Creative Optimization series part four: Winning campaigns and KPIs

By John Koetsier July 25, 2018

In this four-part series on creative optimization, we’ll examine some of the trends, tips, and strategies that help marketers get performative creative assets.

Creative optimization series part four: Winning campaigns and KPIs

Creativity is an art, but creative optimization is an evolving science. Any marketer with a bit of experience can tell you about the trials and tribulations of hashing out, testing, and rehashing ad creatives only to feel as if your work didn’t make much difference in campaign performance. The fact is, there is no single strategy that will work for all advertisers, so the best thing to do is to try out a few.

To make the prospect of infinite testing more palatable, we’ve curated some tips from mobile marketing experts to give you a jump start. Through conversations with top brands and a bit of reminiscing on insights shared during our CEO Gadi Eliashiv’s MAU presentation back in 2017, we’ve compiled a list of useful tips:

Mistakes happen… just don’t make these

Insights from Eyal Grundstein, Head of Consumer Online Marketing at Yelp

Your ads are constantly competing with other ads for the attention of your audience, and still many marketers make common mistakes that turn off users. Though it might seem smart to plaster your brand name in an impossible-to-miss format with plenty of context around it, excessive branding and abundant text never resonate well with users.

Another common mistake marketers make is poor judgment with ad placement. Every app has a target user base, so target it! When you run ads out of context, your message and your money are lost. And while we’re on the topic of context, be sure to pull any seasonal ads as soon as the appropriate time frame has passed. Nothing spells “stale” like a Christmas ad in February.

Finally, one of the most egregious mistakes marketers make is failing to test enough variations of an ad creative. Campaign success can hinge upon the most minute of creative elements, so be sure to switch up your style and analyze the success of multiple variations at once. And here’s a hint: only Singular can help you optimize your marketing spend down to the creative level.

Play smart with playable ads

Insights from Sumee Oh, Senior Director of Marketing at JamCity (now Senior Director of Marketing at NBCUniversal Media)

*At least within the gaming space…
Don’t be afraid of new ad formats! Playable ads are one of the greatest assets in a user acquisition manager’s arsenal because they deliver pre-qualified users. Furthermore, playables are a win-win on both the publisher side and the advertiser side because of their proven record of high engagement and conversion rates.

Know when not to quit. You may try working with several companies who create playable ads before you find one that is the right fit for your brand, your audience segment, and your creative style. Don’t get discouraged simply because an idea didn’t work out the first time. Trust your gut and stick with it.

Keep in mind that your overarching goal is ROAS (return on ad spend). When budgeting for all your creative generation and testing, this should always be top of mind. Aiming for ROAS will help you make smarter, more efficient, and strategic decisions about ad placement, ad type, platform, and geo. Keep analyzing your success until you’ve found the best way to maximize efficiency for your unique brand and objectives.

Chasing clicks will just get you clicks – Key KPIs to care about

Insights from James Peng (formerly Head of Mobile & Social Acquisition at Match)

Broadcasting is ineffective; targeting is effective. Marketers need to identify the right objectives in order to see meaningful results. Make sure you understand your core audience and hone in on them. This is the absolute first step towards a successful digital marketing strategy.

Don’t just consider impressions; consider impression efficiency. This is your ability to convert an impression into a valuable user. Marketers should ask themselves, “Are my ads hitting the right person? Are my potential customers interacting with the ad? Are they performing the action – install, in-app purchase, etc. – that I want?” It’s imperative that you find ways to make the impression experience valuable.

Care less about CPI and more about CPA. Installs are not as important as understanding the overall cost of acquisition. You have to focus further up the funnel if you’re going to reach your goals.

How to consider eCPM: If your targeting strategy is smart, your creatives are compelling, and your impression conversion rate is solid, then you want to pay your publishers as much as possible to keep momentum going on a winning streak.

Why your CMO and CFO need to be best friends

Insights from Annina Salvén, Chief Financial Officer at NextGames

From a CFO’s perspective, CPPU (cost per paying user) and ARPPU (annual revenue per paying user) are the king KPIs. CFOs want to spend as much money as possible on only the most profitable cases, so finding ways to score with these KPIs is the best way to keep your marketing budgets healthy.

Do this by maintaining an efficient and organizational structure. Automate whatever can be automated – don’t spend time collecting and (trying without success) to connect your data. Provide objective and thorough analyses of marketing performance, and highlight clear ways in which your goals have been, can, and will be met.

Hedge your bets. Put your money and efforts into making sure your basic operations are functioning well. For NextGames, this means investing 60-65% of time and budget on campaigns with slow fatigue and consistent performance. Campaigns with high fatigue but high performance are allotted 20-25%, and experimental (high risk, high reward) campaigns get 10-15%. Don’t go big on a strategy for which you don’t have a proven track record of success.

We’ve covered a lot of tales of success throughout this four-part series. What’s important to remember is that none of these ad strategies started out as winners. They became successful because of diligent hard work and a continued effort to build upon and improve strategy. We hope some of these tips help get you started on your own creative optimization journey.

Now go get creative!

Interested in learning more about Singular’s Creative Optimization Reporting? Request a demo today!

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