What Creative Strategy Should You Use to Launch a Campaign?

By January 17, 2014Creative

When someone asks me, “How should I launch a digital media campaign?” I think there are a few schools of thought here. Today I’ll share my personal approach to developing a creative strategy for launch.

You have your media buy in place, but you have no learnings to go off of. You’re just now starting to advertise digitally for your business. Let’s take an example that you purchased display media at a CPM directly from a publisher. You’ll send them an ad tag, and it’s up to you as to which creative you want to run. What to do, right? Lots of pressure there…

To me, the important thing with every buy is to be creatively methodical. What I mean by that is structure your array of ads in a way where you’re guaranteed to learn something concrete with what works and doesn’t work for that audience. I believe the most impactful trigger for a click (engagement) is visual—the imagery. So, I would create a copy deck you think is your best foot forward—a copy deck with a strong headline that uses what I call a “pattern interrupt.” We all have preconceived notions about how any and all experiences in your life will go; the idea is to use a headline that disrupts that pattern and better piques the user’s interest. That means phrases that may be unusual or are used in question format. Then ensure you have backing body copy that validates your brand and your product offer, and finally insert a clear call-to-action.

In a perfect world, you launch this copy deck with three or four different visual creative concepts. So, that’s the same copy applied to various color palettes, different models and imagery, different call-to-action colors, etc. From there, launch them at an equal weight (assuming you have four concepts, you’d launch each one at 25 percent).

Once you have statistical significance from your campaign results, you can get more granular in the process. You’ve identified the visual elements that resonate with your audience, so now you can do apples-to-apples (or what others call A/B) tests. These are creative tests where you isolate a particular element and change ONLY that part. Examples would be a headline test, or a color background test, or changing the verbiage on the call-to-action. The possibilities are endless! But, just to reiterate, the point is the be methodical.

Creative can only run so long before they burn out, which is why it’s ever so important to proactively be testing new ideas in this way as you want to learn something about your business with each dollar you spend. This, my readers, is the art of campaign management and creative optimization.

Thanks for taking a minute of your day to read my post. I’ll be back for more on direct response world next week!

Cheers,
Brian Deutsch
Director of Marketing, Hawke Media 

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