3 Reasons Why Your Copy Isn’t Resonating With Your Audience

Copywriting is tricky – you have to come up with just the right amount of creativity and descriptiveness to make your customers understand your product or offer. And to be honest, it’s also a thankless job. You write so many copies that at the end of the day even if your copy is the one bringing results from your ad, your media buyer colleague takes the credit because their targeting was so on point!

I’m kidding – I’ve done both jobs and so by experience, I know that if your copy isn’t good, your ads won’t serve many purposes either because maybe your customer just doesn’t understand what the product is all about. So what mistakes are you making while writing a copy that isn’t bringing any results? Here are three of them that you should avoid…

Your copy is too long

Believe me, if digital gave me the space to describe my brand in 50 or so words in an ad, I’d gladly do it. But you’re not creating a print flyer or a billboard design – your copy needs to be precise and short enough that your user can read it within 10 seconds – and even that’s too much time. For a user to pay attention to your ad, you need to make sure that the text you’re adding to it is short and sweet and communicates your message without any fluff. The longer the copy, the more text you have in your post, which makes your ad look cluttered and full of text that even most ad algorithms will reject. So why waste time writing something that doesn’t grab attention?

Spongebob Reading - copywriting

It’s way too complicated

If I got a dollar for every time I told my team to dumb down a copy…

Complicated - And the waiting

One thing you need to understand is that your customer doesn’t have a dictionary or a thesaurus in hand while they explore the internet. In fact, paperbacks aren’t even in rage anymore. You’re confused by a word, you Google it. But a customer won’t switch apps every time they see a complicated word in your ad. It ruins their social media experience, and to be fair, no one really as the patience anyway.

So what should you do? Water down your language and stop being verbose – you’re not trying to impress your customer with your language skills, you’re trying to convert them. So unless the ad or the target market asks for it, you have to stop using 3 or more syllable words in your copy.


But when I say water down your content, I don’t mean that you have to let go of your grammatical or creative skills. Whichever language you’re writing the copy in, you have to be sure that the grammar is correct. Language Nazis exist in all cultures and regions, and you don’t want a customer to school you on using the wrong pronoun, verb, tense or even jargon, it’s simply a marketing no-no.

And while dumbing down your content, you don’t have to be boring. If your brand is fun, be fun. But don’t use words that sound like they’re names of Greek Gods instead of terms that describe your product.

Here’s an example from Snickers – a simple copy that grabs attention without saying too much.

The primary vs. secondary content conundrum

While writing a copy, always keep in mind that it’s your primary content. Your user will not read the caption before they read the copy, that’s simply not it – even you won’t do it, then why should your customer? While scrolling through social media, a user will only be attracted to either good design or content in the design that resonates with them. 50% discount; SALE, SALE, SALE; you’re in for a surprise; It’s your birthday, have a cake!

While the examples above may not be my best attempt to copywriting, it is words like these that grab attention and stop your user in their tracks so they can pay attention to your post, then its caption. Does this mean you have to mention words like “sale” or “discount” in every post? No, you’ll go broke before your customer buys your product.

The point is that you cannot keep your customer engaged unless you understand that your main and primary area of attention is your ad, and the caption comes in later. So mention the important details in your post, video or banner, and add the fluff in the caption.

Is it my copy or…

Now that I’ve dragged you through the mud and made you rethink about your copywriting skills, I’d like to mention that it may not be your fault every time. Sometimes, your copy can be exceptional but your design can be boring. Or maybe you’re on the wrong platform or targeting the wrong users. But to understand why your ad isn’t performing to your liking, you need to be sure that your copy is good, otherwise, you’ll always keep fixing the wrong end of the tunnel, wasting your time on what doesn’t need your attention.

YAY! - Copywriting

Zainab Abdul Rehman

Content and strategy specialist with a head full of ideas that I never get time to execute.

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