Have you ever found yourself stuck trading your time for money? I have known for a while that finding ways to bring income in that didn’t always involve trading my time for dollars was a road I wanted to take. Often, the most successful entrepreneurs will have multiple income streams. As my business has reshaped and grown, I finally decided it was time to take steps to implement this. For some time, I have thought about offering ads on my website and to my blog audience. Because I wasn’t sure that my audience volume was sufficient enough, it sat on the backburner. In 2016, in an effort to continue building relationships with people I was meeting locally at networking events, I began sharing where I was networking and other networking events via weekly email. In May 2017, I decided to incorporate ads when I moved the new improved email newsletter into an email marketing service. This guide to create text ads will explore best practices, and was inspired by my audience asking for assistance with this.
Ok, don’t want to read about the what, why, and where of ‘text ads’? Ready to get straight to the guide to create text ads? Click here to jump down to it.
Yes, I want to know more.
Here are some things I will answer:
- What is a text ad? What purpose does it have?
- Where are text ads likely to be found?
- When is it more appropriate to have a text ad?
- What are the key elements for an ad in general, and a text ad in particular?
Google is the driving force in doing business these days. In particular, when it comes to marketing & advertising. I will be using their guidelines.
Check out these articles on how Google has changed the world.
- How Google Has Changed the World
- 18 Ways Google Has Changed The World
- An Inside Look at Google’s Marketing Goals and Media Strategy
Here are several guides from Google and other resources for creating text ads:
- Text Ad Requirements – advertising policies
- Write successful text ads
- Here is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guideline on text ads, if you are interested.
Exploring Text Ads
What is a ‘text ad’? Sometimes called ‘native ads’.
Text ads are a marketing/advertising tool. They consist of a group of words/sentences and the use of a hyperlink to invite the potential prospect to a ‘Find Out More’ link- or more straight to point- a ‘Place Your Order’ link. There are no images other than a very simple graphic – like a button.
What is the purpose of a ‘text ad’?
Text ads offer a viable alternative to the “bling bling” gyrating banner ads of today. Indeed, the stats show that a text ad is more likely to get clicks than its sister banner ad is.
Stats: (thanks to Conderly.com for finding and reporting the stats below correctly.)
- Consumers interact with native ads 20% to 60% more than they do with standard banner ads. (Mediapost)
- Reading a native ad headline yields 308 times more consumer attention than processing an image or banner. (Hubspot)
Where are ‘text ads’ likely to be found?
Surprisingly, there are more places than you would guess that use ‘text ads’. Typically, they are found within content on websites. Here a couple of examples. Quora is a community-based Q&A. I’ve talked about how this is a great way to create links back to your website.
On the Quora image below the text ad is found within the content.
On Investopedia, these text ads were below the article.
When is it more appropriate to use ‘text ads’?
A good question. I know for us, adding ads to Networking Next Week was a matter of aesthetic. I wanted to avoid in-your face ads that are typical among visual ads.
Here are the reasons I decided to use ‘text ads’ in the Networking Next Week’ email newsletter.
- Less obtrusive
- Takes much less time to create
- Gets more Clicks (see these stats)
Shareaholic shared this post, 11 Statistics That Prove Native Advertising Outperforms Display and PPC by Danny Wong. A case study on a GE native campaign was mentioned, they saw an unbelievable 8% CTR (click-through rate). Of course, each industry has its own standard percentage (CTR). See how you are doing.
Key Elements to Create Text Ads for the Networking Next Week
Special note: The tips below can apply for any platform. Specifics like ‘how many words/characters for headline/body/url.’ will be different for each of the platforms that take Text Ads. My recommendation is to find the guide for whatever website you want to create text ads for.
Ok. Are you ready to get into the specifics of creating text ads? Open workbook here.
The first step is identifying where your prospect is in the buying cycle. Simple example:
A broken transmission – the client is in the awareness stage, AKA the #$@% stage. In this stage, you might create an ad that focuses on introducing your business and some of your benefits.
Automobile worth vs the cost of new transmission – at this stage the prospect is deciding which way to go, fix the car or get a new one. Here you might provide some statistics on new car reliability. Give them information to make a decision.
Decision – prospect has decided to get a new one. Now you might have an ad that invites them to visit your showroom.
What are the ‘key elements’ to create text ads?
Here are the 3 main components:
- CTA (Call To Action)
Let’s delve into these and find the best practices for each and look at some examples.
For NNW 4 – 7 words* that grab your audience’s attention.
- Use ‘street language’. What will your typical prospect say? What ‘search terms’ or keywords will your prospect look for? It’s about how THEY would say it.
- Tell them what the ‘end results’ are. (Tell them how your product or services will help or benefit them.)
- Warn them, then help them
- Give them a CTA with a promise.
- Is your headline relevant to where the prospect is in the buying process?
Here are several formulas**you can follow:
- Amount + Adj + Noun + Keyword + Promise
- Action + Keyword + Promise
- Negative/Postive word + Action + Keyword + Promise
- CTA + Keyword + Promise
*Word and character (c) count references:
Google Adwords – 60c headline, 70c body, 15c url.
This portion is creating the content that will go into your text ad. For NNW 9 – 25 words are used. Yes, it is very short and should be to the point.
- Keyword phrase or ‘search terms’ inside copy.
- Lead with benefits to the prospect. Tell them how your product or service will help them.
- If there is not a promise in the headline, add it into the body or an expanded description.
- Cover the prospects objections.
- Is the content of your ad relevant to where the prospect is in the buying process?
CTA – Call to Action
CTA’s are typically part of the body content in ads. Be sure to leave room for them in your word count.
- Be clear and precise
- Tell them exactly what to do
- Use action words
- Be impactful by using emotional words.
- Include link (url) to your landing page
These 3 areas, the headline, the body (content) and the CTA make up the 3 areas we will focus on to create text ads for your business. Sign up here for the practice Workbook: Create Text Ads to be delivered to you. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for easy reference.
If you are ready to submit an ad for the Networking Next Week email list, start with purchasing an ad here. An email will be sent with a link to the online submission form.
Check out these other articles that talk about writing your Ad copy.
Our 8 Best Ad Copywriting Tips EVER! on Wordstream (Great for beginning writers)
The Definitive Guide to Copywriting by Neil Patel & Joseph Putnam on QuickSprout (for beginners to advance writers)
17 Tips for Writing The Highest Performing Expanded Text Ads by Wesley Parker
75 Resources for Writing Incredible Copy that Converts by KISSMetrics (this covers more than just ‘text ad’ copywriting all the best that includes articles, e-books, e-commerce websites, books, courses, etc.)
The text ads were in these articles:
Stop trading time for money – created via Canva using premium elements, by Custom Growth Group
Investopedia ‘How to Monetize Your Website’ (after the article)
Create text ads using this simple guide – created via Canva using premium elements, by Custom Growth Group