Writers are usually pegged as creatives who are either bleeding hearts with poetry or making hearts race with their novels and stories of all sorts. Very few people understand how much of our media and day-to-day lives depend on the written words — selected and strung together by a writer professionally paid to do it.
The truth is, every industry has at least one position wherein a writer is the only one capable of occupying. This is many times more true with the marketing and advertising industry. A writer in this field is especially important as it demands certain levels of eloquence, precision, and creativity a normal run-of-the-mill person with no experience cant pull off. Those same things also makes the work of an Advertising Writer, or a Copywriter as they are sometimes called, quite lucrative.
With that being said, its by no means an easy job. Advertising writing takes skill and experience in order to convert sales and generate interest in what are quite often saturated markets. If you intend on writing for advertisements, or would simply like to know what are the things that makes for a successful advertisement, you’ll need to know some valuable lessons in order to make the most impact you can in your campaigns:
Purpose of Advertising Writing
Simple as though it might seem, running through the basics of advertisement and advertising writing is essential for your writing to deliver on the goals it sets out to attain.
To put it simply, advertising writing is a form of communication carried out with the intention of inducing someone to make a purchase or take an action. It is usually aimed at certain groups rather than individuals in an effort to garner as much sales as possible. It is also a way by which a sponsor or advocate uses media to draw attention to something – whether it be an idea, issue, product, or service.
It has been around, in one form or another, for as long as humans have traded goods and services but in the most recent century, it has been done usually through media like television, prints, and radio. In recent decades though, it has found an explosion on the internet and on social media as more and more people grow dependent on digital media. Most statistics show a fragmenting of TV and Print patronage and a dramatic decrease in traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. Inversely, the increase in online shopping and advertising has made the difference between a business staying afloat or going bankrupt. With the decline of print media, advertising writing has shifted away from magazines and billboards to websites and social media pages with varying degrees of success.
Understanding what’s at stake and why businesses need to advertise under a strong marketing strategy will help your advertising writing produce content with an awareness of the importance of their job. Advertising writing and promotions in general are just as important to an organization’s success as anything else.
Types of Advertising Writing
Now with the the purpose of advertising writing done, the next valuable lesson that a writer needs to know is how to write in different styles. The different styles of advertising writing depends in great part on the style of advertisement the writer is writing for. There are three different types:
Informational advertising essentially seeks to inform the public or target market on the features and benefits of the product or service. It can also highlight the product’s superiority to other brands. It does this by utilizing facts about the product and/or showcasing metrics wherein the product or service performs better than the competition.
Educational by nature, the main focus of informational advertising writing is accuracy and being a source on beneficial information to the target audience. This type also applies if you wish to write about a new innovation or feature being added to the product or service that you feel the masses must be aware of.
Self explanatory — the main goal of persuasive advertisement is to coax a potential customer into making a purchase. It is also used as a means to retain customers and build loyalty to the brand. It can do this by utilizing a number of techniques. One prominent and common trick is the comparative approach. This is where the advertisements paint the product to be superior to others in its lane or claims to be the top product in its industry or niche.
Another technique is by testimonials, either through product reviews and/or articles written by experts and customers alike. Persuasive advertising is common during the initial stages of the product release as the business is trying to induce the customers to by at least one on a trial basis — hoping to with them over as a return customer once they’re satisfied.
These are the most effective form of advertising when you’re trying to retain customers and build brand loyalty — something called retargeting. It serves as an extender during the maturity stage of a product’s life cycle. It is also a sort of last nudge towards unsure buyers to finally proceed with purchasing.
Writing for reminder advertising requires you to understand that the target audience already has an idea of the product or service and what sets it apart. What you’re simply doing is reinforcing these bits of information to them without being annoying. This makes writing for reminder advertising both easy and meticulous as it takes some creativity to come up with an effective reminder that isn’t too persuasive or informative.
The important thing about reminder advertising is that it keeps the brand and product in the minds of consumers, ensuring that they don’t forget. Banner ads and forgotten shopping cart reminders are some of the tactics used in reminder advertising to keep the customer coming back. This style of advertising is often quite common in already established brands — brands that are household names and don’t need to be introduced, they simply maintain their presence in the public’s consciousness.
