Writing Advertisements

One of the things you’ll be doing, once you’ve established a presence on the web, is writing advertisements for your site. Online advertisements, or online marketing in general, is important for any brand for it to flourish and reach the awareness of people.

Each time you list your site on a Free For All Links page, a Free Classifieds site or with a search engine, you’ll be required to enter what is, in fact, an ad. It pays to keep in mind that even though this might be called a “description”, it’s the first thing people will see about your site – so make sure you direct it to them.

Here are some tips on writing advertisements:

How To Write A Good Advertisement

Think Of Your Brand And Audience

Is your brand youthful, or more on the formal side? Is your target audience young professionals or retirees or something in between? You need to determine this first before writing advertisements, so that your ad can resonate with your target audience easily.

What’s In It For The Customers?

As with all advertising, this is what people are interested in. How can your gizmo can improve their life? How can they benefit from it? Mind, not the benefits it will bring to humanity or the environment, but “what’s in it for me?” Because of this, you should remember:

  • Your opening words, then, must tell people how they will benefit from visiting your site.
  • You must also give people a brief idea about the nature of your site. What specific product or service is it selling? Does it offer a free product or service that can attract customers? What can people expect to find at your site? These are the first things people will look for.

The Heading

On the web, there isn’t time for cute headings – people want information and they want it now! So you need to let your readers know exactly what you’re offering in your heading.

Your heading should be no more than four or five words – the fewer the better. This heading should immediately catch the customers’ attention; or else, they will just ignore it.

For example:

  • Free Software
  • Beautiful Web Design
  • Improve Your Writing
  • A Joke A Day
  • Learn HTML Easily
  • Relieve Your Pain Fast

Words That Appeal When Writing Advertisements

There are a number of words which have been shown to appeal to readers, some of these are:

  • Free
  • New
  • Proven
  • Secret
  • Success
  • Instant
  • Fast
  • Simple
  • How to
  • Save
  • Easy
  • Limited time only

Always try to include at least a couple of these words in your ad.

Personal Pronouns

We’re all most interested in ourselves, so direct all your comments to you, the reader. Use you, your, yours wherever possible.

Include we, our, ours throughout your ad, but use I, me, mine very sparingly.

Give Us The Facts

  • Be exact. Don’t tell us that we’ll make “thousands of dollars” with this scheme, tell us we’ll “see a 20% increase in sales within the first year” – and we’ll be more likely to believe you.
  • Use numbers if possible. The title “101 Uses for Plastic Shopping Bags” is more likely to gain our attention, than “Things to do with plastic shopping bags”.
  • Don’t use adjectives and adverbs in your ads. These descriptors should be for your poetry and love letters. An ad should contain plenty of verbs – you need to convey a sense of action and urgency if you want people to buy from you.
  • Be simple, direct, and concise. You don’t need to use big words and flowery language. Don’t be clever if it means some of your readers won’t understand your ad – a review of Christopher Isherwood’s, “I am a Camera”, was “Me no Leica” – which is clever if you happen to know that a Leica is a camera.

Organisation Of Ideas

When writing advertisements, always keep the consumers in mind. Put yourself in their position and ask yourself, “What would appeal the most to them?” Once you”ve got this, you can start writing. You should always start with the greatest benefit to the reader:

  • Expected improvements in finances, health, career, romance, appearance, security, self-esteem
  • Removing worry
  • Eliminating unpleasant tasks
  • Reducing physical, mental or physical pain
  • Avoiding risky undertakings
  • Introducing new experiences to overcome boredom

End With An Appeal For Action

Always finish your ad by telling your readers what you want them to do. This will create an urgency and fear of missing out (FOMO) feeling in the consumers. Here are some examples you can use:

  • Click here for more information
  • Act now.
  • Only ten remaining vacancies – reply now!
  • Forward this to all your friends who need this!
  • Order before the end of the month
  • Go to our secure order form
  • Available for a limited time only.
  • Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Proofread, proofread, proofread.

This is an important step – as important as writing the advertisement itself. Think of proofreading as a quality assurance procedure. Of course, you would not want a typo-ridden, poorly-written ad to be seen on your site, right? Those kinds of ads will be on the internet forever, especially with memes.

  • Before you launch your ad onto the web, re-read it and check for basic mistakes in spelling, punctuation, and expression. We all know how easy it is to read what you meant to write, instead of what’s there on the page.
  • Then re-read your ad and check that you’ve used words, which convey benefits to your readers.
  • Pay particular attention to your headline.
  • Ask someone you trust to read it for you. It might be good enough for you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for a second opinion.

Keep Copies

This is an important reminder: always keep a copy of your ads. That way, you can just cut and paste, instead of having to re-invent the wheel every time you need to insert a description of your site or place an ad. This will save much of your time you can spend doing other things.

Final Thoughts

Writing advertisements is both an art and science, as you have to balance good writing and persuade the audience to buy your product or service at the same time. But with constant practice, you’ll crack the code and write the ad that will win your audience’s hearts (and wallets). Good luck with your writing!

Don’t forget to use our character counter tool to check the number of characters in your advertisement!