The rise of digital advertising has revolutionised how businesses communicate with their customers. This shift has proved to be a double-edged sword for small businesses, offering unprecedented reach and scalability on one hand, whilst presenting new complexities on the other. One of the most pressing questions in this landscape is whether businesses should pen their own advertising copy or let search engine algorithms dictate their messaging.

This debate is not merely academic; it touches upon the very soul of how businesses establish and maintain their relationships with customers. To unpack this topic, it’s important to delve into the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches.

The Case for Self-Written Advertising Copy

Authenticity and Brand Voice

One of the most compelling arguments for writing your own advertising copy lies in the realm of authenticity and brand voice. In an increasingly cluttered digital environment, establishing a unique brand voice is more critical than ever. It sets you apart from competitors and fosters a sense of brand loyalty among your audience.

When you create your own advertising copy, you have complete control over your brand’s narrative. You dictate the tone, the story, and the values that your brand stands for. Whether you choose to take a light-hearted, humorous approach or a serious, problem-solving one, your brand’s voice can echo through your messaging when you write your own copy.

Furthermore, the human touch in self-written copy can establish a strong emotional connection with your audience. Algorithms may struggle to capture sentiments like humour, irony, or inspiration, which can often be the deciding factors that engage consumers or provoke them to share your content.

Deep Understanding of Your Audience

As a small business owner, you have the advantage of being close to your customers. You understand their needs, preferences, and the language they use. This intimate knowledge allows you to write copy that resonates with your audience on a deep level, enhancing engagement and conversion rates.

When you write your own copy, you can tailor your messaging to address specific pain points your audience experiences or to highlight the unique benefits of your products or services. This personalised approach often leads to more effective advertising, as it builds trust and rapport with your audience.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Writing your own advertising copy affords you the flexibility to adapt to market dynamics rapidly. You can tweak your copy to address current events, capitalise on trends, or launch new products. This agility can be crucial in a fast-paced digital environment where consumer preferences and market dynamics can shift overnight.

Moreover, self-written copy allows you to experiment and innovate. You can test different styles, formats, and messaging approaches to see what resonates most with your audience, providing valuable insights that can guide your overall marketing strategy.

The Case for Algorithm-Driven Advertising Copy

Efficiency and Scalability

Despite the advantages of self-written advertising copy, it can be labour-intensive and time-consuming, potentially limiting the volume of advertising you can produce. This is where algorithm-driven copy comes into play.

Algorithms allow you to generate vast quantities of ad copy quickly and efficiently, making it possible to scale your advertising efforts with ease. For small businesses operating with limited resources, this scalability can be a significant advantage.

Moreover, algorithms can easily generate multiple variants of ad copy, allowing you to conduct A/B testing and identify the most effective messaging.

Data-Driven Optimisation

The power of algorithm-driven advertising lies in its ability to harness and analyse large volumes of data. Algorithms leverage user behaviour, preferences, past interactions with similar ads, and other data points to predict and create the most effective messaging.

By employing machine learning, these algorithms continuously learn and improve, optimising your ad copy based on actual user response. This data-driven approach reduces reliance on guesswork and enables you to make informed decisions about your advertising strategy.

Consistency and Precision

Algorithms also provide consistency and precision across all ads, ensuring each piece aligns with the specified parameters. This consistency can be crucial when running large-scale advertising campaigns across different platforms. Moreover, algorithms eliminate the risk of human error, guaranteeing accurate execution of your advertising strategy.

The Hybrid Approach: Balancing Human Creativity and Algorithmic Efficiency

Whilst both self-written and algorithm-driven advertising copy have their unique benefits, they also have limitations. A potential solution lies in a hybrid approach that combines the strengths of both methods.

In this approach, you begin by crafting the initial copy, setting the tone, and articulating the brand narrative. You can then employ algorithms to generate variations, scale the process, and optimise based on user response data.

This strategy enables you to maintain your authentic brand voice and retain the human touch in your advertising, while leveraging the power of algorithms for scalability, efficiency, and data-driven optimisation.

The decision to use self-written or algorithm-driven advertising copy is not a binary one. Instead, it hinges on a host of factors, including your resources, your understanding of your audience, your comfort with technology, and your need for scalability and efficiency.

By considering these factors and understanding the advantages and limitations of both approaches, you can devise a strategy that best suits your unique business needs. By striking a balance between human creativity and algorithmic efficiency, small businesses can navigate the complexities of the digital advertising landscape and reach their audience effectively.

In conclusion, the future of advertising for small businesses lies in a symbiotic relationship between traditional copywriting skills and advanced technology. It is not a question of ‘either/or’ but rather ‘how best to combine’ these valuable tools to maximise advertising effectiveness. Managing Director - Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard has spent over 15 years delivering exceptional digital marketing performance for leading businesses in the UK, Europe and North America as an independent business consultant.

FeedbackFans provides a unique next-generation managed technology and marketing platform that delivers outstanding and outsized results for businesses in sectors such as finance, retail, leisure, and professional services.

With our unparalleled expertise in creating cutting-edge solutions and environments, we empower our clients and users to thrive in the digital age.

Chris Barnard is Managing Director of FeedbackFans