YouTube is the second largest search engine.

If you’re not advertising on YouTube then you are potentially missing out on some serious conversions.

Money shooting out of a computer screen with the YouTube logo displayed.
Let’s make some money with YouTube ads!

YouTube is not just a platform to share and upload adorable puppy videos. It is the new generations form of television and you know how attention-grabbing television ads were in the past.

You have probably seen the 6-second video ads before your YouTube video and thought “Wow my ads would look awesome here!” Then you tried to Google “how to advertise on YouTube” and there’s an overwhelming amount of information.

Well, don’t give up because we have the ultimate guide to help you advertise on YouTube.

By the time you finish this article, you would learn how to navigate the new Adwords interface in order to build your YouTube campaign, understand YouTube targeting, launch your own remarketing, and how to optimize your YouTube campaigns.

Why Advertise on YouTube?

First, what are YouTube ads? YouTube advertising is a part of Google AdWords. YouTube advertising allows not just marketers, but anyone to advertise on the YouTube platform. You have the power to choose who sees your ads and what videos will your ads appear in.

So why should you advertise on YouTube?

YouTube ads are trackable. Unlike traditional television ads, every click is tracked. Marketers have the knowledge they need to increase ad spending for successful ads or to pause poor performing ones.

YouTube ads are affordable for everyone. In some cases, YouTube video ads cost as low as $0.10 per view. Who wouldn’t want ads this cheap? This helps marketers drive affordable conversions and show off their brands to more customers.

YouTube allows you to choose the audience you want to target. This is powerful because depending on your product or services a certain group of people will be more willing to convert. You can choose the viewers’ demographics and interests. Advertisers can also choose the type of videos and specific keywords. You have an unlimited amount of choices to play around with.

Now that you know what YouTube ads are and its benefits, let’s get started!

Best Audience Targeting Method for YouTube Ads

Creating Your Buyer Persona

You can improve your ad targeting by creating a list of traits, characteristics, and demographics of your ideal customer. YouTube ads target videos that potential customers are watching.

To find these customers, you need to ask yourself:

  1. What topics are my customers most interested in?
  2. Are there major influencers or brands that will create videos my target audience will watch?
  3. What kind of channels will my customers subscribe to on YouTube?
  4. What do they type in when looking for videos of interest?
  5. What keyword tend to appear on the page when they’re watching such videos?

You can use tools like Facebook’s Audience Insight to learn more about the broad range of interests your audience might have. The most important information would be related to “Page Likes”. Use these interests and page likes to target your potential audiences.

Main YouTube Formats

There are three video formats that you can work with when running a video ad:

In-stream Ads

In-stream ads will appear before, during, or after a video. Viewers can skip these ads after 5 seconds of viewing.

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads do not give viewers the option to skip these ads. They are generally designed to raise brand awareness. These ads have to be 6 seconds or less.

Video Discovery Ads

Video discovery ads appear in YouTube Search results located next to related videos and on the homepage.

When running a Video Discovery campaign, isolate your approach in order for your ads to show on search listing and ‘related’ video section. This is useful if you know what keywords you want to target.

Ultimate Guide on Running Ads on YouTube

When making video ads, make things simple and keep these 5 basic ad formats in mind. If you can’t think of any video ideas, these ad formats can be your inspiration. These ads are tested and proven to have great results. But don’t be afraid to be creative.

Five basic video ad formats for YouTube ads. This includes talking head, animation, slideshow, product demonstration, and story.

YouTube Ad Tools From YouTube

Director App

This YouTube app is designed to help you create a video ad with only your phone. The director app walks you through the process of creating a YouTube ad with templates. Once you select a template, the app will take you through the process of what to say, when you need to say it, and how you need to record your video to produce high-quality ads. Then you can upload and even promote your ads directly from your phone. Visit the YouTube for Business channel to see examples of ads created with the Director App.

Note: It is recommended that you only use your phone to upload your videos, but not to edit your ads. You can have more control over the whole process with a desktop device.

YouTube Director Onsite

YouTube will send professional filmmakers to work with you to create a great ad. You can only use this option once you spent over $150 on running YouTube ads. It’s a relatively new option, so it is available in select locations like the U.S. and U.K.

You can go to YouTube Ad Creation Website to see if you’re eligible.

So how does it work?

First is the planning stage where you choose a video template, and YouTube will match you with a filmmaker to help you write your script.

Next is the shooting stage. Filmmakers will come to you to shoot, edit, and deliver your video in the same day.

