In the first part of our series on writing the most kick ass paid search marketing ads ever, we discussed knowing the truth of how being “basic” sells shit. Now for part two …
Know Your History: Look to the Late Copywriters
Does the word “free” sound familiar?
One of the most successful advertising campaigns in the history of the modern world was colonizing America. Do you know why so many people uprooted their lives and families? Because the promise of free land was used in ad copy.
That word is just as powerful today, more than 300 years later. And that’s just one example of the tested advertising methods you can learn from history. Legendary copywriters like John Caples, Albert Lasker and Mel Martin have so much more to teach you.
- Caples advocated tweaking old successes as a first step in creating new ones. He also recommended a direct approach to writing ad copy. Caples’ approach can be applied to today’s search marketing ads using these guidelines: invoke the self-interest of the reader, incorporate news, pique curiosity, maintain a positive viewpoint, and suggest a quick and easy way to accomplish a task.
- Lasker drove success through “reason why” copy that clearly illustrated differentiation among the competition. When you boil it down, his method answered the questions of consumers who were asking, “Why should I buy from you at all when I understand your competition better than you do, and there’s no difference?”
- Martin went after points of maximum anxiety, much like the BuzzFeed-style headlines of today. Think of headlines like “What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You” or “Bills It’s Okay to Pay Late.” These teases may seem routine throughout history, but they’re still very much effective in capturing attention today. So, figure out what keeps your audience up at night, and paint a picture that makes them jump into action.
Whether it’s one of the three above copywriting legends or others, inspire your paid search marketing ad copy by becoming familiar with proven techniques of late copywriters. History’s not so boring after all.
Check back in for part three on writing the most kick ass paid search marketing ads, ever on Wednesday. In the meantime, share your tips or questions in the comments below.