by focusing on the target audience’s interests in themselves, their family, and their friends. For example, selling the razor as “You’ll always be confident in your shave” while a clip of a woman touching a man’s face is shown plays into the target audience’s emotions. This communicates that with this razor, you’ll get a close shave a woman will like. Being desirable by women is a self-interest. Human interest ad copy has four subdivisions: fear, humorous, predicament, and story.
Fear human interest copy focuses on creating fear. For instance, a commercial that adopts the angle of battery poisoning mortality rates among babies to sell a product. It creates fear within their target audience while offering a solution. In other words, fear is a primary motivator.
Humorous human interest copy aims to make a potential customer laugh. Most Superbowl commercials fall under this category. It’s believed that through entertainment and humor, a customer will gain a positive opinion of the product and the brand.
Predicament human interest copy explains the benefits of using a product. To demonstrate, a deodorant commercial shows a man’s life greatly improve after using the product. It can exaggerate the advantages of a product as an end-all-be-all fix.
Story human interest copy persuades potential customers to buy a product through narrative. Showing a story about a young couple growing up and buying a home could be an ad for a realtor agency. It tells a story in order to gain customers.
Institutional Ad Copy
Institutional ad copy focuses on promoting the brand rather than a product. Through brand loyalty, a customer will purchase a product. However, the primary focus is to spread goodwill and share the company’s philosophy not sell a product. For example, a clothing company promises to donate 10% of its sales to a charity in a commercial.
Reason Why Ad Copy
Reason why ad copy appeals to the reason and judgment of a potential customer. It provides logic, testimonials, and customer experiences to promote a product. In other words, it’s the exact opposite of human interest copy. Most examples of reason why copy will be in written form.
Suggestive Ad Copy
Suggestive ad copy is primarily used when discussing the quality of a product. It explains to the audience why a product or service is good. This can be direct or indirect. Typically, ads selling paper towels, cleaning sprays, and detergents use this tactic. You will usually find it framed as “the leading brand” or “the competitive brand.”
Tips for Writing Advertisements
Now that we have a basic idea of what ad copy is and the different types, how do you write it? One of the most important steps is to understand which mode of ad copy will get your message across the best. When selling toothpaste, suggestive copy might be the better option over fear copy. Moreover, an ad for car insurance will function better with humorous human interest copy than reason why copy.
Write for Your Audience
Before you start writing, you must understand your target audience. If you know what your target audience is the most receptive to, it’ll be easier for you to choose an ad copy type. Moreover, you’ll know what to include in the ad to get and keep their interest. For example, if you want to sell trading cards to children, picking a humorous or predicament human interest approach could keep them engaged.
The headline of an ad is one of the most important elements of writing advertising copy. The headline is what your target audience will see first; as a result, it will persuade them to view the rest of the ad. When writing a headline, it’s important to use keywords, ask a question, and offer a solution to a problem.
Similar to SEO, including keywords in the headline will help your ad reach your target audience’s Google searches and social media pages. To demonstrate, if you search for a saucepan on Google, ads that have “saucepan” in the headline are more likely to rank higher. Likewise, asking a question in the headline will have the same effect. Including a question in your headline will help grab the attention of your target audience. Finally, stating a solution in the headline is another way to keep your target audience engaged. For example, if you’re looking for the best whitening toothpaste and you find a headline that states, “Fresh n’ Clean is the best at whitening the toughest spots,” you’re more likely to read the rest of the ad.
Once you captured your audience’s attention with a headline, you need to keep their attention. Evidence suggests that the average person’s attention span lasts only eight seconds. Within those eight seconds, you have to get your message across or give your audience a reason why they should care. Being as direct as possible while eliminating wordiness will strengthen your ad copy.
Call to Action
A call to action, or a statement that prompts someone to perform an action, is a key component in ad writing. The purpose of an ad is to persuade your target audience to do something. A strong call to action will increase the ad’s conversion rates. The best way to write a call to action is to use active voice and strong verbs while being as straightforward as possible. The call to action is what will “seal the deal.”
Test Your Ads
When it comes to writing, it’s difficult to get the best version of a copy on the first try. To maximize your success, having multiple versions of the same ad to test will help you pick the strongest one. A/B testing, an experiment where you test two or more versions of a webpage, copy, or video, will aid you in the decision-making process. With A/B testing, you can see which ad copy has the highest conversion rate. Thereafter, you can use the most successful ad as your main copy for the marketing campaign.
Put It Into Practice
A great way to understand advertising copy is to learn how to identify it. Browsing different examples of ad writing and finding similarities within them will make writing easier in the future. Furthermore, it can give you ideas when writing advertising copy. For example, if you need help figuring out a headline for a toothbrush ad, looking at ad copy for toothbrushes will help. Do you have more questions about ad writing? Are you still unsure about how to write them, or do you want more tips about appealing to your audience? SEO Design Chicago offers an array of SEO, marketing, and web design services. Visit our website and schedule a consultation with us today.
- How do you write good ad copy?
- What is ad writing?
- How to write ad copy?
- What is an ad copy example?
- How do you write an ad headline?