Last is the advertising stage. Ad specialists will get your video ad set up to help you reach the right audience for your business.

How to Setup Your YouTube Ad

To start off, go to AdWords and click ‘Campaign+’ to create a new campaign. Then select ‘create a campaign without a goal’s guidance’ because you want complete control on all customization and inputs.

Creating a campaign without a goal's guidance on Google Adwords.

After that click ‘Video’.

The option of creating video ad being selected on Google Adwords.

Then ‘Custom video campaign’.

Custom video campaign being selected in the campaign subtype category within Google Adwords.

Here are the steps to create a Video Discovery Ad.

1) Give your campaign a name to easily identify it.

2) Choose your campaign budget. You can choose between ‘Daily’ or ‘Campaign Total’. You can also pick the Delivery Method of ‘Standard’ or ‘Accelerated’. If you want to spend money quickly use ‘accelerated’, but ‘standard’ would work for the majority of your campaigns.

3) Set your start and end date. This step is not as important. If you choose to not do anything in this category, AdWords automatically selects ‘As soon as ads are approved’ for the start date and ‘None’ as your end date.

But this feature would be great to play around with for holiday deals or any discounts within a given time frame.

4) Pick your bidding strategy. Choose ‘Maximum CPV’. This allows you to set up the maximum amount you are willing to pay per view.

5) Choose your network. It depends on what your campaign goals are and where you want your ads to appear. You can pick between:

YouTube Search which are ads that appear solely in YouTube Search results.

YouTube Videos that appear on the homepage, watch, and channel pages only.

Video Partners that extends the reach of video ads to sites and apps in the Google Display Network.

It is best to not mix different networks when running campaigns because you can have more control. More of your budget will be spent on search results to help you obtain more data in less time.

If you pick YouTube Video Network, your budget is spread out, and now you have to monitor the performance of 3 different ad locations. This makes it harder to draw insight.

6) Set a language. You can choose your audience’s spoken language. ‘All language’ is the default option unless you choose to change it.

7) Pick your locations. You can pick to either exclude or target a certain location. You can target as big as a country or even more granular by targeting specific cities.

8) Assign your inventory type. This is a new AdWords’ feature that allows you to choose where your content appears. You are allowed to choose between these 3 inventory types.

Expanded inventory allows your ads to appear on most contents which include sensitive contents. However, your ads won’t appear on extremely sensitive contents like nudity, excessive profanity, and graphic violence. This option will allow you cheaper ads, but your ads might appear in non-customer friendly content.

Standard inventory lets your ads show on content that’s appropriate to most brands. They have the same exclusions as expanded inventory but also exclude repeated strong profanity, violence either real or dramatized, and discussion of sex.

Limited inventory excludes the most sensitive content. This option excludes moderate profanity and moderate sexually suggestive content.

9) Decide on excluded content. Here you will choose what exactly you want to exclude. But with future AdWords updates, inventory type will replace this feature.

10) Select excluded types and labels. You can choose to exclude certain content types like embedded videos, live streaming videos, or games. You also have the option to choose digital content labels to exclude general audiences, most audiences with parental guidance, and mature audiences.

11) Setup Additional settings. This category allows you the option to optimize for devices, frequency capping, and ad schedule.

12) Name your ad group.

13) Choose your ad group bid. In this category, you are given the option to add ‘Top content bid adjustment’. This allows you to increase your bid by a set percentage in order to be competitive in advertising on popular content on YouTube or Display Network.

14) Fill out ‘Create your video ad’ section. To select your video, you need to upload your video on to YouTube. Then copy and paste the URL of the video.

15) Select your video ad format.

Video discovery ad being selected as the video ad format within Adwords.

16) After you select ‘Video discovery ad’ for your ad format, you can choose your thumbnail and write your Headline, Description 1, Description 2, and Ad Name.

In-stream ads are next. Here are the steps to set them up.

Follow the steps in Video Discovery Ad above until you reach ‘Create your video’ section because the steps are the same.

1) Copy and paste your URL.

2) Select ‘In-stream ad’.

3) Then you need to provide ‘Display URL’ and a ‘Final URL’ for your ad.

The Display URL is what people see on your ad.

The Final URL is the website that people will be taken to if they take action and click on your ad.

4) Include a call to action, but this step is optional.

5) Add a companion banner.

Companion banner is a banner that will appear alongside a video ad. You can either have Google create one for you or you can create one yourself. This is only seen on computers.

