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Digital Marketing News & Best Practices - Adlucent Search Pros(e)

Why Retailers Should Invest in Creative Testing

Posted by Olga Rangel on April 12, 2021

Creative assets can make or break your social media campaigns. Often, advertisers run into challenges pinpointing what most interests an audience. You know visual identity is important to awareness, but does it drive conversions? According to a study done by Facebook, clients who ran direct response campaigns combined with strong branded ads showed that visual identity drove a significant impact:

  • 67% higher lift in optimized conversion
  • 67% had a higher lift in ad recall
  • 70% had a higher incremental ROAS

Thinking ahead, as we lose data to our privacy-first future and as automation becomes more powerful, creative testing is becoming one of the areas where advertisers have the most opportunity to make an impact. So, let’s explore what creative testing is, why you should consider investing in it, and how we use it to improve performance for our clients’ social campaigns.

What is Creative Testing?

As advertisers, we are always learning what resonates with our audience best and what will help them convert on campaigns. Does photography or video work better? Is one type of messaging better than another? 

Take the guesswork out of your process by investing in creative testing to identify the key variables for the success of your social media campaigns. These variables include:

  • Text: headlines, ad copy, and call-to-action
  • Visual: color, imagery, font, and layout

By testing these variables, you can gain deeper insights into your audience’s preferences and find the most effective ways to pair your assets together to meet your goals. Advertisers can use this valuable data to structure their social strategies in a more informed and logical manner.

What Are Some Best Practices When Creative Testing?

  1. Use a science-based approach when experimenting. Build a hypothesis around your messaging, and structure your campaigns to test creatives and audiences against each other instead of just running new creative and comparing its performance to past results.

  2. Identify your target audience. Ensure that the audience you want to reach is targetable and sizable enough to test within. Develop your campaign structure for this group specifically. Tailor your testing to the audience - a person that is just learning about your brand is going to respond very differently from loyal customers.

  3. Gather creative assets that are appealing and on-brand. Use colors, typography, logos, and other elements that will help your audience quickly identify you. We will explore this more in our next creative testing blog post!


What Tool Can I Use to Get Started With Creative Testing?

One of the main tools that we recommend advertisers use for testing creative elements is Betatyping. Facebook designed this creative and measurement framework to help advertisers gain deeper insights into their audiences through creative experimentation. In an analysis of creative media, Facebook found assets that won the test had 15% lower cost per recall, 13% lower cost per action intent and 26% lower cost per action.

This framework includes four main components: 


  1. Four parts of Facebook Betatyping FrameworkAsk: Create a hypothesis based on what you’re trying to learn and the outcome measures that will determine success.

  2. Make: Design your test and creative assets based on your hypothesis and what you’re trying to learn.

  3. Learn: Analyze results and insights from the experiment based on primary KPIs and secondary diagnostics.

  4. Adapt: Strategically and creatively determine how the learnings will be implemented.

This framework is a constant cycle of hypothesizing, testing, learning, and adapting that uncovers which creative variables work best and drives long-term success.

With Betatyping, advertisers can build foundational learnings over time by investing their budget into more than one creative approach. It also helps to reduce risk by testing many creative directions that may be relevant to your audience. You can even uncover what will or will not work for successfully reaching new audiences. With everything that you learn, you begin to see insights and best practices that can be used to structure future campaigns.

Adlucent Test Discovers Key Messaging with 379% higher CTR

Our client, Mizzen + Main, is an apparel company that specializes in performance menswear. A question arose about whether or not the client’s target market changed due to the COVID landscape and if the brand messaging was still resonating. And, if so, with whom? Knowing key customer attributes like age, interests, and what they deem essential in their clothing, would help inform the evolution of their creative assets.


Mizzen + Main Adlucent creative testing results for Facebook Ad


We conducted creative tests around three areas – structure, audience, and messaging. The results provided us with insights to help the client understand what variables were important and what their audience liked. In the creative test for messaging, we addressed one of the questions in our hypothesis. Which messaging would resonate more to an athletic audience: comfort- or fit-focused messaging? We tested the two variations, and the results revealed that comfort-focused saw a 379% greater click-through rate. This test helped us discover what connects with our target audience and will help guide messaging for future campaigns.

Key Takeaways

  1. Creative testing is the perfect way to understand your audience and what creative assets resonate with them the most.
  2. The Betatyping framework can help advertisers reduce risk and strengthen connections with audiences through the “Ask, Make, Learn, and Adapt” cycle.
  3. The visual identity of your campaigns does have a significant impact on driving conversions.

In our next blog post, we will dive deeper into creative testing best practices and how you can plan and gather your creative assets successfully. Also, if you want to learn more about improving your social strategy, stay tuned for Part 3 of our Digital Learning Series with Facebook to explore The Evolution of Social Media for Brands this month!

Topics: Featured Post, paid social, social ads, social media strategy, creative strategy, scientific creative testing


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