It’s time to round out our discussion on online advertising with some quick tips on good copywriting (i.e. how to write content that is compelling and persuasive).
This article works in conjunction with some of our recent posts on how I write compelling online ads (the techniques), mastering Google AdWords, and validating your ideas with both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads (the tools), as well as some of the advanced courses I’ve mentioned to help take your writing and advertising campaigns to the next level (the resources):
In addition, at the end of this post, you’re going to have one final opportunity to take part in Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers 2.0 course, which is closing at midnight tonight (Thursday November 19, 2015, eastern standard time). If becoming an author, dominating a platform and mastering writing – whether for advertising, blogging or traditional publishing – is something you dream about, this is THE course for you.
And by the way, 80% of the population dreams of writing a book someday, but very few do. Doesn’t it make sense to learn from an established, well-known writer and blogger, having published multiple books including his recent best seller, The Art of Work, and is often mentioned by people like Michael Hyatt, Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin?
But I digress…
In this post, there will be references back to some of the pillar posts mentioned above, but this article will primarily cover how copywriting for advertising can be made easier by focusing on two aspects related to your offer:
- Your competition – what they’re up to and how they advertise; and
- Your “Unique Selling Proposition” – what you offer and how this is your [specific] specialty.
Track your Competitors to Improve your Copywriting
This may sound obvious, but you should always aim to write compelling advertisements that convince visitors that your offer is superior. But superior to what? Without an understanding of your competition’s products and advertisements, it may prove difficult to create competitive and convincing ads.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to identify your key rivals by searching a handful of keyword terms related to the product you are attempting to write about. For example, if you are looking for “thriller novels”, you will find Goodreads and Amazon amongst the top hits. Review the results within these sites and identify the top buzz words that come up when you searched your keywords.
Visit other relevant websites from the most highly visited sites within your niche. If they have significant traffic and are so successful, they must know what they are doing.
Neil Patel, best known for his work in digital marketing, and as the cofounder of the analytics companies KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout, recommends using Spyfu.com to see how your most successful competitors advertise their products. It will show you the organic and paid keywords of your rivals, as well as their advertisements.
Study your competitors, and borrow their techniques, while ensuring that you maintain your own “voice” and style.
Highlighting your Unique Selling Proposition
One technique that helps you stand out is your personal unique selling proposition (USP).
You should find something special about the product you want to sell. This is what sets you apart from the others and shows your buyers why your product is better than the rest. Keeping with the example above, if you advertise a Stephen King book, you can add something like “a household name in horror” or “a New York Times #1 horror master”.
If you’ve created your own product (or are testing a potential product idea for validation), you should have already gone through this process – identifying the benefits and features of your product or service – as seen here in a previous article. That early step in testing the muse is extremely important, and will bring you clarity during these stages when you have to write sales copy.
Your “specialty” that needs to be highlighted is essentially your unique selling proposition. Without a USP, you have little or no chance to turn your visitors into customers.
Your buyers want to purchase products that offer a solution to their problems. They buy perceptions and impulses, supported by evidence and experience. It means that they listen to their heart when making most purchases, but you should always be able to back up your advertisement with logic and actual benefits.
Theodore Levitt, a Harvard Business School professor, says that differentiation is one of the best strategies that companies should use.
Again, if you’re investigating the potential market for a non-existing product, you can be creative but don’t make outlandish or false claims. Keep it simple and highlight the benefits that you identified during your brainstorming and the whole reason why you think this project is special, different or otherwise worth pursuing in the first place.
If you can’t come up with a unique selling proposition – you really need to re-evaluate your concept and determine if there’s value in moving forward.
Applying your Unique Selling Proposition to Copywriting
Who is your target customer and with what kind of products can they identify with? What are their challenges, their problems? How can your product help them solve their problems? Which terms will they use when they browse the web?
Think about Mercedes or Coca-Cola. You don’t only buy the car itself, with all its individual components like the sunroof, the grill, the rims; you don’t just buy the soft drink, you’re also buying the brand – the lifestyle these brands reflect.
Mercedes is for successful and rich people. Coca-Cola is for cheerful young people. Maybe these impressions are true, maybe it’s not – what’s important is that these brands have been built on making their customers “feel” these connections between the product and the lifestyle. Focus on the emotions of the consumers.
This is not simply a creative thinking exercise – you can use existing tools to help answer these questions for yourself.