6) Name your ad.

7) Click save and continue.

Now we are going to go over bumper ads.

Follow the steps in ‘Video Discovery Ad’. But, you would change the bidding strategy for bumper ads. Switch ‘Maximum CPV’ to ‘Target CPM’.

Note: You’re paying on a CPM basis (for every 1000 impressions). People can’t skip your ads, so you don’t have the option to pay when people choose to watch your ads.

1) Copy and paste your URL.

Your video has to be 6 seconds or less.

2) Provide your ‘Final URL’ and ‘Display URL’.

3) Choose your companion banner option.

4) Write your ad name.

5) Click save and continue.

Basic YouTube Ad Targeting Tips

YouTube Search Ads

When running a YouTube Search Network campaign, it is a good idea to target based on keywords. You can set up keyword targeting by selecting ‘Keywords’ from the ‘Content’ section.

How do you know which keywords you should be targeting?

You need to know your niche. Keyword Planner will also help you. However, you can’t use ‘exact match’ keywords when targeting keywords on YouTube. There is ‘Contextual targeting’ which creates a theme related to the keyword provided. If you want greater control over keywords that trigger your ads, keep your keyword selection tight, and create separate ad groups for different keyword groups and themes.

Note: The Placement feature can be very useful if you want to run YouTube Video in ‘related section’ and not in ‘search results’. Placements can have your video ads show next to videos that your audience normally watches.

Custom Affinity targeting also works well for getting your videos to appear next to the right videos.

YouTube Video Ads

Relevance is the key to video ads. One technique is to target the videos that people will view after searching for a popular keyword related to your niche.

To do this, first, go to ‘Placement’ targeting. You can type your topic into the search bar and you would be given related videos.

It’s a good idea to filter the search results by ‘Channel’. By targeting a channel, you can uncover and ultimately target a bunch of videos that share a similar theme to what you are trying to promote. Note the URL for the selected videos and channels, so that it can be targeted later.

Not all videos and channels will have monetization enabled, so some videos and channels will not show your ads. This means you can’t show your ads on them.

Now that you have the URL, go back to AdWords and enter them in the ‘Placements’ section. To do this, go to the ‘Targeting’ section and click on ‘Narrow your targeting (optional)’.

Then select ‘Placements’ from the drop-down menu. You’ll notice the option to ‘Search for Placements’ within this section. This option can be useful, but will not necessarily give you a good sense of the top videos people will see after typing a given search term. When adding placements manually, you need to copy and paste them into the ‘Add manually’ section. After pasting, click ‘Add placements’ to make sure you’re targeting them.  

Then click done to see the ‘typical’ bid range has changed. You want to start with the lower end of the bid range to see how the platform works, then gradually raise the bid. To make sure your ad is not displaying on less popular videos, it could be a good idea to use ‘popular video bid adjustment’ feature.

You might want to separate ad campaigns for different placements to make it easier to see which placements are driving the best results at what cost.

On the right-hand side, suggestions are provided in terms of how many impressions you’ll achieve, given your current daily budget and bidding settings.

Bumper Ads

There are two approaches for bumper ads targeting. The goal of bumper ads is to build awareness rather than direct sales.

The first approach is targeting interests and topics as opposed to placements or keywords. When you are targeting interests, you can work with two audiences, affinity, and in-market. Affinity audiences relate to audiences that are interested in certain topics and would be interested in learning more about it. In-market audiences are those that are actively looking to buy something.

When using interests or topics targeting, you may want to simultaneously set up ‘Demographics’ targeting for your ad, so your ads can be shown to a subset of people within the interests and topics you select.

The typical bids here are higher due to the cost per 1000 views. Also, experiment with ‘Popular videos bid adjustments’.

Click save then wait for your ad to be approved.

Advanced Targeting Tips

Custom Affinity Audience

This feature allows you to create an audience of your own to target. Custom affinity audience targeting lets marketers target customers’ interests that best fits what you’re selling. This provides another avenue where marketers can test to maximize results.

Here are the steps to set up your custom affinity audience. Remember that your custom affinity audience would be available to other campaigns.

1) First, go into an existing ‘Display campaign’.

2) Click the Audience tab.

3) Then edit your audience.

4) Go into the ‘Browse’ tab.

5) Click ‘What their interests and habits are’.

This section will provide you with a list of affinity audiences that you can select from.

