Top-performing video ads are able to capture the attention of their target audience within seconds. But, it’s difficult to develop high-quality creative that gets the job done. Video creation is often a time-consuming and expensive process, which is why we recommend taking advantage of performance video templates.
Performance Video Templates
A number of adtech companies have created video templates for the purpose of increasing the success of video advertisements. These templates are kept up-to-date to ensure that they adhere to Facebook and Google’s creative changes and best practices. Bulk sheets and rapid editing tools allow videos to be customized at scale for greater performance.
With ad spending increasing almost $5 billion year-over-year, it’s safe to say that advertisers will be continually looking for ways to improve their video ad performance. Templates are an ideal way to meet this need.
Below we have outlined the benefits of using performance video templates for Facebook and Google App Campaign ad placements:
1. Tested Concepts
Using winning concepts creates video templates. These ad concepts are rigorously tested and found to be highly successful on Facebook and Google App Campaigns. However, the mobile app market is constantly changing – what works today may not be effective tomorrow. That’s why it’s critical to use performance video templates that are up kept up-to-date with the latest creative trends.
2. Briefing Made Simple
You don’t have to be a seasoned designer to use performance templates. The creative briefing process will help every step of the way to ensure that your finished product drives performance. The majority (95%) of creatives fail to perform profitably. So, you’ll want to develop creatives that have the best chance of performing well.
Video templates walk you through every step of the creative briefing process, including:
Naming the brief
Choosing a placement (such as Facebook or Google App Campaigns)
Selecting a creative type (video, single image, etc.)
Deciding on layout and specifics
Determining a deadline
From there, you simply upload the video content, branding elements, ad copy, and CTAs that you would like to use and the template does the work for you. This simple process takes the guesswork out of making great videos, leading to better ads and higher performance.
3. High-Performance Results
As a performance advertiser, your top priority is to drive profitable results. Our performance video templates allow for easy creative A|B testing and help you develop creatives that have been proven to perform well on Facebook and Google App Campaigns.
4. Bulk Editing
Editing video campaigns one by one is inefficient. Our self-service bulk editor saves advertisers time and energy by editing thousands of videos at the same time. Before you apply changes you can preview them in real-time. You can also add cards, banners, footers, CTAs, and other elements quickly and easily.
Oftentimes, it’s the smallest details that make the biggest impact in an ad campaign. Sometimes changing a headline or copy ever so slightly results in better-performing creative. Bulk editing allows you to make these changes at a mass level so that you don’t have to apply these changes one at a time. You can also test ad copy, localize for different languages, and quickly convert videos into different sizes and layouts. These capabilities are what make the bulk editor one of the most convenient video tools you can have.
We’ve been given some amazing new tools and capabilities in the last few years, but it’s also meant that we’ve had to completely remake how we structure and execute campaigns. And the recent changes are just the beginning. As the ad platforms’ AI algorithms get smarter, like with Google and Facebook, we expect the role of user acquisition managers to evolve rapidly in the next few years.
User Acquisition is Dead. So while this statement might have jarred you, the old way of doing user acquisition really is dead or at least dying. Here’s a look at its next reincarnation.
Why is User Acquisition Dying?
As Facebook and Google’s AIs have grown more efficient at media buying and bid management, the third-party adtech tools some of us used are no longer a competitive advantage. And managing campaigns is no longer best done by human beings. UA managers have to let AIs take over part of their campaign and ad set management.
Easier said than done, though. It requires a leap of faith for any user acquisition manager to hand part of their work over to a machine, but you’ll ultimately be better off. Letting the AI run your campaigns will increase ROI and reduce effort.
The levers of campaign management that have been historically used by humans are now being systematically automated by AI. This actually makes sense — humans had been doing the quantitative analysis of campaigns for a long time. With smart enough code, those tasks can be automated.
At least for now, AI can’t do creative, or can’t do it well enough. Templates don’t work well, either. Creative is still best done by humans, though we expect the development teams at Facebook and Google will continue to test that assumption.
Both platforms have taken steps toward automating creative testing — Google with its ad variations, and Facebook with its Dynamic Creative. Those new tools are helpful, but they’re both just taking pieces of creative and re-assembling them into new variations. Humans are still creating the pieces and we expect that to continue to be the case… at least for the next couple of years.
What “UA is dead” really means is that UA is evolving, most of the old strategies of intraday frequent changes of adjusting bids, budgets, and pausing ad sets are dead, and creative is your best hope for high-performance campaigns.
Our own advertising strategy on Facebook has radically shifted every six months for the last six years. It’s almost certainly going to shift again six months from now.
If you’re still doing things like frequent intraday bids or budget edits, you’re not making the best use of the platform.
