10 Effective Online Ad Copywriting Tips to Get More Clicks
May 12, 2022
SINGAPORE – Many amazing things in the world can make you stop in your tracks and leave you staring in wonder — the beauty of nature, man-made marvels, and even something less tangible like an act of kindness.
But when was the last time words made you take a pause?
When used appropriately, words can have powerful effects on us, bringing our thoughts to life and connecting with us emotionally. Whether it’s from an enrapturing novel that you can’t put down or clever wordplay in an advertisement, the right combination of words on a page or a screen can elevate a piece of writing from good to great. This is the art of copywriting.
10 Effective Online Ad Copywriting Tips
What is copywriting?
While we were taught to write a certain way in school, copywriting, especially for an online advertisement, differs greatly from academic writing. At its core, copywriting is “the activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material”. To put it simply, you are using words to connect your product or service to your target audience to meet their needs.
Truly great copywriting is not just about extensive vocabulary, bombastic words, or lengthy sentences though — knowing the right place and time to use specific words is arguably more important as this can evoke certain feelings for your audience that can help your message resonate with them better.
While copywriting may seem challenging at first, it is a skill that can be honed and practiced. Regardless of whether you’re a business owner, a marketer with limited writing experience, or a part of your company’s project team tasked with contributing to its digital marketing goals, there are a number of simple rules you can learn and understand to improve your ad copywriting abilities, leading you to writing some fantastic ad copy.
1. Understand your audience
Knowing who you’re writing for is essential for conveying the right marketing message in your copy. For instance, your language and tone will differ greatly if you were selling a product to teenagers compared to providing a service to C-level executives.
In addition, use language that directly addresses your audience and their needs. This means using words like “you”, and utilising a range of marketing “power” words to entice them to want to click on your ad. These include words that relate to timeliness and urgency (e.g. now), tap into emotion (e.g. discover), show value (e.g. free), and more.
2. Use the right angle, tone, and hook
Capturing your audience’s attention is vital when it comes to ad copywriting. And because you have limited space, you must be able to find an angle that is thought-provoking and makes them want to find out more.
Having the right hook is therefore essential — by using an interesting fact, an eye-catching statistic, or even a noteworthy quote, you’ll have a good chance of drawing your readers’ attention, ensuring that they’ll stay on to learn more about what you’re offering.
It is also important to use a tone that matches your organisation’s brand image, whether it’s fun and casual or cool and professional. Using the wrong tone can confuse your audience and possibly turn them away from your message.
3. Write the best headlines for the best results
When was the last time you came across an article and just skimmed past it after reading the headline? If you find yourself doing that frequently, you’re not alone — roughly eight out of 10 people read only the headlines and nothing else.
This makes headlines highly important in copywriting, and if yours doesn’t sound attractive enough, your audience will not want to stick around and read the rest of your content.
To fully engage with your audience, you need to focus on crafting a headline that captures your reader and doesn’t let go. You can do this by using the four Us in headline writing: unique, ultra-specific, urgency, and useful. Providing your readers with these elements is the best way to keep them intrigued and find out what you’re saying.
4. Back yourself up
When you’re making a claim, ensure that you actually have the facts and figures to back it up. By establishing your company’s credibility, your audience is more likely to trust what you’re saying and offering.
These can include forms of evidence-based facts like testimonials by experts and notable personalities. This is a form of “social proof” — a concept where people are more likely to follow what others with higher social standing have done due to wanting to be accepted or liked.
Using social proof in your copy will thus be a great way to entice your readers to know more about your product and service as they will want to understand how and why these notable figures support it.
5. Keep it simple
We’ve all heard of the KISS principle — Keep It Simple, Stupid. While its first notable use was traced back to the 1960s by the United States Navy, its application in copywriting couldn’t be more relevant.
Industry jargon has its time and place, but using too many complex words and phrases can turn a reader off what you’re trying to tell them. In addition, it can come across as convoluted as your readers may struggle to understand what you’re really saying.
Simple language that is easy to comprehend and relate to is one of the best ways to ensure that your copywriting is more effective.
