How many do you remember out of the 6,000-10,000 ads you saw yesterday? (Yes, it’s estimated that the average person sees between 6-10,000 ads every day.) So how many do you remember? You’d probably struggle to recall even a few, which highlights an interesting reality.
Although we see thousands, we consciously notice and analyze relatively few ads. And this does us no favors when it comes to creating our own. After all, with fewer points of reference to guide us, it can be difficult to knock something tricky like ad copywriting out of the park.
That’s why it’s so crucial as a marketer to understand the principles of writing effective ad copy and the simplest way to do it. Let’s talk about both, in addition to looking at a few excellent advertisements.
The role of ad copy
Ads are a form of direct-response copy. They’re meant to garner immediate conversions and, specifically, to turn ideal prospects into real customers.
Since the time between an ideal prospect seeing an ad and making a purchase is much shorter with an ad than with an organic lead with a month-long sales cycle, ad copy must:
- Grab and hold attention
- Speak to a pain point or goal they have
- Build up their desire to take the next step (and be clear about what that step is)
If it fails to do any of these, it won’t convert.
5 timeless ad copywriting tips that drive conversions
To make sure your copy does work, stick to these 5 tried and true principles.
1. Use a goal-focused headline
Cut to the chase in your headline and focus on the main goal of your soon-to-be customers. With ads, you generally have a limited amount of characters—and, more importantly, a limited amount of time—to highlight why your offer deserves additional attention and consideration. Every word has to count so get straight to what your audience cares about most: their success.
Our friends at Surfer showed how this is done with the headline, “Increase Your Organic Traffic Today,” which is one of the main goals for its users.
2. Emphasize (main) benefits over features
This topic is often underexplained. “Benefits > features” doesn’t mean that features are unimportant. They do help to sell products and services. However, the outcomes of those features are what people really want so most of the focus should be on benefits and results.
This ad from Google My Business (GMB) illustrates the point well. Instead of focusing on GMBs features such as the ability to post photos and updates, it focuses on outcomes like showing up on Google and connecting with customers.
Additionally, it's important to remember that not all benefits are equal. Some advantages of what you offer will be more appealing to your audience overall (or even certain demographics within it) than others. Put the most desirable ones front and center in your ads.
3. Press the right buttons with emotional triggers
We tend to make decisions based on emotion first and justify our choices with logic afterwards. If you can get an emotional response out of potential customers first and then help them justify a purchase with supporting info, you can boost your click-through rates and conversion rates more easily.
Simple but effective, this Facebook ad from Nike appeals to a burning desire of its target audience—freedom and individuality. If you also know your audience well, you can write ad copy that triggers the emotional responses needed to prompt action.
4. Build credibility and interest with specificity
As a follow-up to the last point, you must satisfy the logical “requirements” of potential customers if you want them to convert. That’s where specificity comes in. Use percentages, numbers, and other company-specific details to build trust and stand out from competitors and alternatives.
For example, if your product is designed to save users time, don’t just say, “Our product will save you time.” Mention how much time users save on average. This will immediately make your product more desirable to the right people, build trust, and set you apart from the million other companies that are simply saying, “Our products will save you time.”
Apple provided a textbook example of using specificity. In this case, even if potential customers don’t fully understand the product terminology, the specifications (paired with a killer headline, vivid adjectives, and verbs) are brilliant. It lends credibility to the concept that Apple offers absolute power to owners of this product.
5. Create urgency
As mentioned, the end goal of direct-response copy is to promote immediate action. Creating a sense of urgency around your offer (when you have a real reason to do so) is an effective way to do that. Does your offer expire this week? Is it only available to a limited number of people? If so, leverage those things to encourage people to convert right away.
Appsumo did this by immediately drawing attention to the time limit on this offer in its marketplace. And because the Black Friday time limit is believable and not just a tactic to create false urgency, it makes the “Get now for free” CTA more compelling.
What are the types of ad copy?
The copywriting principles above work for copy of all sorts, including the following 4 types.
Long copy ads
Long copy ads come in both online and offline forms from print ads to Facebook Ads. What all long copy ads have in common, though, is that they use more copy than typical to-the-point advertisements. This makes them a smart choice for expensive or complex offers since potential customers need more information to feel comfortable converting right away.
While Fanta is neither expensive nor complex, one of its print ads provides several important lessons.
- The language is vivid and engages the senses. It's more feeling and experience-based than logical and fact-based.
- It builds Fanta's credibility by allowing readers to see if what they taste is true to how the ad describes this soda.
- Provides a clear next step (unusual though it may be) that will lead to the real desired action—purchasing the soda.
Facebook Ads—whether you love or hate the behemoth social media platform—are a proven way to get quick digital marketing wins. They’re great for boosting awareness of products and services and, even better, boosting conversion rates. Take, for example, this ad from Playbuzz. What makes it effective?
