Digital technology is completely rewiring our brains. Fewer people pick up books, and more can’t put down their phones. This is creating significantly shorter attention spans, and it’s also making a lot more noise: Americans are now exposed to up to 10,000 ads per day.
I started my career in digital, and spent several years developing email loyalty and direct response marketing campaigns for Global 500 automotive brands. Since joining Schifino Lee, I write everything from billboards to blog posts for brands of every kind. But no matter what I take on, digital marketing has given me the foundation I need to write effective messaging for any industry, across any medium.
So here’s how to amplify your ad content in 2018, and connect with an audience that’s shifted to digital.
- Be upfront about your goals.
What do you want someone to do after reading your message? Do you want them to be more aware of your brand, or buy a specific product? The call-to-action (CTA) is how you direct readers to take that next step. It shouldn’t be the headline of your ad, but all creative elements should point toward it.Digital marketing is king of the CTA, and traditional advertising can learn a lot from it. For one, CTAs don’t have to be boring old buttons. Check out this landing page for Humboldt County, California. It features an eye-catching design, a clear value proposition and a button that’s way more enticing than “Learn More.”
2. Keep it short and skimmable.
In 1963, David Oglivy wrote, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” I would be shocked if digital hadn’t substantially widened the gap. We turn to Twitter for news now, and get most of what we need in 280 characters or less.
Optimizing copy for skim-readers and scanners will help you get your readers beyond the headline. Just follow these quick tips when writing longer-form copy:
- Cut unnecessary words, and even characters.
- Add section headers to improve readability and flow.
- Break up heavy blocks of text with supporting imagery.
- Bold words or phrases to emphasize key points.
- Use numbered lists or bullet points whenever possible. =)
- Don’t just wow them with words.
This blog might be about copy—but words aren’t the only way to tell a story. 75 million Americans watch online videos every single day, and they retain about 95% of the information presented.
In my experience, working with a professional production company is almost always worth the investment. But if you’re not ready to make that leap, you can start creating content today with your phone. For example, utilize Facebook Live to feature special promotions or events as they happen.
By following these tips, you’ll write clearer, more effective content that converts in just about any channel. So cheers to the New Year, and your soon-to-be new customers.
For comments, questions or help with refining your ad content, hit up firstname.lastname@example.org.