Time after time, studies show that the quality of ad creative impacts the success of paid media programs more than any other factor. You can have the best data, targeting/placements, reach, and frequency, but if your creative assets and messaging fall flat, you won’t be able to drive performance or build your brand effectively. On the other hand, engaging visuals, persuasive copy, and strong calls to action (CTAs) can significantly improve click-through rates, cost per click, brand engagement, and conversion rates. Improved campaign performance translates into tangible results, such as higher customer acquisition volume, increased revenue, and more market share.In this blog, we break down six ways your paid media and creative teams should be collaborating and what that can mean for you.
1. Start On the Same Page
Whether it’s a creative brief for a major brand campaign, or just an intake form for a simple production task, make sure both your Media and Creative teams are aligned before any creative work begins. Ensuring that everyone has a clear understanding of the campaign's purpose, value proposition, target audience, platforms/placements, desired action(s) and other details will result in a shared understanding that lays the foundation for stronger collaboration.
2. Share the Data
The Media team should provide valuable insights like audience behavior, demographics, performance metrics, and platform trends to the creative team based on previous campaign data. In digital media, leveraging this data might start by carefully crafting your URL tracking parameters so that you can collect data on the types of imagery, messaging, and CTAs that perform well. Knowing what has worked in the past will always help to inform more effective and engaging creative for the future.
3. Personalize Your Approach
With a new generation of creative tools that leverage automation and AI, the time and budget it takes to personalize creative have decreased significantly and leveraging AI tools allows you to create a broader variety of assets.
Your media team should have a good idea of the distinct consumer segments that they are targeting and the creative team can use these insights to craft persuasive ads for each segment based on the different stages of the customer journey. It’s important to be especially conscious of the ads you use for retargeting, because these tend to have much higher frequency. Re-engaging with your most important audience is essential, but showing them the same ads 10 times a day will increase ad fatigue and hurt your brand perception. To avoid this, you’ll want to make sure to refresh your retargeting ads often.
4. Test and Optimize
By working together to develop hypotheses and test different variations of visuals, headlines, copy, and CTAs, the Media and Creative teams can gather valuable data to make data-driven decisions. Optimizing creative assets based on insights gained from testing ensures continuous improvement and maximizes the effectiveness of paid media campaigns. It's important to structurally test your ads so you're drawing conclusions and learnings into your next creative concept. For instance, you can create three different lifestyle images (i.e., male, female, couple), three different color CTAs (i.e., blue, orange, and red), and three different messages (emotional benefit, product benefit, brand + product). If you tag each of those ads with detailed tracking parameters to label these elements, you’ll collect rich data about what’s working and what’s not. For your next concept, you can use that data to develop creative that has a high probability of performing. At that point, the cycle should start again with a new set of hypotheses.
5. Share Platform Creative Best Practices
Different digital advertising platforms have their own unique characteristics and user behavior patterns, especially paid social media advertising platforms. At an even more granular level, different ad formats on the same platform also have their own creative best practices. By tailoring the tone, language, and format of your messaging to fit each platform and ad type, you can enhance the relevance and effectiveness of your ads, ensuring they resonate with users in that particular context. For instance, what works well for Instagram may fall flat on TikTok. And what works well in an Instagram Story may not make for a good Reel. The challenge is that your Creative team isn’t on these platforms as regularly as the Media team (or Social team) is. So, it is imperative for these other teams to share best practices and trends with the creatives on a regular basis.
6. Infuse Branding and Storytelling
The Creative team are experts in the brand value proposition and positioning. Ideally, as part of your customer-journey-based personalization approach (#2 above), you can lean on that expertise to create a variety of ads that highlight the brand and go beyond solely promoting a specific product. To take that a step further, your Creative team can help define a messaging strategy that leans into storytelling about the brand and/or the audience. This is a powerful tool for capturing attention and creating a memorable impression. By presenting your brand within a narrative framework, you can establish an emotional connection, increase brand recall, and enhance the overall impact of your ads.
By fostering collaboration between the Creative team and Media team, you can leverage their expertise and insights to develop ad creative that not only drives short-term performance marketing results, but also contributes to long-term brand building efforts.Like this content? Subscribe to our Red Door Reader newsletter below for a collection of our best posts each month.