As PPC industry experts witness a shift in the field of search marketing, we take a look at how trends in the production and reception of ad copy are changing and how marketers can harness these insights to improve their own copy.
Search marketing can be a cruel mistress. We think we’ve finally figured her out, and then everything changes, sending us reeling back towards square one – things move fast, competition gets ever more heated, and snoozing means losing.
Back to Basics
While many previous developments have revolved around bewilderingly complex advances in technology, it seems that in 2015 we’re witnessing a nostalgic marketing revival of sorts.
Changes in ad copy trends are forcing marketers to sit up and pay attention to what their competitors are saying on the search results page, as well as how they’re saying it.
According to WordStream, industry expert Brad Geddes observes that there has been a shift from marketers concentrating on how and where a single ad is displayed to an environment where marketers are “considering and testing the actual message” – whether this means by tactic, device, or both.
The words used to phrase a campaign are recapturing a bit of the flair they once enjoyed in the good old days of Madison Avenue advertising – Picture Don Draper and his team, sitting around the boardroom, tossing back scotch while racking their brains for that perfect tagline.
Now, much like back then, the creative aspects of advertising truly matter. Google is a big and confusing place, full of hidden nooks and crannies. You want your potential consumers to get the message – the whole message and nothing but the message. This total understanding is achieved through creative ad copy with a strong and consistent voice and direction.
An Offer They Can’t Refuse
The message, as we know, is the means by which you communicate your offer to a user and begin the engagement process that can lead to an eventual conversion.
Taking into account new industry trends, marketers should be concentrating on this content, keeping in mind that interesting copy that offers the user something they want creates interest and drives sales. Having full control over tactics and metrics is ultimately of little value if the message itself doesn’t draw the user in.
Optimising Your Ad Copy
If the conversion or sale is the fish, think of the copy as the bait. So what do you have to do to ensure you are getting your best message across?
According to Business2Community, “strong and relevant “ ad copy generates engagement and increases the ROI of your paid advertising by boosting conversion rates.
There’s no doubt that it takes time to craft valuable, effective, and interesting ad copy, but it really is one of the single best things you can do for your campaigns. Before you start, though, consider the following factors and strategies.
1. A Consistent, Multi-Channel Approach
Adopt a multi-channel approach to help disseminate a clear, consistent, and intriguing marketing message. Your offer should definitely stand out in the ad copy, but it’s also important to tie all your ads together by making sure that each one communicates your marketing goals.
Make it clear what those goals are as well as the benefits and value you’re offering users who take the steps you are ask them to. Consistency is key.
Tone and phrasing goes a long way, so be sure to try and be original. If your competitors are offering “affordable, modern womenswear,” perhaps you could offer a “fabulously fresh range of purse-friendly women’s apparel and on-trend fashion,” à la Missguided.
The best copy is formed on the understanding that its audience is diverse and varied. Content should be as tailored and segmented as your audience is; think about what attracts each user segment to your brand and the copy will practically write itself.
4. Testing: 1, 2, 3
As in most realms of PPC, trial and error is a great way of seeing what works and what doesn’t. Create different versions of campaigns, experimenting with things like wording, tone, and focus, then launch the campaigns at the same time with matching targeting.
Different segments may respond differently to different copy, and this will provide huge insights into how to move forward with a campaign.
The Right Keywords
Having segmented your audience, you should have a good idea of what keywords each target group is searching for. Provided they are presented in a relatively natural way, getting keywords into your copy will bring you more users, and will also generate a higher quality score and enhanced ad ranking.
If you want to take things even further, try using Dynamic Keywords, an Adwords feature that inserts search terms into the text of your ad for a more personalised user experience. If you opt to do this, don’t forget to add negative keywords or exclude certain pages from your website to avoid bad surprises!
Call to Action
This might look like “Download our Free Healthy Eating Recipe Guide,” or maybe something like “Learn More About Our S/S ’15 Sofa Collection.” Used correctly, CTAs are a quick and easy way to entice people into making the critical clicks that will introduce them to what your brand is all about. Speaking of which…
Copy and the Competition
Getting the perfect ad copy is an ongoing process and demands a great deal of attention in order to yield a healthy number and percentage of conversions. The copy used by your competitors can be an excellent source of inspiration and a vast resource for strategic insight.
Adthena’s unique competitive intelligence offers the best way to gather and channel the relevant information needed to stay competitive in your market, as our comprehensive ad copy reports can be analysed by traffic, date or keyword.
Most significantly, they come complete with the metrics you need to make informed, market-based decisions, based on traffic, position, and spend estimates.
All of these tools give you the power to swiftly identify emerging themes and trends, ad copy testing behaviours, and new advertising opportunities in your market.
For more information on what Adthena can do for you, request a free trial today.
(Main image credit: Susanne Nilsson/flickr)