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The Importance of Rapid Creative Experimentation Across The Vast Digital Universe
Why Content Testing Is So Important
Creativity in marketing is nothing new; it is the essential key to generating interest in your product or service in any campaign. In the 1950’s, the United States became an advertising giant. Simply by understanding how to deliver marketing campaigns through newly formed strategies, advertising and marketing agencies transformed the way products are sold in a matter of years. These strategies continue to remain the backbone of marketing practice in delivering successful advertising campaigns today. From targeting the right audience with the right message, to understanding the platform from which you are connecting with an audience, these strategies have remained at the forefront of modern marketing practice for nearly a half-century. For instance, when television ads first started out, companies were simply taking their creative radio ads and throwing them on a television.
“TV went through many of the same growing pains we are currently witnessing with social media, digital video, and over-the-top services,” according to adage.com.
Today’s digital universe is vast and rapidly changing. Due to this volatile environment, it has become a challenge to connect your creativity with the right audience, at the right time. A few short years ago, the most successful companies would spend millions of dollars on TV commercials and by simply reaching millions of viewers worldwide, they had the ability to see a monetary value in advertising. However, for those small businesses who could not afford TV advertisements, they faced obstacles and challenges in marketing their products and services.
It should come as no surprise that digital marketing is effectively evening out the playing field for younger, less established companies. For instance, look at Dollar Shave Club: They disrupted a 100 year old (well established industry) basically overnight, all with a viral video campaign and subscription model. They grew so fast that their competition, Unilever, had no choice but to buy them out for a billion dollars.
My team has been behind viral campaigns, and throughout each of them, we realized the strong value in effectively understanding just how to deploy rapid response creativity across major traffic sources and ad formats. For example,, throughout one of our viral campaigns, we found that 22 second videos on YouTube converted the most viewers successfully. Upon realizing this, we then adjusted our client’s marketing strategies accordingly and measured again over a 6 month period. Ultimately, the ROI of every single one of our marketing campaigns had increased exponentially. However over time, data showed conflicting results with this model. To adjust, we began further testing different video lengths based on our audiences, industries, and other additional factors.
We worked to match this creativity to the ad formats and to the audience we were speaking to, and simply listened to the data to determine which content to make next. In order to make creative content that converts, you need to test intelligently and rapidly. Once you find certain targets that show promise, you need to test specific variables to determine mediating factors. We use a multi-variant testing method, as A/B testing would not allow us to test enough variables at an efficient rate.
How Do You Create A Rapid Response Culture?
First off, you need the right team. We worked to assemble an incentivized team built around performance. You cannot create a culture of excellence by under paying employees. Our media buyers and creative departments are incentivized by receiving a percentage of the campaigns they manage. The culture that this creates is unmatched in the agency world.
Our creative team works hand in hand with media buyers to ensure the data is leading the way in decision making. In order to understand which type of content is working best across traffic sources and ad units, we rely heavily on well-collected and well-organized data. The business intelligence, cloud based platform we use is DOMO. DOMO allows us to see all of our content in a more organized and holistic way; especially when compared to spread sheets or relying on Google, Facebook, or additional native sources to present the winning content.
Our creative team is led by a Creative Director, who oversees the creative production across copy, images, videos, websites, and other creative content requests. Under the Creative Director is our Creative Associate, who works off of the vision set by our Creative Director. In addition, we have a dedicated team of video editors and a project manager who work directly with our Creative Director to ensure a seamless flow of ideas and a never-ending ability to keep up with fast paced requests. Our designers who work on images, web design, and videos also work directly with our Creative Associates and report to our Creative Director. Our media buyers and head of growth also provide input on trends and ideas to be shared with our Creative Director. These ideas help to further mold our innovative, fully integrated, and holistic approach to designing creative content that converts.
How Do You Create Rapid Response Creative Content?
The first step to understanding how to create converting content, is to understand exactly what type of content performs well on specific traffic sources. Knowing where to find this content will give you a competitive advantage among your competitors. Once you locate this content for a specific industry, you can open up your research to trends that are not directly tied to a specific industry, but are eye catching nonetheless.
You Need To Stand Out!
It has been said that millennials only have a 5-6 second attention span (according to Comscore) when watching a video ad. Thus, grabbing their attention is much harder as opposed to those of Baby-Boomers. Our creative department has had success targeting every age, but Boomers help to buy you a few more seconds in a video ad to connect with them.
Our creative testing approach has made us one of the leading video advertisers across the major traffic sources and it is credited to our culture, our creative department, and our ability to identify and reverse engineer fast moving trends.
There has never been a better opportunity to test creative content so accurately and rapidly. I truly believe that companies who embrace this approach without ever sacrificing quality and staying true to a brand, will continue to win over competitors who are still stuck in the old ways of producing content.
In the coming months, you will start to see ads that are personalized, and connect with people 1:1. The bigger companies who have to JUMP through hoops to get innovative ideas approved, are going to be disrupted and will continue to lose market share.
If you are looking for more information on how to create content that converts at scale across Facebook, Google, and other native traffic sources, feel free to reach out to me directly.
I am obsessed with understanding creative trends, as it all ties into the customer experience. Today’s masters of digital content understand that their job is not done when someone clicks on an ad. You need to focus your creative testing across ad formats, landing pages, and checkout pages, as well as ensuring rapid creative content testing is incorporated across all digital services.
Stay tuned for more insights on our JUMP blog, and I hope to hear from some of you on your feelings about creative content and experimentation.
I look forward to reading your comments, as I will be posting more articles every month.
Thanks for reading,
Patrick J Peters III
Chief Marketing Officer