Seasonal Ad Copy: How To Write Holiday Ads Without Cliches

According to a study by Periscope, 44% of US shoppers plan to shop instore and online this holiday season. With Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day driving the competition between e-commerce retailers higher than ever this season, standing out from amongst the noise is becoming harder.

One way advertisers try to reach customers is by distributing brand stories through seasonal content. Unfortunately, many advertisers are out of touch with their customers, as evidenced by the sheer amount of cliches we see in ad copy everyday. From innovative solutions to durable materials, how do these platitudes actually meet consumer demand or entice people to buy from your brand?

Ditch the cliches and write ad copy that will actually reach your target audience this holiday season!

Be Careful of Language

Good ad copy seeks to be clear and concise in outlining the benefits of its product use to consumers. In an effort to appeal to consumer sentiment around the holidays, many advertisers begin ad copy with coy quips, such as “’Tis the season” or “Thanksgiving will soon be upon us.” Except, we’ve heard it all before, so much that we get seasonal banner blindness, but how does this distinguish you from the competition?

Even worse, we’ve seen valuable ad copy space consumed by scary savings events and new year, new you calls-to-action. Add a boring old stock image and you might as well take that AdWords budget and punt it off a cliff. While buzzwords may not impact your conversion rate, would you really click on those advertisements?

Let’s just name a few more cliches that you should avoid around the holiday season:

  • Stocking stuffers
  • Christmas comes early this…
  • It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
  • All the fixin’s

Season content is a great strategy to increase web traffic to your website and even nurture a few leads before a holiday blowout. While you want your brand to be endearing, you also need to be authentic.

Improve Your Ad Copy

Stand out from the competition by crafting cogent ad copy that explicitly lays out the consumer benefits of your product. You can include seasonal content in your ad copy, but avoid throwing your ads in a rut by mimicking other brand messaging or using cheesy buzzwords.  

A strong CTA will include your target keywords along with your best benefit or offer. In the description of a banner ad, your use of language will be more important. If you’re running an ad for dentistry, opt for descriptive phrases, such as “cleaner teeth” or “peace of mind.” Phrases like these will provide a greater CTR boost than being an award winning or certified dentist. If they’re looking for an award winning dentist, they could look in a directory or across organic search results.

Personalized ads have also been shown to increase CTR. According to Search Engine Land, “Ad copy centered on the consumer that includes words like [you], [your], [you’re], etc. can drive up to a 65% higher CTR.” They also go on to a cite a study where using the word “reliable” in place of “durable” or “lasting” ended up increasing both CTR and CPI.

Use gestalt or striking images in display advertisements to capture user attention amid the mindless stream of information they’re already receiving. Once they click on your ad, use your landing page to nurture that lead and create a conversion. A few landing page tips to incorporate in your holiday marketing campaign include:

  • Featured testimonials
  • Customer reviews for social proof
  • CTA with a sense of urgency- (“For today only!”)  
  • Fast load times (use AMP!)

Customer Focused

Consult historical data and conduct A/B testing to see which campaigns run the best for you this holiday season. After the summer marketing lull, it’s important to start early and run multiple ad campaigns to assess which ad copy is receiving the most clicks. Ditch the cliches and create customer focused ads that will differentiate itself from the competition.

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