Let’s cut to the chase. Whether you’re a B2B company or offer DTC products, using multiple creative executions in a single ad campaign is a best practice you need to be using.
What do we mean by multiple creative executions?
In its simplest form, this methodology means creating 4–10 graphic or video ads for each digital ad buy in your campaign and using them each as an ad set inside a single campaign budget. Gone are the days of creating a single ad image and using it on display or social for weeks/months at a time and hoping it resonates with prospects. Today, more than ever, you can know what resonates with your prospects by letting them see many different executions and allowing built-in platform algorithms to serve the right ad to the right person at the right time.
What are dynamic ads?
If you use any form of display ad network, you’re likely familiar with dynamic ads. Dynamic ads take the creative you upload and break it into multiple pieces (usually text, background, image, icons, logos, etc.) and then display the best (most likely to convert) combination of those elements instead of the complete ad. This allows your ads to be shown in spots on popular websites where a “standard ad size” wouldn’t fit and also leverages known habits or information about each user to show them the ad combination they are most likely to click on.
Now that you know what this methodology entails, here’s some reasons WHY you need to follow it.
Your audience can decide/tell you what creative they like best
The most common issue we see when doing digital ad campaigns is choosing one ad concept based on gut/what internal teams like and not taking multiple executions to market. There are some industries where compliance and regulatory limitations make getting multiple ads approved much more difficult, but any time you can put multiple ads into market, you should.
By allowing your prospective customers a choice of what to respond to, you get real data/feedback on their preferences vs. using your intuition or even focus groups. There is nothing more telling than hard engagement data like click through rates, engagement rates and view/completion rates to help you know what your customers actually prefer to see from your company.
Algorithms and AI can match the ad to the person/group
Social media and search companies track everything including user behaviors and the types of ads each person has interacted with in the past. That’s why we are having so many conversations about privacy and data security. However, as marketers, we do have opportunities to use some of that information (all anonymized) to maximize our digital ad spend and connect your prospects with the right ads based on their predicted and past behaviors.
By creating multiple ad sets within a campaign, and using the same audiences for each ad set, you are essentially giving the ad platform freedom to use its own knowledge of each person to match them with the ad most similar to other ads that person engages with. These companies have spent enormous amounts of money on these algorithms. If you only ad in one creative execution, you aren’t using them to their full potential.
You’ll maximize your ad dollars
Once your ads are running and your audience is beginning to respond (we like to give ad sets at least 2–6 weeks to percolate), you will notice (sometimes drastic) disparities between ads that are performing well and getting a lot of clicks and ads that are not performing well at all. So why not use that information to your benefit? You can easily maximize your ad spend budget by simply turning off the underperforming ads and reallocating that money to the ads that are performing well.
You’ll stretch your investment and combat fatigue
By creating and launching multiple creative executions at once, you also save yourself some future work. Taking the time pre-campaign to build out so many options actually delays ad fatigue with consumers. And, as an added bonus, those ads you turned off because they didn’t perform well in the first 2–6 weeks can be used again.
This time, pit the lowest performing ad sets against each other to find the best performing of that group. This further extends your investment in creative and helps you stack/rank creative performance instead of merely separating them into “good and bad” performance categories.
You’ll gather data for future campaign creative
Using the multiple creative methodology gives you more data and analytics than a standard strategy. Using the insights you gather from points 2, 3 and 4 above, you’ll have a clearer look at what your prospects engage with. Admittedly, at times, this is the most humbling or challenging part because we feel so strongly about a particular style, image or headline only to find out that the one we thought wouldn’t resonate at all actually performs better. BUT this is the time to swallow that pride, read the data and adjust your design/creative input for the next campaign to align with what the data tells you.
You’ll gather data for future audience targeting/segmentation
Direction for creative isn’t the only thing you learn following the multiple creative method. You may also find new or different segments of your target market that engage with your ads more or less than you expected. These insights are invaluable as you realize who engages with what type of creative so you can better serve them ads in the future as well. This also allows you to create new or smaller segments of buyers and become even more granular with your targeting, which can often maximize your engagement and budgets.
In the end, there is so much upside to rolling out digital campaigns this way that there is almost no reason not to. Some companies feel that the initial investment in creative is too high. However, the data you gather about your audience, their preferences and what will truly connect with them makes these campaigns more than worth the investment because those learnings inform every decision that follows — making you more efficient and stretching your budget further.