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8 signs that it’s time to rewrite your search ads

August 10, 2015
Aaron Polmeer

By Boost Media

By the Boost Media team.

You put a lot of time into your search campaigns. But do you know when to write a new ad or refresh your existing ad copy? Most marketers don’t. Here are eight triggers that indicate that it’s time to gain the competitive advantage.

When your product catalog or the season changes.  It’s obvious that you rewrite your ad copy when your range of products changes – but brands don’t follow that rule as often as they should.

At the same time, smart brands adapt their keywords, ad text, and landing pages to the time of year. If you’re a car dealer, you’re better off using your winter ads to show an SUV barreling through a snowy landscape than a convertible zipping along a seaside road.

Oh, and don’t forget to change your ads so that they’re consistent with seasonal promotional opportunities: not only the obvious ones like Father Day, but also more offbeat ones like NFL Draft Day.

When your consumer’s context changes. When your research indicates that your potential customers’ lives have changed, it’s time to rewrite your ad copy to take that into account.  Are they having children, for example? There are more local contexts, too. If your customer is on the road, her interest in the hospitality industry is no longer theoretical. Serve her an ad for a room she can book that very night.

When your competition copies your ad creative. Any search engine results page (SERP) is covered by bits of messaging that all look similar to each other. That’s because smaller brands will often emulate brand leaders by copying their ad text or their messaging. To stay one step ahead of the smaller fry, regularly refresh your ads. Uniqueness is a short-lived commodity, so be ready to reboot.

When trends change. Trends are simply market reactions to the status quo. Selling coffee? Great, but coffee trends come and go. When a new one arrives, make sure you keep up with new creative that takes it in account. Brands that can consistently stay relevant are brands that last.

When new competition enters the market. New competition necessitates changing your ads to neutralize the threat to your company.  Gillette thought that its razor business was safe behind a wide “moat,” but then the Dollar Shave Club came along. Gillette’s ad copy had to change to express why it could deliver what the Dollar Shave Club still could not. The company has since responded with their own offering, called the Gillette Shave Club. Now that you’ve seen how competitive brands can be, you should always aim to be on your toes.

Consumer needs and language evolve. An online marketer has to keep pace with consumers’ ever-fickle needs. And as culture and language evolve, so do the ways consumers search for and discover your products and services. Good online marketers are mindful of the continual evolution of language and sensibilities and try to stay ahead of changes. Adjusting your ad copy to reflect the latest trends in what customers desire and in the language in which they express their desires is crucial.

Ad fatigue and performance decay. Many marketers run the same messaging for months, if not years. Consumers become immune to these ads, desensitized to seeing the same message over and over. How do you know if your target consumers are suffering from ad fatigue? You may start seeing lower click-through rates, or you may even notice that your customers are choosing a competitor over you. Beat them to the punch and change your ads to prevent fatigue or decay.

The search marketplace or platform changes. Search marketplaces are always improving their platforms to deliver new opportunities and improved functionality for marketers. Any time a platform changes, think hard about how the change impacts your keyword lists and your bids – and about whether you should tweak your ad copy in response to it. New platform options for mobile users, for example, could require copy that takes them into account. New remarketing capabilities can also call for new creative. After all, you’ll want to serve different ads to those who are actively displaying search intent than you would to consumers that are unaware of your brand.

In the ever-changing search landscape, it’s important for marketers to stay ahead of the curve. There are more situations in which you will need to change your ad creative, but these are a good start and provide the foundation to a well-conceived creative optimization strategy.

The post 8 signs that it’s time to rewrite your search ads appeared first on Digiday.

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