Text ads are the most popular format for Internet advertising. They are easy-to-create, offer good click-thru rates and contribute to your company's unaided brand awareness. Although less immediate than click-thrus, unaided brand awareness is important to marketers because it contributes to future sales when Web surfers remember their ads.
Unaided brand awareness is also an important indicator of brand dominance. There is a high correlation between unaided awareness and market share. When people shop, they begin with the brands that they know first. The most effective text ads are designed to work on both levels—whether they are clicked on or not. They inform potential customers about specific products and provide a relevant brand statement.
Tips for creating effective text ads:
- Be an expert — People use a search engine to learn about products and services. Use text ads to promote an informative article and product guide on your site. From a branding perspective, this can position your company as an "approachable expert" in the mind of site visitors.
- Be active — Replace self-descriptive phrases like "We provide savings" with active phrases that describe the benefits of your expertise, such as "Increase your Profits." This provides incentive to click-thru. Ads are more memorable when they present benefits.
- Use hot buttons — Hot buttons are emotional triggers related to the keywords associated with an ad. People value emotional rewards. Incorporate words that exemplify the benefit of your product or service. A "problem solver" is more relevant (and memorable) than an "experienced professional."
- Think "ads" not "ad"— Create multiple ads within a campaign. For each, use a variety of keywords, hot buttons, active verbs and click-thru offers. This allows you to target each ad within a specific context where it can remain effective. When using multiple ads within a Google ad group, ads that have higher click-thru rates will be favored over ads with lower click-thru percentages. To boost the rotation of ads, you can define separate groups for related ads.
When you create text ads, consider whether you've addressed the underlying needs of Web site visitors. If you understand the reason they buy a product or service, you can use your findings to create an ad that is relevant and memorable — which means they'll click if they need your service now, or remember your company when they need it in the future.
About the Author
Winmark Business Solutions (WBS) is a free Web site for small businesses and entrepreneurs containing over 6,000 pages of business-critical information and downloadable tools at www.WBSonline.com. WBS is a division of Winmark Corporation, a multi-brand franchisor with nearly 900 franchise locations in North America. With over 25 years working with small businesses, WBS draws upon years of experience to bring important small business articles, information, tools, forms, checklists, calculators and downloadable forms.