How to Spice Up B2B Ad Creative Brainstorms In 90 Minutes Or Less

Fact or Fiction? Writing search PPC ad copy promoting B2B brands, products or services isn’t as fun as promoting some sexy, fabulous, coveted line of B2C goods because B2B, by nature, is boring.

Fiction! Fiction, I say! Clever marketers embrace the opportunity to market B2B because they recognize and respect the challenge it embodies: To make the ostensibly boring not only saleable, but beautiful.

The good news is this is a goal any ambitious marketer can achieve. Even you. All you needs is a creative mind (or team of creative minds), willingness to think outside of the box, courage to test the legal department’s limits, about 90 minutes to spare, a fair amount of caffeine, and this trusty blueprint for more fruitful B2B ad creative brainstorms.

Ready? Here we go.

Lay Out The Literal (10 Minutes)

A great way to kick off ad copy brainstorms is to lay down the facts:

  • What are we marketing?
  • What are its features and benefits?
  • What is the call-to-action?
  • Who do we want to click?
  • What keywords are being targeted?

Consider any proven key messaging that may already exist. Use it for insight and inspiration. Collate all the goods in a spreadsheet or map it out on a whiteboard.

Build Out Your Buckets (15 Minutes)

Once you’ve identified the information above, write the most literal ad ever. Now’s your chance to be boring. The goal is to isolate each element of the ad that conveys your message and assign it to a bucket.

If you’re selling virtual meeting software to businesses, a sample ad might read:

Virtual Meetings Software
Streamline remote conferences with
Powerful software you can afford. 

(I saw that yawn.)

Well actually, that ad wasn’t so terrible. But surely we can spice it up.

Buckets to create from this example might be “streamline,” “remote conferences,” “powerful,” “software,” and “afford.” You can also create buckets for any other concepts you want to convey that may have not made it into the ad– such as “top-rated,” “easy,” “trusted,” and the like.

When you have your buckets assigned, it’s time to build them out. Explore the rainbow… that is to say, the spectrum of how colorful you can be while remaining true to the brand, relevant to consumers and topical to keywords.

How many different ways can you say “best,” or “software”? Spend time on, or even with the Synonyms tool in MS Word. Bring in some team members to help. Two, three, four minds are better than one.

Once you have your beefed-up buckets, it’s time to write some ads.

(Intermission: Independent Ad Writing)

Reconvene & Review (30 Minutes)

Come together with your group and go over what you’ve come up with. Redline concepts that don’t work and highlight ones that sing. Then… fasten your seatbelts for some quality lightning round freak-out time.

Let Your Freak Flag Fly (10 Minutes)

Armed with your first round of ads, dedicate a controlled chuck of time being super silly, insanely out-of-the-box, one-too-many-cans-of-Mountain-Dew weird.

Channel your inner-target-customers. Rattle off headline concepts and body copy that play off their personalities, priorities, inside industry humor, concerns, vulnerabilities, fears, desires, and fantasies. During this lightning round, forget you have to run anything by legal (or a client) and just let your freak flag fly.

Aside from being a fantastic mental exercise and break from the norm, we find that these truly uninhibited brainstorms allow your mind to really connect with the end user, concocting ad concepts that are daringly honest, poignant, bizarre and unique.

When cooled down and polished with a sophisticated touch, the ultimate results can be massively effective and genuinely attention-catching.

Which leads us to… 

Co-Mingle The Literal & Maniacal (Time: 25 Minutes)

Attack a fresh round of ad writing with your new sideways concepts, tempering them with valuable messaging from your literal buckets (not to mention target keywords). A few additional rounds of redlining, highlighting, tweaking and optimizing should leave you with a glorious collection of ads worthy for client or legal department review.

Final Words of Advice: Remember Who You’re Writing For

This is search. You’re writing for two parties– the algorithm that decides what ads are displayed when a query is entered, and the human being who entered the query. Be creative, but calculating.

A literal, keyword-rich headline gives you freedom to play around with hyperbolic body copy. If you go for an edgier headline, make sure your body copy clarifies it, ideally with KWs in the upper left of the ad.

And there you have it! Now go sprinkle some chili powder in your coffee and get started.

Related Topics: B2B Search Marketing Column | Channel: Search Marketing


About The Author: Lauren Litwinka is an online marketer specializing in organic social media, cradle-to-grave community management, search and social creative, real-time journalism, holistic social befriending, as well as content aggregation, creation, and strategic syndication. Currently serving as Community Editor for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, she spends her days sharing valuable industry resources and conversing with likeminded professionals / fellow geeks via the Interwebz -- always striving to connect the right people with the right content. Her first Wiley book, "The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success," was released in January, 2013 and can be found on You can say hi to Lauren on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide