The road to success is paved with good split-tests of your creatives.
To quote Facebook, the “fastest growing advertisers created 11 times more creative assets.”
11 times more. That’s massive.
If you’re not already, you’d best get started.
But it’s not merely a question of quantity. Quality is, if anything, more important.
Because it’s one thing to increase your output of pictures and videos in your ads. It’s a whole other ballgame making sure those creatives actually have an impact.
It’s well worth the extra effort, however.
Already back in 2017 Nielsen and Nielsen released a report that confirmed “that 49% of a brand’s sales lift from advertising could be attributed to the quality of the creative.”
This is where split-testing is your best friend.
Because you need to make sure your creatives are as fresh and optimized as possible.
With Great Creatives Comes Great Rewards But Also Great Risk
At Confect we see that great background designs perform up to 4 times better than a standard white background with a product placed haphazardly somewhere.
However, we have also seen the opposite. Some designs can perform 40% worse than a standard white background with a single product included.
There could be a big difference between performance in these three designs. The performance for each one – will most likely depend on how your brand’s visual identity is.
This just goes to show that there’s an inherent risk-reward involved in the design of your creatives.
As much as good creatives can improve ROAS, poor creatives can just as easily hurt it.
Which is why split-testing leads the way toward effective creatives.
But how exactly do you go about split-testing most effectively and without wasted effort?
You want to test different designs, but you also want to make sure you’re testing the right elements at the right time.
Test #1: Your Ad’s Message
The first thing you test should almost always be that which boosts performance the most.
The reason for this is that you want to avoid sub-optimizing according to a local maximum.
Moreover, you also get results significantly faster when the results are significantly different.
So, what most often has the biggest impact?
Answer: The message of your ad.
This message can and will change a lot depending on your company and the product you’re advertising.
Therefore a test could for instance be to explore the difference between using social proof or informing about the benefits of the product (i.e. USPs).
Or, for a mid-market webshop, it could be to highlight the products that are on offer, for example by applying yellow—or to avoid doing exactly this for a more homogeneous selection.
Test #2: Information
When you’ve got the message down and fully optimized, it’s usually time to test what information to include.
It could be, for example, whether to show a discount in percentages, dollar amount saved, what the original price was before the sale, and so on.
Or, in the case of a mid-market tech product where you want to share some of the product’s main features, it might be useful to test whether it is, for example, the amount of RAM, the size of the hard disk, and/or the brand that has the biggest impact.
The goal here is always to find out what the customer and the demographic is most interested in knowing before clicking the ad.
Test #3: Background
Aside from the product, which is generally front and center, the background is actually what takes up most of the space in your ad.
Not only is it a shame to waste the potential that offers—a plain white background is also often one of the primary factors making an ad ‘boring’.
In short, it gets in the way of your ad standing out among the rest.
Instead, a relevant background can:
- Help highlight the product
- Display the product in a relevant setting
- Create a more seamless experience
- Improve the general attractiveness of the ad as a whole
- Better draw in the customer
- Help the customer decide whether the product is something for them
Test #4: The Small Stuff
Finally, it’s time to get all the small ducks in a row.
Just because this includes minor stuff does not mean it’s not as important, and sometimes more important, than the big-picture stuff.
Even the smallest detail can have a big impact.
This includes anything from how to best display the information you decided to include to which color combinations best enhance the message of the ad (e.g. is it a Black Friday sale or something completely different).
Other small stuff that’s important to split-test include:
- Ratio of text v. creative elements
- Image quality
- Over-arching storytelling
The key thing to remember about the small stuff is that it generally depends on the bigger stuff.
Which is to say, you save these tests and adjustments for last because they may change drastically as you make adjustments in step 1 through 3.