Good copywriting is necessary for any ad to be successful. But when you’ve got hundreds of tasks on the go, it can be difficult to give the content the attention it deserves.
If you take the time to refine your craft, it will pay off with better engagement, more clicks, and lower costs.
Our social media marketing specialist Gabrielle Maheux offers up tips to make your ad copy sing.
1. Simplify it
Whenever possible, simplify your writing. You don’t want to make people work harder than is necessary to engage with your ad.
When people scroll through their feed, they’re not always going to stop and click the “see more” button to read the full text. When Hootsuite boosts posts on Facebook, we remove all additional text so that the reader doesn’t have to expand to see the rest of the content.
To simplify your copy, try taking out unnecessary adjectives and replacing long words with short ones.
2. Edit (at least twice)
When you’ve spent lots of time writing and putting together different ad formats, taking the time to go over everything again can seem a bit tedious. But you must resist the temptation to immediately hit publish.
Whether you’re an expert writer or a novice, everyone makes mistakes. By carefully reviewing your work, you’ll notice inconsistencies and errors. A quick proofreading session can be the difference between a bad ad and a great one.
If you don’t have time to a proofread yourself, ask a colleague to review—a fresh set of eyes is always helpful when it comes to the editing process.
3. Remove jargon
When we run a campaign on a complex topic we spend a lot of time removing jargon from our drafts—it doesn’t add value. In fact, it will make your copy harder to read.
Swap out jargon for simple words that will deliver your message clearly to the audience.
4. Write for your audience
When you understand who you’re targeting and why you can better speak to your target audience’s unique experiences and pain points.
For example, you’ll probably use much different language talking to an executive at a financial services organization than you would a retail shopper. It’s important that your language and tone thoughtfully reflects your audience.
5. Test your ad copy with organic posting
If something performs well organically, there’s a good chance it will perform well as an ad. That’s why we use organic posting as a way to test ad copy.
We experiment with different headings, CTAs, and images to see what works. That way, we don’t pay for ads that we know people won’t engage with.
6. Consider the scrolling experience
When we’re writing the ad copy, we think about the entire user experience—which on social often has to do with scrolling through a newsfeed.
You can’t think of your ads (or even your ad sets) as isolated units. You need to consider how all of your ad messages fit together.
To keep your audience’s scrolling experience top of mind, ask yourself: what do different ad variations look like together? Do they have competing messages? Are the images complementary or are they too similar?
7. Spend time on the call to action
We use active language that focuses on the benefit to the reader—which encourages more clicks. But it’s important that you think about the whole journey, not just that one click. Where are they going next? What’s the ultimate goal of this ad?
Your call to action should set expectations of what’s coming next. You don’t want to be known for clickbait headlines and CTAs that don’t deliver on their promise.
8. Experiment with emoji
There’s a new type of language on social: the emoji. It’s a fun way to engage your audience (so long as it aligns with your brand voice). If you’re running a bilingual campaign, for example, the universal nature of emoji can enhance the message and create consistency across ads.
Whatever scenario you choose to use them in, remember that your audience is key. If your target audience wouldn’t use emoji, then you shouldn’t either.
9. Write for the right format
Every ad should be written with the format in mind. Depending on whether you’re writing for an ad with an image, video, or carousel, the way you write the copy will be different.
When you’re drafting copy, play around with the placement of text with other components like images. You’ll realize the difference it makes when your ads go live.
10. Test and revise
Don’t be afraid to try out some new techniques. But be prepared to refine your copy with each round of testing. You should always be looking at what performs well and why.
We often do split testing as a way to test out different approaches. It’s also a great way to manage stakeholders that want to try a different copy variation. A split test can quickly tell us what’s performing better and help us make data-backed decisions.
When you start writing copy for your next ad campaign, keep these tips in mind. They will help you refine your social ads and produce better results.
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