How To Write an Effective Advertisement

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published February 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Advertising is a key business strategy for most companies. Effective advertising often requires thoughtful and persuasive writing to accompany any images or videos. Knowing how to write specifically for advertising and marketing can benefit your career development and your organization. In this article, we explain what advertisement writing is and provide a list of steps to write an effective advertisement.

Related: What Is the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

What is advertisement writing?

Advertisement writing is a style of writing that uses persuasion and other stylistic tactics to engage potential customers. Advertisement writing can be as short as a tagline for a photo or video or as lengthy as an article or blog post for customers to read. Knowing what the goal of the advertisement is can help you write strong and effective copy.

Related: 21 Advertising Roles From Entry-Level to Management

How to write an advertisement

Use these steps and tips to help you write a persuasive and effective advertisement:

Related: 15 Popular Writing Careers

1. Determine the medium

Before you can write your advertisement, you need to know what medium you're writing for. In today's market, most copy will end up online, whether it's a video, infographic or article, so optimizing your writing for digitization, regardless of medium, is a good strategy.

2. Review competitor's advertisements

Once you know what type of ad copy you'll be writing, research competitor's advertisements to see what works well and what could use revision. Reviewing current advertisements in your industry is a useful way to monitor trends and make initial writing decisions without performing extensive testing.

3. Identify your audience

Ensure you're writing in a way that will connect with your target audience. If needed, establish customer personas to help you better identify your demographic and make sure you're tailoring your content to their interests.

4. Create a headline

Write a headline or title for your piece that will engage your audience and provide useful insight into what they'll get from the article. Include a value proposition if possible to show readers what they'll gain from reading your piece or engaging with your content.

5. Include a hook

The first line of your advertisement should immediately attract the attention of your reader and encourage them to continue reading. Use compelling language that relates directly to your target demographic. Your hook can use writing devices like asking a question, presenting a scenario or sharing a fact to engage the reader.

6. Use second person

Use the second person "you" in your writing to speak directly to the reader. This helps keep the tone of your writing conversational, and it will help your reader feel as if you wrote the piece specifically for them.

7. List a problem

One effective strategy for persuading your reader to consider your product or service is to identify a problem they may be facing that your product or service solves. Clearly describe the customer's pain point and highlight the annoyance of dealing with the issue.

8. Share a solution

After identifying the customer's problem, share how your company's product or service solves that problem. Be descriptive and highlight the happiness, joy, relief or other emotions the customer will feel after they've resolved their pain point.

9. Describe your product

Provide a description of the product or service for the customer. This section should share highlights rather than an extensive description. You want to encourage the customer to continue reading, so consider tying the product or service description directly to the narrative of the rest of the writing.

10. Highlight your competitive advantage

Ensure you share the unique selling point your product or service offers the customer. You want to persuade them that your product or service is better than any other they could purchase. Instead of addressing competitors, focus on why your item is the best option for the consumer.

11. Link to the website

If you're going to post your piece online, ensure you include links to your company's website and product or service page in your writing, so customers can easily navigate to the appropriate page and potentially make an immediate purchase.

12. Keep paragraphs short

Keep your paragraphs short and use headings, subheadings, bullet points and other stylistic elements to help your reader quickly parse the information and gather the most important details and information from your writing.

13. Include persuasive language

Make sure your writing is engaging and persuasive. The goal is to convince readers to purchase your product or service, so you should choose the specific words and formatting carefully to maximize the likelihood that they become customers.

14. Add keywords

Keywords are an important element of attracting online traffic. If you're posting your advertisement writing online, ensure you're including keywords that a prospective buyer might use when looking for a solution to their pain point when searching online.

15. Use statistics

Statistics, metrics and other numbers add credibility to your writing and increase visual interest in an otherwise text-heavy article. If relevant, include useful metrics about your product or company in your writing to further persuade your readers to engage with your product or service.

16. Be concise

Keep your writing succinct and direct. You want your reader to say engaged for the entirety of the piece, so they receive all the important information about your product or service. Concise language can help accomplish this goal.

17. Consider a quote

If you have testimonials from customers, consider adding a quote about their purchasing experience, their satisfaction with the product or service or their positive interactions with company employees into your writing.

18. Be honest

Ensure all the information you include in your writing is verifiable and accurate. If possible, include links or citations to statistics or other claims to illustrate your company's transparency and honesty.

19. Add visuals

Consider including an image, photo, illustration or video link in your written content. The use of a visual can help initially attract the attention of your reader and encourage them to keep reading once they've started the piece.

20. Optimize for search

Ensure you've considered search engine optimization, or "SEO," in your writing and preparation for online posting. SEO involves both the content and the background coding and placement. With SEO strategies in place, your piece will likely perform better online than it would without them.

21. Proofread

Before you post or publish your writing, make sure you proofread and edit your advertisement. Consider asking a colleague to read through it to help find any errors. Once you're certain it's error free, you can share the piece with the public.

22. Perform testing

Consider performing A/B testing on your piece with a similar advertisement. With A/B testing, you'll get opinions from people within your target demographic on which piece they're more likely to read and respond to. A/B testing can be useful for advertisements with a wide reach to ensure you're sharing the best and most engaging information.

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