In a competitive market with more companies and marketers shifting their focus towards mobile, ensuring your creatives (aka ads) stand out and bring in a return on investment (ROI) is critical to your success. Gone are the days where you can slap an image together with a call–to-action and expect great conversions. Here are some tips for designing a high ROI campaign.
Never Assume Anything
I remember when I first started in PPC and created ads for my campaign. I spent a good day or two creating what I thought was spectacular creative only to be crushed when the previous winning creative, who had a less visually appealing campaign, outperformed my brand new creative by 40%.
I learned something then: Don’t assume anything in digital marketing, especially if you are new to the market. Do your research, discover what your competitors are doing, and try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Had I gained this perspective and insight beforehand, I would have designed a creative that would more closely relate to my audience.
Know Your Audience
What good is a campaign if it does not attract the audience you seek? Usually the first thing I do before starting a new campaign is research what my competitors are doing. Ad intelligence tools such as WhatRunsWhere or Mixrank provide a competitive look at the types of creatives being run, so that you can look for patterns between them. You can also look at their websites and, if available, look at particular styles of writing. Is it a passive or active voice?
Knowing what your competitor does and what their campaigns look and sound like is a great starting point for you. You can also go on question and answer sites to find out the types of questions your audience tends to ask and use this information to creative offers tailored to the solutions they are looking for. Those are just some examples. In the end, make sure that you understand who your target audience is and be sure to design according to what they would want to see, not what you want to see.
One Creative, One Message
Generally with ads, focusing on one message makes it clear for the audience and persuade them towards what you have to offer. You do not want an audience confused as to what they should expect. With an unfocused ad, you risk confusing an audience. This oftentimes happens with mobile ads, since space is limited. Make sure your ad copy is focused on a specific message, whether it is addressing a pain point or promoting a limited time offer. Putting together all the benefits and praying your audience is interested in one, is a waste of time and effort.
A tip preached constantly is to always focus on a benefit, not the actual feature. Using a mobile app install, for a to-do app as an example, you could list how the app will streamline their lives versus the app having all these organizational features. In the end, people do not care about features; they want to know what is in it for them. You do not buy overpriced designer clothes solely based on thread count or the number of zippers, but because of a real or perceived benefit (e.g., I look and feel great; I impress others when I walk into a room; I get noticed; this jacket keeps me warm and dry in wet winters, etc.)
Design for Mobile, not Desktop
I get annoyed when I see people just resize their desktop banners to run on mobile. If your time is limited, it could work but the issue of shrinking a desktop banner down is that the details/text are harder to see, which could potentially mean losing the message of the ad as well. With mobile banners, you have less space to work with so your messages need to be precise and clear. Using the to-do app example, a quick way to convey its benefit via mobile would be to say “Organize Your Life” or “Never Forget Anything” with a button text of “Learn How”.
Never Stop Testing
Anytime you run a campaign, you should continually test your creatives against each other. If you run a campaign with only one creative, you will not know if the campaign is truly performing at its best. Every time you run a new offer or campaign, be sure to run two creatives because your goal should be to test which aspects of a creative work better at getting your message across.
A simple way to do that is to just split test (or A/B testing) your ads. Depending on the platform, you can either have the ads all within a single campaign/group or create one campaign per ad. I believe you will need to set it up as one ad per campaign since most mobile platforms tend to optimize within the campaign and start showing the better performing ad, which would skew your results. Skewed results may occur when a certain platform measures using one metric and you measure using another one. You can avoid these skewed results by separating one campaign into multiple ones and placing a single creative/ad into the campaign.
With split testing, you’ll need to learn about statistical significance which in short is the “likelihood that a result or relationship is caused by something other than mere random chance.” Once you find an ad copy to be statistically significant, you can stop the test, choose the winner and create a new set of creatives based off whatever you want to test; colors, messaging, style, and different themes. Anything really the sky is the limit. A quick way to test for statistical significance is to use a calculator such as the one here or here. Once you get enough data, make sure you swap out the useless creatives with a new test. There is absolutely no need to waste 50,000 impressions when 15,000 impressions is all that is required to make a decision.
Be sure to track your process, progress, successes and failures whichever way you see fit. As time goes on, you will realize certain elements work for certain industries, which is knowledge you can use when making a new creative. With your new-found knowledge, you’ll find that it is no longer necessary to start from scratch. You can begin converting successfully from the beginning and keep tweaking your way to success.
Got any tips that you want to include? Let us know your thoughts.