Ad Copywriting: Building Brand Equity one Word at a Time
Ah…advertisements, those wonderfully adorable little vignettes that come to us at all hours of the day, seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year. Seventy percent of them are ineffective. Probably more than that actually. And a lot of them can become very annoying.
But then there are those ads – those special ads that stand out and make you say, “Hey, that was a really good ad!” For us in the ad and copywriting business, that may happen a little more often, simply because we tend to pay more attention to things that interest us. But, when it happens for you, what do you think it is that is making you take notice?
Well an advertisement is obviously an image, coupled with a message (copy). But not all the time. Sometimes it’s just an image, other times it’s just copy. But more often than not, it’s a combination. Well, in this article, we’re dealing with the Copy aspect. And in my opinion, that’s the most important part. But then again, I’m a little biased! Well, anyway, here are some tried and true methods for making sure you have written world-class ad copy that can begin to build Brand Equity.
1)Clarify the Goal of the Ad Copy.
What do you want the consumer to do after seeing the ad? Do you want them to buy your product, “call now”, go to your website, or send for a brochure? Whatever it is, make sure you know before you even put pen to paper. (or hands to keyboard) The “Call to Action” as it is known in its classic form, is without a doubt one of the two most important parts of the ad copy. The other is the…
2)Headline! …Headline! Headline! Headline!
We’ve heard it a million times – a great headline can make a business rich overnight. And it’s true. The headline is critical. The mission is to reach out to the consumer as they are paging through that magazine, surfing the web or channel surfing their TV and magically bring them into the ad. How are you going to do it? Do a lot of brainstorming before you decide on the headline. That will help flesh out the idea. When you have the right one, you’ll know. It will easily stand above the rest.
3)Write like People Talk.
This is not a research paper! Not even close to it. This is a conversation with your customer, only it’s written (or spoken) and it’s one-way communication. That is, the potential customer can’t ask questions of the ad. Or can they? Well, at least not now they can’t, but definitely in the future. Great ad copy is persuasive prose that convinces the consumer to buy. Write like people talk. You’ll bond with the potential customer that much more.
How do you make your ad really stand out? How about creating a new metaphor? That’s a tough one. But it has been done. Maybe you can find a unique way of expressing an idea or concept in the ad. A new way of approaching an old subject can really bring it to life. This is also one step that most copywriters forget about.
5)Don’t use Clichés!
Nothing more really needs to be said on that one. Just make sure they don’t creep in.
6)Make Every Word Count.
This is where ad copywriting really becomes an art form. To make every word count means that you have to get rid of the fluff and keep the meaningful words. You’ll find when you do this that the ad will take on a whole new look and feel. But the real impact is made when it is read. An ad that keeps only the words that count is an ad that will read very well.
7)Use Short, Snappy Sentences.
Save the long drawn out, adjective filled ones for those term papers or essays. That’s the only place they belong. People are drawn to copy that is punchy, snappy and to the point. Using the present tense and the active voice will go a long way to getting you there. Good ads always use them. You also know it when you see it. And it always makes a better impression.
Attention-Interest-Desire-Action. If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this. With any advertisement, this is really the “foundation” on which everything else is built. Quite simply, it’s: Grab the reader’s attention, build their interest, create a desire in them, and make them take action. Of course, it’s very easy to say this is what you need to do. The harder question is “how do you do it?” Well think of yourself. What makes you buy something? After you figure that out, then apply it to the copy you are writing.
9)Write about Benefits!
People love to know what’s in it for them. In fact, they really want to know what’s in it for them! But how many websites or ads have you seen that just talk about how great the product or service is? The goal is to express how this product or service will positively impact your customer’s life. The features of the product or the details about the company are important, but they are second string to the first string status of benefits. It takes practice, but it will come. People are just so conditioned to talk about features, that they forget about the most important part…BENEFITS!
That’s it! Nine simple steps to keep in mind when writing that next world class, award winning ad! And if you really follow all of them, winning an award could truly be a reality. Because when the right words come together with the right image, that’s when people will magically…and faithfully….BUY!
About the Author
Jon Wuebben is a professional Website Copywriter, SEO Copywriter and Advertising Copywriter with 10 years experience in B2B & B2C copywriting and marketing. He can be reached at (909) 437-7015, or online at http://www.CustomCopywriting.com for any copywriting project you may have or if you would like more articles or a complimentary Website Copy analysis.