Whether you’re developing your own advertising, or reviewing ads someone else has created for you, it helps to understand the building blocks of a compelling ad. The following systematic approach has always served me well, no matter what type of advertising I’m writing:
Brainstorm Benefits. Start by finishing the sentence “Our product/service will make our customers lives better because it will…” as many different ways as you can. Listing specific ways that you can help improve your customer’s life will keep you focused on selling.
If you’re wholesaling products, you have two customers to keep in mind. The distributor you’re selling to needs to know the benefits your product offers the end consumer, as well as the benefits of dealing with your company instead of your competitors.
Establish Proof Elements. After you’ve enumerated every possible benefit, go through them one by one and fill in the sentence “I should believe this statement because…” Back up every benefit with as many specific facts, case histories, testimonials, or guarantees as possible. You need compelling evidence to convince your prospect to act.
Organize Your Points. Now that you have the guts of your ad, in what order should you make your points? Is one more important than another to your customer? Do you have stronger proof of certain benefits? Does one benefit flow logically from another? Consider a number of options before deciding which sequence is most persuasive.
Wordsmith Your Ad. Once you’ve determined both the content and structure of your ad, polish it until it’s as clear, concise and compelling as possible. If that’s not your forte, hire a professional copywriter to do the job.
Include a Call to Action. Presumably, you want readers of your ad to do something: buy a product, request more information, send for a catalog. Whatever it is you want them to do next, remember to ask! It’s astonishing how often ads leave out this crucial step.
Add Urgency. There are many ways to build urgency, such as limited supplies or a sale deadline. Anything you do to add urgency is likely to increase response.
Whether you’re writing an ad for a single product or an entire company, these same principles still apply. While you may not be a copywriter, you know your product better than anyone else. Understanding the process required to write an effective ad will help you guide your copywriter to a winning ad.