There are three specific shifts that have changed how Facebook UA, specifically, is done:
AEO and Value Optimization
The “Best Practices” Update and the concept of Significant Edits
Campaign Budget Optimization (coming September 2019)
Here’s a deeper dive into each of those points:
AEO and Value Optimization
The old strategy for Facebook advertising was to drive volume — we chased Mobile App Installs (MAIs) and would manage 1,000+ campaigns in each account just to achieve scale. Audiences and placements would be set to drive quality conversions as best we could, but really we were just getting as many conversions as we could, and hoping that on average the value of those conversions would be enough to turn a profit overall. We’d manage bids either manually or with a third-party tool or our AdRules platform.
Our new strategy is freed from a volume constraint. Its goal is to drive net profit. We do that via AEO (App Event Optimization) and Value Optimization campaign management, along with some careful manipulation of audiences where we tell the algorithm what to look for. Because we can have the AI optimize for specific events (like in-app purchases, registrations, or specifically, $20+ worth of in-app purchases), Facebook will deliver a far more precise audience.
When using AEO and VO, we also allow the AI to automate placement, bid management, and the creation of audiences. This is exactly where that aforementioned leap of faith takes place: UA managers should now let the algorithm manage these key areas of their campaigns.
The “Best Practices” Update and the concept of Significant Edits
Facebook rolled out its “Best Practices” update in February 2018. This followed a similar move by Google in late 2017, when Google moved all-new app install campaigns over to Google’s App Campaigns, whether advertisers liked it or not. Both shifts were the official handover from humans managing campaigns to AI managing campaigns.
This is also the move that kneecapped most of the third-party adtech tools. If you have been using a third-party tool to optimize your campaigns, suddenly that advantage was over. The good news was that you could reduce the cost of the adtech fees and move towards the very low cost or flat monthly fees. The bad news was that suddenly every advertiser had access to the same algorithm you did and the playing field was flattened.
Facebook has outlined how they want campaigns to be run in their Blueprint Certification. Everyone in UA on your team should get certified — even if you outsource your social advertising. It’s essential information if you want to outperform your competitors now, or even if you just don’t want to lose your shirt.
Campaign Budget Optimization (coming September 2019)
This third change is basically a shift from people making budget adjustments to machines making budget adjustments.
If you’re not yet using Campaign Budget Optimization, it’s time to adopt it. Facebook will require CBO in September 2019 for all newly launched campaigns. That’s just five months away at the time of this writing. After that, the AI will change budgets and optimize bids, budgets, placement, audience, language, and creative testing. Humans won’t be making those adjustments anymore.
Google’s App Campaigns are already at this level of “black box” management by the AI, but Facebook is coming up fast.
The Shift Towards Ad Creative
So now that AI has taken over much of the quantitative side of user acquisition advertising, and will take over practically all of it after Q1 2020, what’s a UA manager to do? Focus on creative.
Focusing on creative has two key aspects:
1. Ad Creative Analysis. Both your own and your competitors’
Facebook’s new Ads Library makes it much easier to track your competitors’ ads. It may not tell you how well those ads are performing, but if they’re running the same ad for more than a week, it’s probably working for them. So you might want to cherry-pick one or more attributes from that competitor’s ad and test it in your own ads.
But you’ll also have to test if those new attributes make any difference. If you’re going to create high-performance ads, you have to know the key performance drivers. This is one of the first things we take apart when we work with new clients: Which creative attributes are really making a difference? Once you know that, you can prioritize your creative tests far more effectively.
2. Ad Creative Testing. Using the right methods for testing and getting test results as efficiently as possible
In a sense, whoever builds the best ad-testing and creative ideation system now will gain a significant advantage in performance advertising. But that testing system will have to be built to test and conceive of a lot of ads (only one out of 20 ads will perform well enough to scale) and it will have to test those ads fast enough to scale them before creative and audience fatigue sets in or competitors swipe them.
For Agencies and Client Expectations
As a UA service, account management has become critical. A client communication has to be seamless and, if necessary, instant. Clients have to trust their partners enough to let go of how they used to advertise (managing media buying themselves, for example, and those frequent intraday changes).
Agencies will constantly need to work on improving processes with clients, with the campaign and team management, and above all, with creative analysis, development, and testing. Workflow optimization results in better ROI — a lot better ROI.
“Has User Acquisition Advertising Become Easier or More Complex?”
This is a logical question to ask once you understand the scale of the shift we’ve just experienced. But really, whether acquisition is easier or more complex depends on the platform.
Facebook ads are definitely easier to manage than they were before. The AI does a pretty good job. But that means we’ve all got more competition from other advertisers – other UA managers now have access to all the same cool tools you’ve got.
Google App Campaign is a little different. It’s perceived by some as being “set it and forget it.” However, it is about to get a lot more complex.
What to Expect from User Acquisition Advertising in the Next Year
We believe Facebook is about to change UA advertising all over again.
