Ad Copywriting Tutorial: How To Write Ad Copy For Google Adwords, Facebook Ads & Display Campaigns

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Do your ads pass the scroll test? Here are my 5 secrets on how to write scroll-stopping ad copy…

Hey guys, Alex here! So ya wanna write more effective ad copy? Well whether you’re into Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising, display ads, video ads or billboards you came to the right place.

In this post, I’ll be sharing the 5 secrets of great ad writing.

Your ads are very often the very first touch point you have with your ideal customer…

And let’s not forget about your competition who is simultaneously vying for their valuable attention.

So it’s important that you get this right and make a good first impression!

Your ads are your one and only shot to win the hearts and minds of your prospects and the quicker you can turn those eyeballs into leads, and those leads into customers, the quicker you’ll gain market share and leave your competitors in your dust. Hasta la vista, baby!

Now, as a genius copywriter you know, that an effective ad is only one part of a sales funnel. So if you’re looking to start a freelance copywriting business, or increase your conversions online through copywriting, I am here to help!

I release a copywriting tutorial every single week so be sure to join my newsletter to get the latest tutorial in your inbox.

Alright so let’s dive into the 5 secrets of great ad writing. Today’s post is brought to you by the letter C!

Yes, that’s right. For your brain’s enjoyment and effortless recollection I’ve made every single secret start with the letter C! So let’s dive in…

Secret #1: Curiosity

Great ads intrigue customers and pique their curiosity. Think about it, it doesn’t matter how great your sales offer is, in order to get a customer to convert, you first need to have their attention.

Most advertisers fail at this miserably, which is why most ads are nothing more than white noise clogging up your social feeds, mobile apps or Spotify playlists.

The biggest mistake I see writers making in their ad writing is including TOO much information. My favorite ad writer of all time, Roy H. Williams made this point perfectly when he said, “Bad ads leave no gaps and have no anomalies.”

He describes anomalies as, “unexpected intrusions into often repeated ideas.”

So, in other words, bad ads will fail to make your customer go, “Wait, what?!”

When you can create an open loop or a gap with your ad, your prospect will be naturally be driven to close that gap…

And stories are the best way to do this. People will remember your story long after they’ve forgotten your sales pitch. Trust me.

So yes, while your final point of sales conversion should include all relevant information needed for a buyer to make that final decision, your first touch-point, or your ad, should absolutely not.

When everything about your offer is stated clearly in an ad, no questions linger in the mind of your customer.

Therefore, it’s not what you INCLUDE that makes for a great ad. It’s what you strategically leave out – the carefully crafted gaps and anomalies.

That’s good, right? And I wanna hear from you too. When you think of a great ad that really piques curiosity, what brands or companies come to mind? Comment below and let me know!

Ok moving on to the second C of ad writing.

Secret #2: Clarity

Confusion is the biggest conversion killer of them all!

While piquing curiosity is essential in ad writing, you don’t want to cause any sort of confusion in your prospect’s mind. Just imagine all the things you could write in an ad that would make people go,“Wait, what?!”

But if they click your ad and then realize your offer is not for them, they’re gone in a flash… and if you’re paying per click, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Your ad should make it very clear who you are speaking to – either by promising a specific benefit or calling out a core problem of your audience.

And remember, if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one.

You want your customer to subconsciously say, “Oh this is for me…”

And it shouldn’t take longer than a swift finger swipe for them to come to that conclusion. Or guess what, they’ll keep on scrolling..

Your ad must pass what I call the “Scroll Test”. So try this… the next time you’re on Facebook and you’re scrolling through your feed, and you see a Sponsored Facebook Ad pops up, see if you can identify who and what the ad is for without stopping the scroll.

If you can’t figure it out, they’ve failed the Scroll Test. Majorly.

Secret 3: Call To Action

Yes, your ad needs to TELL your prospect what to do next with ONE CLEAR AND CONCISE call-to-action. You should only be asking your prospect to do one thing – and that’s to click, or sign up or buy. Not share, comment, like, watch, sign up AND buy.

You can do this through distinct copy like “Click the link below” or even better, and if possible, include an obvious button in your ad imagery that makes your prospect want to click it.

And, where applicable, have your call-to-action copy match the call-to-action of whatever platform you’re using. So for example, if you’re choosing the “Learn More” button CTA (call-to-action) in Facebook, have the CTA in your caption says “Click the ‘Learn More’ button” rather than a generic “Click the link below”.

Be sure to update your ad CTA across all different social media channels so this works well.

Secret #4: Congruence

This is so so so important in ad writing yet it’s often one of the biggest blind spots in businesses, especially if the ad team is different than the in house marketing team.

Traffic and conversion are not mutually exclusive. There must be congruence and an overlap between your ad and your sales offer, both in terms of messaging and branding.

If your sales offer does not meet the expectations of your prospects based on the ad they just saw, they will feel ambushed and betrayed and you’ve likely lost your chance at ever turning that prospect into a customer.

Online buyers are becoming more and more cautious of clickbait and intolerant of inconsistent messaging.

So as a business owner, it’s your job to create a distinct and memorable brand voice and make sure that that is congruent throughout all your marketing touch points – from your ad all the way to your customer support team.

And this is especially important on that first touch point, when trust is at its lowest. If a prospect clicks your ad and the landing page creates a disconnect in their mind in terms of branding or messaging, they are gone.

As Roy H. Williams says “Win the heart and the mind will follow. The mind will always create logic to justify what the heart has already decided. Good ads should make your prospect LIKE you. Then all you have to do is BE the company your prospect likes. Be the company your customer believes you to be.”

Secret #5: Compliance

Now the first thing I’ll say is I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. Luckily I narrowly escaped Law School and became a copywriter instead.

But I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what you can and cannot do in your online advertising. Many times you only get one chance to get this right and getting your ad account shut down is no laughing matter.

So do yourself a favor and read up on what’s considered fair game and what’s a no-no on all the platforms you plan on advertising on.

Listen, the secret to smart advertising is simple. focus on adding value first and let the customer decide if they want to engage with you further. So just stay cool, stay compliant and you’ll be in it to win it.

Okay folks, those are my 5 Cs to ad writing. Please comment below if you found this post helpful!

And of course, remember to check out my YouTube as well if that more your learning style. I will be back next week with the new copywriting tutorial.

Till then, I’m Alex, Ciao for now.

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