How to Create Stand-out Ad Creative (Part 2)

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Consulted with Kim Walker, the senior manager of client services here at Randall-Reilly, for extensive information on the following topic.

In our last article (How to Create Stand-Out Ad Creative Part 1), we focused on how to set your marketing apart from your competitors’ by using ad creative. We looked at the key elements common to stand-out ad creative: Visual, Verbal, and Relevancy.

But as you know, the process of reaching prospects does not stop with setting up great visuals and creating compelling and relevant content for your ads. There are a few factors behind the scenes that are necessary to measure the success of your ad creative—and overall campaign—and improve your process. Without these factors, your ad creative will fall flat.

So let’s take a look behind the scenes at what it takes to reach prospects.

Learn from Your Campaign Data

 
Building great ad creative and getting it in front of the right people, in the right place, at the right time is a great start. But you need to be able to tell if your efforts are working. To do that, you need to look beyond the effects of ad creative and consider your entire campaign. What can you learn from the data your campaign is producing?

How Prospects Are Responding

Are prospects noticing your ad creative and clicking on your ads? If so, what actions are they taking when they reach your web pages? Both Google and Facebook have ways to look at a prospect’s activity on your web pages: Google analytics and Facebook pixel. With either, you can find out when prospects visit your web pages and when they leave.

Webpage Events
Both Google analytics and Facebook pixel can be set up to capture the details of a prospect’s interaction with your web pages – e.g. what they clicked on, what pages they viewed, etc. These details are called ‘events’ -e.g. scroll depth, time on page, video interaction, etc. Events give you insight into your audience’s online behavior, which in turn, tells you how to market to your audience. Being able to tell how prospects are responding to your ad creative reveals the areas you need to improve.

How to Track Successes and Failures

A good metric to use when measuring the effectiveness of your ad creative is click-through rate. This tells you the frequency at which people are responding to your ads. From there, you can find out what percentage of the audience who sees your ads are intrigued enough to take action. Beyond this, you need to look at how prospects are interacting with your campaign, and if the level of response you are receiving from prospects is high enough to lead you to your overall goal.

A common mistake here is to concentrate on whatever metrics are available, instead of focusing on metrics that align to your overall goal. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you will want to know how many people are seeing your ad impressions. Or if your goal is lead generation, the number of conversions and conversion rate are key metrics here.

What’s Working and What’s Not

You need a way to tell what areas of your process are responsible for your successes and failures. For example, identifying the ad that is responsible for most of your conversions. Or identifying the platform where your efforts are drawing the least attention. You do not want to turn off a platform or stop running an ad that is helping you, or keep running something that is failing. Using an attribution model (ie. time decay) can help you identify flows of traffic and allows you to optimize towards those natural flows.

Make Improvements Along the Way

 
Make Things BetterOnce you’ve gathered data, you can use it to push your campaign toward further success. The data has told you how prospects are responding, how you should track your campaign, and where your successes and failures are. The next step is to improve on what you’ve learned.

Optimization

This is the process of reviewing your ads and campaigns and making changes to improve their performance. Optimization reveals possible efficiencies that can be added to your marketing strategy. For example, in a search engine campaign, optimization can be as simple as making adjustments to your bid or adding negative keyword lists.

With negative keyword lists, you exclude specific keywords that you do not want to bid on. This helps to eliminate unwanted traffic. Optimization could also be much more complex – i.e. running scripts to identify unqualified traffic and update bids automatically in addition to revamping your entire account strategy.

When it comes to deciding on what to optimize, you need to ask yourself what elements of your campaign directly affect your overall goal. For example, you may be producing clicks, impressions, video views, conversions, and leads. So which of those affect your overall goal? This very much depends on what your company is trying to achieve. If your goal is rebranding, you may want to focus on your video views. Optimizing throughout the running of your campaign allows for continued improvement.

Testing

With A/B testing (or split testing), you compare two versions of certain elements of your campaign – e.g. landing page formats, headlines, colors, etc. You display each version at random to your audience to see which performs better. Both Google and Facebook allow for A/B testing within their platforms during campaign building. Within the platform, you can test different types of targeting, demographics, affinities, locations, and audiences. Outside of the platform, you can test things like your landing page headlines, form length and placement, colors, and confirmation messages. You will want to test in platform because the platform will split traffic 50-50 randomly, thereby making it an A/B test.

Running tests gives you insight into what your prospects respond to and allows you to make changes that increase the effectiveness of your campaign. The changes you make may be incremental, but can produce substantial results.

Producing stand-out ad creative is the beginning of getting your prospects to interact with your ads. How you steward those interactions determines whether or not you’ll hit your marketing goals. You have to observe your prospects’ responses, measure how your campaign is performing, and improve based on the data you’ve gathered.
 

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