Ad Copywriters - Rules for Effective Advertising Copy, Online and Off

Great ad copywriters for hire are few and far between. The art of crafting advertising copy requires a deep understanding of what motivates people to take action.

An advertising copywriter can create ads that will stimulate emotions in the viewer, leading to the delivery of the advertiser's Most Wanted Response.

This needs to be done with a skillful economy of words - in the case of advertising on Google or similar ad networks, like Yahoo, you have a very limited number of characters to catch a reader's attention and stimulate action.

Essentials of Ad Copywriting

The rules of ad copywriting can vary depending on the medium. However, there are a few fundamentals that apply to any successful ad, whether it be in print, online, on TV or on the radio.

1. Never bore your prospect. If you write a boring ad, you and whatever you're selling are toast. When your ad is competing against other ads written by expert advertising copywriters, it absolutely must stand out from the crowd. It has to grab the viewers attention, then hold that attention long enough to lead the viewer through to the Most Wanted Response.

In 'soft sell' advertising, the Most Wanted Response may simply be more positive feelings toward your brand. In direct response ads, it's making a sale, then and there. Obviously, there can be many other Most Wanted Responses for an ad, such as filling out a survey or signing up for an email newsletter.

2. Benefits must come through loud and clear. Customers don't care about the fact that your new widget comes in 626 different colors. They care that the range of colors you offer give them an unprecedented range of choices for self expression.

The colors are a feature of your product. The opportunity for greater self expression is a direct benefit to your customer. Advertisment copy writing needs to find those benefits and express them as succinctly as possible.

3. Emotions over logic. At the end of the day, people don't buy with their brains. They buy with their hearts. Once a potential customer has an emotional reason to buy your product, they will backwards rationalize dozens of logical reasons to justify their decision. Your ads need to appeal to your target audience's emotions.

Online Advertisement Copy Writing

Let's take a moment to look at a relatively new form of ad copywriting: search engine advertising. Advertising on search networks like Google and Yahoo! represents one of the best ways to reach targeted consumers for extremely low cost.

Your return on investment from online advertising can leave other traditional advertising avenues like TV and radio in the dust - if you do it right. But, ads for the online space need to be written in a particular way. The old rules that many ad copywriters are used to don't necessarily apply.

Google limits you to just 95 characters for Goodle AdWords ads. So an advertising copywriter must be able to cram your major benefits into that tiny space in a way that grabs attention and leads to an emotional response. Much easier said than done.

What's more, an online advertising writer needs to understand the interplay between the three elements on a Google ad: the headline, the text, and the URL. Subtle changes to each of these can result in massive differences in the number of clicks on your ad.

There are also a few tricks of the trade relating to keyword use that can help guarantee higher listings for your ad in search results (and thus more visibility), better click throughs and lower CPC (Cost Per Click) values to make your advertising budget go further.

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