Facebook has all of the pieces for an app campaign-style product that is likely to be a combination of CBO + DCO. (Campaign Budget Optimization + Dynamic Creative Optimization). That’s all a fancy way of saying that Facebook is working on a new feature that will optimize creative, creative placements, bids, and budgets for us. We expect this new capability to be out sometime in Q1 2020.
Google’s also got some new developments coming. Google Analytics for Firebase (an app measurement solution that lets UA managers get insights into app usage and user engagement) may also be leveraged for selecting lookalike or similar audiences (also known as “LALs”).
With Firebase’s ability to report on and track up to 500 distinct events within apps, once that data can be fed into the Google App Campaign advertising AI, it will be hard to argue against the AI’s superiority over human management. The AI will have so much data to interpret, and will obviously be able to interpret that data at such a speed, humans won’t be able to compete.
4 Ways User Acquisition Managers Can Evolve
We don’t believe UA managers are about to be out of a job. There will always be a need for a human at the helm of all these controls, even when the controls can mostly run on their own.
But UA managers definitely need to evolve. The job they will be doing in a year (much less two to three years) will be *very* different from the job they’re doing now.
Here are four ways to prepare for the changes:
1. Understand Facebook Best Practices and Make Sure those Rules are Followed
Facebook changes fast. You don’t need to be told that. Staying current with the advertising platform is essential. If you and your team haven’t gotten certification from Facebook’s Blueprint training program, it’s time to fix that.
But that’s only the first step. If you’re still advertising the same way you were this time last year, you aren’t changing fast enough.
Keeping up with UAC best practices requires constant learning. You should always be testing, always be pushing the envelope of what’s possible. Because — guaranteed –your toughest competitors are pushing that envelope.
2. Everyone Needs to Get Trained on Google’s App Campaigns (Formerly called Universal App Campaigns)
A bit more than a year ago, most of our partners were spending maybe 10-20 percent of their budget on Google App Campaigns. That’s completely changed. Right now, most partners are splitting their budgets between Facebook and Google.
So if you aren’t using Google’s App Campaigns, you’re missing a lot of potential volume.
Apple hasn’t been a primary ad platform for most UA managers. That’s also about to change. As competition gets fiercer and fiercer on Facebook and Google, and UA managers struggle to eke out even a sliver of a percentage point of the extra return, it only makes sense to seek out less competitive spaces. Apple Search ads are one of the best opportunities emerging this year.
4. Get Sophisticated about Ad Creative Testing
Build (or borrow) an aggressive, systematic testing strategy. Creative may be king…..but testing is its right hand. Simple, isolated, unstrategic A|B split-testing isn’t enough in this environment.
When developing your testing approach, it’s important to consider the following:
Accommodate brand guidelines as well as possible, but with enough flexibility to not slow down too badly.
Accommodate the speed at which creative fatigue sets in (this is a beast to manage, but it can be done).
Focus on 10x or 100x wins, and don’t get fussy over the level of statistically proven results that are designed to see minor incremental improvements. You’re looking for earthquakes in the data — not little tremors. That actually frees you up to play fast and loose with statistics in a way that traditional A|B split-testing rules wouldn’t allow.
As User Acquisition Dies, What Happens to the UA Role?
Here are two scenarios for what user acquisition managers may have to deal with in the coming years.
If the machines optimize:
Hire less expensive employees. We expect this to come into play around Q1 2020.
Ad tech fees will drop to < 1% of spend or shift to flat rates.
If people create:
Focus on quantitative creative testing to uncover which performance drivers meet or beat your team’s performance requirements.
Establish systematic ways to analyze competitors’ ads.
Work closely with your ad partners to increase creative volume and diversify financial risk.
Prepare to manage more ad networks (FB, Google Apple, etc…).
Embrace the challenge of balancing left-brain versus right-brain skill sets and tasks.
Ad Creative Conclusion
Don’t fear the machines. Let the new algorithms manage the parts of your campaigns that they can manage well. Get ready for them to learn how to optimize creative, too. Q1 2020 will be here in a blink.
Invest in creative. It’s your last best competitive advantage. UA managers will benefit by understanding how to:
Drive quantitative creative testing to uncover performance drivers
Help creative teams be data- vs brand-driven
Establish competitive ad research practices
Manage partners to increase intensity, creative volume, and diversify financial risk
Manage networks (FB, Google, Apple, etc…)
Some agencies have already started to take notice: Instead of building adtech tools, they’re building creative teams.
Just keep your skills current and embrace the changes. This is an exciting, challenging time to be a UA manager.
Contact us to find out why ad creative is critical!
New tasks and A/B testing features make campaign management easier…
It’s not easy managing high-volume user acquisition campaigns. Not only are there multiple settings to manage, but even the smallest mistake could result in a loss of $5,000 in a matter of an hour.
