Writing an advertisement - checklist

August 9, 2018


Use this checklist to help you write an effective advert, from making your message clear to grabbing attention and prompting a response.

  • Clarify your objective, for example, to simply build awareness or to prompt action such as enquiries or sales.

  • Look at competing advertisements - think about what works well and consider how you can make your advertisement stand out from the crowd.

  • Include one or two key benefits or USPs which set you apart from your rivals; these could include product features, service levels or price.

  • Decide whether to write the advertisement yourself, or whether to use a copywriter or advertising agency.

  • Write a short, attention-grabbing headline, highlighting the key benefit of your product or service. Address your customers directly using 'you'.

  • Research the best keywords and phrases for your business so that online advertising attracts your target customers and encourages them to click through.

  • Use high-quality and relevant images to attract attention and reinforce your message.

  • Build on the headline with the main body copy. Make sure your copy backs up your claims with facts, reflects your brand identity and reinforces your USPs.

  • Use simple, clear and concise language, with paragraphs broken into easily readable points; avoid jargon, clichés, empty claims and weak jokes.

  •  Include a call to action to prompt a response; give full contact details including website and social media addresses, postal address and telephone number.

  • Check that your advertisement grabs attention, maintains interest, stimulates desire and prompts action: AIDA.

  • Test your advert by showing it to existing customers and asking for feedback; test different approaches online to find the wording that gets the highest response.

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