You can also create a custom affinity audience by clicking the bottom button. This will allow you more control and customization of who to reach. These are the steps to create your own custom affinity audience.

1) Create your audience name.

2) Write a description (Optional).

3) Define your audience.

You can add relevant interests, URL, places, or apps. It is recommended to add at least 5 to improve targeting quality.

4) Click create and save.

How to Launch Remarketing on YouTube Ads

You can show ads to people who have visited your website, interacted with your brand on YouTube in some way, and provided you with their email address, as long as Google can match their email to a Google account.

Follow these steps to build your own remarketing YouTube ad.

Go to ‘Campaign’ section of AdWords and then click on ‘Audiences’.

If you want to remarket to people who visited your website, you’ll need to set up a remarketing tag. You should be notified of this as soon as you hit the Audiences page.

  1. Click on ‘manual targeting’.
  2. Select ‘Browse’ category.
  3. Choose the option ‘How they have interacted with your business’
  4. Choose ‘Website visitors’.

Here you can set a parameter of who should be added to the remarketing list.

If you want to remarket to people who interacted with your brand on YouTube follow these steps:

1) Select ‘Tools’ on the top right corner.

2) Go to the ‘Shared Library’ section.

3) Click on ‘Audience Manager’.

4) Click on ‘+’ and ‘YouTube users’.

5) You will get a list of different parameters to choose from depending on your ad’s purpose in ‘List members’.

6) Choose your ‘Initial list size’.

7) Decide on your membership duration.

This is the amount of time someone will stay on your remarketing list after interacting with your business.

Quick Tips on Optimization

Views & Engagement:

It is a good idea to review the ‘View rate’ for each of your targeting methods. View rate lets us know how many people watched and engaged with your ad compared to how many people were exposed to the ad overall. This will let you know which targeting methods are working and don’t.

Remember to install conversion tracking, so that you can directly identify which targeting methods are driving the most or the cheapest conversions.

If you find that your view rate is low, then it might mean your targeting is off, or your video is not engaging. If your view rate is high, but there are low conversions, it may be that the video gives away too much info, leaving no curiosity as people feel no need to learn more. It could also be that there is no clear or compelling call to action.

Bidding:

Youtube ads are subject to the same bidding strategies and methodologies that govern paid search, display and shopping ads on Google, with the exception of an additional bid strategy available only for Youtube ads: cost per view, or CPV. In our experience, CPV bidding doesn’t tend to deliver as strong of results as our CPC bid strategy used across other Google Adwords mediums. However, your mileage may vary and test extensively is always encouraged.

Conclusion

I hope this guide helped you realize that anyone can advertise on YouTube, not just marketers. Setting up your YouTube ads is as easy as following instructions to bake a cake. Follow these steps and you can see your business on YouTube soon.

After reading this guide, which YouTube video ad format will you use?


You just opened your email and saw a message from the DREAM company you want. Congratulations! You have been invited to an interview. That’s exciting, but now what? Your excitement turns into fear because you don’t know how to impress your interviewers.

Door opened with "your dream job" inside.
Your dream job is waiting for you.

Don’t worry – we have a complete guide to conquer your next digital marketing interview.

Discover the techniques you need to conquer your digital marketing interview with knowledge and confidence in just 15 minutes.

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

If you want a better chance of getting the job, you need to stand out from other applicants. Interviewers are looking for specific qualities when searching for a new digital marketer and they have to sift through hundreds of resumes and look out for any obvious gems.

Certificates will definitely help you stand out from other applicants. Interviewers will see that you are interested in a career in digital marketing and committed to learning basic digital marketing tools. Google Analytics and Adwords are free certifications, so there is no reason to not get them. These certifications will also look good on any digital marketing resume. Bonus points if you achieve other certifications such as Facebook Blueprint, Hubspot, etc.

Technical skills are also key aspects that interviewers look at – they want to see if you are proficient at Excel, R, Python or data modeling tools. Knowing simple formulas and making graphs may have cut it in college, but it won’t cut it in the workforce.

It’s expected that you know keyboard shortcuts to speed up your execution and to correctly utilize advanced functions like VLOOKUP to answer data-driven questions. It is even better if you have experience with marketing platforms and vendors like Google Analytics, Adwords, and Facebook Ads. Any experience with design such as Photoshop and copywriting would be a bonus. There are tons of online resources that teach you how to be proficient in these tools. We recommend opening up your own ad accounts and practicing as nothing can replace real-world practice. Level up your digital marketing skills and check out this additional guide to learn how to write killer Google Adwords ads.

