A solid creative strategy is critical on Facebook, because you only have a fraction of a second to catch a user's eye and get them to click. But, what's equally important, is being flexible, adaptive and responsive to data and trends. This is hard for many people to hear because most people like to have a strategy fully baked and a plan in place. But, the truth of Facebook, is it's hard to plan out very far when you have no idea which ads are going to work.
At New Engen, we have found the most success when we take an approach of testing lots of different types of create to start and seeing what works. If something does, we'll dig in and rapidly iterate on that ad to see if we can find an iteration that works even better. If something doesn't work, we quickly pull it down. The beauty of Facebook is that it will give you an instant indication on whether or not an ad is effective. There's no point in being married to creative because there's no sense in trying to force something that doesn't work. But if it does, you need to be on your toes and ready to iterate immediately.
Across a broad range of partners, we've seen varying levels of success based on different creative approaches. Each partner's success is unique based on the positioning and presentation of their products. We've categorized these product and creative approaches into the following buckets:
Different creative themes work for different business - it depends on the products you sell, size of your business, product differentiation and type of campaign you're running. There are common characteristics for the types of businesses that each creative approach works for.
Brand & Lifestyle
This strategy has minimal focus on products. New Engen seldomly approaches creative from a brand and lifestyle perspective. Even with established brands, we often find more success with product-focused strategies.
Where it works:
- Large companies with well established brands
- Companies or products with truly unique differentiators
- If everyone sells it, you must sell it yourself
- Typically requires coordination with other marketing and PR efforts
- Need established brand recognition
- Generally don't get data on what products from the lifestyle ad drove your conversions or clicks
- Promoting socially relevant causes
- Your company wants to advertise but isn't ready to sell their products yet
Broad-based audiences typically work best for this creative strategy. Where these don't typically work when there's no unifying product theme.
Where it works:
- Broad appeal, often with a value proposition beyond the product
- Large number of products
- Generic multi-product ads can be repurposed across many different audiences
- Dynamic product ads retargeting users who have visited product pages
- Heavily reliant on landing page presentation of products in a logical and seamless manner
- Need to find a unifying value proposition across a large variety of product types
- Dynamic ads for a broad audience
- Site-wide sales
This is our second most common approach and is where we spend the second most amount of our money. Specific audiences tend to work better here because marketers are able to match an audience to a product theme. This theme often fails when there's no logical connection between products.
Where it works:
- Well researched collections with matching audiences
- Useful for testing to find out which hero products can work
- Can help raise AOV as it generally encourages purchasing multiple products
- Narrow appeal reduces scalability
- Inventory dependent
- Need collection landing pages that are either pre-filtered or easily filterable for the product theme.
- Seasonal collections
- Inventory pushes
This is our most common approach and where we spend most of our budget here at New Engen. Within this creative strategy, you'll find most of the creative that we consider to be "thumbstopping," which is able to cut through the noise of a Facebook feed. It's great for structured testing within audiences because it features only one product.
Where it works:
- Usually works best across the board
- Only need 1 SKU in order to run
- Need a great landing page
- Narrow scope of testing
- Potentially smaller appeal
- Harder for resellers to crack
- Some products will work better than others, and it's hard to determine which will work
- It can be hard to iterate on ads featuring winning products
- Simple short animations showing off features of a product
- Product split-screens
- Product detail shots showing off seams or product technology
- Stop-motion animation
- Stacked products in different colors
- Showing off different product variations with animation
- Long form videos work well for high end luxury goods to showcase the story behind the product
If you only have brand and lifestyle ads, we strongly encourage investing in product-focused creative before beginning, as we rarely see brand and lifestyle images work.