6. Less is more
Just as simplicity is key in great ad copywriting, so too is brevity. Not only do shorter sentences and phrases feel less tiring to read, the rhythm of shorter sentences can stand out more clearly in your audience’s mind.
Shorter copy is also more visually appealing. Called “eye appeal” by copywriting coach, David Garfinkel, keeping your copy short is just as important to your copy’s attractiveness as your actual message. It’s therefore essential that you’re able to capture the essence of your message in as few words as possible.
7. Demonstrate your value to your audience
It’s not enough to just tell your audience about how good your product or service is. Your copy should also be able to demonstrate how much value you can provide and what makes it superior to other available options.
Renowned American copywriter, Bob Bly, believes that the “key to establishing value is to convince the prospects that the price you ask is ‘a drop in the bucket’ compared with the money your product will make or save them, or the other benefits it delivers”. This means your copy should be able to convince your audience that they’ll receive a significant return compared to the time or money they invest.
8. Keywords are key
Word choice is important, but word positioning is arguably just as important in digital marketing. Using the right keywords in the right order will be highly beneficial in getting your copy more reach and visibility than if you had buried them right at the end.
In addition, you should avoid filling your copy full of keywords as this may sound unnatural and distract the reader from your true message. You may even be penalised as you’re using “keyword stuffing” — an attempt to manipulate your search ranking by overloading your copy with keywords.
Plus, packing your copy with every possible keyword is like firing a shotgun — you may hit a wider spread of targets but it won’t be as effective as a sniper rifle. Ensure that you’re using a few targeted keywords that are relevant to your product or service to really drive up your ad effectiveness. This also means using words and phrases your customer would naturally use.
9. Localise your copy
One part of effective communication with your target audience requires the use of the vernacular in that demographic. But this isn’t just limited to incorporating local slang to make your copy hyper-localised — you should take note of specific search terms, location-based data, and even issues that only customers in that demographic experience.
By customising your copy to fit the demographic you’re aiming for, you’ll be able to refine your copywriting and obtain better results.
10. Tell your audience what to do
Last but not least, all good ad copywriting should have a form of call-to-action (CTA). After providing the reader with all your important information, they should be reminded to take action. The last thing you want is for your reader to be interested in what you have to offer but have no idea where to find out more.
That’s because a CTA is considered one of the most crucial elements of sales and delivering your marketing message. This can be as simple as instructing your audience to perform a specific action, like entering their information to sign up for a service, or even just clicking a link to visit your webpage.
Digital marketing copywriting examples
Not sure what your digital copy should look like for online marketing? Here are some examples you can gain some inspiration from.
Haylee is a Singapore mattress specialist providing locals with great value for money.
In the ad headline, the company has demonstrated its value to its audience by indicating free two-hour express delivery and a 10-year warranty, highlighting its unique selling proposition and targeting users who value fast delivery and long-term service.
In addition, its Google ad copy is short and to the point, making it snappy and easy to remember.
Carro is a platform that provides car deals for buyers and sellers.
It utilises a number of marketing power words in its copy, such as “highest” and “now” to indicate value and imply urgency. It also avoids complex jargon by listing everything its service provides simply.
Myprotein is a renowned sports and fitness supplement brand from the United Kingdom.
It entices its audience by using social proof — its reputation as the number one sports nutrition brand in the United Kingdom and Europe will tempt people in Singapore to try its products. Myprotein also tells its audience what to do with a simple call-to-action for a campaign at the bottom of the ad copy.
Digital Copywriting Checklist
- Address your audience and use digital marketing “power” words.
- Attract your audience with the right tone, angle, and a strong hook.
- Focus on creating eye-catching headlines with the four Us.
- Back up the claims in your copy to develop trust.
- Avoid overly complex jargon and language.
- Keep your copy short and sweet.
- Show how your product or service gives added value to customers.
- Use the appropriate amount of relevant keywords instead of overstuffing your copy.
- Relate to your demographic by localising your copy.
- Tell your audience what to do.