Four Reasons Why Creative Drives Paid Social Performance
If you want to scale paid social you need to have a superior ad experience. Paid social’s auction place operates within a free market environment, which means if you deliver an inferior ad experience to the market then you’ll produce inferior results. If you want to perpetually improve your performance you need to focus your energy on delivering optimal creative. Here are the four reasons why.
1) Facebook takes care of the targeting for you
For every advertiser, getting the right message to the right person at the right time is essential for a successful campaign. How you achieve optimal targeting is going vary from platform to platform. With paid social your targeting is based on an audience’s behavior whose characteristics make it a much larger size than an audience who shows intent. In the early days of Facebook you were rewarded when targeting smaller audiences to avoid budget being allocated to irrelevant users due to the platform’s inefficiencies in managing larger audiences. Today however the platform now leverages machine learning within the auction place to better identify those inefficiencies and encourages a more fluid environment especially with Facebook introducing campaign budget optimization. With this change advertisers are now rewarded by leveraging big data with larger audiences to further empower the platforms machine learning to improve targeting efficiency.
While targeting is vital to the success of your campaign, it’s no longer at the top of the totem pole in terms of impactful tests. With machine learning automating the process to improve your ad delivery this limits the user’s impact. Plus when testing larger audiences you also experience a larger overlap between your champion and challenger audience(s). Having larger overlaps produce more incremental returns because there’s less variance between the variables being tested. This means you should be spending less time with targeting and pivot your energy towards improving the ad experience.
2) Center of attention
When your audience is scrolling through their newsfeed your creative is the number one variable in your ad experience to capture their attention and stop their thumb from scrolling. On mobile, which is the vast majority of paid social, the avg person consumes content within 1.7 seconds. This means you can have the world’s greatest copy, headline, or offer but if the creative doesn’t captivate your audience than you’re increasing the probability of them quickly scrolling past your ad and miss the “deal of a lifetime”. Paid social can be almost impossible to scale when you’re paying for every delivered impression and your creative doesn’t grab it’s audiences attention.
3) Performance in the auction place
Within Facebook’s auction place both the advertiser’s objective and the users value (estimated action + relevance) are evaluated when determining winning bids. By delivering a favorable creative you can positively impact the users estimated action by over 50%. Having 50% leverage on your competition within the auction place is an absolute game-changer for performance. By winning more auctions your ads are more likely to deliver impressions to the right person at the right time and improve your results without increasing your budget. The auction place works within a free market environment meaning that if you deliver an elite creative you’ll also be more likely to produce elite results.
For example, let’s say there’s a person who’s wanting to purchase a solution that your product/service can solve. They’ve been to a few of your competitor’s websites as well as your own and are now displaying behaviors that identify placements within their social feed as a high-value impression. When an optimal placement becomes available, the auction place will then notify you and your competitors who are targeting this type of behavior to place a bid on the impression. Everyone’s bids are determined by two factors, the estimated action the person will take on each ad and the user value (relevancy) to determine each advertiser’s total value aka the bid.
The quality of the creative can have over a 50% impact on the estimated action a person will take on your ad and a 10% impact on relevancy. If you’re competitors deliver a higher quality creative than you then they’ll be more likely to win this impression and influence the person’s future behavior.
4) Simplify your benefit
As a marketer, your goal is to provide a solution that solves your audience’s complex problem. If their problem isn’t complex then they wouldn’t need you to solve it or their problem has been determined too insignificant to allocate their time and energy towards fixing. On social media, the most effective way to demonstrate how your solution can solve your audience’s problem is by storytelling with the creative. With a more dynamic environment, the creative is designed to give the audience more clarity into how your product can improve their lives. The better your creative is at conceptualizing your product’s benefit the better results you’ll produce.
For example. The Keap ad below was targeting small business owners who manage too many manual tasks. Keap’s solution to their problem is marketing automation. With the creative having a split screen of the same business owner, one without Keap and one with Keap, the viewing audience was able to easily visualize how Keap’s marketing automation helps small business owners to accomplish more tasks in the day. The end result was Keap lowering its cost per lead by 65% due to the creative being able to simplify their benefit.