In today’s world, we are overloaded with ads. Every time you open your phone, browse on your computer or watch TV, there are hundreds of ads bidding to grab your attention. It can be overwhelming, leading users to ignore advertisements that don’t appeal to them.
Advertising legend Howard Gossage once said, “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.” You have less than a second to get someone to stop scrolling and look at your ad. Therefore, first and foremost, it has to be eye-catching. When a user stops to look at the ad, the key is to keep their curiosity and get them to click on the content.
So, how do experts create engaging ads? Well, it’s all about recognizing your users’ intent and needs and crafting clear and creative copy that addresses both. Here are some “best practices” to increase engagement and CTR effectively.
Brainstorming Is the Most Important Step
First and foremost, brainstorming is the most crucial part of creating successful ads. When thinking about what will draw people in, you have to understand the essence of the story. Some questions to ask yourself include:
- What are the critical points of your article?
- What tidbits will leave users curious to read more?
- How do I give enough information without sharing TOO much information?
The objective is to stand out from the competition. The best way is to list ideas and branch off those main ideas. Highlight the most intriguing facts that will make people say, “Wait, what?!” Get a team together to bounce ideas off each other.
What Turns People Away?
Before we get into what creates a successful ad, we must understand what makes people scroll past an ad.
It is essential to avoid over-sensationalized statements. For example, writing “You will never believe what happened” or “This will shock you” will make people scroll past the ad because it makes them feel like the information in the article is not credible.
While we want to draw people in with a preview of what’s to come when they click, you don’t want to give away all the spoilers. If you watched a movie trailer and gave away the whole plot, you probably wouldn’t see the movie. Therefore, don’t give away the whole story before they click.
Additionally, don’t do what everyone else is doing. If everyone copied competitors, we would get sick of seeing the same ads repeatedly. Also, just because something is working for a competitor doesn’t mean it will work for you. Remember to be creative.
Make Each Component of an Ad Work for You
An ad is comprised of three components: A headline, description, and visual.
While the headline will get people to click, the visuals will stop users from scrolling past the ad. Pictures with bold colors like red and yellow help catch the eye. Creating a collage gives better odds that one of the pictures will make a user look at the ad.
Once people stop to read the ad, the headline must pique their curiosity. Be bold, be daring, and be creative. A headline stirring up people’s emotions will do much better than blandly stating the facts. Surprisingly, creating negative emotions does better than positive emotions, plus it starts a conversation. Try including questions and always add a call to action because that will motivate people to click on the ad.
Most importantly, STAY RELEVANT! People want the most up-to-date information. Find ways to keep the topic fresh because people don’t want to see old news. Whatever an article is about, research to find new facts for the ad copy, so they understand that the article contains the latest details.
Different Users Have Different Needs
When advertising to “native readers,” it’s important to remember that they are interested in current events and want to catch up on their daily news or gossip. Meanwhile, Facebook ads are geared towards people who want to be entertained or kill some time.
On Facebook, there is more room to elaborate on the article as a whole. However, on other platforms, you want to trigger the readers with one element.
Can You Pass the Scroll Test?
At the end of the ad copy process, the goal is to get users to click. Usually, only one or two ads will work for one topic. It’s like putting puzzle pieces together to find the strongest images that pair with the best headlines. Once you figure out which ads are working the best, it helps you understand what draws your users in for that story. This will help you optimize the ads that aren’t working.
Experimenting and trying new things will help you stay one step ahead of the competition. You always want to stand out from the millions of ads that people see to stop people from scrolling past your advertisement. You have a successful ad if you can get people to stop scrolling, read, and click.