2020 has been a big year for direct-to-consumer (D2C) eCommerce apps and consumer demand, and the competition is high to acquire users. More people are shopping online and from mobile apps, and the number of D2C eCommerce apps is rising. In order to drive great, effective advertising results with top-notch creatives, read further to learn the D2c eCommerce creative best practices for developing creative for your D2C eCommerce apps.
D2C eCommerce Creative Best Practices
It has never been more important for D2C eCommerce app marketers to be aware of the latest trends and tools for acquiring users through effective creative advertising. Over the past couple of years, there have been big changes in user acquisition advertising technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is automating more and more of the media buying on Facebook and Google, and as a result, the ad platforms have leveled the playing field for advertisers big and small. No matter the size of the company, all advertisers compete for users with eye-catching creative. Creative is the key differentiator in driving profitable user acquisition for D2C eCommerce apps.
Creative is king in a world rapidly moving towards automated media buying. Optimizing creative is the most effective way to drive ROAS for Facebook and Google. To be effective, generating fresh creative ideas must be strategic, efficient, and ongoing. Knowing the latest creative trends is a great first step in this process. Creative trends change fast, and they also vary dramatically across genres. While it is good to know broad creative trends, you will also want to home in on your niche, such as with D2C eCommerce apps.
While the quality and volume of creative are key factors in success, we have also discovered that they are not the only factors that drive user acquisition success. Here are the key best practices to follow for optimizing creative for your D2C eCommerce app ad campaigns:
Creative Trends and Competitive Analysis
Monitoring creative trends and doing an in-depth competitive analysis is a must within any user acquisition or creative team today to generate better creative. Ad creative is critical to the success of your campaigns, and you will want to create a 10x or 100x ad that will blow the doors off all prior results. Usually, that means you will have to test a lot of ads, but you will also have to start off with some strong new concept ads, too. Competitive analysis is especially good for developing these types of bold new concepts – completely new approaches that have not been tried before.
Your competitors have already poured a ton of resources and ad spend and testing time into creating their own high-performance ads and they are failing at 95% too. Why not “borrow” from their best ads and customize them to create fresh ideas for your campaigns?
Facebook’s ads library tool is an aggressive move towards transparency for the ad platform, sparked by ongoing calls for more transparency. The tool will let you see:
- Every ad that is active now or that has even been active since May of 2018.
- How much a page has spent on Facebook ads.
- Which pages’ ads reference a particular keyword.
You can also run daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports for different searches. In addition, you don’t even need a Facebook account to access the information. You want to be reviewing your competitors’ ads for creative trends. Such as messaging, offers, call to action, text placement, colors, characters, and more.
User Profiles and Emotional Hooks
Cutting edge advertisers do not stop with competitive analysis. They also incorporate market segmentation analysis by integrating player profiles and user motivations into their creative strategy.
User or “player” profiles are an old idea in game design, but they are a very new idea in advertising. For creative development, it is essentially about understanding your target audience’s motivations. Then, designing your creative elements (colors, sounds, even ad copy) in alignment with those motivations.
Understanding user-profiles and emotional hooks may change how you see ads forever. It is a wickedly effective framework for motivating users. But also a great lens to use as you analyze competitors’ creative.
You can read more about our approach to creating user profiles here.
Creative Testing to Optimize Advertising
In addition to the strategies above, it is also important to remember to continue testing, testing, testing.
Quantitative Creative Testing is an A/B split-testing methodology we have developed for ad creative. It is designed to be super-efficient with both time and ad spend. This is to find the sort of breakout ads that can replace a campaign’s previous control. To do Quantitative Creative Testing effectively, we take batches of new Concepts and run them against each other in an ad set. Each new Concept gets about 50,000 impressions before we decide if it is a winner or a loser. If it is a winner, it gets moved up into another ad set where it will run against another winning mobile ad creative. Including the current control. If the new ad can outperform all the other ads in that ad set, then it gets moved into another, primary ad set. And then it gets the bulk of the campaign’s spend.
You can also check out our video and whitepaper on creative testing best practices:
Final Thoughts About D2C eCommerce Creative Best Practices
As mentioned, while knowing general creative trends is helpful, dig deeper into the trends most relevant for your D2C eCommerce app. Further, you will also want to overlay all this creative development and testing with actual performance data. This is because you will want to chase trends that boost ROAS, not just chase every trend that comes along. Keeping testing, and testing, and if you have any questions on how to streamline your creative testing process, reach out to us to discuss.
Read our blog post, UA Media Buying Model, and see how it works in tandem with our Ad Concept Model. Learn the media buying best practice strategies for Facebook Android, Facebook iOS SKAN, Google, and TikTok.