Facebook’s Power Editor and Google’s App Campaign interface are good tools for campaign management. However, these tools aren’t nearly powerful enough to run a professional, high-velocity user acquisition campaign. To do that, you need a more robust tool.
We recently released the Consumer Acquisition Advanced Reporting tool. Originally, this was an internal tool that we used to manage multi-million dollar campaigns, but we’ve rolled it out so that our clients can use it themselves.
Advanced Reporting offers users two new features: Tasks and A|B Testing. These management features can save UA managers hours of work and thousands of dollars in ad budget by providing them with centralized data and easy to manipulate reports.
See what your UA team can do with our newly-released campaign management software:
The Tasks Feature
In order to maximize campaign performance, advertisers have to keep up with a lot of time-consuming, repetitive tasks. We did it for some time ourselves before deciding to automate every process we could, which resulted in our new Tasks feature.
This feature streamlines campaign management workflow and allows UA managers to:
Automate or partially automate everyday tasks. For example, managers are able to set reminders or dictate rules about when to pause low-performance ads or clone high-performance ads. This helps you run Facebook and Google App Campaigns at scale, without having to worry about the manual component of campaign management.
Save favorite settings in filters and reporting views. This way you don’t have to reset your settings every time you log in. It also allows for an “apples to apples” view of your campaign performance.
Use KPI filters. UA managers are able to sort ads according to a particular performance indicator to easily determine the ads that need to be paused and the ads that deserve more budget. These preset filters make account optimization much more efficient and reduce waste on ad spend.
Track historic campaign adjustments. UA managers are able to view past changes made to their campaigns and see which modifications may have affected campaign performance.
The Tasks feature allows you to create and save a number of tasks. To create a new task, start by running a new query, then click on the save icon to the right of the filter ribbon as illustrated below. From there, just click “Save Report”.
You can review your saved Tasks in the Dashboard view of your account.
Click on any saved Task to view a report with the most recent campaign data available.
The Enhanced A|B Testing Feature
Running A|B split tests is an essential step to getting your campaigns to perform well, but managing all these tests can be complicated. It’s also easy to misinterpret your results in the case that you don’t have a clear view of the data.
Our Advanced Reporting dashboard comes complete with an Enhanced A|B testing feature that has been specifically designed to let UA managers see how their tests are performing. Enhanced A|B testing allows you to view any type of test and sort views by time frame. Including, videos, images, or audiences.
This feature also works with classic A|B split tests and multivariate tests. You can sort and view tests using different metrics like ROAS, CPA/CAC, and app installs as well. This allows UA managers to easily review important metrics, and avoid getting distracted by less meaningful stats, like clicks.
Testing views can also be displayed in a graph, like this:
For assistance with Enhanced A|B Testing reports, visit our help page.
Final Thoughts about Tasks & Testing
Achieving successful Facebook campaign performance is difficult enough – unclear reporting and complicated split-testing shouldn’t be getting in your way. We built these tools ourselves after managing hundreds of millions of dollars in ad spend. They are designed expressly for user acquisition campaigns. Thus, helping hundreds of advertisers finally see what’s really going on in their accounts.
Three Creative Strategies to Boost ROAS in User Acquisition Campaigns…
AI and machine learning have radically simplified the optimization algorithms of Facebook and Google. As such, creative has become the ultimate driver of user acquisition ad campaign performance.
In order to run successful campaigns on these platforms, advertisers need to produce a high level of winning creative that can scale to serve a multitude of audiences. Use our top creative strategies, including rapid creative production, A/B creative testing, and audience expansion to gain a competitive advantage and boost ROAS when running user acquisition (UA) advertising campaigns on Facebook and Google.
1. Rapid Creative Production
UA advertisers should always be developing new creative that is optimized to match a user’s device, location, and experience. Whether you are developing new concepts, variations of existing concepts, or refreshing concepts, it is important to ensure you are producing and distributing winning creative in order to optimize campaign performance.
Unfortunately, 95% of all tested creative fails to become winning creative. And, by failing, we mean creative does not outperform the best ad in your portfolio. By that count, your chances of launching a successful video are about 1 out of 20.
So, how do you deal with the significant challenge of video ad creation? By designing prototype ads and employing the use of new concepts, variations, and refreshes:
In essence, prototype ads are concept ads. When prototyping ads, you create and test many limited versions of an ad. These ads can have slight variations in copy, text, colors, characters, or other visual elements. This practice saves you both time and money by allowing your team to make data-driven decisions while still largely adhering to brand-driven guidelines.
A best practice when prototyping ads is to aim for at least 60% brand compliance. But, don’t sweat the small stuff. You may have errors with font and color, but that’s okay. The goal of this exercise is to test imperfect ads to find the winners.
Once you create your prototype ads, test them, find your winning creative, make your winners brand-compliant, and run with them. Simply shut down the losing prototype ads, and start creating new ones.
New Concepts, Variations, and Concept Refreshes
Concepts, variations, and concept refreshes are three different routes advertisers can take when developing creative at high speed.
A new concept is a big-picture idea you’ve never tested or created before. These ads are high risk, high return, and take a lot of brainstorming and refining. However, this work can pay off in a big way, since concepts are often the source of breakout ads.
A tip for developing ideas for new concepts is to start by looking at competitors’ ads. What works for your competitors may also work for you.
Variations are small changes made to an existing ad concept. These little tweaks allow you to test individual elements in your creative. Creating multiple variations of an ad means you will have a higher chance of developing a successful ad. With each variation, you should change only one thing about the existing ad.
For example, you can change the headline, footer, color, or add or remove emojis from your advertisement. If you make multiple changes, you will not be able to determine which change drove ad success.
Once you’ve developed your ad variation, use A/B testing to find the winning combination of ad elements.
Concept refreshes keep your winning concepts alive. Refreshes require you to make one large variation to an existing concept. With a refresh, you change the main content of your ad but keep your winning header and footer.
Once you have created new content, you can move on to creative testing. Testing will allow you to separate your winning content from your losing content, and give you a higher chance of ad success.
2. Rigorous Creative Strategies in Testing
Creative testing helps you develop superior creative by breaking down the aspects of an ad and determining winning elements. For example, a red headline may outperform a blue headline, and a cat character may outperform a mouse character. Whatever the winning element may be, creative testing can help you figure it out. From there, you can adjoin tested winning elements to create highly optimized creative strategies with higher ROAS.
A best practice for creative testing is to test 80% variations and 20% new concepts. The success rate of variations is higher, the cost of converting ad spend is lower, and running them is overall more sustainable.
Below we have outlined the phases of creative testing that you should follow to determine your best creative:
Get inspired by your competitors. Identify your competitor’s best ads by going to the Info & Ads Tab on their Facebook page or using Facebook’s ad library. You can also use 3rd party ad spying tools to help you do this. Once you’ve identified your competitor’s best ads, you will have a large supply of tested concepts to work from that will help reduce your ads’ failure rates.
Simple Variation Testing
Simple testing can increase return on ad spend (ROAS) immensely. This process involves testing text headers, aspect ratio, and video length. Some elements you can test for better ad performance:
Advanced Variation Testing
Like simple testing, advanced variation testing can further increase ROAS. With advanced testing, you are testing the success of more developed ad features. Try testing for:
Start and End Cards
Text in Image/Video (non-header)
Benefits & Demo in Motion
If you have limited assets, you can easily leverage still images to create videos. To do this, try Facebook’s Create to Convert feature and employ Benefits in Motion, to animate your benefits, and Demo in Motion, to demonstrate an app, website, product or feature. These features allow you to tell your story effectively.
Keep in mind you should get your point across in 6 words or less. Also, remember to front-load the video so that your audience understands your message in the first 6 seconds. These best practices and Facebook features will help you create a successful video with limited assets.
New Concept Ideation
In order to run a successful ad campaign, you must always be generating new concepts. This way, your audience doesn’t experience creative fatigue and your ads stay fresh. Follow these best practices for help with creating new concepts:
Review competitor’s ads to see what’s working for them – this may work for you, too.
Focus on emotions.
Use storytelling with app characters.
Read AppStore reviews to better understand your fan’s favorite features – and exploit them in your ads.
3. Audience Expansion to Scale Ads
Once you have tested and selected winning creative to run on Facebook, it’s time to launch your ad. However, you must also work to scale your ads in order to improve and extend campaign results. This can be done by expanding the target audience.
During this process, remember to avoid making significant edits while the learning phase is running, as this will create extreme performance vulnerability. Significant edits include pausing and adjusting budgets, bids, creative, and audience targeting.
In order to effectively scale spend without significant edits, we recommend the following audience selection best practices:
Create High-Volume Lookalike Audiences
Using both Facebook data and first-party data, create lookalike audiences that resemble your best customers. Lookalike audiences target new users that act like your best existing users.
Build Audiences in Bulk
Create custom audiences from users who spent early in the customer journey. This way, you are creating an audience you know has a high chance of purchasing your offer.
Clone Ad Sets
If you have an ad that is performing particularly well, clone that ad set and adjust only the budget. For example, if you start with an ad set with a $100 budget and see it performing really well, you can clone that ad set and increase the budget. This way, you are maximizing ad spend without triggering a significant edit event.
In addition to these practices, you can use the workflow optimization feature, found in our AdRules tool, to spin out thousands of audiences with just a few clicks.
Final Thoughts about Creative Strategies
The role of the UA manager will shift over the next few years. Less quantitative analysis and more creative analysis will be necessary for success. By employing the best practices listed above, you can develop and test for winning creative, and successfully target new and existing users on Facebook and Google to increase UA campaign performance and ROAS.
For more information on creative strategies to boost ROAS in your user acquisition campaigns, see Consumer Acquisition’s panel discussion from Mobile Growth Summit 2019:
Finding a Facebook or Google App Campaign advertising partner is difficult. If hiring a partner works out, you’ll yield better results and be able to scale results efficiently. But, if it doesn’t work out, you have lost time testing them. They, you will likely lose ad spend and revenue in the process.
To mitigate those risks, many organizations do a 30-day test to see if they will be a viable social advertising partner. While ad partners understand the motivation behind this, it’s important to know that 30-day tests have limitations. 90 days is a better trial period, especially if you’re interested in driving profit and scale.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the steps to conduct a 30 or 90-day test. Also, how this process helps you find the right social advertising partner:
Steps to Find the Right Social Advertising Partner
1. Get the Partner Account Access
There are two primary routes to giving prospective partners access to your advertising accounts: give them access to an existing account, or give them access to a new account. Here’s how these two scenarios play out:
Give Access to an Existing Account
With access to an existing advertising account, the partner can perform an audit of your current ad creative and media buying strategy, so they can see what worked or didn’t work in the past.
Depending on which campaign aspects you want help with (for example, creative or media buying), a partner might develop a creative and/or media strategy based on previous ad spend and past account performance.
The next step is for your partner to present their findings so you can make sure they’re headed in the right direction. If you have a good partner, they might also present and discuss some of your competitors’ ads as well. This is an impactful way to learn more about the look and feel of the videos they’re about to produce. It also introduces you to some new ideas that are working for your competitors. It creates clarity about your expectations, and how your partner can meet your brand guidelines.
The next step is execution. As the partner begins to execute the agreed-upon creative strategy and/or the media buying strategy, they should be having regular calls with you to discuss what’s worked or not worked, and how to make adjustments going forward.
Ideally, your ad partner will also be constantly updating or modifying your account’s strategy documents based on their performance, network changes, and any other external factors.
Give Access to a New Account
Sometimes, clients don’t want partners working on existing Facebook or Google App Campaigns. This is often because the client has an internal team working on those campaigns, and they want to use a partner as an external team. Instead of having the partner work in the same campaigns as their internal team, they create a new ad account.
This being said, your new ad partner will still need access to your primary account if you go this route, so they can do creative and/or media buying audits.
If getting access to this information is not possible, then they won’t be able to see what worked or failed for you in the past. Without this analysis, any efforts on behalf of the partner going forward are more likely to fail or cause the same mistakes.
Working with a new account has another problem as well—it slows down the process of optimizing campaigns. When a partner works from a brand new account, they must give the algorithms enough data to do AEO bidding (App Event Optimization) or VO bidding (Value Optimization). The only way to do that is by running ads, and—depending on ad spend budgets—it can take anywhere from a few days to over a week to train the algorithm enough to enable AOE or VO bidding.
Because of this reason, most advertising partners prefer to gain access to existing accounts. Starting with a fresh account means they lose both time and money retraining Facebook’s algorithm, as opposed to gaining instant access to already optimized accounts.
2. Do a Competitive Analysis
Whether or not your partner receives access to existing Facebook and/or Google App Campaign accounts, they should also begin a competitive analysis. This is usually done while in the process of doing the creative and/or media audit.
The first step of this competitive analysis is identifying the best competitor ads. The easiest way to find your competitors’ ads is with Facebook’s new ads library. This tool allows you to find out how much your competitors have spent on advertising and which ads they have run. You can also search which ads have been linked to particular keywords. Note – you don’t even need to have a Facebook account to use this tool.
The one drawback of the new ads library is that it doesn’t give you ad performance information. For that, you need to use 3rd party tools like PowerAdSpy, Connect Explore, SocialPeta, or AdSpy. These tools assess ad performance, how long ads have run, how much ad budget they’ve been given, and what their engagement measurements are.
Conducting a competitive analysis allows you an almost endless supply of pre-tested ad concepts. You can leverage this information to create better ads and identify themes and characteristics of winning ads.
With this information, you can create better ads, quicker than if you started from a blank screen. Basically, you can peek into your competitors’ accounts, do a high-level audit, and then use their data to optimize your ads.
3. Start Testing & Optimizing Ad Creative
Facebook and Google App Campaign advertising is done differently due to the rise in popularity of machine learning. The optimization algorithms of these platforms have dramatically improved and simplified the process of managing campaigns, budgets, and ad sets. These algorithms have leveled the playing field for social advertisers both large and small.
The trouble is, this means it’s not easy to gain a competitive advantage. Your team needs great creative to meet your financial ROAS goals, and great creatives hard to find. From what we have seen, only about 5% of new ad creative (only one in twenty new ads) will outperform your “control” ( the current best-performing ads).
