How to Write Advertising Copy One of the most important and often difficult things to remember when writing ad copy is that, despite the intense industry wide propensity to the contrary, the words you are so carefully selecting are actually, in the final analysis, for the benefit of human beings and not solely to gain the attention of the little creepy crawling indexing spiders which the great and powerful Google bids us pay homage to. This is because those indexing spiders are not going to spend one red cent on your Webpage. They are not going to tell their friends to tweet you. They are not going to invite you to their space. Good Add Copy Has To Excite, Inspire And Motivate The crowning achievement of a real website content wizard, is taking website content and making it exciting enough to inspire the reader to become motivated to buy. Without that process taking place you will be pretty much dead in the water as far as making any real money goes, even with abundant visitors. With this article I will try and convey some useful ad copy tips, covering some of the basics and hopefully inspiring you to develop your own unique and successful approach. Here's Your Sign This may sound incredibly simplistic, and of course it is, but I am sure you have seen enough badly proofread Internet articles and landing pages to realize that when it comes to the basics of writing ad copy, it cannot possibly be stressed enough that bad spelling and bad grammar absolutely needs to be eradicated. Notice: I did not use the word avoid. Bad grammar and spelling literally scream the word amateur. It is the equivalent of hanging a sign on yourself that says: Last week I quit my job at the car wash and decided to become an Internet Marketing Guru. First and foremost, effective ad copy must be taken seriously, and not look like you woke up one morning and just started writing. That being said, if you cannot spell, or your composition is not up to standards, it is still possible to make yourself an expert in your readers' eyes. That is what proof reading and editing are for. And do not always just rely on yourself. Before you submit anything for publication, and after you have spell checked until you are blue in the face, get someone else to read it through for you. It could be a spouse or friend, or if you want to produce a lot of articles and content, hire someone to help you. Who ever proofreads for you, make sure they read it aloud. Have them take notes for you about what they see as erroneous or non-applicable. If they have trouble getting through a paragraph you may need to re-word for better flow. Smooth flowing and easily read copy is the key to success. One sentence must effortlessly flow into the next. Great ad copy is essentially storytelling and must be done in such a manner that both at the end, and during story, they simply cannot stop themselves from purchasing. Features Versus Benefits In order to write highly effective ad copy, you need have in your mind a firm grasp on the difference between a feature of a product or service you are offering versus a benefit of that product or service. We have all seen the car commercial on television about the truck with the big engine stuck in the snowdrift. Now having that great big V-8 hemi engine is quite a feature, but not being stuck with your family in a blizzard is a benefit, and a nice one. It has been well established in marketing that consumers purchase more often as a result from a "want" than a "need". Is it essential to present your product in such a manner that you install a "wanting" motivational force within the minds of your customers. Focusing on benefits instills this type of motivation much more than focusing on product or service features, thus maximizing sales potential. Sell The Sizzle When doing your product research, make a two-column list. On the left-hand side right down all the features your products or services have to offer. For each feature ask your self: How would I benefit from this? And: How would it improve my life? In the right column for each feature write the answers to your questions. Then use this analysis as a basis when writing your ad copy. The old-timers used to call this process "selling the sizzle, not the steak." Turn Scanners Into Readers Market research indicates that most often readers simply scan headlines to determine their interests in an article or advertisement. Therefore, logic dictates one should place emphasis on creating attracting and stimulating headlines that demand attention and entice readers into your content. Good ad copy must have the ability to turn the scanners into attentive readers. Powerful headlines can do this. Research into your target audience and determine who they are what their wants are and how you your product or service can turn their wants into benefits for them. Tailor your headlines to match your products key benefits with your customers wants and needs. Determine your products strongest benefit, and make that your first headline. Do not be misled into using the archaic "build up" approach. It simply will not accomplish the click through rate you are looking for. Utilize well-known power words like: Rare opportunity Authentic What if I told you? Free trial Untouchable First rate Use words that excite, stimulate thought, and ultimately inspire customers to actually feel the benefits and value of what you are selling. Appeal To The Subconscious The format of your headline text can make all the difference. One major trap Internet Newbies fall into is that of over capitalization. For some reason a lot of them seem to think that if they visually scream at their customers, they will buy. Not so. The subconscious mind, which is the decision-maker always, does not like to be screamed at either audibly or visually. Always keep that in mind, and only capitalize the first letter of each word. Speaking of the subconscious, there are those of the school of thought that headlines should be placed in quotations because they subconsciously build a personal communication and trust between you and your readers bringing credibility to you and any product or service you offer. For sure, headlines need to be designed to allow the reader to flow smoothly into the sub headline or body content, so do not stop them dead in their tracks with a row of exclamation points or a period, or any other stumbling block which gives them opportunity to lose their attention. Sub headings should be treated the same as headlines, except the text size should be reduced some what. And absolutely make sure to state a benefit in your sub heading which relates to the parent headline. The function of the subheading is to gently lead the reader into being captivated by your content and therefore excited and motivated to buy. Promises, Promises One crucial element of strong copy is making a promise to the reader early, letting them know what is to come so they never question why they are paying attention. Do not make general statements unsupported by specific facts. Develop your credibility by using verifiable statistics and expert references as appropriate. Well-establish yourself as an authority and then make sure you re-establish in the mind of the reader that they are the most important person, and what benefits still lie in your proposition for them. Also: Be affirmative without being arrogant when you make your offer. Tie it all together, returning to the original promise and show them how you have kept it. Call To Action Another very necessary component of successful ad copy is the call to action. Never should there be just one. Offer to them many inspired opportunities to make their purchase. It is never wise to wait until final sentence or paragraph on the page to say "click here". Remember a lot of people out there have very short attention spans and never make it through the page. Then there are the people who can never say no to a good deal. Always write your most powerful ad copy for those people and put it in the first paragraph or two. This will also scoop up those people that only need to hear one benefit and then they will buy. Believe me, if you give them an opportunity to buy sooner than at the end of the page, they will do it. You also have people that have to be told a half a dozen times in order for them to make up their mind. For them, one lonely call to action at the end of the page simply will not do it. It is a fine line to walk making sure you do not go overboard with calls to action. Here are three good rules to follow. Rule one: The first call to action should always be towards the end of the second paragraph at the very latest. Rule Two: Always add a call to action following a benefit filled paragraph. Rule Three: Never show a price or guarantee without a call to action. Try to think of your ad copy as like a fun sled ride down a hill in winter. At the top of the hill is your first sentence, the purpose of which is to get the second sentence read. And so on it goes, down the slippery-slidy hill of well-written content arriving at the bottom laughing and full of fun to the sale. Learn To Listen Finally, one very often-overlooked gold mine when it comes to source material for good ad copy, is the simple act of listening. Social networking sites tell you the exact words that your potential customers are using to express all their needs, all their hopes and worries and exactly what they are looking for and what makes them happy when it comes to just about everything, products and services included. Researching the top social networking sites is the single best way to select keywords for your ad copy, because the words that are used in the tweets will be the words that are used in the searches when the twitterers are online shopping. I hope even though this article has not been an exhaustive source of ad copy technique, that you have been able to learn a couple tricks and techniques. Keep in mind that there is a whole world of incredible resources by mastermind copywriters at your very fingertips. Do not be afraid to learn new skills. Use your imagination and good search engine technique and go find them.
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