Exploring the Psychology of PPC Ad Copy

It’s been a very long time since the prehistoric period, however what hasn’t modified are primal drivers that encourage folks to take motion.

PPC professionals are at all times attempting to reply the query “What appeals to our customers?”

It seems, the reply is correct right here in our behavioral historical past.

For her SEJ eSummit session, Purna Virji, Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft Advertising, confirmed how centuries-old human psychology ideas will be remixed for confirmed success with at the moment’s paid search clients.

Here’s a recap of her presentation.

Advertising for Cavemen- Exploring the Psychology of Ad Copy

What do diamond rings and oranges have in widespread?


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They’re each merchandise that grew to become half of our day by day lives because of this of advert campaigns.

During the Great Depression, De Beers was having bother promoting their diamonds. Their advert company got here up with the now-famous slogan, “A diamond is forever” – associating it with everlasting love.

Now even generations later, we suggest with diamond rings.

Back in the 1900s, orange growers in California confronted an enormous downside.

They have been selecting extra fruits than they have been capable of promote. What do they do with the extra?

Well, one other advert company got here up with a brand new use for oranges – juice.

It grew to become so widespread that orange juice stays a popular drink till at the present time.

Both these examples present you the way highly effective promoting is and why it’s been used for a really very long time.

But nonetheless, in at the moment’s fashionable world persons are more and more turning into anti-ad.

Everywhere we go, we’re inundated with adverts.

Yet, some folks assert that people have much less of an consideration span these days.


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That’s not the case.

Think about this:

How many individuals have binge-watched a Netflix sequence or frequently stream exhibits each evening?

The reality is consideration span is just not the problem.

People will spend time and take note of what they care about.

That’s the key.

What folks care about and what drives them to motion hasn’t actually modified since the time of cavemen, aside from the golf equipment and the fireplace.

Something that has confirmed to work in the previous will proceed to work once more, even in utterly new types.

As Claude Hopkins, creator of Scientific Advertising, put it:

“Human nature is perpetual, which means the principles of psychology are fixed and enduring.”

Marketers ought to contemplate taking these age-old persuasion ideas which have at all times been a bit of human nature and remix them for at the moment’s ad-weary buyer.

Here are 4 methods to try this.

1. Make a Bargain Irresistible

Ever since cavemen realized to barter, they realized to return and search for good offers.

But what’s fascinating is that we don’t like low cost.

We do like getting what we see as a cut price, it doesn’t matter what the precise price is.

Here’s an instance of the risks of low cost being your core profit.

In 2009, Tata Motors, the identical firm that owns Jaguar and Land Rover, needed to create a automobile specifically designed for the Indian market, which is a creating nation.

People are more and more on the lookout for methods to get extra cellular and get round.

You’d assume that having a automobile at a worth level of underneath $1,600, in all probability the least expensive automobile in the world, is a fairly whole lot.

We know that for a lot of, having a automobile is related to social standing and status.

But as an alternative of launching a advertising marketing campaign that centered on the status of having the ability to earn a brand new automobile, their advertising campaigns simply went out and centered on how this was the least expensive automobile in the world.


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As you may think about, it backfired terribly.

No one needed to be seen driving the least expensive automobile in the world.

So how are you going to make your subsequent particular supply an irresistible cut price?

Consider the Ellen Langer experiment from the 1970s.

There is a queue at the photocopier.

The researchers had the folks use three completely different, particularly worded requests to interrupt in line.

  • “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
  • “May I exploit the Xerox machine, as a result of I’m in a rush?“
  • “May I exploit the Xerox machine, as a result of I’ve to make copies?”

Here’s how the wording affected whether or not folks allow them to break in line.

  • “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?”: 60% compliance.
  • “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”: 93% compliance.
  • “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”: 94% compliance.


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It all got here right down to, the energy of the phrase “because”.

The experiment primarily discovered that the chance of folks saying “yes” will increase once they’re offered with a purpose.

Now how does this relate to PPC adverts?

If you noticed the following advert, what would first come to thoughts?

Bargain - PPC ad example

You’d in all probability assume that there’s one thing mistaken with these ties.

The deal is likely to be too good to be true.


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What occurs once we add “because”?

Bargains - PPC ad Example 2

The advert turns into relatable and may seize folks’s consideration higher than the first advert.

The Takeaway

We’re all used to being bombarded with gross sales and reductions.

Adding a purpose for them could make your adverts much more compelling.

