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10 tips for optimizing your creative for cross-device success

10 tips for optimizing your creative for cross-device success Brian Ferrario

Creativity has always been at the core of an effective advertising campaign. Now amidst the "buzzword bingo" surrounding algorithms, optimization, targeting, data, KPIs, and more, the value placed on creativity often feels like a relic of the past. However, creative is still a critical element of a successful digital advertising campaign.


Research published in the Harvard Business Review found that more creative ad campaigns are considerably more effective than their less creative counterparts. Marketers can run the most optimized, targeted ad in the world, but if the creative itself isn't executed well, then the campaign will fall short of its intended results. 


I recently met with our AdOps team and gathered 10 trends that tend to yield stronger campaign results. While all campaigns are different, hopefully using these creative tips and tricks will lead your next cross-device campaign to success.


Catch the consumer's eye with animations


Animated GIFs can have up to twice the click-through rate of static ads, so we suggest you jazz up your assets with some movements. This could be as simple as a blinking light or as detailed as a miniature video. It is amazing what a little animation can do.


Run video


While a little animation goes a long way towards boosting the effectiveness of an ad, video ads go even further. When compared to animated creative, video content produce up to 30 percent more conversions. Furthermore, videos increase people's understanding of a product or service by 74 percent and increase consumers are 27 times more likely to click through online video ads that standard banners. These statistics make it clear why we recommend you run video over animated ads whenever you can. 


Run interactive ads


If you have the opportunity, interactive ads are another great way to give your ads a boost. Our analysis found that interactive ads experienced a 15-20 percent lift in the conversion rate as compared to static ads. When people feel engaged in the content, it stimulates their interest and strengthens the relationship they feel to your brand.  


Include an incentive in your call to action


One way to cut through all that noise I mentioned above is to spell out exactly what benefit will come from completing the requested action. A recent campaign we ran performed twice as well when the call to action said "Download App to Save 75 percent" as compared to when it just said "Download App." 


Customize the creative for your audience


Unsurprisingly, people respond better to ads they relate to. At Drawbridge, we've seen an 80 percent lift in conversion rate when the creative reflects the local region or gender the ad is targeting. If your ad is being delivered in a certain city, place an image of that city within the ad. If you are targeting a female audience, make sure your ad includes an image of a woman. These simple steps make your ads stand out and connect consumers to your brand.


Show the correct device in your mobile ad


Just as people respond better when they recognize their city or gender in an ad, they also respond better when they recognize their device. Customize the creative to the device it will be shown on in order to make your mobile ad more relatable. For example, in one campaign served to iPhone users, ads with iPhones in the creative had 7 percent higher CTR than ads with an HTC phone.


Make sure your logo contrasts with the background


When it comes to creative, aesthetics and design are also key. One thing we found is that bright logos on dark backgrounds performed 45 percent better than bright logos on bright backgrounds. Make sure your logo stands out by choosing reverse colors from the rest of the ad.


Keep it simple


Advertisers often try to use up every inch of their small ad space. However, when it comes to digital advertising, less really is more. Over-crowded ad space is unappealing and distracting. We've noticed that when comparing two ads from the same campaign, the ads with fewer elements typically have around 7 percent higher CTR.


Use high-definition video and high-resolution images when possible


Make sure that all the videos, animations, images, and logos you choose to show are crisp. You often only have one chance to make an impression, so clean images that stand out are important. Compared to standard definition, conversion rates are up to twice as high for high-definition images and video.


Hide your native ads in plain sight


Native ads have the advertising industry buzzing with their possibilities for engaging consumers and driving revenue. Multiple studies have shown that they generate dramatic results in brand lift, conversions, and purchase intent. However, for native ads to succeed, they have to blend in seamlessly with the content around them. Putting too much content in the ad space will scream "advertisement" and may deter clicks. We found that conversions are up to 40 percent higher for native ads without unnecessary logos, text, or other elements.


In advertising as in life, it's the little things that matter. The best ad campaigns strike a balance between using creativity and data, but even then, small tweaks are often what make a big difference in cross-device campaigns.


Any other tips or tricks that have worked for you? Feel free to share them in the comments!


Brian Ferrario is VP of marketing at Drawbridge.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia at @iMediaTweet.

Brian Ferrario is the Vice President of Marketing at Drawbridge. Prior to joining Drawbridge, Brian was vice president of marketing at Sociomantic, a leading programmatic advertising technology company, where he was part of the executive team that...

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