Check out Google AdWords Keyword Planner, and use the “Get Ideas” section. You will see what your audience is looking for. Once you know this, you can explain to them how you can solve their problems.
With respect to drafting ads that incorporate all of these aspects, refer back to the article How I Write Compelling Online Ads for an excellent framework on how to structure and develop your ad campaigns.
In addition, utilize some of the following advanced techniques using ad extensions with your Google AdWords ads. Extensions provide extra details about the business you promote, and therefore have been known to generate a higher click through rate (CTR).
Although Ad Extensions aren’t necessarily a component of “copywriting” per se, they do help make the decisions to buy or “click” easier by giving that extra bit of information to the viewer.
Ad extensions are specific to Google AdWords and refer to a couple of extra lines, containing relevant details, on your advertisement – this is how potential buyers will detect your ads easier and prefer them to your competitors’ ads.
There are different extensions: sitelink extensions, call extensions, location extensions, offer extensions and app extensions.
Sitelink extensions enable you to add extra landing pages below the text. They are good for almost every advertisement. As an experiment, add a sitelink extension to one campaign or one ad group and compare it to the other ads. You will see that the ads with these extensions perform better.
Call extensions enable you to add your phone number to your ad. On desktops and tablets, AdWords will feature your phone number alongside the text. On mobile devices, the ad will have a “call” button.
Location extensions include your address and phone number. This extension adds an extra line to your ad, so you do not lose valuable advertising space. It is your perfect extension if you have a brick and mortar store and you want local people to come to your business.
Offer extensions allow you to add specific offers to the text. It is another great option for those who want traffic for their brick and mortar businesses.
App extensions provide direct access to your app to potential buyers who use mobile devices. And if you didn’t already realize, mobile devices are the future of how people interact with the web. Currently mobile devices outnumber desktops and laptops by 4-to-1, with the majority of mobile users browsing the web through mobile devices. If you use app extensions, buyers can visit your app store directly through your extension, which is ideal if you are promoting an app.
Investing in paid ads generates clicks, leads and sales. If you want lots of clicks and high conversion rates, quality content through excellent copywriting is your best bet. However, knowing what’s working for your competitors, isolating and emphasizing your own Unique Selling Proposition and then structuring online ads with target details (including ad extensions) are surefire ways to advance your copywriting techniques to drastically increase traffic.
Start small, write clearly, track how your campaigns, ads and keywords perform, and tailor them accordingly.
Copywriting at the Next Level
Good copywriting is seamless. Bad copywriting feels forced. We’ve all read [and likely written] both; but your gut can feel what is sometimes missed by your eyes and ears. That’s why copywriting is an art – an art that can have hugely persuasive effects.
Whether or not you think of yourself as a writer, we all have a message to get out to the masses. If you’re reading this blog, you likely have (or are thinking about launching) your own platform – whether it be a blog, a podcast, an information product, a business, an advertisement or promotional campaign, etc.
If you’ve seen any of my emails or social media posts recently, I’ve been highly recommending Tribe Writers – a writing course geared towards this very topic of superior copywriting, finding your tribe of followers, building influence online and getting paid in the process.
Tribe Writers is the flagship coaching program by Jeff Goins. If you don’t know Jeff, he’s okay with that. In fact, he thinks that the Internet has spoiled our humility.
That said, he’s the best-selling author of four books, popular blogger of Goinswriter.com, and a successful online entrepreneur and influencer.
Over the past couple of weeks, Jeff has generously spent dozens of hours sharing some of his best information on writing for free.
If you missed out the first time, who knows…maybe some of the above links to these freebies are still working…
But (there’s always a “but” right?) he only shares the full roadmap to those who are willing to make an investment in themselves. In other words, those who are serious.
For those who are seriously dedicated to investing in themselves – in taking their writing and online businesses to the next level – Tribe Writers is the course for you.
It’s not a break-the-bank investment, especially with plans as low as $49/month and a no-questions-asked money back guarantee to help remove any strings, in case the course just isn’t for you.
But I know Jeff’s system works. It worked for him and it has worked for thousands of his students.
I encourage you to make the decision today to invest in yourself. Choose to make 2016 the year that your message breaks through the clutter.
Just remember that today (November 19, 2015) at midnight (eastern standard time) is the last day it will be available for quite some time. Check it out and let me know what you think:
I know you won’t be disappointed.