If you have a blog or a website, show it off! It will definitely force the interviewer to take a second look at your application. This will show your interviewers that you have the passion and a foundation for digital marketing. Make sure to highlight specific results as simply executing campaigns doesn’t demonstrate if you are performance driven or not.

Tips for Success during the Interview

Practice, practice, practice! Practicing will help you be more comfortable and confident for your interview. Lucky for you, this is a perfect study guide to help you practice.

Two people conducting an interview. The interviewer is conquering their digital marketing interview.

You need to do some research before the interview. Look up the company and interviewer if possible. LinkedIn is a great research tool for this purpose. You might find useful information on both the interviewer and the company.

Social and communication skills are important for digital marketers. The interviewer needs to know that you can communicate with fellow employees to succeed in the position. Especially at marketing agencies, you might be placed in a situation where you have to talk to clients. Public speaking is a muscle, so exercise it by going to networking events or other group events and practice introducing yourself until that muscle is strong.

Get specific with details and figures from your previous experience. Use numbers to describe your prior job successes. Concrete details are better for the interviewers to see your results compared to your abstract accomplishments. Between “I helped generate $1,000 in revenue within a 3 month period” and “I helped the company earn money while I was there,” it’s easy to tell that the which answer is better (the former, in case you were wondering).

Understand the position you applied for. You probably applied to multiple jobs, so make sure you are thinking about the right job for the right company. Employers don’t want to hire someone who is blindly carpet bombing Indeed.com with their resume. You also need to know what you will be doing and the skills you need to be successful.

Know every inch of your resume. The interviewer will most likely ask you questions about your resume. Most importantly, don’t lie about your credentials. Interviewers can tell if things don’t add up. It is not worth hurting your reputation.  

Prepare for Possible Interview Questions

Now let’s get into the actual interview. You came here to learn how to crush your next digital marketing interview. We provided you a list of possible digital marketing interview questions. Take some time and learn how to answer these commonly asked questions.

Behavioral Questions:

Interviewers ask personality questions to gauge if your personality matches the company. This is also an opportunity to show off who you are and see if you’re a good fit for the team.

It is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses to answer these questions. Take your time to develop your elevator pitch. This should include a brief introduction and what makes you special. Keep it short and around 30 seconds long.

Here are some examples of personality questions and why they would ask.

Tell me about yourself. This is an opportunity for you to open up and demonstrate your elevator pitch. The interviewer wants to get to know specifics about you so they can know you a bit better.

What is one accomplishment you are proudest of? Interviewers are looking for a significant achievement and how you accomplished it, ideally via drive, grit, and self-learning.

What is one of your hobbies? Interviewers are looking for progression/development in something that’s not forced (like school or work).

What is your 5-year goal and how do you plan to achieve it? Interviewers are looking for some concrete thoughts about the future, as well as evidence that you actively thought and researched about next steps.

What would your previous boss say about you? Interviewers are looking for a positive past relationship and experience w/ your prior company, or at least an honest, self-aware assessment.

Digital Marketing Related Questions:

Companies want to see if you have any prior knowledge of digital marketing and if you tried learning digital marketing on your own. Try to practice by answering these questions.

Why digital marketing?

What is your experience with digital marketing?

What are your relevant skills for this position?

How does your academic experience prepare you for this position?

Company Related Questions:

These types of questions will allow the interviewers to see if you have taken the time to research the company before the interview and have a real interest in the company.

Why do you want to join our company?

What do you know about this company?

Describe your ideal work environment.

Your Questions:

At the end of the interview, you will be given a chance to ask the interviewer questions. Take this chance to learn more about the company and the position. It also lets the interviewers know that you were engaged in the conversation and show genuine interest. Here are some example questions to ask your interviewer.

How have you grown personally through your experience with this company?

What does a typical day look like?

Why did you come to this company?

What is your favorite part about working here?

How can I grow here?

Remember not to limit yourself to these questions. Be creative because this is your time to interview your interviewer.

Post Interview Procedures

Finally, the questioning portion is over. It’s time to ask for the interviewer’s contact information or business card. This is important because you can contact them to follow up with the interview and hiring process.

Don’t forget to send a follow-up or a thank you email to your interviewer. Most applicants are too lazy to do this extra step and they will be less likely to get the job. Thank you emails aren’t difficult to write and you will stand out from other applicants.    

Here are 3 essential things to include.

