Short-Form vs Long-Form Ad Copy: Which Should You Use?

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • What is Ad Copy?
  • Why is Ad Copy Important?
  • What is Short-Form Ad Copy?
  • When Should You Use Short-Form Copy?
  • What is Long-Form Ad Copy?
  • When Should You Use Short-Form Copy?
  • Conclusion

Jordan Agolli Force Media


Where do you even begin your written advertisement campaign? Just like in the world of video advertisements, one of the most important questions you can ask to start this journey is “how long is this ad copy going to be?” It seems unimportant, but your answer will affect who you reach and the impact you have on those you reach.

My name is Hannah Robertson: Force Media’s copywriter with years of writing experience. Today, I am going to cover what ad copy is, how short-form ad copy differs from long-form ad copy, and when you should invest in each to get the results you desire. 

What is Ad Copy?

Ad copy is any written advertisements convincing readers to engage with your business as a paying customer. It usually involves a direct call to action that progresses readers’ “consumer cycles” closer to the point of actually making a purchase. 

For more information on this consumer cycle and all the stages explored before a purchase is actually made, be sure to check out our blog post “The Three Step Marketing Funnel: How To Apply It To Your Business.

Why is Ad Copy Important?

Many marketers dedicate a lot of time to expanding their asset library, which includes any information that marketers would otherwise have to repeat. Having a marketing team repeat information to every customer they meet can be a waste of time, which makes asset libraries an excellent investment.

That is precisely why ad copy is so effective: it accomplishes basic advertising without requiring a sales team to meet with each prospective customer. For this reason, ad copy is known to benefit businesses in many ways like establishing brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and scoring new sales.

What is Short-Form Ad Copy?

As one of the two types of ad copy, “short-form ad copy” is a term referring to written ads of 100-200 words in length or less. When used effectively, it is an excellent way to grab new customers’ attention with social media posts, emails, product descriptions, and more. 

For more advice on writing short-form ad copy, specifically social media captions, check out our blog post “The 8 Tips To Master Social Media Captions”!

When Should You Use Short-Form Copy?

Because short-form ad copy is very to the point, this strategy works most effectively with cheaper products or services. This is due to the fact that inexpensive purchases typically do not require as much persuasion to secure. Think about it: a single social media post may be enough to convince you to try a new chip flavor, but not a new house.

Short-form ad copy is also typically the best option for businesses that do not have the money to invest in lengthier ad copy. However, I still highly recommend that businesses that choose this method hire marketing or social media specialists to write this ad copy. Just because it is shorter does not necessarily mean that it is easier to write!

As for target audience, short-form ad copy works great on those who are:

  • already aware of your brand’s credibility;
  • unaware of their need for your product or service;
  • likely to have a shorter attention span;
  • interacting with your brand through mobile platforms like social media.

Not sure who your target audience is? Check out our blog post “5 Ways To Find Your Target Audience” to start getting an idea! 

What is Long-Form Ad Copy?

The term “long-form ad copy” refers to written ads of around 200 words in length or more. Commonly used for testimonials, blog posts, email campaigns, how-to guides, sales letters, and more, long-form ad copy is a great way to establish credibility in your field, explain products or services in detail, and improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

When Should You Use Long-Form Copy?

Long-form ad copy is most effectively used for products or services of expensive quality. The more of a commitment a product or service is, the more the customer will likely research before deciding which business to buy through. The added length of long-form ad copy gives businesses the opportunity to really explain why they are perfect for the job. In doing so, they also establish trust with the reader as they thoroughly demonstrate their knowledge in their subject. 

That said, long-form ad copy typically requires more time to write, and therefore, it may be more of an investment up front. 

Long-form ad copy tends to perform better for audiences that are:

  • unfamiliar with your brand’s credibility;
  • already interested in your product or service;
  • likely to read longer text selections;
  • interacting with your brand through computers or physical text.
Ad copy meeting Force Media


Key takeaways:

  • Ad copy is any written advertisements convincing readers to engage with your business as a paying customer.
  • Short-form ad copy works most effectively with cheaper products/services or with customers who are already aware of and in need of your business.
  • Long-form ad copy works best with more expensive products/services or with customers that need more information before doing business with you.

Regardless of length, ad copy is a great way to reach new customers and progress consumer cycles, and experimenting with length could foster new, specialized results. Short-form ad copy is excellent for mobile users that are familiar with your brand but unfamiliar with their need for your brand, and long-form ad copy excels for those in need of a greater amount of information or proof of expertise before committing to your brand. 

But marketing can have its surprises, and sometimes the unexpected ad copy length could completely outperform the other. That said, remember to have the patience needed to experiment. Who knows? You may even discover that the audience you are appealing to is different than you thought!

If you are feeling stuck on how to write the ad copy that works best with your audience, we are happy to help. Here at Force Media, we have all the marketing tools needed to write ad copy that gets your business the results you have been working toward. Just fill out our discovery form, and our team will be in touch with you within 24 hours. 

There you have it! Now you know all about what short-form and long-form ad copy is and when you should invest in each. Thank you for reading, and we can’t wait to share your business’s story. 

September 17, 2023
from our office in
Norcross, GA

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ad copy, marketing, social media