Yes, we live in a busy, fast-paced world where there are always a million notifications and responsibilities vying for our attention. So it’s understandable that some marketers are adamantly against long-form copy. They think, “Who has the time or attention span to make it to the end?”
But the reality is that long-form copy—including long copy ads—can work just as well as (and sometimes better than) short copy. Why? It’s not that people hate reading long copy per se. They just hate reading boring copy that’s not dialed in to who they are and what they want. When copy is relevant, engaging, and packed with value, it works (no matter the length). Not so sure?
Let’s discuss some of the best long copy ads of recent times, what makes them so compelling, and how you can create high-converting ones for your ad campaigns!
What is a long copy ad?
In general, content is considered long-form if it’s 1,000 words or more but this doesn’t always apply to ad copy length. Long ad copy—whether a print ad or online ad such as a Facebook sponsored post—is simply longer and more detailed than a typical ad and, generally, goes into more detail.
For example, it’d be unusual (and probably overkill) to have a 750-word ad to get signups for a free, 45-minute webinar. Short copy would be more appropriate in that scenario. But would it be reasonable to create copy of that length to sell a revolutionary SaaS product for huge enterprises? Or to sell a $1500 course for senior executives? Absolutely.
In the SaaS scenario, potential customers would probably need to be thoroughly educated on the tool, its use cases, and its benefits since it’s completely different from alternatives on the market. And, as for the course, executives would need to get a clear picture of why such a large investment would be worthwhile. In both cases, it would be helpful to go into detail.
These examples illustrate why longer copy is often needed and effective. Want to see some actual examples of long ads?
The best long-copy ads of recent times
To understand what makes long-copy ads effective and how you can use them to your advantage in your digital marketing efforts, let’s analyze 3 examples of great copy and discuss their strengths.
Up first is this brilliant, long-form print ad from Mitsubishi.
What makes it effective? It:
- Makes use of contrast in the heading to immediately create intrigue and keep potential customers reading
- Also uses contrast subtly throughout the rest of the ad text to make points stand out (example: small screw vs tons of work and money invested)
- Shares specific details to drive the point home (and build the credibility of the brand)
- Revisits the initial claim in the heading after giving evidence to back it up and then segues into a logical, broader, and more important idea (the one that can sell a Mitsubishi, unlike a simple screw)
Next up is a bold, admirable ad from the footwear brand Atoms. What does this copy do well?
- Acknowledges a perceived disadvantage of its product and even puts it front and center
- Follows up with several facts that outweigh that disadvantage and turn it into a desirable advantage
- Reaffirms the company’s original stance, fostering respect for the brand and potentially changing people’s viewpoint on whether or not its shoes are worth the high price
Last up is another print ad, this time from Volkswagen. What lessons can we learn from this example?
Volkswagen did a few things well here including:
- Immediately drawing the eye to an intriguing claim and then connecting it to the reader with a personal question
- Telling a delightful story that, while a little wacky, mimics or parallels the adventures and experiences that VW owners seek through travel
- Leading up to the idea that if the pencil has been on such a grand journey and is ready for more, adventure is within the reach of the reader and should be a desire of theirs
- Using a subtle but not too subtle call-to-action that points to investigating the Volkswagen SUV range as the next step and highlights that now is the time to take action
As you can see, there’s no one way to write effective long copy ads. You can use various techniques from interesting facts to facing objections head on to storytelling as shown in the above examples. But there are also some things you shouldn’t do when writing copy of any length.
Common pitfalls to avoid when using long-form copy
Just as important as knowing how to create great long copy ads is knowing what common errors make for ineffective copy. Here are a few things to avoid.
- Don't skip audience research. If your copy doesn't speak directly to your ideal customer, their pain points, and their desires, it won’t work.
- Don't try to include every detail of your product or service. There's a difference between long and unnecessarily long. Focus on the most important selling points and, once you've covered them thoroughly, stop writing.
- Don't use several conflicting calls-to-action. While it might seem that more choices equal a higher chance of conversion, multiple calls-to-action actually defeat whatever goal you had for your copy in the first place. They can be frustrating, lead to choice paralysis, and stop potential customers from converting at all! So draw attention to a single next step you want readers to take (or two closely-related calls-to-action at max as demonstrated by a couple of our example ads).
The takeaway here is that, if you stick to copywriting best practices, you’ll already have won half the battle. What’s the other half? Putting what you know about your target audience, your most important selling points, and your strongest CTA together into a compelling ad.
How to write high-converting long copy ads
An efficient way to write long-form copy, including for your ad campaigns, is by letting Jarvis help with copywriting. For example, say that you wanted to write an engaging ad for a new sleep aid your company has created. How could you do it with the help of the Jarvis templates and the long-form assistant?
If you want to give the storytelling approach a shot, the Creative Story template is a good place to start.
Simply give the basic details of the plot of your story (including how it relates to what you’re advertising) and input the desired tone. Jarvis will output several stories for you to work with. Especially for long copy, though, you’ll probably want to combine and/or add to those outputs. The best way to do that is in long-form assistant since you can use templates alongside the document editor in power mode.
Once you’ve edited the outputs to your liking and, ideally, added a brief segue into your next section, you can try some of Jarvis’ other templates to expand the body copy. For example, the PAS Framework template could help you transition from your story into explaining your solution. Just enter your company or product name, a brief description, and tone of voice.
Here again, you can combine outputs you like in the long-form assistant, as well as edit and expand on them to create one cohesive ad. For example, the Pain Agitate Solution (PAS) template tends to generate outputs with more serious tones since, after all, it’s rooted in pain. So, as in this example, you may need to tweak the language so that the tone matches with the ad text you’ve generated from other templates (or Boss Mode).
You can then input your company or product name, a brief description, and tune into a template like Marketing Angles to give you ideas for the close of your ad copy. As usual, take any AI-generated sentences or paragraphs you like and make them your own.
All in all, you could create a long-form ad in 30 minutes or less with Jarvis. And we’re not just talking about putting coherent words on a page within that time frame. We’re talking about high-quality, high-converting copy that can boost your conversion rates and get you sales!