You could have the biggest ad budget in the world. If your creatives are poorly suited to the ad campaign, then your performance is going to suffer. An ad rarely has fully optimized assets the first time that it's deployed. The team goes through a lot of trial and error to determine the perfect combination of creatives, channels and audience.
One way that you can speed up this part of the process is by testing multiple ad creatives in the same marketing campaign. You have identical variables with every other part, so you create a level playing field for experimentation.
The Benefits of Testing Multiple Ad Creatives
• Throw out poor performing creatives. Some ads are destined to be duds – it's the nature of the advertising industry. An idea might sound brilliant on paper but fail in execution. When you compare the performance of multiple creatives in the campaign, you can eliminate the worst ones.
• Reduce ad spend waste. Your organization doesn't have an unlimited advertising budget. In many cases, you may not receive as much as you believe your campaigns require. When you're trying to do more with less, optimizing with this testing method frees up part of your budget.
• Stop playing guessing games about your creatives. If you only use a single set of creatives for a campaign, you have no way to compare its performance on a 1:1 basis. Instead, you try to reinvent the wheel without being able to build on your past successes. No one is going to invent the car when you have 20 different types of wheels.
• Improve ROI. Optimizing your creatives helps your campaigns become more effective. The costs associated with each ad click, app install or other conversion go down.
• Scaling your successes. Your audience preferences change over time. The hottest format today may suffer from ad fatigue a few weeks from now. As long as you're always testing new creatives and using a data-driven approach to optimization, you can continue to grow your advertising campaigns effectively and adapt to a changing environment.
Elements to Change for Testing Purposes
Now that you know why you should test multiple ad creatives, it's time to learn how to do that. While you have the option to change anything you want with your assets, there are a few elements that you can lead off with.
You may default to your brand colors for your creatives, but you could miss out on a valuable opportunity to drive more traffic or sales. Color psychology examines how you can influence emotions through the use of certain colors. By tying the color of your font, call to action or another element to your goal, you may be able to improve your click-through rate.
Video or Static
Are you relying solely on video or static display ads for your campaign? Consider testing out the other type to see whether your audience has a strong preference. While video marketing may have an easier time catching a user's eye, someone on mobile may not appreciate the larger file size that comes with it.
Your perfect ad copy may get lost if the font is hard to read or doesn't match the style that you're going for. An elegant script is completely out of place if you're advertising a toy store, for example. If your brand's established fonts don't translate to a digital ad format, look into alternatives.
A single word can make the difference between a top-performing ad and one that never should have seen the light of day. Spend a lot of time working on your copy and learning exactly what phrases make your audience pay attention to your ads.
If your audience loves using their smartphones in portrait mode and all of your ads are intended for landscape viewers, you're going to miss out on a valuable part of your audience. Play around with the formats and sizes, especially if you're working on a digital campaign that caters to both mobile and desktop users.
A perfectly matched photo can bring in a lot of clicks. Try swapping around the visual elements on your ad and highlighting the characteristics that bring the most attention.
Call to Action
Tell the user what the next step is. If you leave it up to chance, they may not bother clicking through. A call to action phrase or button should also leverage color psychology to help boost the number of people clicking on it.
Challenges of Testing Multiple Ad Creatives
• Creating variations of creatives is time-consuming. Changing a single element on an ad over and over again requires a lot of resources.
• The design workflow may be slow. Every time you need a change, you have to wait for the turnaround time of the design team.
• Poor testing methodology could impact results. If you change too many elements at the same time, you could end up with data that provides minimal insights.
• Manual optimization is cumbersome. Trying to optimize your creatives by hand is another resource-intensive process.
Testing multiple ad creatives is a path to getting more out of your campaigns. Make sure that you leverage the right solutions to overcome the challenges so you can realize the benefits sooner.