The Top New Year’s Resolutions for Performance Advertising
The New Year is a time for reflection and an invigorated sense of activity — even for advertisers and businesses. Here are several important resolutions for performance advertisers to make in the new year.
Let’s jump right in!
Perform More Creative Testing
Creative testing is an area where constantly striving for improvement is justified. Most teams already have well-established processes for creative testing. But now is the time to revisit old processes and tune them up for better future performance.
Now is the time to set more ambitious goals and implement the processes necessary to reach them. That means:
- More split testing
- More multivariate testing
- Launching more creatives into the mix
- Drafting new creative concepts
- Implementing a new creative strategy
Can add a bot more about creative testing for performance:
It’s a systematic approach to improving the effectiveness of advertising materials (such as ad creatives) by comparing different versions to determine which one performs best in achieving your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Here’s a breakdown of the process:
- Creation of Variations: You start by creating different versions of your ad creatives. These variations can include different images, copy (messaging), design layouts, colors, fonts, or any other element that can impact the ad’s performance.
- Testing Together: Instead of just launching one creative at a time, you test multiple variations simultaneously. This allows you to compare their performance under the same conditions, giving you more accurate insights.
- Measurement of Performance: You then run these creative variations in real advertising campaigns. During this phase, you carefully monitor and measure the performance of each variation based on your KPIs. KPIs could include metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, engagement, or any other goals you’ve set for your campaign.
- Analysis: After collecting enough data, you analyze the results to identify which creative variations are performing better and which are not meeting your KPIs. This analysis helps you understand what elements of the creatives are resonating with your target audience.
- Iterative Process: The key to creative testing is iteration. Based on the insights from your initial testing, you can refine and optimize the winning creatives. This might involve tweaking messaging, design elements, or other aspects to further improve their performance.
- Continuous Improvement: Creative testing is an ongoing process. As you refine your creatives and find “winners,” you continue to test new variations. This iterative approach helps you consistently improve your advertising materials and adapt to changing market conditions.
The ultimate goal of creative testing is to find the most effective ad creatives that drive the desired outcomes, whether it’s increasing website traffic, boosting sales, or achieving any other marketing objective. By systematically testing and refining your creative materials, you can optimize your advertising campaigns and maximize their impact on your KPIs.
Feature Real People Instead of Animations
The human face triggers positive emotions in people. This isn’t a new idea in advertising, but one that people sometimes forget.
Using real people serves to make your ads more relatable since it builds a deeper connection with audiences. People’s attention is naturally driven towards the likeness of a real human face. Take a look at this Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers ad:
The only catch to using real faces is that you have to use the right depiction of people in the ad or it can backfire. Also, showing people in ads can distract from the headings, so use the footage wisely. Plus there are two things that constantly seem to boost performance: smiling people and babies faces.
Using reliable concepts based on research and previously compiled data will help make this resolution come true.
Use TikTok Trends Outside of Tiktok
Keeping up with the trends is every advertiser’s job. Right now, TikTok is the place to keep up with trends since they’re easy to spot and circulate the fastest to a large audience.
The average TikTok feed provides a treasure trove of information on which kinds of posts people engage with the most.
Smart advertisers can take advantage of these trends and use them across different platforms.
Incorporate social trends from TikTok into your ad creatives. That doesn’t mean neglecting the trends on other platforms where you’ve been successful, but it does mean shifting more attention to where your customers’ attention is already going.
This ad for HUD, for example, took advantage of a popular TikTok trend called GRWM (get ready with me) where people film themselves getting ready:
Use Text Creatively
Animated text in ads has risen in popularity in recent years and provides tons of room for creativity and personalization. You can see it in most forms of digital marketing these days.
You will also see it in organic posts on platforms like YouTube and Facebook. But what is the reason for this? Simply put, creative motion graphic text in ad creatives (and even other posts) draws attention. There is just one caveat: the text should be unique and creative.
In this new year, try to find unique ways to make text pop, whether that’s through creative animation, different fonts, or even savvy use of timing.
What to Do
Use creative text that complements your heading. Headings still have primacy, but people’s attention will quickly shift to your ad creative. The text they see there should follow up on the promise of the heading and complete the process of compelling them to click.