- The copy is 100% audience-focused, using the word "you" several times and focusing on a desire of the company's target users—getting published.
- It appeals to emotions by helping potential users imagine themselves in the same league as "the best writers in the world".
- Builds credibility by name-dropping respected, successful publishers and mentioning that over 500 million people already use Playbuzz monthly.
- Gives a clear call-to-action (CTA) and highlights the simplicity of following through.
Like Facebook, another top dog in the advertising world is Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords). With SERPs getting more crowded and competitive by the day, it can be well worth it to pay for a prominent spot in Google search results. But, of course, showing up is only half the battle. Your Adwords ad copy also needs to promote action like this stellar ad from Zapier does.
- As we mentioned earlier when talking about best practices, this headline focuses on a desirable benefit for Zapier's target audience—saving time.
- The copy uses specificity such as average time saved, the number of available integrations, and how quickly a new user could get started to build trust and interest.
- In addition to highlighting the main benefit of saving time, it alludes to some other wants of the audience such as simple pricing and no code setup.
Video ad copy
Lastly, there’s video ad copy. The purpose of this copy is still the same as with other types; the only difference is that it’s delivered in video format, often by a presenter or narrator. Mint’s video, Any Day Can Be Your Big Day, is a good example to learn from, although it uses a different approach than the other ads we’ve looked at.
- Instead of immediately speaking to viewers, Mint mirrors their desires and goals in several short stories inspired by the successes of real users.
- Each achievement mentioned is followed by a brief allusion to the feature that made it possible (but the majority of the focus is on the benefits).
- The end of the video then connects the message to the viewer directly by switching to the second person and pointing viewers to the company website.
How to easily create high-converting ad copy
Without a doubt, knowledge of copywriting fundamentals and learning from good ads can help you write your own high-converting messaging. But, even then, writing can still be time-consuming...without the help of Jasper, that is.
Let’s see how you can use Jasper to make the process a million times faster and still end up with copy that converts.
Writing copy for Facebook Ads with Jasper
To write Facebook ad copy in a flash, input your company/product name, a description, and a tone of voice into the Facebook Ad Headline Template. You can also add examples you want Jasper to learn from.
From the results generated, pick the headline you like and tweak it as needed, keeping it under 40 characters to avoid truncation. For this example, let’s go with “15% More Bookings & 5 Stars with BetterBNB.”
To write the body copy for the description, paste your inputs from the previous template into the Facebook Ads Primary Text Template, adding more info to the description if you want.
Let Jasper do its thing and then use the best parts from the outputs generated for your primary text (125 characters before truncation) and description (30 characters before truncation). Your final copy would turn out something like this:
Whether you work through this process yourself or decide to outsource Facebook ad copywriting to a VA, you can get great results using Jasper templates.
Writing Google ad copy in Jasper
In addition to writing from scratch, you can quickly rewrite and optimize copy that could be performing better. For example: We want to make the headline in this ad more goal-focused and the description more informative (instead of repetitive).
Let’s fill out the fields in the Google Ads Headline template, which are the same as in the Facebook templates.
Pick the headline that works best or even combines several options. For example, “Sharpen Your PPC and SEO Edge,” “Spy on Competitors,” and “PPC & SEO Competitor Analysis” would be good choices for your 3 headlines (30 characters each max).
Next, enter the company name, a description, and the desired tone (plus optional description examples) into the Google Ads Description template.
You can then use the outputs as-is if it makes sense or take inspiration from several and break them into two descriptions of 90 characters max each. For example, the two descriptions could be:
Description #1: See what PPC and SEO tricks your competitors are using and learn from their mistakes.
Description #2: Get unlimited intel to steal their traffic and sales. Try it free!
All that’s left is to plug your copy into the ad manager, target the right audience, and start running and testing your campaign!
Writing ad copy for videos in Jasper
Last up is video copy, for which there are several helpful Jasper templates. Enter your topic, target keyword, and preferred tone into the Video Titles template to start generating ideas.
You can then decide on a title and input it into the Video Script Outline template. Jasper will give lists of key topics you should cover. Since this template is mainly for listicle and how-to style videos, though, you may need to do some light edits to make sure the outline is conversion-focused.
Next, plug your video title and desired tone into the Video Script Hook and Introduction template. Jasper will give you some ideas for an attention-grabbing intro.
From there, you can input your offer details into other templates such as the PAS Framework, which highlights a pain point of your target customers and points to your offer as the solution.
Put all your outputs from these templates together and what do you have? Complete video ad copy with the potential to convert like crazy!
And you can increase that potential even further by going through Jasper Bootcamp to learn how to get the best outputs. Claim your trial of Jasper today and get started with the Bootcamp. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll see a return on investment from your ad campaigns!