Although digital ads may be (should be) short and sweet, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a snap to write.
Copy decisions will vary according to branding values, campaign goals, ad size and placement and other factors. These guiding principles can help you focus on finding the right words for your digital ad.
- Keep Copy [Very] Concise.
Brevity should always be a copywriting goal; digital ads need supercharged word-cutting skills. They’re often compared to billboards in terms of reader attention span and distractions. Limiting copy to 5 to 10 words is a best practice.
- Write to Connect.
Use your words to create an emotional connection. Nonprofit organizations often successfully use this tactic, but it’s applicable to practically any sector – for example, a pediatrics practice can appeal to parents’ desire to have the best for their children; supermarkets can show how family meals are central to holiday traditions.
Speak the language of your consumers – not industry jargon – and communicate that you understand their lifestyle.
- Be Benefits-Focused
Instead of singing the praises of your organization or product, tell readers how you can solve a problem, improve their lives or help them do something better.
It can be challenging to write a benefit line that’s effective and informative, but still concise enough for a digital ad. Again, using impactful language that creates an instant connection is key. Here are a couple examples:
- Your greatest run ever (Adidas)
- Your nursery. Your style. (Target)
- Use a Strong CTA.
Getting readers to take the next step requires a strong call to action (CTA), a must-do emphasized in a Forbes article on how to create digital ads that drive more sales. Strong CTAs are persuasive, specific and action-oriented. Depending on your end goals, the CTA could persuade users to take advantage of an offer, or it could direct readers to a landing page to learn more and take the next step from there.
Here are examples of action-inspiring CTAs:
- Download the report
- Get $5 coupon
- Get a quote
- Reserve your copy
- Shop new styles
Another good tactic is to tie the CTA to a preceding benefit line. Back to the Adidas ad, “Your greatest run ever” is followed by “Shop now”; in the Target ad, “Your nursery. Your style.” is followed by “See more inspiration.”
And finally, A/B test your CTAs to identify the ones that perform best.
- Maintain Brand Focus.
Although the direct marketing aspect of a digital ad is important, it’s just as essential to use the space to reinforce top-level branding and creative strategy, according to a report from New York-based agency BBDO. This may seem like a primary function of design in preserving colors, fonts, and image considerations.
Copy plays an important role as well, however:
- Always include the company’s name and logo.
- Match copy to brand tone and voice, and the overarching message of the wider campaign.
- Work Closely with Design.
As a copywriter, use your expertise to weigh in on the visual hierarchy of the ad’s text. Check that copy placement, emphasis, and point size guides the reader’s eye for optimal processing of text. Watch out in particular for CTAs that don’t stand out enough – they should pop.
Strata Company has 25 years of experience helping brands successfully connect the right way with their target audience. Our clients benefit from our deep roots in data-driven marketing and multichannel outreach. Contact us to learn more.
About Katrina Denk
Possessing over 10 years of experience leading strategic and tactical marketing efforts of some of the area’s most respected businesses, Marketing Director Katrina Denk brings a wide breadth of knowledge to every initiative she oversees. Whether it’s a product launch or a multi-touch email campaign, she understands all the ins and outs of the marketing mix. In her free time, Katrina is an enthusiastic world traveler and animal lover.