In terms of word choice, using short, simple, emotionally compelling language will attract more attention to your ad. In general, it’s still necessary to keep the text to five words or less to remain effective.
In terms of presentation, clean, sans serif fonts should be used. Fonts with large letters will be easier to read quickly. You can also change the color of the most powerful word in the text, though make sure to maintain a strong contrast with the background image.
Sienna Sleep used motion graphic text really well here:
What Not to Do
Getting creative is all and well, but not when you reach the point where your message is lost. Overly sensational text that is irrelevant to the main content of your ad will confuse would-be customers.
Similarly, keeping your ad creative’s text clear and understandable is key. Using difficult language, complicated words, or fonts that are difficult to read quickly will hurt your results. Instead, keep the text short, engaging, clear, and concise.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
The pandemic has had significant effects on how people interact with media. The quick rise of TikTok’s popularity is one of the more noticeable examples. Of all the platforms, it’s currently the one where people express the most positive sentiment. But people have negative feelings about social media overall.
Despite increasingly negative sentiments, people are using it more than ever.
All of this points to one uncomfortable fact in advertising: the pandemic has spurred fast, dramatic changes in social media and its advertising opportunities.
These changes, while happening fast, are not alien. Trends change year by year. But due to the faster pace of change in these last few years, it’s more important than ever to leave your advertising comfort zone and explore the new landscape before they change again.
Stay Up to Date
New platforms mean new algorithms, marketing tools, and digital trends. As you explore new opportunities, it’s important to remember that the pace of change will not slow down. The best way to keep up is to make a New Year’s resolution to dedicate a certain amount of time to industry research.
This can mean a mix of many activities for your teams:
- Reading industry newsletters
- Informative podcasts
- Keeping up with blogs
- Keeping up with tech news relevant to advertising
- Studying research released by trusted sources (or the biggest players in digital advertising)
- Observing what’s popular on each platform.
Get More Involved With Your Social Media Community
Engagement is important, and viral marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out (when done well). Almost 58% of the world’s population now uses social media. Innovations pop up all the time, but engaging with existing followers across platforms has become no less important.
If you don’t have a process in your business for connecting with your social media followers, the new year is the right time for this resolution.
Most brands with some activity on social media will get comments and messages. New viewers are likely to ask questions or present concerns. It’s always helpful to be able to respond in a reasonable timeframe before they go to some other business to solve their problem.
Social media management makes your brand less alien and more personable. Having someone (or a team) respond to feedback on social media ensures your business will be there for potential customers when they need it.
What are the best things to advertise in January?
Anything that fits with your customers’ potential New Year’s resolutions will be especially relevant. It’s a good time to play on the theme of resolutions.
If you go to the gym regularly, you’ll likely notice that January is a busier month than usual. But once February comes around, things tend to go back to normal. This same dynamic plays out across many industries, especially those based on self-help. This trend has only become more established year-over-year.
Early January is one of the best times to plug a book. Books that guide your readers to improvements relevant to your industry can be advertised during January. Offering a New Year sale and other promotions is also recommended.
January doesn’t present equal opportunities for all businesses. However, the businesses offering the following should take advantage of advertising in the first month of the year:
- Anything involving weight loss
- Products and services helping people quit vices (drinking, smoking, etc.)
- General health products
- Cookbooks for health foods
- Outdoor products (Ex. Hiking apparel and equipment)
- Home cooking products
- Home exercise equipment
- Self-help books and courses
- Sleep products
Where possible, offer promotions and discounts on subscription models. Back to the gym example, the gyms may be more empty, but it’s still making money from absentee subscribers.
What should brands post for New Year’s?
In general, advertisers have a few options and should take advantage of at least one:
- Throwbacks relevant to the last year in your industry
- Tips for the new year
- Resolutions for your customers (good for hobby or profession-based businesses)
- A live countdown
- A video with good production value
How will performance advertising change in 2024?
The switch from 2023 to 2024 won’t bring about immediate changes to your performance advertising, but since the landscape and user preferences are constantly evolving, there are bound to be some changes along the way. Going into 2024, take what’s already been working while trying out some of the advice suggested above.