How Marketers Can Be Smarter Than Social Media Platforms
Creative assets are just as important today as they were back in the days of Mad Men, and the trick is to be nimble and nimble. Learning what works to increase the performance of a campaign creative is the name of the game. So here are some ways to do it:
Turn insights into action
Facebook has a prescriptive way to ensure the success of creative campaigns by leveraging learnings across all categories. Facebook data helps marketers identify what’s working and what’s not, but the key to harnessing the power of performance is extracting actionable insights at the speed of real-time optimization. So almost instantly.
You need to learn quickly, which happens when you focus on single-variable testing embedded in a modular creative framework.
Take a fashion ad that pushes product features like captions – the quality of the stitching, the softness of the fabric, etc. You then take that same ad and, instead of showcasing product features, you show testimonials from actual buyers. This type of test is great for seeing if your audience is more into details or social proof. It also allows you to make incremental improvements almost immediately. As with most platforms, the more you spend, the more you learn, and Facebook is no exception when it comes to paying to play in the testing world.
Let’s not forget that learning isn’t always easy either. While many tests can create additional wins – which call to action or which color works best? – brands can also use tests to obtain exponential gains.
By testing brand platforms, styles, value propositions and more, you can find even more ways to connect with your audience or even refine your overall brand position. Say you have a brand in the food delivery business. You can run an ad that shows how easy it is to get the food you like when you like it. And then run another ad that focuses on variety so the consumer never gets bored. You’d be surprised how different audiences respond to each value proposition. The key is to use the information to guide your creation, so you always end a campaign at a higher level than when you started.
Rather than blindly opening your portfolio, do some simple creative A/B testing before going all out on media to help you find the golden nuggets.
When it comes to finding the insights that move the needle, you shouldn’t rely solely on platforms for campaign direction. Instead, look to add-on tools like Pudding.ai or Genus Artificial Intelligence, which offer everything from creative dashboards that break down winners in fine detail to linguistic color palettes to image choices. So if you’re running a lifestyle campaign, imagine having three people in the ad instead of two will give you a performance boost; that’s how powerful these tools can be.
Others are using AI for predictive analytics to help determine winners without even running the media. So if you want to know if blue background is a better choice than white without having to wait for results, these tools are for you. Of course, their cost can sometimes be higher than the A/B test itself. So you have to weigh the value of the insight against the cost of getting it. Is the juice worth it? If you’re running a promotional sale for 2 days and 10,000 spend, probably not. If you run persistent campaigns that need to be refreshed every month, you better pick the winning formula!
Media and creatives should love each other
How do marketers handle successful creatives that need to bridge the media and creative worlds? It’s simple: start by understanding that creative needs are both emotional and logical. It can’t just be a series of tests without understanding if the concept resonates or if the context is valid.
Facebook is not TikTok and should not be treated as such. So build creative campaigns and tests using meaningful insights and work the hardest where the campaigns run. While additional platforms and tools can help inform, even perfect, an ad after it’s launched, the real key is a creative framework that engages and teaches in the first place. Starting with a strategy that examines the journey and removes as much friction as possible at every step. Someone buying a mattress has a longer cycle than someone buying a belt, so make sure your creation talks about where it is in the process and not just who it is as public.
Social platforms are affordable and allow marketers to observe performance, review insights, and ultimately learn and improve campaign performance. Best-in-class creative optimization is a step up from the spray-and-pray approach of yesteryear. But advertisers shouldn’t accept that platforms know best. In fact, platforms let you know only what they want you to know. Trust yourself, your technology partners and your collective knowledge to implement improvement strategies.
The best information will be able to tell you what the content is, where the content is, who the content is for, and why or why the content is not working. Ads that adapt quickly using these factors are sure to perform well. So maybe at the end of the workday, and after a successful campaign launch, an ad executive can (responsibly) enjoy a festive martini again.
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