The Simple Guide to… advertising copywriting (my 5 rules and why you should follow them!)

Nov 9, 2018

What Makes Good Advertising Copy?

Writing good advertising copy is an art. It’s so easy to write copy that doesn’t get people’s attention, sounds robotic, and doesn’t sell, ultimately wasting your time and money.

Most of you know that I’m big in to design thinking, which means always putting your customer at the centre of everything you design, this is true for writing too. Always remember that you’re writing for your target customer and that your customer is a real person. This comes in everywhere: from branding, to the product itself, and crucially, in your communication. Who are they? What problem are you trying to solve for them?

So, here are my 5 simple rules for you to follow to make sure your advertising copy is the best it can be so you can always reach your target customer.

  1. Are there clear benefits for the customer?

    This may seem like an obvious point but you’d be surprised how many people forget it. Who are you targeting, what are their issues, and how can you solve them? Why should they come to you? If you’ve got these questions in mind while you’re writing, you’re sure to catch people’s attention. Make sure you’re using inclusive language like ‘we’ and ‘us’ rather than overusing ‘I’ –  forget you for now, it’s all about the customer.

  2. Keep it short and punchy

    We don’t live in a day and age where people have time to be reading things they don’t care about. You’re going to get a skim of your post at best. Make those words count. How can you express the things I mentioned above in the snappiest way possible? You really don’t need loads of words; bloated copy just loses people’s attention. Asking questions always catches people’s eye and is definitely something you should use when appropriate. Don’t be afraid to add statistics or make a bold statement.

    Take this example:

    “Feel like Facebook ads are just a waste of money?”

    This is great because you immediately know what they’re going to be talking about – Facebook ads. You’re going to get an emotional response from the reader: maybe they’ve been frustrated with their Facebook ads performance and you’ve come along at just the right time. It’s short, to the point, asks a leading question, and the reader knows what they’re getting.

  3. Use emotion

    Using emotion is key in advertising copy – just take the example above. But there are so many different ways emotion can be used. People suffer from FOMO; heard of it? It’s the fear of missing out and it’s a big deal. A useful tip is to make your customer fear they’re going to miss out on your product if they don’t act now – like right now.

    Emotion in general gets people’s attention, whether it’s fear, love, or pride. Some of the most successful campaigns in the world are the ones that make us feel something. Achieving empathy through your posts is one of the most powerful things you can do in advertising.

  4. Does it pass the ‘who cares’ test?

    Remember: it’s not about us, it’s always about the customer. At the end of the day, however much you care, is your customer going to care about what you’re saying? Be creative, write great copy, use high quality eye-catching pictures, and use video (it’s currently the best performing content type). Make people think you’re ahead of the game and make them believe you know what you’re talking about – it really helps.

  5. Is your call to action there?

    This is where the offer comes in. Did you know the colour of your call to action button has a direct influence on your customer? Studies have shown that changing from light green to yellow can increase conversion rates by 14.5%?

    By adding a call to action, your customer is going straight through to where they want to be and crucially where you want them to be. Whether it’s downloading an e-book or making a purchase. Make sure they click-through to where they’re expecting to go, a customer is going to lose interest if they’re not sure how to navigate your website or can’t find the product they want.

Why should you follow these rules?

Ads can cost a business a lot of money and if you’re not reaching your target audience or you are and they’re looking past your ad because it’s not interesting, eye-catching, or not written for them – you’ve literally thrown that money and time away with no gain.

By keeping it short, writing for your customer, reading it aloud to make sure it sounds like a real person ‘sounds like you’, thinking about the design, and adding a call to action, you’re going to get the results you want.

Hannah x


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Great! Your guide is on it’s way.