Most adverts fail. It's sad but true. This is because people — and even professional copywriters — often neglect basic advertising principles.
You see, advertising has always been a competitive business. And with the proliferation of the Internet, in many ways, it has become even more so.
An effective advert needs a dose of flair. But, like a lightning-fast rugby player who can’t catch a ball, flair isn’t enough if you neglect the basics.
In this post I highlight 5 reasons why your adverts might be failing. If you find this useful please share. I also welcome your comments.
Here are five reasons why your adverts might be failing:
1: You get lost in the noise
Most adverts don’t stand out — they get lost in the noise. So, the first challenge is to get noticed. How can you do this? Think about your headlines and images.
Headlines are critical. Many copywriters spend as much as 80% of their time crafting them. And after they’ve settle on one headline, they continue to tweak and experiment.
Headlines are so important because, along with images, they’re the first things people see. If your headlines don’t attract interest, nobody will read the rest of your copy.
So, what’s the recipe for a great headline? Well, a headline should include a benefit — what’s in it for the client. And more often than not, it should talk directly to the reader in first person. But, it takes more than that.
Here are some different approaches you can take:
- How to — people love solutions. For example, How to cure insomnia for ever.
- Negatives — negative statements are often more powerful than positive statements. For example, 5 reasons why your adverts fail.
- Questions — asking a question can get people engaged. For example, Do you spend countless hours waiting to fall asleep?
- Curiosity — people are curious creatures. For example, How a new discovery made a plain girl beautiful.
Your images mustn’t be ambiguous. Don’t use them if you require a caption to explain what they are. If your images depict people, make sure they represent those you are trying to reach.
2: Not specific
The worst thing you can do is speak to everyone. Be specific. Focus on one customer profile and one benefit. This allows you to create powerful copy that connects on an emotional level.
3: Focusing on features
Features are important, but you must focus on benefits — how the reader will benefit from what you have to offer.
Feature — Our copywriters create advertising material for the web.
Benefit — Our copywriters will drive traffic to your website by creating engaging adverting copy.
4: No emotional connection
If you don’t write for a specific audience; if you don’t focus on what that audience cares about, your adverts will fail. So, you must understand your customers — what their “hot points” are.
You can learn about your customers through:
- Talking to them
- Talking to your colleagues
- Social media.
5: A poor call to action
“Call now” is not a call to action. A call to action must be clear, simple to carry out, include a benefit, be in the imperative and tell the reader when to act. Read my previous blog to learn more about calls to action.
So, an effective call to action could be, Call today to learn how to write advertising copy that sells.
This call to action is clear and simple to carry out. Let’s look at the other elements:
- Call today — tells (doesn’t ask) the reader to act (imperative) and when.
- Learn how to write advertising copy that sells — the benefit.
What do you think? Can you think of other reasons for adverts to fail? If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog by email.