Ad copy faux pas

Within our office we often get into debates about fashion faux pas.  One of our Account Exec’s, Brandon, absolutely despises wedges and is adamant that they should never be worn under any circumstance.  Garrick often wears skinny jeans on casual Friday’s and we debate how “skinny” is too skinny for a grown man.  Others argue the shortcomings of Ugg boots.  It seems like every time I walk through the mall with my wife I see an article of clothing and say, “who in the world would actually wear that?!?”

There have been countless occasions when I’ve looked at our clients ad copy and think the same thought… “who in the world wrote that?!?”  Your ad copy is the critical first impression.  One wrong word here or there can lead to the loss of a sale.  In the same way you want to make sure your skinny jeans aren’t too skinny, you should make sure your ad copy has the right balance of word choice.

As a follow up to yesterdays post, here’s a list of 7 things Yahoo! Advertising says you  should not do to your ad copy:

  • Unsubstantiated Ad Promotions: Be sure that any sale or percentage discount mentioned in your copy is prominent on the site’s landing page. This will help assure that clicks convert to sales.
  • Keyword Scope Mismatch: Diverse offers perform best when paired with general keywords, and while niche offers perform best with keywords that are very specific. Try not to bid on keywords that are too specific or too general for the offer, as they will not be targeted to the interested audience and are less likely to convert to sales.
  • Lists: Avoid creatives that are simply a list of products that you offer. Use short sentences and be sure to mention any competitive advantages.
  • Unknown Branding: Prominent mention of household brands is usually a plus, but using obscure brand names or non-famous personal names in copy performs more poorly than copy that just focuses on the offer.
  • Vague Offering: Avoid copy that is so general, jargon- or slogan-filled that the user can’t determine what you are really offering, or what your advantages are. Focus on how the offer answers the keyword inquiry.
  • Unnecessary Info: Do not mention products unrelated to the keyword, as this can confuse users about what is being offered.
  • Generic Templates: Avoid copy that is too basic and easily identifiable as a template, especially for shopping comparison sites. Keep specific copy categorized in campaigns with descriptions tailored to the general focus of the keyword, and the shopping season, as well.
  • Give us a call if you need some feedback or assistance with your creatives.  We’d love to help.

    — Michael Won

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    Ad tips for the Holidays

    Now that Halloween is behind us, it’s time to focus on everyone’s favorite time of year.  Ok, maybe not everyone… as a surfer, the water temp drops and the mornings are so chilly I don’t want to head down to the beach.  Other than that, the malls are full of Holiday cheer, Starbucks is serving pumpkin spice lattes, the morning air is cool & crisp, and it’s a time for families to come together and truly appreciate each other.

    Yahoo! Advertising recently released their 13 tips for effective ad copy during the holiday season.  As you’ll see, many of these tips are fundamentally  effective year-round.  Cheers!

    Best practices for marketing holiday gifts

    • Personalization: Be sure to promote any monogramming/name engraving or other personalization offers that are available, whether the gift is for children or adults.
    • Uniqueness: Many people like to know that a gift for their loved one will be rare or “one-of-a-kind,” and not simply something that is available in every store.
    • Have a Holly Jolly Holiday: Holiday gifts for both kids and adults are for fun, so be sure your ad copy emphasizes the fun factor appropriately.
    • Family Occasion: Emphasize family togetherness for holiday offers like recipes, food, candy, board games, etc.
    • ’Tis Better to Give than to Receive: Ads that contain copy about giving gifts tend to perform better than copy talking about receiving them.
    • Holiday and Seasonal References: Tailor copy that is appropriate to the festive season with special holiday language and references.
    • Big Selection: An emphasis on a large selection from which to find exactly the right gift is important when bidding on general holiday shopping keywords.
    • Shiny and New: People like to know that their gift will be hip, trendy and the latest fashionable thing.
    • Gift Wrapping: If a gift wrapping option is offered, be sure to mention it.
    • Free Content: Spotlight anything about the offer that is free.
    • Shipping – Fast and Free: People prefer free shipping when it is offered at all times. During the holidays, fast/same day or overnight shipping verbiage is equally important, since the user must be sure that the item will arrive in time.
    • Famous Brands and Trademarks: Appropriate use of trademark symbols with official brand names can increase user confidence and click-through rates.
    • Deadlines and Calls-to-Action: Subtle language encouraging a click today can perform well. Sales with a specific end date, or an upcoming holiday deadline to prepare for, encourage the user to click and get the deal before it’s too late. (But be sure that your copy does not promote a date or season that has already passed!)

    — Michael Won

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