Google Ad Creative is classified as any Google ad that users see on your website or app. Creative is the ad users see on a webpage, app, or another digital environment. Creatives can be images, videos, and other formats that get delivered to users.
In order to deliver an ad, the creative must be added to a line item in a Google App Campaign. They can also be added to the creative library for a later association with a line item. Google App Campaigns are a great way to find new users for your mobile app. The ad campaign type allows you to advertise on some of Google’s largest ad networks including search, display, YouTube, and the Google Play Store all while managing ads in the Google Ads platform.
These campaigns let advertisers create ads where people can download an app directly from an ad. Google App Campaign ads – and all the settings available for Google App Campaigns – are designed expressly to generate app installs.
There are various creative types you can add to your campaign, between video and display, depending on the ad experience your advertiser is trying to create.
Most in-house creative teams struggle to stay ahead of “creative fatigue,” aka the dip in ad performance that happens when audiences have seen an ad so often they start to screen it out.
Ironically, the more successful creative teams are, the harder they have to work. Because if their ad creative does well, ad spend usually increases. And as ad spend increases, their new ads burn out faster. They have to work harder to maintain the same results.
Even if a creative team can keep pace with the demands of scaling up, they’ll often run into another challenge: Getting out of their creative “comfort zone.” This is the inherent tendency of sticking to what works. It isn’t a bad thing – focusing on what works drives performance – but creative teams often get stuck in ruts of just sticking to what’s worked in the past. Eventually, the creative gets a little stale, performance dips, and you have to think beyond what’s worked in the past.
1. One proven way to stretch beyond the curse of “what’s worked before” is to do regular competitive analyses. The Facebook Ad Library is a great free tool for this, but other paid tools can give you insights into how ads are performing.
Doing regular, documented competitive analyses can help creative teams come up with more ideas. But it also helps them to be more data-driven. That’s critical for success right now.
2. Another way for creative teams to stretch is to participate in an “agency bake-off.” This is where the in-house creative team competes against an external creative team. The bake-off has rules, and information on ad performance is shared between both teams every week. We do agency bake-offs in 30-day sprints, with set rules designed to maximize learning and performance and minimize any downsides of competition. To date, we haven’t lost one. But be aware that 30-day tests often fail.
3. Then there’s the most common way to expand a creative team’s capacity: to outsource. Our Creative Studio does that for hundreds of advertisers. It gives them access to a world-class team with Disney-level storytelling skills and data-driven user acquisition expertise. We’ve built a streamlined system that makes it easy to request and approve any amount of Google ad creative you need.
So if you’re ready to move beyond a one-off style of Google ad creative development, it can be done. Using an outside team like Creative Studio can be particularly helpful if you want to scale quickly, or if you want to be able to expand or contract your creative development without having to hire (or fire) an internal team.
But just having “enough” Google ad creative is only the beginning. Next, you have to test it. Finding that new magic ad as efficiently as possible is an advertiser’s best competitive advantage, especially now that Google and Facebook have given every advertiser access to machine learning-driven tools that make many third-party ad tech tools obsolete.
Quantitative Creative Testing is an A/B split-testing methodology we’ve developed specifically for Google ad creative. It’s designed to be super-efficient with both time and ad spend, to find the sort of breakout ads that can replace a campaign’s previous control.
Quantitative Creative Testing separates new mobile ad creative into two buckets: Concepts and Variations. Concepts are totally new, out of the box creative approaches. They tend to fail a lot, but when they succeed, they often blow the doors off everything else. About 20% of the mobile ad creative testing we do is with Concepts.
Variations are just what they sound like. They’re small tweaks we make to existing creative to see if we can get it to perform better. Testing Variations is much “safer,” in that Variations don’t tend to tank as hard as Concepts do, thus they don’t risk wasting as much ad spend. Testing Variations also lets us find out which elements of an ad are driving its performance. This is precious information for optimizing the ad and for refreshing it later on. Being able to refresh creative lets us extend its life and thus radically improves the ROI of creative assets. Strategically expanding the audiences we advertise to helps a lot as well.
To do Quantitative Creative Testing for Google ad creative, 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’s a winner or a loser. If it’s a winner, it gets moved up into another ad set where it will run against other winning mobile ad creatives, 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 gets the bulk of the campaign’s spend.
Google App Campaigns are one of the best tools a user acquisition manager has for growing a user base and monetizing it. If you aren’t investing and testing your Google ad creative effectively, it’s time to up your game.