I’m sure many of you reading this have shared the frustration of being limited to only two lines of 35 characters when writing text ads in Adwords. You face the challenge of having a very small amount of space to grab potential customer attention without the advantage of visually striking graphics. Often, you may fall into the trap of focusing so much on making ad copy fit these character limitations that creativity takes a backseat.
While this is a challenge we all share, this does not mean all sense of creativity has to be tossed out the window. Paid search ads present a valuable opportunity to gain sales, and you want to make sure your ad copy is compelling enough to catch a user’s eye. So without further ado, here is a short list of tips to help transform dry ad copy into something more exciting and engaging!
1. Think about popular sayings, songs, poems, etc.
I’ve found it helpful to make a list of common sayings and see if there’s a way to tweak any of them to be relevant to my brand or product. For example, “Jump on the Bandwagon” can easily become “Jump on the Volkswagen. Everyone is doing it.” Another example could be “Chevrolet: Always Going the Extra Mile.”
2. You’re so punny
Who doesn’t love a good pun? When the opportunity presents itself, paid search ads can be a great place to sprinkle them in. For example: “Test drive the new Audi S6. You’ll Audi-matically fall in love!” (Shout out to our awesome intern Sarah for coming up with that one)! A different ad for a sleek, sexy sports car may read, “Models that look like models. Test drive a new Porsche today!”
3. You’re a poet and you didn’t even know it
I know what you’re thinking, and yes that was pretty lame. However, don’t completely rule rhymes out of your ads. They may not always work, but when they do they can be a really fun way to advertise in paid search! For example, a hybrid car that is great on fuel economy could have a text ad that reads “More miles means more smiles. Get better mileage in a Toyota Prius!” For a car dealership, ad text may include the phrase, “Great deals on a great set of wheels.”
4. Vivid language
There are times when I’ve reached a point where I feel like I have completely exhausted my brain of all its creative ideas for puns, common sayings, and poems. However, that doesn’t mean that ads still can’t be engaging.
If all else fails, try incorporating more compelling words into basic ad copy. Words like explore, discover, and experience seem to work great for many of our automotive clients. For example, a generic statement such as “View our Audi inventory” can easily become “Experience the Audi difference” or “Discover why Audi is right for you!”
5. Be honest about your brand and target market, and capture some character!
If you’re at a loss for words on how to advertise for your client, try making a list of things that describe or relate to the brand. For example, if your client sells camping gear, paint a picture of your target market by making a list of adjectives to describe it: adventurous, nature lover, explorer, rugged, outdoorsy, etc.
Here’s a short quiz to help you grasp a better idea. It’s not that bad, I promise!
Question 1: Is the phrase “Luxury is its middle name” a more appropriate ad for Mercedes-Benz or Jeep?
Question 2: Is the phrase “Embrace the terrain” a more appropriate ad for Mercedes Benz or Jeep?
If you answered Mercedes-Benz for the first question and Jeep for the second question, you are correct! A person in the market for a Mercedes is probably more attracted to a luxurious high-end car, while the person shopping for a Jeep Wrangler would likely be more of the adventurous, off-roading type. So remember, know your brand, identify who their target market is, and take advantage of this information!
Always A/B Test Your Ads
I’ve found that it helps to keep a notebook of my ideas to refer back to—you’ll be surprised how many times your own ideas will inspire you. If you are having one of those days where you can’t think of anything at all, leave, go to lunch, and come back to it. Sometimes stepping away for a bit works wonders!
Lastly, I cannot stress enough the importance of A/B testing your ads, and I strongly recommend doing this consistently! An ad that sounds great to you may not sound great to your audience. At the end of the day, it’s your duty as an advertiser to ensure you are putting the best-performing ads out there, and the best way to know what works for your brand is to A/B test. This way you are always improving your ad copy and always making your clients happy!
I hope you all find these tips helpful, and good luck with your paid search ads!