Effectively written ad copy is a make-or-break factor for many marketing strategies.
Click-through rates. Customer engagement. Time spent on-site. Conversions.
What do these things have in common?
If you said that these are all important concepts for marketers to keep in mind, you’re right—but you’re also wrong.
The real connection is that they all rely on creative copy to be successful.
Creativity in the written word is the secret ingredient that separates average marketing campaigns from the exceptional. Marketers get so caught up in tracking metrics and refining outreach tactics that their ad copy gets neglected, usually with disastrous results.
The Value of Ad Copy
Well-written ad copy is critical for PPC advertising, creating engaging content, achieving high click-through rates, and just about every other part of your marketing campaign, really. Words are how we connect with our readers. Sure, other on-site elements like webpage design and navigation affect engagement and clicks too, but the real power is in the print. The words on the page. The ideas that make users want to take action NOW!
Think about how much we rely on well-written copy:
- Email blasts need engaging subject lines and value-driving body content.
- Landing page copy needs to be optimized to deliver essential information with high-interrupt value.
- Website copy must be to the point and easy to follow while still showcasing your unique brand identity.
- Pay-per-click advertising only works with succinct and eye-catching copy.
Yes, the written word is a key driver of many of our marketing goals. But with that in mind, why do so many business owners empty their pockets refining SEO and lead nurturing strategies ad nauseum while neglecting their marketing copy?
It’s partly because writing is hard. Creating content that converts sounds easy in theory, but the vision you have for your copy and the copy that resonates with readers isn’t always the same thing. There’s a lot of trial and error that goes into writing. Some marketers aren’t willing to shell out to hire quality writers, despite the value they can bring to the table. As marketing legend Don Draper of Mad Men fame once said:
[Creativity] is the most important, least important thing there is.
Creating Engaging Copy
Though strategies on how to write engaging copy could fill an encyclopedia, we’ve included a few of our favorite strategies here. Even without an arsenal of copywriting pros in tow, businesses can significantly improve the value of their copy by remembering the following rules:
1. Don’t be afraid to be different.
Many marketers aim for headlines that include high-ranking keywords or search terms. While this strategy is effective, it becomes less so when every other marketer out there does the same thing. If your copy advertises “Best PPC management!” right alongside five other ads bragging about PPC Management, your copy will naturally lose some of its impact. When consumers are faced with multiple ads like this, why should they choose yours? Find search terms to base your ads around that offer high impressions but less competition to help yourself stand out on the page.
On average, eight out of ten readers will read your headline, but only two out of ten will bother to read the rest.
This graph demonstrates the effectiveness of how numbers benefit readership when used in Headlines
2. Use numbers and statistics.
As readers, we appreciate concrete information. Facts. Statistics. Hard numbers we can derive value from. To give your headlines a boost, try including compelling figures that provide clear value to your readers. The difference between “Used Cars for Cheap” and “Used Cars Starting at $299” can be powerful in the minds of your audience. On top of that, research compiled by Moz found that headlines featuring numbers are the clearest and easiest for readers to understand—essential for high-performing copy.
3. Test and retest.
A/B testing exists for a reason—few of us create jaw-dropping, conversion-building headlines on the first attempt. A/B testing different headlines and copy for your landing pages and PPC campaigns gives you actionable data on how users are responding. Remember, it doesn’t really matter how great you think your copy is; what matters is how your viewers respond to it.
Peter Koechly, co-founder of Upworthy and headline maven reported that the traffic difference between a good headline and a bad one can be as high as 500 percent.
With all the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into your marketing strategy, neglecting ad copy is a big oversight indeed. From PPC campaigns to headlines to blogging content, well-written copy drives marketing success. Keep your words simple and direct. Use data to back up your points when you can, and don’t be afraid to scrap something and start from scratch if your customers aren’t impressed.