The graph below shows the ad performance of a gaming company that spent over $15 million dollars on Facebook advertising.
The horizontal axis is the approximate number of ads.
The vertical axis is the money spent per ad.
As you can see, the vast majority of ads do not do nearly as well—and 100x ads are unicorns.
Even if you only want a 10x ad, you can’t find it without testing many. Since only 5% of new creative is successful, you need twenty new ads to find the one that works. Unfortunately, most social advertisers don’t have the ability to test twenty new videos during a 30-day partner test. It’s difficult to remain financially stable due to the resulting non-converting spend.
In an effort to minimize these testing losses, most advertisers want to keep running winning ads along with the tested ads. Thus, slowly rotating through new ads until they find a 10x ad, and with hope, a 100x ad.
Well, that takes more than 30 days to do. Even if your new ad partner finds a way to jumpstart a new campaign in just a week, you still only have three weeks left to test new ad creative. That isn’t enough time to test all the ads necessary to find a winner. Because of this limitation, most 30-day tests fail.
It is possible, however, to beat the odds and deliver big wins in 30 days or less, although it’s unusual. If you want to see results, 90-day tests are better because they give your new advertising partner time to test, fail, develop new creative, and iterate again. Creative limitations are just the beginning.
4. Launch Campaigns & Analyze Performance
Assuming a partner works with an existing Facebook or Google account, they will start restructuring your account according to several proven best practices. Some of these include:
Establishing a Baseline: Launching initial campaigns with your best-performing ads and audiences establishes a baseline ad performance.
Testing Copy: Initiating ad copy tests on your best-performing ads helps to optimize that aspect of your ads first.
Developing Internal Creative Briefs: While those tests run, they will develop several internal creative briefs (based on the competitive analysis and the creative audit), and then share their findings with you.
Create Ads and Run A/B Tests: Once those creative briefs are approved, they’ll create ads and run a/b tests to establish their performance. This typically takes between five to seven days to get results from those first tests.
Refine Ads and Test Concepts: Based on the results of the first tests, they’ll continue to refine the best-performing ads and audience combinations, while simultaneously testing new ad concepts. They should continue to modify strategies based on what they learn. Also, they should share every detail of your campaigns’ ad performance with you.
Final Thoughts About Finding the Right Social Advertising Partner
Choosing a new ad partner is a lot like testing ad creative—you have to give them enough time to prove they are a truly valuable asset to your overall marketing goals. If you end a trial with a new partner in just thirty days, it is like cutting off a creative test too soon. You will be making a decision based on incomplete data.
Audience Builder Express: Building Facebook Audiences in a Flash…
In mobile app marketing, complacency kills. Every ad you produce, no matter how good your creative is, will flame out in a matter of days. Audiences will start to tune out the message, or they’ll be tapped out. If you run ads past this point, you’ll just burn through your budget.
For the best possible return on your ad spend, you need to continually test creative concepts in front of new, well-targeted audiences. The strategy you use to target your ads is as important to campaign success as the creative concepts you’re testing. The more audiences you have to move through, the longer your ads will last and the better they’ll perform.
Building Facebook Audiences
With Facebook’s Audiences tool, you can build custom and lookalike audiences based on particular app events (installs, launches, purchases, etc.) and other criteria that are important to you. But, for every variation you want to test (1-day versus 60-day lookbacks, for example), you have to head back to the drawing board and build a new audience from scratch.
This makes audience building on Facebook a slow, repetitive, tedious process. App developers have budgeted time for it, and made peace with it, as the only means of achieving their campaign goals.
Now, thankfully, there’s a better way—a new audience-building tool that’s so fast and easy, it will transform the way you execute your campaigns.
Audience Builder Express: Grow Your List Exponentially With Every Click
Audience Builder Express works much like Facebook’s Audiences tool, but in a fraction of the time. Now you can select all your desired criteria with a few clicks of the mouse, and every possible permutation will appear in your audience list. One quick pass through Audience Builder Express can produce dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of distinct audiences.
Custom Facebook Audiences
You can start to build custom audiences by choosing from among 20–30 app events. For each event, you can select multiple variables to further define your audiences. For example, you can choose:
Your most active users (top 1–25%)
Users by purchase amount (top 1–25% value)
Users by platform (all, Android, iOS, Games on Facebook, or unknown)
Lookbacks (1, 3, 7, 30, 90, or 180 days)
Audience Builder Express eliminates the need to start over for every desired combination. Suppose you click app install, then three distinct platforms (Android, iOS, Games on Facebook), followed by 7-, 90-, and 180-day lookbacks. Just like that, you’ve built nine distinct audiences.
You can multiply your list further by choosing additional app events, purchase values, lookbacks, etc. Each time you click on a variation in each of these categories, your audience list will expand like magic.