  1. Show appreciation of the interviewer’s time.
  2. Mention something specific in the interview, so they know you didn’t copy and paste this email.
  3. Express interest in the position and your excitement to learn more.

You can find a thank you email template anywhere, but remember to customize yours.

A person celebrating because they finished their digital marketing interview.

Now that you are finally done, sit back and take a deep breath. Even though your goal is to land your dream job, every interview will make you more comfortable with talking about yourself and sharing your experience.

Which of these tips do you think is the most interesting? Let me know.


You are preparing for the biggest meeting of your life.

Your boss is demanding ad copy.

Not just any ad copy.

It needs to amaze. Inspire. SELL!

Suddenly, sweat drips down your face.

You’re slamming your keyboard now, desperately searching for help online.

You are suddenly feeling very small.

Don’t worry.

We got your back.

We’re here to help (no sweat).

So why is ad copy such a vital part of online marketing?

Google is a blood strewn battleground of competitors –  you’ll need the right strategies to make it on top.

Your job as a marketer is to crush those competitors.

How do you knock your competitors out of the way, you might ask?

You’ll need to be equipped with the right techniques to devise eye-catching ad copy that will stand out from the rest.

You’re not simply going to write great copy – you need to get into the shoes of your customers and understand everything that motivates them, drives them, and ultimately triggers them to make a purchase.

Let’s take a look at these steps that will act as your ad copy bible.

STEP ONE: Find and target your user’s objectives for Google Adwords ads.

Understand your user inside and out.

There are multiple types of people, or personas. Let’s go into detail here.

How do you figure out your user personas?

1. Do some market research.

You can gauge details of your user by using tools like surveys, interviews, and polls on social media channels.

Another way to find out details of your user is scoping out your competitors. How are they talking and interacting with their consumers?

2. Check your website’s analytics.

There is valuable data inside your site’s analytics. It reveals essential information for creating your personas like search terms that led them to your ad and what device they are used to get there.

Now that you found some pieces to your persona puzzle, lets build them out.

P.I.P.: Persona Identification Process. Let’s engrave this process into your head, so whenever you need to understand your audience, the P.I.P. will easily guide you through it. The P.I.P. will include these components:

Name your persona

This will help you differentiate your multiple personas and build unique ad copy to fit each one.

Occupation

    • What is their job title?
  • What is their company like? (size, industry, etc.)

Demographics

    • Age
    • Gender
    • Income
    • Location
    • Level of Education
  • Family Size

Psychographics

    • Primary and secondary goals
    • How will you help them reach their goals
    • Problems
    • How will you solve these problems
    • Interests
  • Dislikes

Here’s an example persona for someone searching for “sell car.”

A computer screen that displays the desired customer's persona.
P.I.P. Template

Name: Drew

Occupation: Assistant Project Manager at a mid-size apparel company.

Demographics:

    • 35 years old
    • Male
    • $65,000 Annual Income
    • Southern California, Suburban Region
    • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Married, Two young children

Psychographics:

    • Goals: Sell car in most effective and profitable way
    • Problems: Find easiest and quickest way to sell car for cash
  • How can we help: Give instant estimate, Pick up the car, Give cash quick.

Now that you have this template for creating your personas, it will be much easier for your ad copy to cater to their exact needs.

Moving forward, let’s think of the five W’s (who, what, where, when, why) when analyzing this person.

“Who”- Who is this person? Think of their possible occupation, interests, dislikes, and so on. Drew is a 35-year-old man with hair quickly turning white due to his chaotic days with two young children. He’s a full-time worker and a full-time family man, facing various situations day to day. His new big problem, sell his car.

“What” – What is their goal? Tap into what they are trying to achieve in the end.

Drew’s day usually includes work, taking care of the children, and spending time with the family, with no time to waste. His goal is to sell his car in the most immediate and profitable way.

“Where and When” – What device are they using when searching and where are they geographically located?

For Drew, he is searching for solutions mainly through his mobile device since he is always on the go, whether he’s at his son’s soccer practice or out for lunch with his co-workers. His geographic location is California, USA. You can now modify your ad copy to appeal to these aspects.

“Why” – This can be parallel to their goal, but let’s pinpoint why they are looking for a solution.

In Drew’s case, he is unfamiliar with the car selling process and doesn’t know which service is the best. Therefore, he is searching for trustworthy guidance and a helpful hand (you.)

With the solid knowledge of your personas, let’s process that information into personable ad copy.

