The Hard Truth About Content? You Need More Than You Think You Do

Branding Creative

Once upon a time, advertising was a one-size-fits-all game of creative ideation. Oftentimes it was about distilling that idea into a single image. Obsessively-crafted in Madison Avenue boardrooms, this image made its way into magazines, onto billboards and into the consumers’ subconscious. 

Not anymore. 

Today, marketers have to flood a variety of platforms with branded assets to address content needs ranging from Instagram-ready video to site-ready content to liven up product pages. To make it even more challenging, the content must be relevant, engaging, and personalized for each consumer segment. 

Specifically pertaining to Facebook ad testing, here’s the hard truth: The sheer volume of ad content that brands should be testing these days is enormous. Facebook recently announced that of their top-performing advertisers, the key commonality among them was they created and tested 11X more content than less successful accounts. 

At Cohley, we believe in helping brands cut their content generation spend, helping them fill ever-growing content libraries with more diverse assets than they’ve ever had before and empowering them to grow their businesses as a result. Across the board, Cohley assets cost 81% less to generate than similar assets produced with traditional means (primarily curated photoshoots). 

In 2019 alone, Cohley helped T3 Micro save over $1M on their content creation costs. 

An always-on, firehose of content: That’s what it now takes to break through and create separation from competitors in digital. This clip from Gary Vaynerchuck does a great job of explaining this evolution: As Facebook and Instagram CPMs have increased, so has the importance of content testing and rapid feedback loops to optimize performance. 

Our current reality with COVID-19 has also complicated the content creation process in a number of ways. Brands have been forced to pivot their messaging to strike an empathetic tone, and they’ve simultaneously had to cancel their primary photo shoots. While some brands have been forced to scramble for assets that match the current environment, Cohley’s clients have been able to quickly generate the actionable, human assets they need to match today’s environment. 

This more “human” content generated from third party creators not only costs less and enables brands to be nimble with their content testing and messaging, it also leads to better results.

“There’s a perception that all content should look professional, polished, and pretty,” said Heather Harrington, Brand Manager for Alpyn Beauty. “In reality, that’s just not what really works.” There are countless examples of this, but Cohley client Tenikle recently shifted their content strategy from standalone product images to images featuring creative use cases for putting the product to use. They’ve increased their FB ROAS by 3.3X over a six week timeframe. 

Always be testing, even when you think you don’t need to. The brands that will ultimately win their respective spaces will be the ones that have more branded content to work with and allow data to compass their content strategies. If you see an opportunity to revisit the way you think about content, we’d love to chat.