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This week’s PPCChat session was hosted by Julie F Bacchini. During the session, experts discussed ad copies in search ads and social ads, Are ad copies working well in these critical times, From where they are getting inspiration for ad copy, What is the process they are following to create new ad copy and more.

Q1: Have you found that particular ad copy is working well in search ads right now? Has it changed from what has historically worked well?


No across the board messages. Our very simple, get help here message worked well for public sector. And Mother’s Day worked really well for my restos. @JuliaVyse

Clarity seems to be even more important now – like availability, hours, etc. @NeptuneMoon

It’s good to have copy that reflects the times from a branding perspective and “Post-COVID” copy has a slightly better CTR vs generic copy. However, CTR improvement is generally not enough to move the needle on conv/rev in my experience. @FindingAmanda

Specific to covid, adcopy stating whether your open, remote, curbside, etc., has been working. And has to correlate with the LP as well/ @markkennedysem

With a finance client it is hard to switch up ads due to compliance. So the same ads are doing well and message hasn’t changed much. @mindswanppc

I really haven’t seen huge trends for my clients that weren’t affected. It seemed like the industry was the deciding factor and for those that weren’t affected there hasn’t been a change in ad engagement that I could determine. @jord_stark

Low price point/easy pick up or delivery is a winner @JonKagan


Q2: Have you found that particular ad copy is working well in social ads right now? Has it changed from what has historically worked well?


Absolutely! the feel-good, non-covid messages are working really well. anything that is a nice distraction is doing great. @JuliaVyse

Focus on things you can improve, trends, latest information is resonating well for me. @andreacruz92

I have not had more or less success w/ad copy around Covid, but I would think if I had more local business vs. online ecom retail, it would. One exception is shipping. Some are slow, if you can get things to customers, let them know. Open, available, etc… @lchasse


Q3: Are you testing ad copy more, less or about the same as pre-pandemic times? If your cadence has changed, why has it changed?


Right now the cadence is dictated by the situation – closed, opening soon, open now. So different regions/industries have different immediate adcopy needs. Changes fast. @markkennedysem

Honestly more, trying to figure out what resonates better with each audience, understanding that things are quickly changing on all environments and verticals. @andreacruz92

A bit less. we’re not getting good data from tests anyway because we’re all weirdly emotional, so it’s a matter of simplifying. @JuliaVyse

Probably about the same for ad copy changes – although I am seeing a bigger range between “this works” and “wow, this is NOT working” in the past 2 months, especially on social. @NeptuneMoon

I have to say less testing. You really have to have a “control” to test and we don’t know when this will all be over. Shipping messaging is being tested however and pivoting due to consumer demand for particular products (puzzles, etc..) @lchasse

I am testing ad copy about the same pace, I have a rhythm I get into and I’ve kept to my schedule. @jord_stark

Testing has been more through dynamic ads. I’ll set up 10 variations of an ad and let the algorithm do the work to choose what will resonate most with the audience. After that, I then use the winners after a good sample size of data is shown. @RyBen3

I dont know if I would say I am testing, as much as outright yanking out whole themes until we find a degree of normalcy to not feel out of touch. @JonKagan


Q4: Where do you find inspiration for ad copy?


I start with the website for the core uvp. Then I look around for strong messages around the same topic. sometimes from outside the industry. @JuliaVyse

I am a big proponent of manual searches to view competitor ads. I like to know what our target folks are likely seeing so I can make ads that stand out. The Facebook ad library is a fantastic resource to see what other biz are doing there too. @NeptuneMoon

One of my favorite places to look for copy inspiration is within the reviews. @lchasse

One place I’d suggest: Forums/Q&A sites – your customers are there talking about their concerns/worries – if you can create content and compelling copy that answers those/helps them – you’ve won the click. @AzeemDigital

Facebook ad library is big for me. we also have an ad creative channel on our slack that we upload creative we thought was impressive. I also am a member of a few FB groups, including @social_savannah ‘s FB Creative Only group. She does a great job (small fee w/ it). @RyBen3

1st look is landing page then competitor sites, ads in the wild, good ideas posted on blogs or in #ppcchat. But sometimes the best ideas come from brainstorming with clients. Salespeople are great as they get the most pushback – cost, timing, etc, So they’re a great source. @markkennedysem

I really like to look at the what has performed best in the past along side what competitors are doing to try and put a new spin on it or see if it can be improved. I find my colleagues are a really good source of ideas too. @jord_stark

Search Console. @JonKagan


Q5: Are there ad copy tests that you want to run, but have not been able to? Why were you not able to do the testing you wanted to?