Here’s an example of ad copy for “sell car.”

An example of a Google search ad copy about selling cars.
Examples of effective ad copy for specific personas.

These two ads give the user easy-to-follow solutions to their problem of selling a car. The first ad gives concise answers like “Get An Instant Estimate, Pick Up Your Car, Get A Check.”

Then guide the user into understanding how each persona has different 5x Ws and the ad copy should reflect that.

It simply tells the user that their company’s services will bring them to the end goal (get a check/money.)

These companies have a clear image of their user.

They are utilizing specific benefits like “Get An Instant Estimate Now,”Sell Car Quick,” and “Highest Payout.”

Each benefit is fitting the mold to the persona who wants to sell their car fast, hassle-free, and for good money.

STEP TWO: Nail the Headline.

Now let’s get into the greeter of our ad copy; the headline.

More people simply read the headline more than the body.

It is the first thing people see – make it memorable!

Office supplies that surrounds a group of emotionally appealing words like sensational, now, and miracle.
Example of different hook words.

Hooks– Snatch the user’s attention with enticing hooks.

    • What exactly is a hook? It’s something that grabs someone’s attention.
    • The hook should explain the value of your offer, to make the user read on.
  • Use grabbers like “Who else wants…” (implies an already existing desire) or “The secret of…” (instills that you are sharing insider knowledge)

Statistics & Numbers– Integrate this into your headline to differentiate yourself from other ads.

    • This acts as strong, factual motivators to help your user believe what you’re selling.
    • Numbers and statistics make users believe that your service is better than the competitors. Check this example out.
  • A user is searching “photo prints” and multiple companies include stats in their headline.
Google search ad copy about photo prints with the percentage off in their headlines.
Examples of utilizing statistics and numbers in headline to increase engagement.

Snapfish strategically inserts “Up to 70% Off” to trigger the user to feel like they are getting a big discount.

Walgreens’ ad also states “40% Off Photo Prints,” implying that there is a special sale.

Majority of users comparing these four different services would easily pick Snapfish and Walgreens over the other two because of the simple inserts of percentages.

Wouldn’t you go for the ad with a sale going on?

Keywords– Incorporate your top keywords.

    • Utilize your top performing keywords in the headline so it appears in the searches.
  • Be cautious and don’t spam the ad with these keywords.

Two words: Scent. Trail.

    • What is this? When we use search engines, there’s typically a specific direction we’re looking to go. Users then tend to engage most with ads that easily take you on the right path.
  • You want the headline to smoothly lead them to your description. Then the description should be the final push to have them click through.

Let me guide you through this example:

An example of a bad ad copy with Cox offering to win a trip to Scotland.
Example of showcasing scent trail gone wrong.

When you first look at the headline “Enter to win a trip to Scotland from Cox!,” you expect the body to be about how you can win a trip to Scotland, right?

Well… Clearly, there is no correlation in the body content with the headline.

This has no clear scent trail.

At this point, your user is confused and will immediately disengage.

Now let’s look at an ad with good scent trail.

Google search ad from Sephora.
Example utilizing effective scent trail to enhance user’s experience.

Here’s an ad for “makeup brush.” The headline clearly states what we are looking for, “makeup brushes & cosmetic brushes.” Now the user will want to continue reading.

This description is spot on with the topic and provides the user with information they want, leading them to click through and continue shopping.

Learn more about the scent trail concept here: https://www.practicalecommerce.com/conversion-rate-optimization-scent-trail-or-primrose-path

STEP THREE: Wow them with your description/body.

Now that the headline is settled, let’s focus on the meat of the ad copy; the description.

A quick way to vamp up the first description line is ending with a punctuation mark.

    • This grants the ad extra pulling power.
  • If you use punctuation, it can elongate your headline when your ad places in top three spots.

Next, promote readability.

  • Utilize easy to comprehend, short, and broken sentences.

Check this out, what ad is easier on the eyes?

Google search ad from Hotels.com.
Example of ad with easy to read copy.

OR

Google search ad from Expedia.
Example of ad with clustered text.

The first ad has short, simple sentences like “Price Guarantee. No Cancellation Fee.”

It’s quick to read and straight to the point.

The second ad looks a little more clustered and makes it harder on the eyes since it looks like a big chunk of text.

With that said, try to stay away from chunking up your text.

Next, focus on your benefits.

Checklist to follow in order to create a good ad copy.
Steps to increase performance in ad copy.

Tell them how your brand/product will improve their lives.

