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    Ad Creative

    What makes High Performing Creative?

    Jun 30, 2023 |
    Written by:
    Holly Karaolis

    What makes High Performing Creative?

    In the fast-paced world of performance marketing, where attention spans are short and competition is fierce, the key to success lies in creating high-performing creative, but how do you consistently create high-performing ads month after month?

    Using ‘hooks’ to capture attention

    The first step in capturing your audience’s attention is to create a “scroll-stopping” hook.

    Your creative is competing with friends, family and content creators on social media. This means that your best-performing ads or posts on social are likely to be good content first because you have to be incredibly interesting just to get a small percentage of relevant people to engage without resorting to clickbait.

    Clickbait may generate initial clicks, but it often leads to low-quality traffic as users find the content doesn’t meet their expectations. Instead, focus on crafting a hook that is engaging and relevant to your offering, then immediately communicate what you have to offer and why it matters. By providing a clear and honest representation of your brand and product, you establish trust with your audience right from the start and enable the ad platform to target people who are most relevant to your business.

    A compelling hook is the gateway to engaging your audience and drawing them into your brand story. Remember, the goal is not just to capture attention momentarily but to create a meaningful connection with your audience.”

    Kelvin Wan, Senior Creative.

    Articulating product benefits

    Great creative clearly articulates the benefits of your product or service, highlighting the core reasons why someone should make a purchase. It goes beyond merely showcasing the features, it conveys the value and impact your offering can have on the lives of your customers.

    The difference between benefits and features. A feature is something that your product provides, for example, a personalised wine subscription from Good Pair Days.

    But what is the benefit to the purchaser? You could just say it’s a personalised wine subscription, but GPD preface it instead with ‘SAVE YOUR WINE BUDGET FOR BOTTLE’S YOU’RE GUARANTEED TO LIKE’ and follow up with ‘SO YOU DON’T RISK BAD BOTTLES’ – it’s highlighting the actual benefit that is supported by a feature of their product.

    • Identify the specific features your product brings to the table. What are the functionalities, capabilities, or unique qualities that bring the value proposition to life.
    • Then what benefits do those features give your customers.
    • Flexible subscription, you can choose when your delivery comes
    • Multiple flavours, find your favourite, or have a mix to select from
    • 14 day money back guarantee, try it for yourself to see if it’s the right fit.
    • People don’t buy features, they buy benefits.

    Aligning the benefits and features of your offering provides tangible evidence of its worth. Craft your messaging to illustrate how your product directly contributes to desired outcomes, offering value to users. By effectively articulating these aspects, your creative messaging becomes a persuasive tool that resonates with your audience and drives brand preference.

    Social proof and authenticity

    Social proof is crucial for building trust and credibility. Incorporating real customer reviews from platforms like Trustpilot and showcasing awards and positive experiences can give potential buyers reasons to believe in your brand and product. Authenticity is key.

    To boost social proof, consider featuring UGC creators or influencers in your ads. Collaborating with influencers or using real people who love your product adds a personal touch and their genuine testimonials and endorsements establish trust and credibility with your audience.

    If direct testimonials aren’t available, Trustpilot badges and press reviews are great for showcasing social proof. These endorsements from reputable sources validate your brand’s quality and reliability. Incorporate them into your content to provide extra evidence of customer satisfaction.

    Remember to make the content feel natural and aligned to the platform it’s presented on. By presenting social proof in an authentic and relatable way, you can enhance your brand’s credibility and inspire trust in potential buyers.

    A brand who really leverages social proof well is Tonies. They have a vast array of not only UGC from satisfied customers, but also position their Trustpilot rating front and centre throughout their content. This means that audiences build trust quickly and authentically.

    Understanding your audience and testing hypotheses

    To create high-performing creative, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of your customer personas. By delving into customer reviews, comments, and competitor analysis, you can uncover valuable insights that inform your creative strategy. Identify pain points and key USPs to develop engaging hooks and angles within your video structures. Each brief should be designed to test a hypothesis from your creative strategy and identify winning variables that resonate with your audience.

    When working with Gorillas, we recognised the need to tailor our content to different audiences. We targeted three key demographics: young, affluent individuals (35-44), affluent families, and middle-aged, affluent individuals (45+). To ensure the effectiveness of our content for each target audience within the context of performance marketing, we meticulously planned and storyboarded shots. This process involved considering worktop design, props, and food combinations that would resonate with each demographic.

    This ad targets young, affluent individuals (35-44), featuring a wood worktop and showcasing drinks and snacking options which had proved really popular in this demographic.

    This ad targets affluent families so we opted for a terrazzo worktop, props like towels and baby items alongside the Gorillas bag to build brand recognition.

    This ad targets middle-aged affluent individuals (45+), portraying a sense of decadence with a marble worktop. We featured ice cream to align with the target audience's preference for luxury items.

    Creative formats for maximum impact

    At BARK, we understand the power of diverse creative formats and styles. Different formats cater to different objectives and target audiences and allow you to appeal to different demographics.

    Here are some examples:

    • Creator: Native-style content that resonates with a diverse mix of people interacting with your product.
    • Studio: Colourful backgrounds and studio shots that stand out, ideal for showcasing a product range.
    • Lifestyle: In-use and active lifestyle content that tells a story and demonstrates human interaction with your product.
    • Motion Graphics: Utilising your existing brand assets and adding animated typography, perfect if you have limited captured content.
    • Stop-Motion: Eye-catching static ads with small but captivating movements, ideal for enhancing static assets.
    The Power of fresh and iterative creative

    To stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s crucial to build a pipeline of fresh creative on a monthly basis. By iterating on top-performing assets and staying ahead of ad fatigue, you can ensure that your campaigns consistently deliver results.

    At BARK, we deliver content through our in-house creative team. We’ve found that having a flexible creative package works for most brands, meaning it can be used across strategy, production and ad creation as needed in that month. It means we can continually deliver ads at scale for businesses that want to grow fast. Our Creative team is integrated with the wider performance team to ensure that all assets are designed to both build the brand and drive growth.

    Harnessing the power of creative for your brand

    High-performing creative is a combination of captivating hooks, clear articulation of product benefits and features, social proof, authenticity, understanding your audience, and continuous testing. By leveraging different creative formats and constantly refreshing your approach you can create a powerful and engaging experience for your audience.

    With this in mind, look at your current ad content and think about where you can introduce these to your next batch of content. If you’d like us to take a look and discuss options, please get in touch and we’d be happy to advise on how we could develop an effective content strategy with you.

    The importance of scaling and testing

    Different ads appeal to different people, which is why scaling and testing are crucial for continued success. Our data shows that the fastest-growing advertisers test more than 20 assets per month. By constantly iterating and refining your creative approach, you can beat ad fatigue and keep your audience engaged.

    Hux is an excellent example of a brand leveraging this approach to achieve impressive results. In line with this strategy, we currently produce 20 assets for them per month. Here’s an example of what a monthly set of 20 assets looks like…

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