Though digital marketers are generally swimming in data, it can be tough to come by real-time data that is applicable for creating a brand messaging strategy. The status quo has often failed to deliver bottom-line results while frustrating channel marketing specialists. Now there is a way for marketers to develop an intelligent brand messaging strategy from SEM ad creative testing data.

From Boost Media’s analysis of 1.3 billion SEM ad impressions from 250,000 ads from a variety of large, premium retailers, we’ve developed these two important best practices for writing ads that are proven to resonate with your audience and drive more conversions.

Sell solutions instead of products

Many marketers focus on explaining to customers why their product or brand is better than the competition’s. Marketers, here is a friendly reminder: customers are looking for a solution to a problem rather than a list of product features.

Customers do not care that your throw pillows come in 17 colors instead of 16 like the competition. They want to know that your throw pillows will add style and comfort to their living rooms. If you can show that your throw pillows solve a problem – in this case, creating household ambiance with decor – customers will be more likely to purchase.

Adding on to this point, certain adjectives can make ads perform poorly. Adjectives such as “durable,” “longer,” and “classic” are a few examples that deteriorate the conversion rate. Interestingly, “reliable,” provides strong lifts in CPI (conversions per impression), according to Boost Media data.

But why might such similar words contribute to different bottom-line results?

Simply put, product descriptions tell while benefits sell. An ad for brake pads that mentions the “titanium frame” (product feature) is likely less impactful to a consumer than an ad that mentions “safety” (benefit). With numerous competitors vying for customers’ attention, marketers must quickly and directly convey that their product will solve problems.

Create personalized, one-to-one conversations

There’s no doubt that the online retail space — and the search results pages for most products — are crowded. A search for something as simple as “scented candles” yields more than a dozen options for the consumer to choose from without their even scrolling down the page. How then can an advertiser successfully capture a consumer’s attention?

Boost Media data shows that ad copy centered on the customer that includes words like “you,” “your,” “you’re,” etc. can drive up to a 65% higher CTR (click-through rate). This simple focus on the customer makes an impersonal product seem personal. Moreover, this CTR lift is coupled with a 3% CPI improvement. Including “you” is the online marketing equivalent of using someone’s name in conversation.


These are simple ways to reframe advertising verbiage to quickly and dramatically improve revenue generation. Creating the optimal brand story is no longer a guessing game. Ad creative testing data from your own SEM campaigns can cheaply and easily provide actionable data that indicates how new messaging may perform across other advertising contexts. When you find what works, your research will pay off with increased conversions and successful sales.