Word making is hard. We talk about advertising language and good copywriting with an article from Entrepreneur.com, and then we hit the roundtable for a discussion amongst ourselves on what it takes to craft good sales copy for law firms!
The LAWsome Guide to Copywriting – Free Download HERE!
. . . also mentioned in the show . . .
– Ray Edwards “How to Write Copy that Sells” is AMAZING!
What is Good Legal Ad Copy?
What’s wrong with just saying, ”I’m a lawyer, call me?” On it’s own, nothing. However, there are going to be many people, particularly in the competitive legal vertical, who are running ads as well, and they probably all say something similar.
You need to draw people’s attention away from them and back to you. And there are time-tested principles and methods you can use to accomplish that.
First, let’s look at the mechanics of advertising, which can be broken down into the following components:
- Aim – What do people want, and how do they ask for it? This is your potential client’s intent. Think of search terms as well as practice area keywords (accident, divorce, personal injury).
- Audience – Demographics – are you speaking to the victim or the victim’s loved one? The language in an advertisement is aimed at converting potential clients. It’s important for legal marketers to create ad copy that resonates with an audience, not live up to the lawyer’s expectations of what an ad should be.
- Action – What action do you want the audience to take? Is this advertisement about “branding,” or is this about “intent”? Brand awareness advertising accesses a different part of your brain. Direct response ad is aimed at intent. Someone needs a thing, and you have the thing they need just a click away!
- Differentiation – There is no “safety in numbers” when it comes to advertising. You have to do something different, but not so different it puts people off. The word and language choices you make in your ads are where this can happen. We’ll get to that next.
The Mechanics of an Ad
Now that we have some “big picture” items out of the way, let’s get down to the actual craftsmanship involved in ad copywriting. It’s import to acknowledge the many different types of ads – everything from video to text to banner to social – but the “big 2” in Google are search and display.
Display ads use images and are typically more “brand” or “item” focused, while search ads do not use images, and can be found above the search results in Google. Therefore these ads are more focused on intent.
We are not going to talk about display ads here, although there is some crossover with regard to writing headlines. So, how do you write compelling, effective search ads? The simple answer is that, as lawyers, on a certain level you get paid to be writers. Play to your strengths – language, composition – and use some of the tips below to help inject your command of language into compelling ad copy.
- Make a list – It takes a lot of ideas and variations. Most will end up in the garbage, but that’s not the point. The point is to write down everything no matter how weird it is.
- Use writing prompts – Things don’t always just pop in to my head. There are plenty of places to get inspiration and ideas from – even competitor’s ads. Phrases like “10 Secrets of …” or incorporating words like “professional, innovative, practical,” are good ways to get the ideas flowing. Your final revision may not contain any of them, and that’s fine.
- Format – This is one of my favorites. Think like Dr. Seuss and make it rhyme, or use an if/then statement for example. Putting some parameters or limitations on what you can do can lead to surprising creative results.
- Framing – What’s the angle here? David versus Goliath, fear of loss, urgency – these are all different approaches that can help you shape the tone and language of an ad.
More on the original Consultwebs post written by Paul Julius – HERE