The Importance of Great Ad Copy for PPC Campaigns

    What drives people? What primal factors push and inspire people to take action? That is a question as old as time. But the factors haven’t changed. Marketing and advertising pros are always trying to figure out, what do our customers like? What appeals to them?

    If you ask Purna Virji, Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft Advertising, she’ll tell you how centuries-old human psychology principles can be changed up and used successfully with paid search customers. She spoke at length about all of this during her SEJ eSummit session.

    Diamond rings. Oranges. What do they have in common? Because of ad campaigns, these items became a part of our daily lives.

    De Beers was having trouble selling their diamonds during the Great Depression. What happened? Their ad agency spawned the phrase “A diamond is forever”. What’s been happening ever since? We propose with a diamond ring.

    Now, what about oranges? In the 1900s, California orange growers were facing a major problem: They were picking more fruits than they could sell. So, how did they solve this excess problem? An ad agency came up with an idea: orange juice. And just like that, OJ became a staple in our lives.

    What do these examples show us? The power of advertising.

    These days ads are everywhere. People are oftentimes over-exposed to ads. They’ve become anti-ad. Is it because we have less of an attention span? No. People want to pay attention and spend time on things they care about. If ads don’t mean something to them, they won’t pay attention to them.

    People Love a Great Bargain

    A good deal can hook a customer. Not because the item is cheap, because it’s a good bargain. If consumers see something as cheap, they most likely aren’t going to jump out and buy it. Just ask Tata Motors.

    In 2009, they created a car specifically for the Indian market — a developing country. Instead of launching a campaign focused on the prestige of earning a new car, they focused on it being the cheapest car on the planet. And it failed. No one wants to drive the cheapest car ever made. Seems like a lemon, doesn’t it?

    Consider the Ellen Langer experiment from the 1970s.

    There is a queue at the photocopier.

    The researchers had the people use three different, specifically worded requests to break in line.

    • “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
    • “May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?“
    • “May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”

    Here’s how the wording affected whether people let them break in line.

    • “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?”: 60% compliance.
    • “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”: 93% compliance.
    • “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”: 94% compliance.

    The word because was the key. Context matters. Context sells. This is especially true in PPC advertising. Don’t just tell customers that all items are 80% off. Tell them why. Give them a reason to care about it.

    Be Surprising

    Think people are turned off to ads all the time? They aren’t. They’re just tired of the same old thing. Now, when we surprise them? That can be a powerful ad tool. It can ramp up their emotions — in both positive and negative ways. So, focus on the good and increase the positive sentiment and push them to take actions.

    Personality Helps

    Believe it or not, there are still personas that customers like these days. When a company has a persona, it brings out emotions in customers and will make that company more memorable. Who hasn’t bought with emotion only to justify it with logic? We all have.

    Like it or not, personality has power and can help your business stand out — especially in your PPC ads. If you can add a splash of personality to your brand, it’ll help your customer make an emotional connection with you. It builds connections.

    Be Inclusive

    Think back to the playground in school. We all wanted to be picked. To be included. It didn’t matter the activity, we wanted to be connected and a part of it.

    Guess what? The same goes for advertising.

    If your marketing is inclusive, it enhances loyalty. This is especially true when targeting millennials and gen Z audiences. The trick is, your inclusive advertising needs to be done with authenticity so the connection feels real. You want it to produce feelings of joy and trust.

    How do you then apply this to PPC? Look for ways to be more inclusive. One way is to be more inclusive with the audience you are targeting. Find out whose voice is missing. What potential groups may be accidentally excluded?

    Typically your traditional groups would include: gender, age, language spoken, sexual orientation, race, ability.

    A couple of ways to find who is missing: utilizing a keyword planner to mine for inclusive keywords; use Dynamic Search Ads to pinpoint exclusions in your copy and keywords; and optimize Shopping Campaigns.


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