Pro tip: We’ve found that custom audiences of 7,500 are the most efficient. Facebook algorithms won’t work as well for smaller audiences.
Lookalike Facebook Audiences
Audience Builder Express makes it just as easy to ask Facebook to identify potential new users who are a close match for your custom audiences. Select a custom audience, specify your lookalike geographic reach—from a single country to worldwide—and add affinity levels. You can add individual countries, plus affinity levels of 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, all the way up to 20%.
Suppose you have 150,000 purchasers in the U.S., and you’ve created a custom audience representing the top 5% of U.S.-based users by purchase value over the last 180 days (7,500 users). If you create a 1% affinity for those 7,500 users, Facebook will give you around 2 million users out of 200 million total Facebook users in the U.S.
If you select 10 custom audiences, multiply by four country groups, and again by five of these affinity percentages, Audience Builder Express will instantly return 200 lookalike audiences. It can just as easily return thousands of results.
Consider the time it would take you to build 200 lookalike audiences using the Facebook Audiences tool. Audience Builder Express takes what used to be time-consuming, mind-numbing busywork out of the equation. This allows advertisers to concentrate more on creative strategy and development and accomplish more with their advertising budgets.
Pro Tip: When you’re building lookalikes, be sure to factor in customer lifetime value (LTV) so Facebook weighs the top x% more heavily than the bottom x%.
The Evolution of Mobile App Marketing Continues
Audience Builder Express is one of several recent industry developments. It promises to free social advertisers from some of their heaviest constraints. With the rise of self-service platforms and tools and more affordable marketing services, app developers of all sizes, budgets, and experience levels can now do more with less and get a fairer shot at market success. Their greatest need now is high-quality creative—where the user acquisition battle is won.
Our world-class Creative Studio, led by veteran Hollywood talent, serve startups, SMBs, and enterprise app, developers. To learn more about our creative capabilities and tiered managed services, contact us today.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — May 8, 2019 — Today during Google I/O’s keynote address,ConsumerAcquisition.com was announced as a Google App preferred creative partner. Consumer Acquisition enables advertisers to generate high-performing ad creatives at scale through its in-house Creative Studio for Google App campaigns. Additionally, Google announced a new set of machine learning capabilities, ad placements on YouTube, and ad groups within app campaigns.
Google Creative Partner
Automation and machine learning have simplified media buying on Google. As a result, making creatives one of the most important drivers of success for social advertisers. Consumer Acquisition’s research shows that 95% of creatives fail to outperform a portfolio’s best ad. There is a 5% success rate for a new creative. So, it’s imperative to have an understanding of how to produce and test fresh creative concepts at scale. This will maintain financial performance. Google launched its App preferred creative partners program. This will help advertisers develop and test creatives with proven partners offering end-to-end creative services, from concept through production.
Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition, said, “As a performance advertising partner selected by Google for their new App preferred creative partner program, we are one of a select few partners vetted and trusted by Google to offer best-in-class creative services to ROI-focused mobile app advertisers. We’ve created over 300,000 videos and images for the largest mobile apps and games in the market today. And, we spent over $1 billion in user acquisition for our clients, bringing a level of experience unparalleled in the performance industry today. Google has recognized our design expertise by including us in their App preferred creative partner program. We look forward to building our relationship for years to come.”
Consumer Acquisition’s Creative Studio provides social advertising services across Google, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest, Snap, and IAB networks. Its elite creative team has vast experience in storytelling, animation, 3D visual effects, and user acquisition. They also collaborate with UA teams to develop high-performing social ad creative. Regardless of company size, large to small managed or self-service, Consumer Acquisition offers advertisers the tools to quickly identify high-performing videos. They can also bulk edit thousands of ads, resize creatives, add headlines, localize languages, or change end cards with its Creative Studio editor. Consumer Acquisition is seasoned in the best practices for Google and Facebook. They can provide an endless supply of fresh creative concepts based on quantitative creative tests designed to deliver profitable results.
Its AdRules self-service platform works in parallel with Google’s optimization algorithms to simplify repetitive tasks. This makes it easy to build ads quickly. This month, Consumer Acquisition will launch additional new platform features, including the ability to download, view images and play videos from Google App campaigns assets. Also, to enable automatic uploading of media into Google App campaign accounts for use in Google Ads’ native tool or AdRules for ad building. Additionally, creative asset reporting is fully built into AdRules, and asset segment reports are enabled to show creative analytics on individual assets. AdRules is free for 60 days to new clients, and then 0.7% of spend, with a maximum monthly fee of $15,000.
Founded in 2013, Consumer Acquisition provides a creative studio, fully-managed user acquisition, and SaaS tools for Google App campaigns and Facebook social advertisers. We have managed over $1 billion in social advertising spend for the world’s largest mobile apps, games, and performance advertisers. For more information, visitwww.consumeracquisition.com.
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