7 Copywriting Tips to Improve Performance Marketing
Oh, performance marketing.
Usually looked upon as the infomercials of social media, the coupon, the cheesy sales pitch, the clickbait that uses cheap gimmicks to attract scrolling consumers to tap, sign up, and make a purchase.
Although many companies pour millions of dollars each month into performance advertising, they do not usually care about the quality of the ads themselves. Instead, they rely primarily on the CACs — cost of acquisition. As a result, they lack a brand voice, campaign ideas, or real substance.
So today, I will share seven tips on how you can improve your performance marketing campaigns.
1. Don’t Imitate
Too many times performance marketing latches onto things already being made. If a competitor has a commercial with a dog, pets become important. If they use a jingle, you are creating a song immediately. This copycatting creates an incestuous atmosphere that reminds me of a family reunion I went to in the hills of Virginia — awkward. This method is lackluster and unmemorable, making it hard for companies to stand out from the competition.
Instead of copying another brand, do something that makes sense with what you represent. Talk to your audience and grab their attention in a way that only your company can.
2. Know Your Audience
Who are you talking to? Who do you want to talk to? Why are you talking to them? Do they align with your brand’s mission? Do you know which demographic likes your product the most? These are important questions you should ask yourself before making a performance campaign.
Social media, specifically Facebook, Tik Tok, and Instagram, have mastered the ability to let anyone talk to their target audience in a precise way. Pinpoint your messaging and your targeting to connect with your ideal customer.
3. Solve a Problem
What can your product alleviate? How can it make people’s lives better? Whether this problem is important or superficial, make it a point to let people know what you can do for them if they use your services. For example, if you sell jeans, offer the perfect fit. If you sell a credit card, offer a way to be in control of your money. If you sell peanut butter, offer a healthy fast food alternative.
When you address real problems, you make your product less about what it is and more about how it can help.
4. Make it Feel Native
Whether you are on Snapchat, Tik Tok, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, it is always wise to make performance advertising that uses the filters, typography, and style that is trending on the platform. Many young Millennials and Gen Zers are incredibly turned off by “traditional advertising.” Rather than being sold an idea, they want to be entertained or watch something that feels like a regular post from a friend.
5. Test. Test. Test
In the past, advertising agencies would show commercials to paid focus groups to see their response. If the commercial was unanimously disliked, it was pulled from production. Luckily, now testing is a lot easier and more effective on paid social media advertising. Now, you can use each platform’s analytics tools to measure everything from clicks to cost of acquisition, impressions, comments, and shares.
As a writer, it is very important to have many different options of copy so you can fine-tune the content, and ultimately use whatever copy and design that creates the biggest results.
6. Incorporate Real Reviews and Quotes
“Don’t believe me? Well, listen to what our customers have to say.” Yes, this line has been used for every cheesy infomercial since the beginning of marketing; however, when you add a review tastefully, it can build credibility, transparency, and provide social proof to your copy.
In these scenarios, it is up to the copywriter to be able to pick the most powerful lines and edit them together to make the most effective message.
7. Less is More
Concise copy sells. It’s easily scannable, memorable, and actionable. It takes out all the unnecessary ingredients, trims the fat, and provides the most important essence of an idea.
Performance advertising has to convey an idea in less than three seconds. It has to be compelling and straightforward because the audience is primarily scrolling at the speed of ADHD.
As a rule of thumb, always edit your copy. Provide many options and iterations and then pick the best of the best as your options. When you can self-edit, you not only save your creative director time and energy, you consistently improve your craft.
When you simplify your message, this also means not to include too many real-time benefits (RTBs). Many product managers for companies want to overload customers with all the great bells and whistles. This does not work; it just confuses people. So, in general, never use more than three RTBs in any performance advertising.
Finally, Have Fun
Yes, this might be obvious, but as a writer, you should incorporate all this new knowledge and go out there and make some witty and insightful messaging that not only creates sales, but puts a smile on you and the customers’ faces.