Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Create A Swipe File

You're ready to create another ad.

Now all you need is a great idea for the headline.

Sometimes, that's easier said than done, right?

Time to create a Swipe File.

A swipe file is simply a file or collection of marketing messages, headlines, techniques, etc. Essentially, whenever you see an example of great marketing you add it to your marketing collection. 

This could be kept in a folder on your computer.

So how do you build a swipe file? 

Simple: Watch and Learn.

Watch what other Internet Marketers are doing.
You get their emails all the time.
You see their web sites all the time.

When a headline or bit of copy stands out to you, swipe it (use copy and paste) and add it to your Swipe File folder. 

Over time, you'll create a resource of ideas that you can call upon at any time.

Don't just use the same headlines and copy, of course. Use these examples you collect as triggers for ideas as you create your own copy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How To Write Killer Ads

How To Write Killer Ads

Killer ads do do a lot of things. They inform, they educate, but most of all they create some sort of reaction.

But the most important things killer ads do? They SELL. Nothing else matters. It doesn't matter if you like the ad. It doesn't matter if your own mother likes the ad. It doesn't matter if the ad wins major industry awards. If the ad doesn't sell, it's worthless.

Killer ads don't always focus on the product.

Remember the Budweiser Frogs? Those ads didn't make you want to run out and buy beer. But everyone was walking around doing frog impressions saying, "Bud - Wei - Ser". You couldn't go anywhere without hearing a group of guys (morons?) doing that.

More recently, it was a bunch of guys yelling "WHATSUUUUUP?!?!?!".

You've never seen a Nike ad that said "Buy Shoes". But if you ask anyone what the Nike slogan is, they'll probably say "Just do it!" 

Nike has created killer ads and built a killer branding presence that transcends the need to say "buy our shoes".

So How Do You Create Killer Ads?

The first thing you have to do is change your thinking. Contrary to what you may think, nobody just sits down and writes a killer ad off the top of their head. There is a lot that goes in to creating ads that produce sales.

You have to learn the steps and then take those steps consistently. As you practice the steps, it becomes easier and you can often create killer ads faster as you go along.

Take the time to learn the steps. Killer ads put money in your pocket so take the time to learn to create them and your efforts will be rewarded.

So What Are The Steps To Writing Killer Ads?
  1. Write down anything and everything you can think of about your business and services a customer should know. Make note of the kinds of headlines and ads your competitors are running. Write down anything you can think of that will set you apart from the competition. Write down any special skills, services, or features you may be able to provide. 
  2. Organize your thoughts. Look at all the information from Step 1. What information is really important? What is profitable? (Focus on that). Why should someone buy your product or service? You're not creating your ad yet. What you are doing is getting all of this great information in to your sub-conscious mind so it can begin working on your killer ad. 
  3. Create some trial ads. Try to think like your customer. What are they looking for? What needs do they have you can fill? Experiment with a couple of headlines. Write them down! Would these attract your customers? Do they create interest? This part may be frustrating but hang in there. Just keep experimenting. Write down headline ideas as quickly as they pop in to your head. Don't worry abou if they are good or not yet. Combine some of the ideas together. Just let it run. This is a "brainstorming" session more than anything else. 
  4. Forget about it. Take a break from creating ads altogether. Go play golf. Have dinner. Watch a movie. Read a book or play with the kids. Don't think about this ad. While you are relaxing, your sub-conscious mind is working on the problem for you. You won't be able to help it. You put all that information in to your head and now it's working out solutions and options. At some point, your mind is going to connect the pieces together and when this happens, you will be hit with an amazing idea for your ad. Congratulations! You are a "freakin genius"! 
Believe me... that's how most of my ideas hit me. I work on them over and over and then just let them go. Somewhere along the way, during a movie, while having dinner, while falling asleep, while coaching basketball, the idea just hits me like a brick. Try it. Trust the process and see where it leads you.

Feel free to fine-tune the idea but don't get carried away. Your mind just dropped off a great idea. Trust it! The next step is just to put it all together. 

There is no sense trying to make the ad "perfect". Perfect ads don't exist. Anyone who creates killer ads always wishes they had made one more little adjustment. The idea now is to get the ad done and get it out there on the street or online.

This may look like a lot but believe me, as you continue to write ads, the whole process gets easier and happens faster. Like anything in life, the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Over time you will develop instincts for what works and what doesn't. You will find yourself paying more attention to your customers and their comments and suggestions. You will start to hear phrases that would make good headlines.

Even then... it's helpful to go back to these steps and start over at times. You may trigger something that you haven't thought of in a while and a whole new bolt of inspiration could strike at any time.

Copyright © Brian Rooney, The Online Ad Network

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