Creative Analysis | E-Commerce Performance Campaigns
December 12, 2016
Facebook users see numerous ads per day but only a select few catch their attention, and even fewer drive them to take action. Static link ads dominate Facebook Newsfeeds, so Ampush’s Creative Team works closely with the Ampush Analysts managing our partners’ campaigns to develop up-to-date best practices for creating Facebook link ads that stand out within the feed. Our performance data and key learnings span e-commerce, finance, gaming, entertainment, and education verticals. Read on to see the first edition of our Creative Analysis series covering the best practices we’ve gleaned top performing ads across our partners’ campaigns: E-comm Direct Response Best Practices.
In addition to focusing on creative elements that capture a Newsfeed viewer’s attention, Ampush designs ads to tell narratives about our partner’s unique selling point and value propositions. Across all verticals, ads contain similar elements: concise Calls-to-Action (CTAs), an emphasis on visual branding identity, skimmable content, and the focus on driving one particular action from viewer.
E-commerce Direct Response Campaigns
Real Life Styling. Ampush has found that environmental imagery outperforms basic product imagery (devoid of background scenes or graphics). Going one level deeper, Ampush’s analysis of ad creative found that imagery that put the product or brand front and center out-performed storified ads, e.g. ads not centered around the product or service. While unbranded or product-free imagery may look more similar to native posts within the feed, such ads are not able to clearly convey the product or service being offered, and therefore usually fail to capture a potential customer’s attention.
Seasonality Reins. Seasonal imagery drives increased engagement and also helps us tailor our partners’ products and services messaging to demonstrate greater relevancy. Ampush’s Creative Team keeps the seasonal themes fresh to make sure our partners’ ads stand out during periods when most brands also adopt a seasonal imagery tactic. Recently, we opted for garland as a seasonal element instead of the more common seasonal elements of snow and colored string lights.
Ampush’s Creative Team also incorporates imagery related to current events to resonate with our partners’ target demographics.
Instructional. Ampush’s Creative Team identified imagery that illustrates step-by-step processes as being particularly effective throughout 2016. We utilize this best practice extensively with our partners’ mobile app install campaigns and for partners’ offering a service (or subscription). We’ve found step-by-step ads improve the quality of users proceeding to the next stage of the sales funnel and typically afford viewers a greater understanding of the product or service. Ampush’s Creative Team also recommends this ad imagery technique for partners without high levels of brand or product recognition within their markets.
On Point Portrayal. Ampush’s Creative Team uses images that portray our partner’s target demographic to improve perceived relevancy and to help the ads stand out within the feed. We also leverage this tactic to help our partners appeal to new audience groups or geographic areas. We also include numerous target audiences at once to unlock audience targeting efficiencies for our partners.
Striving for A Unique Look. Working within our partners’ branding guidelines, Ampush’s Creative Team will utilize vector, illustration and photography image elements to create a unique look for each of our partners’ ads. Ampush emphasizes designing ads to not appear generic, to prevent them from being easily skimmed over. Recently, Ampush placed photographic images of our partner’s products onto graphic illustrated backgrounds to create a unique look, tailored to stand out within the feed and appeal to our partner’s audience on Instagram. Ampush’s Creative Team also applies stylistic edits to our partners’ video ads, including zoom, slow or fast motion, and text overlays. We’ve seen this improve engagement and conversions.
Details Matter. Ampush’s Creative Team analyzes every last creative element: from bleed to color schemes, from logo placement to featured typography, we test and analyze everything to see what appeals most to every partner’s numerous audience groups.
Within the e-commerce vertical, we’ve unlocked improved performance for our partners by employing full bleed images, cool and neutral color schemes, corner logo placement, symmetrical balance of image components and text, and color accented CTAs. We’ve noted that using one primary focal point also leads to improved performance for our e-commerce partners.
Informational vs Emotional. Ampush’s Creative Team uses a mixture of both for our e-commerce partners. We’ve found that emotional ads do well as the first in a sequence to establish branding and an emotional connection with the potential customer. Next, informational ads, such as ads informing viewers of our partner’s unique selling point (USP) or on-going promotions, will help close the deal.
Typography & Copy Styling. Ampush’s Creative Team utilizes strong typographic lock-ups and hierarchy, in which promotions not only try to sell you something, but are also charming and visually captivating. We believe that copy shouldn’t just lie on top of the image, but that it should integrate itself with the image. We use bolded text or increase the point size of significant words to ensure our partner’s message is clearly conveyed. We’ve noticed performance improvements from applying an all uppercase treatment to shorter headlines and by focusing the ad’s copy on the featured product or service.