Writing an advertisement - checklist


Writing an advertisement - checklistUse this checklist to help you write an effective advertisement, from deciding on the message to design options, and getting a good response.

  • Clarify your objective, for example, to simply build awareness or to prompt action such as enquiries or sales.
  • Think about your target audience - what problems can you solve for them and how are they likely to get in touch?
  • Look at competing advertisements - notice 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.
  • Devise a short, attention-grabbing headline, highlighting the key issue or benefit. 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 click through.
  • Use a high-quality and relevant image 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.
  • Reinforce your main message throughout the copy and consider ending with a pay-off line that relates back to the headline.
  • 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.