The fact that US digital ad spending reached $72.09 billion last year means consumers are getting hit with more ads in more places than they ever have before. Marketers would like to call that a good thing, but people are engaging with ads less and less. Response rates in 1997 were around 7%, but today, that response rate has dropped to about .1 percent. Ad fatigue has officially descended on the nation, sending marketers searching for ways to ensure their messages rise to the top. Before your customers start boycotting or complaining about you (as some have threatened to do to overzealous advertisers), let’s take a look at some ways you can serve messaging that feels new, relevant, and effective with minimal effort on your part.
Keep creative fresh
Before you have nightmares about spending hours every day cranking out content, know that keeping your social creative current doesn’t require a constant stream of new stuff. Switch up ads frequently so your target audience will be saved from too many impressions of the same creative, even if you only have a few pieces to run. By predicting when click-through rates will start falling, i.e. ad fatigue setting in, (see below: Drop poor performers) you can also calculate the ideal number of content pieces you’ll need to fill the duration of your campaign. Take it one step further by creating a narrative in your messaging. If you have five pieces of content planned, instead of advertising five standalone product benefits, create one cohesive story about your product over the course of the five ads. Think of it as an extended carousel ad you can use to expand on an important or high selling point in your product. Check out this article for more ideas on how to approach your social creative within a carousel format.
Test your targeting
With any quantitative decision you’re considering, but especially marketing, you should always test. Running small tests will ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget when it’s time to plunk down the big spend. Run small tests on your LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook ad sets, or Twitter cards to assess the impact of using different targeting techniques. Depending on the results of the testing, you can make decisions on where to focus your funds. If the Twitter ads got minimal traction, maybe it’s better to put all the money behind the high-performing LinkedIn ads. If you tested different messaging and the pieces that ran on Facebook did so well they nearly broke the internet, run another test with that messaging on other platforms to see if it resonates with those audiences. Do as much testing as you possibly can before you need to launch the campaign. A little money spent up front will save a ton in the long run, and ensure you get the highest return on what you do invest.
Drop poor performers
Even with all that testing, at least one ad will be less successful than the others. We can’t all be winners, right? However, you don’t have to coach the poor performer along until your budget is drained. Stop spend as soon as you detect a drop in performance so you can put that budget toward what’s actually working. As mentioned in the Keep creative fresh section, you can use this data over time to predict how much you’ll get out of your social creative, and as a result, how many ads to create to keep messaging fresh over the course of a campaign.
Ready to get started with these three tips? Here at AdStage, we recently released Rotations (available in Automate) to assist and…well…automate all of the above. The power of Rotations lies in saving you time and ad spend by spitting out data you can use to calculate creative needs, get an idea about performance before stomping down on the gas, and automatically halt spend when an ad is no longer useful. In fact, Rotations will automatically stop spend on your ad once it’s reached 30,000 impressions and the CTR has dropped below your target (for example).
Want to give Rotations a try? Sign up for a 14-day free trial. If you’re already an Automate user, access your AdStage account directly through the Rotations feature, and choose the set of campaigns, ad groups, or ads you wish to cycle, then select the conditions you want to trigger the rotation. Check out our FAQ for more details on how the campaign will manage itself from there, and a click-by-click visual tutorial to get your Rotations set up.
Digital ad spend will only continue to increase as consumer eyeballs and attention abandon more traditional forms of media. The most successful marketers will be those who understand the importance of unique, compelling social creative, and can move quickly to ensure that’s what they’re showing consumers at all times.
Breanna is a freelance senior copywriter with a decade of storytelling & marketing experience. When she’s not nerding out on words, she’s exploring the Rocky Mountains with her husband and pup.
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