    • The user only cares about how you can make their lives easier.
    • Again, apply stats and #s when possible.
  • Be specific on how you will help them, don’t be too vague.

Be personal; use “you”

    • You are talking directly to the user.
  • This gives off a friendly and intimate attitude.
  • Make them feel like they have a relationship with you and can trust you.

Include converting keywords in text

    • Just like in the headline, target those high performing keywords and integrate them in the text.
  • Again, be aware of spamming the text with keywords.

The order of the text matters as well.

  • The most important information should be at the front and the least important should be at the end.
Google search ad copy from Elf Cosmetics.
Example of ad with efficiently structured text.
    • In the example above, this ad description is structured well since the first sentence captures the user’s attention with clear information about makeup brushes they offer.
  • The next sentence is a call to action which should be at the end.

STEP FOUR: Utilize emotional triggers

Emotions are vital components to making strong ad copy.

Use anger, disgust, excitement, fear, etc. to get a powerful response.

A person's face with multiple expressions such as happy, angry, and worried.
Different emotions used in ad copy.

We have to understand that most consumers are driven by emotion, not just logic.

    • The use of emotions like belonging should make them feel like they are part of something bigger.
  • The emotional trigger of fear should instill a sense of danger if they do not take action.

Overall, make the user feel something, allowing them to connect with you.

Triggers- Research what triggers your targeted user.

    • Think about the specific details of your personas.
    • Envision what emotions will work best with them, based on their personalities.
    • Considering what service or product you’re offering, you can choose emotions based on that as well.
    • Remember what you include in your ad can trigger them to feel a specific way.
  • The trigger will lead to them to have an emotional reaction and click through.

Here’s an example: These two ads are both for “Hydroflask.”

2 examples of Hydroflask Google search ad.
Examples of ineffective and effective ad copy regarding emotional effects.

 

The first ad copy is extremely bland and no emotional connection, whatsoever.

However, the second copy uses strong emotions with punch words like “tough as hell” and keeps it personal by using “your.” The ad leaves a lasting impression unlike the other.

This makes the ad copy highly compelling.

An important emotional trigger you need to know: FOMO

A businessman that is worried because he saw a countdown timer for a sale that is about to end.
Example of FOMO is online sale countdown.

FOMO = fear of missing out

This emotion causes a sense of feeling left out or missing out on something important.

The result of this emotion is the act of them engaging in your ad.

  • This is a type of loss aversion to persuade users to convert

Simple way to implement FOMO is a countdown timer; run in real time.

    • The timer provides a sense of panic and time running out.
  • By instilling time limits, the user thinks they will lose out if they don’t act now.

Other tactics include copy like: “Sale is almost ending, only one hour left”

    • Creates fear of missing out on opportunity
  • Adding text like “low on stock” or “almost sold out” relays powerful emotional reactions.

STEP FIVE: Importance of display URLs

You want unique, keyword-rich display urls.

What are display URLs?

  • The display URL is what the URL shown in your ad.

This URL obviously shows the user that they will be sent to a landing page on hotels.

The display URL can be different from the destination URL.

When utilized correctly, it can improve click through rates.

Display URLs serve two purposes: Be something more related to the ad copy subject AND contain your top keywords.

You can include top keywords in display URLs even if it’s not included in your destination URL.

If the URL is specific to the user’s desire, it will make them believe the landing page will take them to what they’re looking for.

It also adds a sense of organization and assurance.

A person pointing at a computer screen with a URL in a search bar.
Example of good URL structure.

Here’s an example of a display URL: www.doglovers.com/dog-food/beef

This tells the user they will be directly led to a landing page for dog food categorized under beef.

You made it.

We reached the end of the learning process, but you’re not done yet.

What should you do now?

The best way to engrave these killer steps would be through practice.

After practice, we need to TEST, TEST, TEST!

The most important thing to do now is test your ads. You’re now ready to write compelling and strategic ad copy, but now we need to figure out which is working.

    • Ad copy takes multiple tries to get it right and the only way to hit the jackpot is by testing them.
    • Take this to the A/B testing stage.
  • A/B testing various ads will allow you to determine which tactics are successfully working for you campaign.

Now, the next time you’re asked to take on an ad copy task, relax and tap into your brain. Use these valuable steps to help navigate your way and you’ll be deemed as the next ad copy king/queen.

A person wearing a crown with a sash that reads "Ad copy king".
Now go make some fire ad copy!

Resource Center

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