red hot

GUEST POST:  Adrian Posner, Posner Marketing

A successful marketing plan relies heavily on the pulling-power of advertising copy. Writing results-oriented ad copy is difficult. There is no magic formula to write perfect ad copy.  So how is any writer supposed to pen a piece of advertising copy that sizzles and sells?

Know the Basics

Grabs Attention: Consumers are inundated with ads, so it’s vital that your ad catches the eye and immediately grabs interest.

Promises Credible Benefit: To feel compelled by an ad, the consumer must stand to gain something; the product is often not enough. What would the consumer gain by using your product or service? You must be able to make good on that promise, so don’t offer anything unreasonable.

Keeps Interest: Grabbing the consumer’s attention isn’t enough; you must keep that attention for at least a few seconds. This is where your benefits come into play or a product description that sets your offer apart from the others.

Generates Action: This is the ultimate point of advertising copy — it must make the reader react in some way. This doesn’t necessarily translate to buying the product immediately or using the service. Your ad could be a positioning tool to enable the reader to think about you in a certain light.

Know the Medium

How you craft copy will be based on where you will place your ad. If it’s a billboard ad, you’ll need a super catchy headline and simple design due to the speed at which people will pass. Online ads are similar; consumers are so inundated with Internet advertising that your ad must be able to be absorbed at a glance or in a way to pull them in to interact.   Radio ads should highlight the audio, while TV ads can showcase the full range of Sight, Sound, Motion and Emotion.

Know the Style

Advertising copy is a unique type of writing. Its point is to balance creativity and readability into something persuasive and entertaining.

Be Succinct: There are few things more damaging to an ad campaign than messy wordiness. Use short sentences with as many familiar words as possible.  Save the thesaurus for a thesis or dissertation. Always make sure to use precise phrasing (why use five adjectives when one good action verb would do?), and eliminate any redundancies.

Talk to Your Audience, Not at Them: Though you are announcing the availability of a product or service, avoid being clinical or overly formal. Write as if you’re talking to your ideal customer.  Use a style they’d use, words they’d be familiar with, slang they’d probably know. But be certain that you’re using these terms and phrases correctly.

A recent McDonald’s campaign attempted to reach a certain audience by using the phrase “I’d hit it” in reference to a cheeseburger, unaware that the phrase is almost always used as a sexual reference.

Avoid Cliches

‘Nuff said.