Ad Ready Creative - the fundamentals of producing great creative in paid social channels.
We are often posed this question by clients: ‘How many pieces of creative do I need to be running each month on my paid social media ?’
There may not be a perfect formula to arrive at the perfect intersection of creative and media effectiveness on paid social channels, but we can quite confidently answer the above question with this response: ‘A lot more than you think.’
Brands are no longer limited to an approach of one-size-fits all in their paid social channels. They also can’t rely on a monthly or quarterly quota of creative options that are produced in bulk and drip fed out over the course of the planned media budget for the month.
Creative and media effectiveness in performance marketing are completely intertwined.
The brands seeing the greatest success in paid media channels understand that creative accountability and the rapid production of effective content supports every stage of the consumer journey.
We know that additional attention and consideration on how creative and media work together to enhance a consumer journey unlocks better engagement and performance through all stages of the funnel.
Tips for considering creative execution for paid social.
An authentic look and feel wins.
Some of the best social ads don’t even look like ads.
Gone are the days of spending weeks in studio, perfecting designs, photoshopping images and agonizing over image selection and font placement or style – success for brands is all about bold agility.
Storyboard out multiple concepts and multiply multiply multiply.
You must be prepared to test fast and discard even faster – we’re looking for winners and losers, this formulates the iterative process of creative testing and media optimisation.
Be prepared to make small changes and multiply this through iterations of similar creative options across multiple formats.
Go back to the basics.
The fundamentals of good creative strategy and execution are often overlooked because ‘it’s social’.
- You still need a brief and clarity on formats you are designing
- Spend time on good copy – it must be snappy and sharp
- Even if you’re going authentic in style, you still need a CTA
- Think about the format, experience and presence of audio
- Consider the 1 key message you’re looking to land with your audience ( ie not 5 )
Different strokes for different folks.
Audiences may vary across channels – or you may see cross over but the formats and styles should still ideally play to the strengths of each channel.
For TikTok and Instagram, we’re still seeing the greatest success coming from personable, authentic content that looks organic in nature. It feels relatable to the audience, it doesn’t look weirdly out of place and it sits comfortably within the brand positioning. Creator based ads are successful typically because they are able to take some of the salesy nature out of the advertising production and lend you some of their authenticity, voice and credibility.
This strategy also works well in providing brands with a diverse representation of angles and messaging served up in different ways – which engages audiences more successfully and efficiently.
For Facebook ads, many brands make the mistake of selecting a great hero image and using little to no copy.
Firstly, know your audience. This plays into the need for so many creative versions – ideally, you should be copywriting your ads as if you’re talking to a really well known customer under a particular audience segment. Facebook gives you the option to get granular with targeting, yet so many brands decide the same message will work for everyone who comes into contact with their brand.
Be singular in your ask of your audience.
Success is having your target audience do or remember one thing.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that because it’s a paid space, we may as well jam in a few different points and an extra call to action just to ensure you really captured their attention and covered all bases – but this strategy will backfire.
Be singular in the focus for each creative unit.
A final tip – don’t drink your own Brand Cool-Aid!
Be really harsh when looking at your ad content objectively – is the messaging and image REALLY engaging.
Is there a compelling message or benefit ?
Does the creative execution actually work for this format ?
Because at the end of the day, your media channel mix can be perfectly crafted, you can have all the technology, data and analysis on hand to provide the insights and edge you need as a brand, but a commitment to continually developing and producing great digital creative is what will give you the edge to successfully scale your business in digital marketing.