Tactics For Advertising Writing
Now that we’ve covered the basics of advertising writing, its time we discuss some the the things that sets advertising writing apart from the other forms of writing. These includes some industry tactics geared towards scoring sales and making an impact on the minds of the readers. Take these things to heart and have them be the first things that come into mind when writing promotional material.
Write to Solve a Problem
One of the first things they teach in business and product development is that the product or service must be made with the intention of solving a problem. It could be a common problem the public deals with, or it could be a problem they did not know they had. This is also true for advertising writing.
When writing for advertising, its important to highlight what problems the product and service can solve for the customer if they were to purchase it. This is especially true when writing headlines since these are the first things the customer sees and needs to be enticing. Always keep in mind when writing that the customers only considers an ad for the problem it claims to solve, more so than the actual look and flashiness of the ad itself.
Focus on Benefits
Features and jargon are all well and fine but what customers are really interested in are the benefits the product can offer. The point of entrepreneurship is that it strives to earn a profit from making things that make life easier for the people and selling it. Though you might be tempted to go in depth on the products unique development, its uncommon and revolutionary formula, or its sleek design — chances are the customer is more interested on the problems it solves and the money it saves.
In your writing, the promotion must focus more on the benefits of the product, service, or idea that will drive action in the reader rather the the technicalities and obvious features.
Use Emotional Triggers
As much as logic and reason might spark a customer to see your products as the superior choice, it is important to understand that, as human beings, we rely on emotions too in our decision-making process. As a writer, your work needs to play into the inner feelings of the customers and use words that trigger emotions of happiness, concern, insecurity, and the like that might make the customer see your offer as a need more than a want.
Consider for a moment the a customer looking for a clear purse might be concerned for his/her well being when going to a professional sports games. A person looking for gym equipment isn’t only looking to lose weight or build muscle, but might have concerns over their physical appearance they’d like to rectify. Keep these things in mind when writing your promotions to produce an advertisement that captures the readers true desires.
A simple but effective technique in advertising, it is also know as “Fear of being left out” or FOMO advertising. It is essentially calling the potential buyers into action because the product or promotion is only available for a limited time only. Its an easy form of advertising writing but highly impactful as this plays into perceptions of urgency the customer might develop upon reading it.
Tips For Writing Advertisements
We are nearing the end of the educational article on advertising writing but before we wrap up, we have thrown in a few bonus tips to round out this course and leave you as prepared for advertising writing as the most professional of copywriters as possible:
Keep the sentences short.
People are lazy to read as it is. Keep sentences short in order not to put their eye and mind on strain to keep up with your writing. An important skill in advertising to have is being able to get as much message across in as little words as possible. Writers do this by keeping their writing to-the-point but still fun and engaging.
Try using different structures for your sentences.
Variety is the name of the game with marketing and your writing needs to reflect that in order not to be boring. This is where your own creativity and mastery of the English language comes handy. Play with different sentence structures and try not to follow rigid grammatical rules too much. Practice writing the way a friend or family member would talk on a normal day. Avoid using technical or verbose language in your writing and keep it as layman’s terms as possible.
Keep the whole ad short too.
An ad is inherently short and concise. Expecting your readers to be willing to stop what they’re doing and read a long written piece on a product is too much to ask in this fast-paced age. Keep your ads interesting and informative without being more than it needs to be.
Always end with a call to action.
The point of ads is to induce the viewer to perform an action. This action can be anything from buying a product to signing a petition but it needs to be successful in getting the subject to do the deed being asked of them.
Ending your writing with a call to action can increase the chances of your ads getting the job done.
No one likes writing wrought with errors, glaring spelling mistakes, or that is just difficult to understand. Proofreading and rewriting as much as you can before submitting your advertising writing increases your credibility as a writer and produces quality output that clients and business will appreciate.
A good rule is to spend as much time reading and editing your work as you did writing it.
We have now come to the end of our article on valuable lessons for advertising writing. Though not the easiest thing to do, the rewards are plentiful and the work is fulfilling, especially if its done for a cause or business you deeply believe in.
We certainly hope this article was beneficial in making your advertising writing tighter and more effective but know the best teacher is practice and experience. Happy writing!