Writing ad copy is hard. Writing ad copy that’s creative is harder. Writing ad copy that’s creative and converts? That’s an entirely different challenge to tackle.
With B2C ad copy, you don’t have 1,000 words to explain your reasoning in a carefully researched blog post Nor do you have 30 seconds, a towering budget, and actors to convey your brand’s key selling point.
What you’re left with are a few words, a couple of visuals, and if you have the budget, a brief video to make your copy pop. Whether on Facebook, Instagram, or Google, you’re paying for buyers to see your ads, so you have to make them count.
Luckily, words are one of the most powerful tools you have as a marketer, and they aren’t going out of style anytime soon. Dig into these 12 B2C ad copy examples that are optimized for driving higher click-through rates and conversion rates, and get ready for your next ad campaign to shine.
1. Make it timely
From the weather to the news cycle to the latest meme, timeliness can take many forms. Reminding your potential customers that the ad they’re seeing is in line with what’s going on in the calendar and the world at large can give your brand a certain currency.
Getting a targeted ad for swimsuits when you live in New England in October isn’t the best user experience. But getting an ad in your news feed for Vessi Footwear shoes, which can withstand even the craziest fall storms that bombard the area? Now we’re talking.
Although it may be jacket season in many places at the moment, this Bonobos ad wouldn’t work just anywhere. That’s why a combination of clever copy (who wouldn’t want to “look cool as hell”) and a smart targeting strategy combine to ensure a successful PPC ad campaign.
For a different kind of timeliness, Ben and Jerry’s (never one to separate itself from the current political climate), released these ads in the weeks leading up to U.S. elections, encouraging customers to register to vote. Of course, the copy doesn’t tell you that; there’s an element of intrigue that leaves you wanting to know more. But most people who see the ad while thumbing through Instagram will immediately make the connection between such a major national event and a politically minded brand.
2. Create a sense of urgency
If you only have a limited time to make a purchase, you’re probably going to be more inclined to do just that. Copy that creates a sense of urgency gives the impression that the product is in-demand. Not just that, but it also tells people that if they don’t act quickly enough, their chance to buy will be gone—perhaps forever. Finally, by putting a time limit in place, this type of ad copy helps to close more sales within a limited window.
But even if you’re trying to create urgency, your writing doesn’t have to be overly desperate, as this Masorini ad shows. Just communicate the simple facts of how much time shoppers have left to purchase and what they’ll miss out on if they don’t act.
3. Tell a story
If you don’t have the luxury of a short video to pitch your product, carousel ads can be just as valuable for sharing your story.
Check out this example from Homepolish, which uses a single sentence spread across a series of pictures to convey its message.
This sort of mini-narrative is great for showing off several of your products, while also drawing in readers with copy that gradually builds to your call to action. In this case, “Bring your perfect space to life” neatly sums up the gist of what readers have just seen going through the preceding pictures.
4. Take advantage of influencers
If it’s good enough for the Duchess of Sussex, it’s good enough for your customers, right? Your access to influencers might not extend to the British crown, but any opportunity you have to tap into the powers of influencer marketing is one you should jump at.
In this Facebook ad example, Everlane uses its connection to Meghan Markle (along with a splashy press quote) to catch readers’ eyes right off the bat. For those who might not be swayed by a big name, there’s still copy that details what makes the sweaters so great, including the style and price.
5. Seek out user-generated content
Struggling to come with a creative take on your product? Let your audience take it on for you!
Although you may not have the marketing budget or expansive audience of Google, sourcing content from customers shows that you value your audience’s opinion of your product over your own.
In this Instagram ad, Google Pixel relies on its team of worldwide fans and creators to show off what makes the phone so great. Not only is the ad eye-popping, but the copy reinforces the sense of camaraderie viewers might feel with creatives who are just like them.
6. Opt for info-packed copy
If you’re trying to market a complex product that isn’t easily summed up into a tidy tagline, it might be time to embrace the challenge.
A warning—the risks of taking a product-focused approach to ad copy are high. It’s going to take a lot more brainpower for you as a writer, as well as a lot of trust in your audience. Longer ads require patience, and your audience might not make it all the way through to the end.
But when done correctly, copy that puts the product front and center (versus a pithier, more creative approach) can be just the hook your audience needs to purchase.
Take for example Quip, a start-up toothbrush company. No idea what a start-up toothbrush company does? Neither do we, but that’s why we watched the entirety of this Instagram ad to find out. With detailed copy to guide us along the journey, all of our questions were resolved in a matter of seconds.
7. Lean on gamification
What’s the name of the game? Depending on the type of ad you’re running, gamification can be a winning marketing tactic for your ad copy.
Pulling off a successful game or contest in your ad copy can be quite the hurdle to overcome, even with something as seemingly simple as a photo-sharing contest, like the one In the Raw ran. As long as you make sure your copy is clear and impossible to misconstrue, you can sit back and watch your target audience engage away.
8. Go wordless
Sometimes the best writing happens when you take everything you’ve just written and hit the “delete” button.
When you want your call to action to do most of the talking—the “Shop Now” CTA button on the Topo Designs Instagram ad, for instance—eliminating extraneous words that will only distract from your message is a smart move. And with your products themselves taking the visual focus, there’s little need to do any embellishing with copy.
9. Keep it local
Ad personalization isn’t advanced enough to let you include first names in your targeted ad copy just yet. Still, you can pinpoint where your users are, then write ads that make sense based on their location.
Launching a new program in a certain city? Create a segment of local buyers and craft your ad copy to appeal to your target audience there, as Macy’s does in the Facebook ad example below. Emphasizing customers’ locations and how they relate to your product creates a more personalized effect, even if you can’t be as hyper-personalized as you would on other platforms.
10. Highlight your reviews
Whether you’re showing off a glowing review from a reputable publication, or just the latest positive comment you received from a satisfied customer on social media, you want to make new customers feel like they can trust your brand.
Shining the spotlight on social proof or press feedback solidifies your brand as an authority in your market. And if your reviews are anything like the ones for The Night Sky, perhaps the copy might make potential customers wonder if they’ll experience similar emotions.
11. Play up the FOMO
The fear of missing out is real. All the cool kids are doing it, so why aren’t you?
By optimizing your microcopy to play up on that sense of getting left behind, you’re effectively encouraging readers to question their pain points as consumers. If so much buzz is being drummed up around your product, why wouldn’t they want to join the bandwagon?
As Taft does so well in this Facebook ad example, using direct quotes from current customers, along with a FOMO-esque call to action (“if you don’t buy these shoes, will you even stand out?”), is exactly how you make the case for your product no longer being an optional purchase, but a must-have.
12. Be an expert
No one knows the ins and outs of your product better than you do. Using that expertise to show why it’s so great can solidify potential customers’ trust and confidence in what you’re advertising.
For Bombas, a sock manufacturing company, research is a big selling point. And in their ad copy, they put the focus on that expertise. Sure, this may not be the most creative approach to selling socks. But for buyers who are serious about quality (and we’re guessing their target audience certainly is), it’s exactly what they want to hear.
Do you have a favorite method for writing creative ad copy that yields high conversion rates and builds brand awareness? Or perhaps you know of a brand that really wows you with their words. We’re curious to hear your thoughts on these B2C ad copy examples and what we might have missed!