The goal of your ad copy is to pre-frame, pre-qualify and pre-sell your ideal customers to click on the ad itself. The goal shouldn’t be to sell – hopefully, you already have your marketing/sales funnel in place which can take care of the actual sales.
Legendary marketer and copywriter Eugene Schwartz wrote in his book Breakthrough Advertising, “The greatest mistake marketers make is trying to create demand.”
“The power, the force, the overwhelming urge to own that makes advertising work, comes from the market itself, and not from the copy. A copy cannot create the desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product. This is the copy writer’s task: not to create this mass desire – but to channel and direct it. Actually, it would be impossible for anyone advertiser to spend enough money to actually create this mass desire. He can only exploit it. And he dies when he tried to run against it.”
What you want to do is to identify your ideal customer and delve into the psychology of what motivates them to buy before writing your ad copy – tap into the demand!
Step 1: Identify one major problem/desire your customers want to resolve in their lives
You should be spending as much time on researching the problem/desire as you do on solving it – and find the single, biggest and broadest demand in the market with an urgency behind it.
Step 2: Identify what your product does to resolve this problem/desire
Think through what your product does and list out all the solutions your product can offer or how it can help fulfill the desires of your customers.
Step 3: Identify the market awareness
There are 5 different levels of market awareness, this will help determine what type of copy you need to use in your ads:
This market already knows what products are out there to solve the problem or fulfill a desire – and they know what it will cost them to get it. A shampoo or a toothpaste can be a good example here. The best thing to do is to create an ‘offer copy’ for this market, discounts etc.
People are aware of the problem/desire and they know there are products in the market that can solve the problem or fulfill the desire – they just don’t know about your product yet. The copy needs to be educational/informative, explaining the product in the best way possible.
Here the market is aware of the problem/desire and they know there is a solution to that, but they don’t know of any products yet. This copy will be focusing on ‘future pacing the solution’ – what will their life be like after having that solution and how they can achieve it with your product.
Problem aware as the title suggests, are aware about the problem but they don’t know if there’s even a solution necessarily to solving it yet or solution that can fulfill their desire. Here the copy will lead to the problem itself, outline the solution and conclude with your product.
Unless you’re trying to open a new market, this scenario will probably not apply to you. But the formula applies the same. You need to lead with the message to explain why you think there’s a problem, why the market should care, what the solution is and how your product helps. This is generating demand, and taking Eugene’s advice into account, you will need some serious budget to generate this mass desire.
Step 4: Decide the appeal you want to use in your ad copy
Once you’ve figured out the pain points, there are several ways you can appeal to the market. Such as fear of losing money, greed to earn more money, passion to learn more, skepticism towards a solution they have used before etc.
Here’s the framework to build the best message for your ad copy.
- Identify the problem/desire
- Figure out how your product can provide the solution
- Find out the market awareness level
- Make the right appeal
Now create the story that will sell your product!