- Know your product. Describe your product or service: What is it designed to do? Is there a problem that it solves or does it improve efficiency? What is the product USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Can you describe your product in a single sentence?
- Know your Audience: Who does your product appeal to? What is the key demographic? Where can you find this demographic? Can you advertise in a place where large concentrations of your audience will see your product? Make sure your content addresses this particular audience, because they’re the ones that are going to be most likely to buy your product or use your service.
- Know your Competition: Who is your closest competitor? What does their advertising look like? How successful are they? (This could also help you to discern whether there is a market for your product.) A person who doesn’t know their competitors is essentially shooting themselves in the foot. Not only is it important to know what you’re up against, but your competitors can spark ideas for your business or advertising. It takes some research, but a few hours is worth it.
- Know your Positioning: This is basically how you are positioned against your competitors. Are your competitors missing the mark? How is your product fulfilling this demand? How is your product different/better than your competitors?
If you have competitors offering an identical product or service, don’t despair. There are still ways ad writing that can bring out the uniqueness of your product – even if you make it the exact same way. For example, one famous advertiser (Claude Hopkins) wrote an advertisement for Schlitz Beer that propelled the beer from #5 in the US to a strong contender for #1. His ad read:
“Purity is made imperative. All beer is cooled in plate glass rooms, in filtered air. Then the beer is filtered. Then it is sterilized after being bottled and sealed. We age beer for months in refrigerating rooms before it goes out.”
Of course, this was the process used by many breweries at the time to make beer, but Hopkins was the first one to explain it in such precise detail – and it positioned Schlitz uniquely as the purest beer in the market.
- Keep the tone conversational: In ad writing, it is very important to keep the content conversational and light. You could have the most brilliant product in the world, but if the ad reads like stereo instructions, no one is going to waste their time learning about it. Intriguing copy will keep your ad out of the trash bin and in people’s minds. This is where an advertising copywriter can help you develop your product concept into a powerful advertisement.
Take a look at the DA Copywriter Portfolio for some sample advertisements.
Ready to get started on your small business advertising? Contact DA Copywriter & Small Business Strategist help you with your ad writing projects.