Still waiting for client to get back on us to approve responsive search ads for Paid Search proposals we have sent. not sure they even have the excise of being too busy. @mindswanppc

For some clients, you’re testing within this situation (not all), so you’re still testing. But not like normal and a change in the state’s opening could end the test early.  @markkennedysem

Not really.  Looking to see what others say.. Maybe that I can’t promote hand sanitizer nor face masks. @andreacruz92

Most clients are quite open to just about anything. But for those few that aren’t, it’s usually because either (a) Legal/Regulatory gets in the way (buzzkills), (b) Google doesn’t let us do certain things with audiences or (c) some integration breaks (DARKSKY). @DigitalSamIAm


Q6: What is your process for creating new ad copy? Do you do a bunch of full ads at a time? Create a lot of components you can mix and match? Something else?


Create lots of components and alwways send more than needed. So that there is always back-up for tests. @mindswanppc

I go through the ads and find the ones not doing well (CTRs, Conversions, etc…). From there you can see if you want to test a different landing page or copy. There is just so much to look at when it comes to the ads and what could be driving engagement. @lchasse

I have been doing more components lately, with some example ads. Getting a bunch of stuff approved and having the flexibility to mix and match to create variations has made life easier for me. @NeptuneMoon

I try and limit variables to A/B or maybe some A/B/C Responsive ads can help a little with that. But you have to be careful with having too many moving parts to get a clear answer. @markkennedysem

I do everything with components + established search ad structures — makes it easier to test & learn across different campaigns. Highly recommend @Adalysis for this — their tools are a game-changer. Saves me hours each week. @DigitalSamIAm

My current workflow is very cumbersome — I make 3 ads for every ad group, and then duplicate the one I like the best for a DKI ad. I’m working on how to make RSAs work better in that method, and I’d love to be more “component” focused for it to be quicker. @ferkungamaboobo

When the creative juice is flowin’, you crank it out! For me, it’s all about a good playlist and a blank Google doc after some brainstorming via Ad Library and different channels. Then I just write everything down that comes to my head and build from there. @RyBen3

I like to get all new ads up at once so after I’ve done that initial brainstorm, I’m ready to start fine tuning and testing. Then I launch all the ads for that week at once. I try to refresh 15% of ads running each week and rotate through. #ppcchat 2/2 @RyBen3

Alot of convincing lawyers we are smarter than them. @JonKagan


Q7: What is your biggest frustration with creating ad copy?


One more character! Getting the 3rd headline to show can be a pain. Sometimes, you have to shorten all 3. I also would love to control which/when ad extensions combo show. I’m also want to see some of my image extensions in the wild. Testing them now. Small data. @markkennedysem

Feedback by committee hands down. I need feedback from the client. Not seven depts and the CMO, not the legal team and the entire product management group. designate a person and let’s chat. @JuliaVyse

My personal frustration is on days when I just can’t come up with “the good stuff”. It also drives me nuts when clients approve something and then someone else weighs on on their end and the approvals get revoked or changed…@NeptuneMoon

So few clients have a grasp of what their USP is. And I don’t know if that’s because of the telephone game from client to sales to accounts to implementation, or maybe it’s just that folks are too focused on doing good work to examine how they do good work. @ferkungamaboobo

Definitely approval from client. always slow!! Ooo….and recently a client kept saying “that vertical line between the headlines” – can we remove it?? Sure – we’ll get @GoogleAds on it. *triple face palm* @mindswanppc

Super frustrated with the 3rd google headline rarely showing. and with google’s push to try to get everyone using it without the context that it most likely won’t show @micheleajaeger

The biggest frustration would be for brands that are big. Sometimes the sign-off process is such a hindrance to creating any tests. Seems like 42 people need to give their approval at times. @lchasse


Q8: If you could change something about the platform’s rules or limitations on ad copy, what would it be and why?


Apart from the obvious quicker approval time from client – actually that “Under Review” status sign being removed quicker. It makes clients panic! @mindswanppc

I am extra frustrated right now with ads that are not on the wrong side of any policy getting swept up in disapproval algorithms. And, no clear indication of what the offending part was/is. @NeptuneMoon


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