Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

Advertising Copy: Characteristics and How to Write It

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By Chantal India, on 5 May 2023

In advertising, it's said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but this is not entirely true. Writing an effective advertising copy to accompany the more visual part of your ad is crucial to get your brand's message across, communicate your campaign claim, and convince people to convert. Copies can generally be either argumentative or narrative, but in all cases they should be original, clear, coherent, educational and truthful.

Some tips like truly knowing your buyer persona, properly defining your objective and channels, testing and thoroughly reviewing are some tips that can help you take your copywriting to the next level.

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Characteristics of Good Advertising Copy

  • Originality

    A copy should capture the reader's attention and be memorable. It usually tries to surprise the reader and stand out among other similar messages.

  • Clarity

    Advertising copy should convey an unequivocal message about the brand or the action we want a user to complete. One of the most common examples is encouraging the reader to buy, but the action can also be to download an app, fill out a form, or simply get a branding claim across, among others. That being said, there is usually little space to do this, so the ability to synthesize is essential. Even if a platforms allows for a longer copy, it is important to keep in mind that the longer it is, less users will read the full text. Sometimes less is more, as long as we can get our message across.

  • Coherence

    Advertising copy is part of the brand's ecosystem. Just as your campaign must be coherent with your overall brand strategy, the copy must be aligned with both your campaign and your brand.

  • Education

    Advertising copy should educate consumers on how your product or service can improve the quality of your users' lives.
  • Truth

    Advertising copy must be true. Don't make any sketchy false claims! If you lie or exaggerate in order to get people to click on your ad, it will just make them fall out of the process later on and feel cheated, and leave a sensation of lacking trust in the brand that can affect you in the future as well, as well as your reputation. Its best to be upfront and straightforward from the start!

Types of Advertising Copy

  • Argumentative Copy

    Argumentative advertising copy presents a series of rational arguments to convince the reader to carry out a certain action. For example, if the desired action is the purchase of a product, this text will explain its usefulness, its characteristics, why it is different from other similar products made by the competition, etc.

  • Narrative Copy

    Advertising copy can have a more emotional aspect that seeks to present the brand through a story. This is known in advertising as storytelling. You can use human interest stories or humor to engage your audience and build awareness and enthusiasm for your brand

7 Tips for Writing Good Advertising Copy

  1. Know your buyer persona

    Advertising copy should always be written with a specific person in mind, and be aligned with their values, desires, and needs. Therefore, the first step is to be very clear about who you are targeting.

  2. Define your objective

    The mission of all advertising copy is to get the target audience to take action. Before writing a single line, you must determine what action you are looking for.

  3. Define the channels well

    A text for a press advertisement is not the same as a script for an online video or a landing page. Sometimes, you will have to write a basic text and then adapt it to different formats, taking into account their varying characteristics.

  4. Brainstorm ideas

    When it comes to creativity, it is sometimes said that you should discard the first ten ideas that come to mind because they are not original. Without going to extremes, the truth is that it is better to let your imagination run free for a while and then filter and discard. This way, brainstorming can be a great start to the writing process.

  5. Come up with a great headline

    The headline is the first thing that the reader or viewer will see so make sure it stands out and gets your message across. If your ad will exist online, use keywords that users enter when searching for the product or service you offer. This way, you're more likely to be found online by your target audience.

  6. A/B testing

    You can use A/B testing to try out different messages that you think could resonate with your audience. Doing this will help you see which ad copy connects best with your public.

  7. Check, check, check.

    The final advertising copy has to be impeccable, clearly transmit your message, generate the desired impact, and, of course, not contain any typos. The best thing to do is to make several edits, leaving a little time between each one. Also share it with your colleagues so they can take a look with fresh eyes.

Having a good grasp of what advertising copy is and how to write it well will help you reach new customers and continue to grow your business. We hope these tips will help you do that! If you want to keep reading about how to make effective ads, check out our article on 10 Characteristics of Effective Advertising.

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Chantal India

Graduada en Administración de Empresas en Lisboa y un posgrado en Gestión de Productos, Chantal se ha especializado en la Publicidad en Redes Sociales. En Cyberclick lleva la gestión de cuentas y conceptualización de estrategias digitales.

Graduated with a Degree in Business Management in Lisbon and a Postgraduate degree in Product Management. Specialist in Account Management and Digital Marketing strategies, with special focus on Social Ads channel.