Thursday, January 07, 2021

5 Options for Creating Your Amazon Ad Copy

By Beth Whitney

Part of The Indie Authors Column

JH: Authors are great at writing stories, but we're not always so great at writing ad copy to sell those stories. Beth Whitney shares tips on finding the right words for our Amazon ads.

Beth Whitney has always loved reading, writing, and word play. After achieving a mixed degree in Technical Editing, English, and Culinary Arts, she spent a decade working in kitchens across the Mountain West before taking up copy editing work again. Since joining the Best Page Forward team, she’s been rediscovering the joy of helping other creatives refine their words and make them shine.

Take it away Beth...

We’ve all sat staring at that blinking cursor, waiting for the right words to jump into our brains. But as I’ve written for Best Page Forward, I’ve gradually developed some strategies for quickly creating ad headlines. Now the short and snappy taglines are my favorite part of the blurb to work on. I save them for last, like leaving a sweet for after dinner.

Here are the simple ways I focus my creative inspiration and generate engaging Amazon ad copy:

1. Work from a Basic Format 

Beth Whitney
Sometimes the trouble with ad copy isn’t finding words, it’s learning how to trim them down. Amazon limits these hooks to 150 characters. That’s about a line and a half of text on a standard word processor. Having a visual on where the cutoff will be can save you time on writing copy that’s too long to be used.

Keep it to a simple two or three sentences. Because there isn’t much room for side quests, focus on introducing the character, the setting, and the stakes. Having a clear idea of what you need to convey with the copy helps get you in the right mindset. Once that basic formula is set, it’s easier to riff new copy without getting off track. 

(Here's more on How to Set Up Your Sponsored Product Ads in Amazon)

2. Mix Up the Endings

Cliffhangers drive click-throughs on ads, so keep those power words at the end of the copy. But if it starts to feel like you’re stuck writing mashed up versions of the same questions over and over, try ending on an ellipsis. Changing the end punctuation can help you mentally reframe the elements and discover fun new ways to tease the big stakes. Think “Will his impromptu swim end in death?” versus “And the sharks are circling…” They set up the same circumstances but still feel unique. 

(Here's more on Author Advertising: Stacking Ads to Maximize Promotional Dollars)  

3. Keep Your Synopsis Close

If you’re working on marketing several books at once, it’s hard to skim them all every time you want to create a new ad. But because the ad copy is based on the broad strokes of the story, a glance at the synopsis can provide illuminating bursts of inspiration. As a distilled version of the book, it highlights the information you want to tease in the copy. It’s basically a cheat sheet for mining descriptors. 

(Here's more on Understanding Pay-Per Advertising)

4. Have a List of Genre Adjectives

Readers know their genre keywords. Whether it’s fantasy readers perking up at the word “dragon” or romance fanatics thrilling at the term “swoonworthy,” genre phrases are shortcut ways to pack more punch into those 150 characters. Keep a list of genre relevant keywords close at hand and use them to drive what information ends up in that copy. A thesaurus or related words generator can quickly provide more ways to say the same thing if your inspiration runs dry. 

5. Unleash Your Inner Drama Queen 

You’ve written the book and you know all its highs and lows. But a prospective reader won’t easily catch subtleties, sarcasm, or cagey anticlimaxes. Fortunately, this makes headlines more straightforward to write. Instead of spending time trying to tease the real stakes, just lay them out boldly.

This doesn’t mean you have to avoid humor—non-sequiturs in a list of three are a great way to spell out the drama and keep the tone lighthearted. So don’t make the stakes rest on jaywalking alone. Make them arson, murder, and jaywalking.

All those over-the-top phrases that might seem out of place in everyday conversation are just what you want to make the ad copy pop. So be a little crazy during the brainstorming phase. Holding back will just muffle the message you need to convey. 

(Here's more on Are Your Book’s Ads Earning or Losing You Money?)

You’ve Got This

Hopefully these tips have provided you with some inspiration for your next ad brainstorming session. Now go get writing!

Coming Soon!

Want to get help selling more books through better Amazon Ads? Join our upcoming 5-Day Amazon Ad Profit Challenge, a free community course with tons of support. Click and Register to join the upcoming event.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I pulled some really great points out of this article that I'm going to try out right now!