Optimization is a word that marketers overuse. Put simply, it means we try and then test, rework and try again. Like medicine, marketing is a practice, and one that is finely honed over time.
On the first day of a campaign, any great marketer puts a lot of thought into audience segments, content artifacts and visuals. They describe, in painstaking detail, just how the campaign will go to market, launch, and convert. Landing pages or sections of a website have been built to collect and inspire action for users. This level of detail and impact can’t be overlooked whenever a campaign is crafted, otherwise the conversions we all hope will come surely fall short.
But how does one know when a marketing effort requires new creative? At Mass Live Media, we often say that gut isn’t a strategy. Just because you feel that a piece of creative isn’t effective doesn’t make it so.
“No campaign is ever as inefficient as it is on day one.”
When building material to live online, we must keep in mind the native space and how the web world is built. Crafted to fit together like building blocks, with one bumping up to the next in repeated grids, ad units can begin to look like wallpaper. Consider any design element that disrupts that concept, creating negative space to be interruptive to the eye. This creates a higher impact.
DESIGN FOR THE AUDIENCE
Ads impact different generations in different ways. Moreover, Baby Boomers prefer more “meat” in their advertisements, and are not hindered by greater detail. Millennials, by contrast, prefer modern looks with a great deal of negative space. Generation Z needs us to break up swaths of text with icons, graphics, or images with a greater frequency than any generation that came before them. We don’t need to buy an ad space and display a single ad unit anymore. Split your audience types, and serve each their own ads.
Review the campaign’s performance. Moreover, what is the impact? Is it pacing properly to achieve the number of impressions needed to create lift?
Are the audience segments well refined? Too broad and you aren’t maximizing your spend—instead wasting marketing dollars, hopeful that the wrong audience will engage.
Are you properly identifying behaviors that indicate a consumer is ready for more? In the engagement phase, use pixels wisely to remessage those that are already raising their hands.
Don’t concentrate on clicks. A solid CTR is a great thing to have, especially since true attribution is so rare. But don’t rely on this metric as the sole proof that a campaign is working. Furthermore, if organic traffic is noticeably up, your campaign is creating the awareness you desire, even if it isn’t seen in the direct click through.
These optimizations aren’t the only ones that should be considered. But these small adjustments in a design strategy can garner big results. Don’t adjust too frequently, or you won’t know when changed direction created impact. But don’t miss out on the chance to optimize creative for better performance.
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