2. Harness the Power of Surprise

We may assume that persons are already jaded and “ad blind.”

That’s not true in any respect.


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People are simply tired of the normal gross sales stuff.

But we nonetheless can shock them.

Surprise is highly effective and may supercharge different feelings, each optimistic and damaging.

Focus on the good to boost optimistic sentiment and drive folks to take motion.

Here’s an instance.

What if you happen to have been working for a sports activities vitamin firm and also you knew that the majority of your clients, on common, took three months to complete the field of protein shake?

So month two, your organization may run an advert like this:

Advertising for Cavemen: Exploring the Psychology of PPC Ad Copy

When clients see this, they’d in all probability begin desirous about reordering.


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Not solely did this advert come at the proper time, but it surely additionally supplied a compelling supply and it showered them with a bit love for being loyal.

This is a doubtlessly impactful method of rising buyer lifetime values.

The Takeaway

In each advert effort you make, take into consideration how one can convey the sudden to shock and delight searchers.

three. Showcase Your Personality

Personas that attraction to clients nonetheless work at the moment.

They convey up feelings and make firms extra memorable.

After all, we purchase on emotion and justify with logic.

This is nearly a cliche at this level.

Yet promoting to the logical mind continues to be the default for a lot of.

Why is that?

Well, as a result of it’s robust to not assume of ourselves once we’re creating promoting.

But let’s have a look at the energy of character and the way it may help you stand out.

Here’s a traditional instance.

How mad is she

Now, the florist may have simply listed the numerous bouquets, the costs, what flowers have been used, and many others.


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Instead, they reveal their distinctive character by speaking a few human scenario that many have encountered.

In doing so, they scored each belief and likability factors – and we are able to convey the identical factor to our PPC adverts.

A couple of years in the past, when the iPhone 6s first got here out, Samsung had a equally named mannequin, the “S6”.

And so that they determined to run a PPC marketing campaign.

Every time somebody did a seek for the iPhone model, this advert would pop up.

Samsung S6 ppc ad

They didn’t cease there.


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When the iPhone had the “bendgate” scandal?

Samsung had an advert to reply that as properly.

Advertising for Cavemen: Exploring the Psychology of PPC Ad Copy

The Takeaway

Personality is moreover useful as a result of it provides an emotional connection and helps set up model choice.

Remember to construct connection and attachment along with your viewers by letting your character shine.

four. Deliberately Include

All people really feel a necessity for connection and inclusion.

That applies to our promoting and advertising efforts as properly.


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Inclusive advertising is the key to loyalty, particularly for entrepreneurs who’re concentrating on millennials and gen Z audiences.

Check out these stats:

inclusive marketing stats

Inclusive promoting, achieved authentically, looks like connection and household.

It produces emotions of pleasure and belief.

Brands representing variety in adverts are extra genuine and reliable, in line with Microsoft Advertising analysis.

So how can this be utilized to PPC?

When creating campaigns, key phrase lists, and advert copy, we’re topic to our personal biases/blind spots.


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We must shine a lightweight on that as an trade as a result of our collective blind spots and unconscious biases can imply that a big quantity of our clients is probably not served.

Just have a look at this instance of poorly thought-out adverts.

cell phone discount for military

The good factor is that there are low-cost and low-competition alternatives that each one of us have for the selecting.

Especially at instances like this, we’re on the lookout for methods to increase the attain, increase our audiences, and discover new segments and get a leg up over our opponents.


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Look at being extra inclusive with who you goal your adverts.

To discover this out, you need to begin by figuring out whose voice is lacking.

Think of the potential teams that may very well be by accident excluded. This varies by enterprise, but when you consider conventional teams, that would come with:

  • Gender.
  • Age.
  • Language spoken.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Race.
  • Ability.
  • Etc.

Follow these fast ideas:

  • Use the key phrase planner to assist mine inclusive key phrases.
  • Use Dynamic Search Ads that can assist you spot exclusions in your key phrases and advert copy.
  • Remember to optimize Shopping Campaigns, too.
    • Your title ought to embody product particulars, with the most vital information upfront (i.e., ‘Adaptive’, ‘Ethical’, ‘Sustainable’, and many others.).

The Takeaway

A couple of easy optimizations can yield massive wins and develop loyalty.


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Watch This Presentation

You can now watch the video of Virji’s full presentation from SEJ eSummit.

Advertising for Cavemen: Exploring the Psychology of PPC Ad Copy

More Resources:

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by creator, August 2020

Source hyperlink search engine optimisation

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