Creative optimisation is one of the most important topics in user acquisition. Without strong creatives and strong ads, advertising would be extremely difficult. It’s not easy to predict which creatives will drive results for your business – marketers must continuously test, analyse and iterate to get it right. Here are our top tips on how to nail creative testing and optimisation on any budget.
# 1 Don’t incorporate cost when comparing creatives
One thing to always remember is that cost doesn’t have a place in creative testing. Different companies have different KPIs, mainly CPA or ROI targets. It’s important not to tie those CPA/ ROI targets to creative testing because even though a certain creative may be generating a good CPA/ ROI, it doesn’t mean it will produce the same results if you use different targeting. To get the true value of creative performance requires you to look at engagement rates. Different creative, in terms of where you target them and what platform you’re running them on will have different costs attached to them. The two metrics that matter are a) how many people click on the ad itself (click through rate) and b) how many people install the ad (install rate). With high click through and install rates, it clearly indicates that people have seen the ad and are consequently interested in the app. The reason it’s important to keep cost out of the equation is that prices for traffic vary between targeting interest groups. It’s important to note that different countries will yield different results for the same creative as well.
# 2 Multiply your CTR and install rate
The next step isn’t something that a lot of people use, however, we use this internally to great effect. This involves comparing your creatives against each other. By multiplying CTR by install rate, you’ll end up with a figure in the realms of 0.00X. Multiply that it by 1000 to make it a round number to 1 or 2 decimal places. Do this calculation for each of your creatives and compare them against each other to decipher which creative drives the highest engagement (the higher the number, the higher the engagement rate). This formula, which we implement within the Appsumer platform, gives you a quick view on which creatives perform best.
# 3 Test, test, test
It sounds obvious, but if you’re trying to do creative testing over a short period of time you’ll never get true results. It’s important to plan what you’re looking to test and keep track of everything as you go on so it’s clear what you’re testing on your next iteration. When just starting out, it’s better to test smaller features rather than totally different creative. For example try tweaking the backgrounds or colours, or adjusting the type of theme. You can start by testing colours to understand which one works best for your brand, then, once you know the colour you can start testing different themes. For instance, with the chosen colour, you could now test in-situation creatives versus screenshot creatives. We already know which colour works best, you have the colour as a constant. Once you have found out which scenario works best, you can choose the best performing variable from each test. What you might find is that there isn’t always one clear winner, a couple may come quite close, so you can split test between those two to see which works best.
# 4 Let the data inform your decisions, not your assumptions of what will work…
The types of creative that drive results vary client by client, and industry by industry. You can never guess your audience wants, so don’t even try. One notion we have internally is that people are very easily distracted, so we imagine that a bright, eye-catching creative will work best. Whereas in reality this might not be the case and you shouldn’t be biased towards any particular creative.
We’re in a market that changes constantly. There will become a point where your ads might begin to suffer from ad fatigue, so don’t ever just rely on running one type of creative. It’s more important than ever to stand out from your competitors. If you’re constantly doing the same thing, you’re going to get left behind. Instead, always try and test out different variations. In Appsumer’s platform, we store different theme variations, colour variations etc.for analysis. You may find that seasonally, creative performance changes as well.