High-impact PPC ads compel your target audience to take a desired action. Whether that’s signing up for a newsletter, purchasing a product or recommending your service, great ads make fingers click. But it takes more than a tight creative and a highly targeted campaign to do the trick. Behind every great ad campaign is a sharp messaging strategy that makes it easy for you to write ad copy that speaks directly to your audience’s needs.
In my previous article, I discussed 3 important aspects that you can’t overlook when setting up your scale up strategy. In this article, we’re going to look more closely at one of them–knowing your ideal customer. Why? Because the only way to make sure that your messaging addresses your customers’ needs is to know exactly what those needs are.
The Importance of the Scale-up Messaging Strategy
If you’re considering ramping up your eCommerce brand’s ad strategy, now’s the time to start thinking about the messages you send out with your ads. Before you ramp up your ad spend, making sure that your ad copy hits the mark is an essential element of success. Highly relevant, clear messages that communicate the right idea at the right time help you build long-lasting profitable customer relationships.
Messaging is critical on both Facebook and Google, and you’ve got to be on both channels if you’re really serious about scaling. Some might claim that as a push demand channel, creatives are more important on Facebook and I might agree. But regardless of that, my experience across all the different Google Ad products has shown me that Google Ads with tight copy outperform those with generic copy.
So, how do you write a sharp ad copy that speaks directly to your audience? Guess what it’s not–gut instinct. There’s a science to it; great ad minds have already done the heavy lifting for us, breaking down great ad copy into their core elements. Over the course of my career, I’ve narrowed down these concepts into a unique process that I successfully use to write ad copy that consistently delivers results for my eCommerce customers. But before we jump into just how I do that, let’s quickly review my process for empathizing my customers.
Creating a Customer Avatar. I already went over this in great detail in my previous article, so I’ll give you an abridged version here. Customer Avatars serve as a way for you to emphasize and visualize your ideal customer. They basically help you understand why customers want to buy your products by shedding light on the value and benefit they derive from them. Creating one using the proper process takes time; we’re talking about surveys, polls, interviews and focus groups.
My hack is to go to the horse’s mouth. I look at testimonials from my customers’, and their competitors’, websites to read the real words of real consumers relating their positive experiences with the product. I use these insights to fill out an Ad Grid–a type of messaging template– which forms the basis of my messaging strategy.
Once you’re done, your Ad Grid should look something like this:
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the Magic Formula
The Magic Formula for Writing Killer Ad Copy
Believe it or not, but writing killer ad copy is easier than you think, if you know how. There are basically 3 elements that need to be addressed in an ad. Once you find the right way to express each one and combine them together in an ad, chances are you’re going to see a significant uplift in your performance.
The first element is the value proposition AKA the value prop. To put it simply, the value prop answers the question of what’s in it for the customer by putting the focus on how your customers define value. It tells your customers how your product will change what they have, how they feel, their average day, or their status. It clearly states the benefit that your product will provide to your customer.
Let’s take an example from a customer of mine that sells air purifiers. As you can see below, I used two value props in the headline– “Get a Better Night’s Sleep” and “Don’t Sneeze Daily Anymore”. Both clearly explain the benefit that the customer receives, with the former addressing what they’ll have and the latter how their average day will change with the product.
The second element included in all great ad copy is the Reason to Believe (RTB). Your RTB tells your customers why they should believe the statements your ads are making. It’s a way of showing credibility and proving that you’re trustworthy. According to Forbes, the average person sees up to 10,000 ads a day online, many of them boasting similar products and all of them claiming that theirs is the best. This means that your customers are most likely quite skeptical when they’re exposed to your ads; they’ve seen it all before. The aim of the RTB is to allay these fears, to show them why they should choose you and not your competitors.
You’ve definitely seen RTBs before. They use phrases like: “As seen on <insert major publication>”, “Trusted by top brands” and “I loved using <insert product name>”, but your RTB can be basically anything that builds trust. If you have studies that support your claim, you can say that you’re “backed by science”. If you’ve been around for a while, try writing “20 years of excellence”. Got lots of 5-star reviews? Count them and post them on your ads! And if you’ve won any awards, prizes or certifications, this is the time to boast about them.
Take a look at these excellent examples of leveraging social proof from that same customer of mine. The first is a great example of how to use a real customer testimonial as while the second does an excellent job highlighting coverage from Tier-1 publications.
Last but not least is the Call to Action (CTA). This key element of the ad copy is basically a button with text on it that shows the customer what they should do next. They act as a signpost, spurring the desired action among your customers with crystal clear copy. Your CTA’s performance usually depends on the offer it displays. I suggest you play around with different offers until you find the one that resonates most with your audience. Some examples include “Sign up to our newsletter”, “Get 15% off” or “Book a call with an expert”.
The wording matters less than the results. However, some best practices include using action verbs, creating a sense of urgency and aligning the text with the destination you’re taking the customer.
Mixing and Matching Your Way to Messaging Perfection
It’s essential that you create multiple variations of all 3 of these elements. I like using a spreadsheet that includes all of the different messaging texts I’ve crafted for each. Initially I’ll try out a few combinations but if the ad copy doesn’t work I can quickly try out different combinations of value props, RTBs and CTAs until I find the killer combo.
Another important tip is to try your killer combo out on all of the different ad formats available on both of our preferred platforms so that you can cover all your bases. Some of your potential customers may react better to video ads, while carousels might make others go click-crazy. Leveraging all of the different formats available is a great way to generate access to a wider audience.
Before you Go
There’s no way you can scale effectively if you don’t invest significant effort into developing a killer messaging strategy. And you can’t do that without knowing who your customers are and what makes them buy your products. Finding real customer quotes and testimonials can help you create a Customer Avatar that helps you do just that. Your Customer Avatar is the source of your knowledge of your customers. Use it to craft the value props, RTBs and CTAs that are the backbone of your ad copies.