16/05/2023 • Emily Welham
If you were to think about any marketing ads that stand out in your memory - it’s always the creative that comes to mind. Beautiful product imagery, catchy messaging and perfectly timed shots are some of the carefully thought out elements in the creative that stay with us. Building memorable and purposeful creatives isn’t solely about pretty pictures and funny videos, there’s real positive impact that creative can bring to your ad strategy as long as you approach it the right way.
Campaigns can be perfectly set up with the right budget, bid, placements and audiences only for poor creative and the wrong messaging to come along and destroy it. If you want to avoid creating poor quality ads these are a few key factors that will aid you in approaching a more methodical approach that you can keep taking forward into new creatives and campaigns.
A lot of ads fall guilty of purely focusing too much on the features of a product, the “what”.
This centres the conversation around the product which we obviously want to highlight but what about the customer - don’t forget the benefits to them - the “why”.
Think about how your product will impact this user's life - will it save time, save money or give them status? Centre these benefits in your creative to appeal to the user’s emotion then back it up with logic. Once you’ve established these you can then move into the “how” - utilising the call to action.
Pulsio massage guns have a lot of features that level up on the competition but they don’t rely solely on these attributes in their marketing, they highlight the impact they have on the customer base. Sore neck when working long hours at your desk? The small size and weight allows you to carry anywhere for instant relief.
Slow video intros showing the company logo or someone they've never met before aren’t going to grip typical users who view video ads for an average of 3 seconds before scrolling past.
Think of what's important to your audience and slice your videos to find the most valuable sections. Once you’ve established what’s important to your audience, start with it within the first 3 seconds of your ad and then progress into more detail further in the video. This will allow you to capture your audience's attention and also gives them the opportunity to learn more if they want to.
Start with the problem your product solves and how your product solves it. Then, gradually land the viewer on the call to action. That's the approach Kencko took with their ads - calling out the problems with the diet industry then highlighting where their product steps in to solve that issue.
Users are fed up with fakeness on social media, especially from brands - new generations respond more to ads that don’t look like ads. When creating, it’s a good test to think “Is this something I can see my audience sharing on their page?”, if not, then you need to reconsider your approach to get them on board and engaging with your ads.
Branding is important but over labouring it can come at the expense of the users attention and reducing the ads success. Make it natural and native to the platform - brand logos and names are included at the top of ads making it redundant to include them again within the creative.
Free People captured this very cinematic video promoting their new range of activewear - the only mention of their brand and logo featured only within the last 5 seconds. They let their product do the talking.
Avoiding pain points is a common mistake that a lot of brands fall into. No matter what you’re selling there are always going to be concerns with certain users that are stopping them from purchasing and if you’re reluctant to address their concerns you’re never going to get them on board with your product...
Rather than ignore these concerns, figure out what the reasons are and tackle them head-on in your ads. Try to educate the user and give them the resources to relieve this point of contention, a great way to do this is by using existing customer reviews.
Athletic Greens did it well when addressing customers' questions about their product being too expensive. Rather than ignore these concerns they decided to tackle them head on in a video where they break down their high quality ingredients and NSF certification.
Not factoring in all stages of the sales funnel when creating your ads is a common mistake brands make, going for the one-shoe-fits-all approach.
Ad creatives should be visually appealing, engaging, and aligned with the overall campaign objective, but also the targeting parameters. Just because an ad is creative doesn’t mean it’ll be effective - tailor your creatives to what step within the sales funnel you’re targeting. Just because an ad is creative doesn’t mean it’ll be effective. If you lose sight of your intended message or don’t convey it clearly, you’ll lose your audience. Having said that, if you’re aiming for the top of the funnel to build brand awareness and you want to do it in a memorable and fun way, by all means - get creative!
Expecting users to convert the first time they see an ad from your brand without introducing or educating them about the product or service first rarely happens. Breaking down your creative into the three approaches below will give a solid base to build your campaign from - this isn’t set in stone and there can be overlaps between the three stages:
Brand videos, blogs and podcasts
Reviews and testimonials
Sales promos, demos and free trials
In reality, as long as you stick within platform dimensions, there’s no real limit to what you can do with your creative. Sometimes that in itself can be an issue - anything is possible so let's throw as many things at it and see what sticks. This isn’t the best way to tackle your creative approach unless you happen to have an unlimited budget and endless time resources. Even If we are able to try the throw everything at it approach, the results will only tell us which creatives are more successful but what we won’t know is why. Most importantly we won’t know how to recreate it for future campaigns without just recycling the same methods again and again.
So, be choosy, think creatively and never forget your audience.
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