So, you need more business. And you want it fast. As a web writer, Content marketing is my preferred method for generating business. And it works. However, even I admit it's not a quick fix. Sometimes advertising is necessary.
No. 1: What is your goal?
Before you write anything, of course, you must determine your goal. Do you want an immediate sale? Do you want people to contact you? Do you want people to visit your website?
For an immediate sale, long-copy adverts are best — particularly for high-value/risk products or services. This is because, before making a commitment, people usually want their questions answered. Short-copy adverts just don’t allow enough space.
Short-copy adverts usually lead to more information that will enable people to make a decision. This could be in the form of a landing page on a website — effectively, a long-copy advert written with the sole purpose of gaining a commitment. Or it could lead to a salesperson who can provide the necessary information to get that sale.
No. 2: Be specific
Who is your product or service for? If your answer is “everyone,” you’ll achieve little. Be specific. Be clear about who you are targeting. If your business services four separate market segments, choose just one. If your product or service has several benefits, again, choose just one to focus on.
An advert that is written around a specific market and benefit is more potent. It is more likely to make an emotional connection with the reader. An advert that is too general, will probably be seen by more people but read by less.
No. 3: Headlines and images
Advertising is everywhere — everyone wants a piece of the pie. So, for your advert to be successful, it must get noticed.
There are a couple of ways to do this:
Your advert’s images are what people see first, so choose carefully. Don’t be ambiguous. If you need captions to explain what they are, don’t use them. Images showing your product/service in action are good. If they depict people, make sure they’re the same kind of people you are trying to reach.
On average, your headline will be read five times more than the rest of your copy. So, it must be compelling in order to draw people in.
What makes a headline compelling? Well, remember, your advert must be focused on a specific benefit. So, try to include this benefit in your headline. It’s good to be creative, but don’t be ambiguous — you don’t want readers to misunderstand. Framing your headline around a question is also a good option.
You must also take search engines into account. So, try to include a keyword in your headline.
Here’s an example: Can a web writer drive more traffic to your website? In this example, web writer is the keyword and drive traffic to your website is the benefit.
The acronym AIDA is useful for determining whether all the right elements are in place.
AIDA stands for:
- Attention — will your advert get noticed?
- Interest — is your advert of interest to your target market?
- Desire — does your advert stimulate the desire to buy or contact you?
- Action — have you asked the reader to take action, like make a purchase or contact you?
These three tips by no means cover all the elements of an effective advert. However, they will put you on the right track.
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