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Greetings Readers! The topic of this week’s PPCChat session was a creative one. Host Julie F Bacchini and guest host Jess from Fire Team sought experts’ findings on the type of ad creatives they use which can give them results, how do they test creatives in their social campaigns? Any resources which can help with social ad creatives and more.

Q1: Are you currently running ads on social platforms? If so, which one(s)? And for what type of product or service are you advertising?

I currently run ads for SaaS on FB/IG and occasionally on LinkedIn. @DianaAlinaAldea

Hey gang! Yep B2C and B2B content on a range of PSOC channels! Recently tried quora for the first time the other day for a B2B so super open to a range of platforms. @PPC_Fraser

I don’t have much going on social networks at the moment. @NeptuneMoon

Social ads include #Youtube so yes <3 I do also run #Linkedin and #Facebook ads. Social isn’t so much tied to a specific industry as I’m finding myself almost exclusively doing video and visual ads. @navahf

Yes and yes! Mainly Meta, with TikTok, Pinterest, Snap, LinkedIn, and just starting on Reddit. If you count Twitch as social vs olv, a lot of Twitch too. Mainly restaurants, the public sector, and luxury travel. @JuliaVyse

Currently, Meta (FB/IG) and TikTok. Advertising everything from fashion accessories to supplements, to apps, to groceries, to medical devices. Not in the same ad tho. @HireFireTeam

Yep, we are running paid ads for home improvement services, medical, and luxury brands on FB, IG, Twitter, and Pinterest and testing on Tiktok. @ynotweb

LinkedIn as well, it tends to perform for the public sector and luxury. @JuliaVyse

Yes, Facebook/Instagram and LinkedIn. I have done them in Pinterest as well in the past. @lchasse

Forgot our B2Bs on LI! @ynotweb

Mostly ecom & DTC with a little bit of SaaS across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snap. People ask us to do Pinterest,… and usually, just Pinterest and I just can not. I like my mental health. @duanebrown

Currently running social ads on FB & IG. Mainly Ecomm accounts – swimwear, sneakers & apparel, outdoor apparel, flower delivery, gym equipment, beddings & linen, sound & audio equipment etc. @dylanppc

Currently, I am not directly managing social ads but I am overlooking the campaigns for E-com and SaaS. Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tiktok Personally, I will soon experiment with Pinterest, Quora, and Twitter. Quite interested in those.@1tagupta

And Youtube as well. I am also combining Youtube organic and Youtube paid to experiment. @1tagupta

Damn, late again. But anyways yes, Facebook/Instagram (I hate the term meta), Tiktok, Pinterest, and regrettably Snap. All for branding, and FB/Pinterest for ecom.@JonKagan

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. We’ve been testing Twitter as well. We’re doing some eCommerce and some Lead-Gen. @MenachemAni

Q2: Do you find a particular type of ad creative drives the best results for the brands you work with? Does it vary by platform?

Static ads perform very well in this video-led world. @DianaAlinaAldea

Totally varies by platform and target market. @ynotweb

So yes and no. It really comes down to the vertical, and by default, the target audience. Different demographic requires a different creative. @JonKagan

I think this question is a bit of a trap. A style of ad creative works for a style of person. Some people are swayed by video, some by memes, others by copy. A healthy ad account has a diversity of creative types, and a high-spending account requires it. @HireFireTeam

Creativity absolutely varies by platform. We have to think of the audience on that specific platform when creating the ads. Unlike search we are interrupting another activity, so we have to be thoughtful in our approach. @lchasse

It varies by what the goal is and what the product actually is. But generally speaking, something fun, simple, and surprising. not an easy trifecta to produce. and I am very into influencer content. @JuliaVyse

I focus on persona-driven marketing so I tend to find that matching personas to the targeting I still can leverage works well. I actually find simple and accessibility-focused content (not needing sound & accounting for color blindness) does better than silly. @navahf

Definitely varies by platform for me. I’ve recently been trying harder to challenge general ideas around creative e.g running tests of imagery with humans in to test if people really do engage more when humans are involved. Will keep people in loop! @PPC_Fraser

In LinkedIn, I’ve had success with in-ad lead forms (vs sending traffic to the site to fill out a form to collect leads). It’s nice for clients with limited CRM capabilities. @FindingAmanda

Varies by client and their ability to create the content, unfortunately. I always suggest testing a few different ad types, so a video is usually part of that setup. @dylanppc

For YouTube vertical, short videos with influencers have super low cpcs in my experience. @FindingAmanda

Absolutely yes for both. 1. It is all about looking for patterns from your past industry experience plus the type of content working on their organic. I look for this before choosing the formats. 2. Platform-wise: Facebook, Youtube, IG & Tiktok: Reel Style. @1tagupta

Big fan of what I call the customer review 50/50 ad. Each ad account and brand is different, even two cell phone cases brands would have different creative that works. Not a one size fits all.… @duanebrown

Q3: How do you currently test ad creative in your social campaigns? Does your testing method vary by platform?

We always add at least two ad creatives in an ad set, preferably no more than six ad creatives, and let the algorithm choose the winners. @DianaAlinaAldea

Ugh– coming from paid search this is a huge pain point for us in paid social. The method to their delivery madness doesn’t feel as straightforward. And the reporting, bah. Still, we do A/B testing– sometimes within the platform, sometimes across platforms. @ynotweb

Because my social perspective is #Facebook first, I like to allocate a set amount of budget to each variable and then allow the ROAS to speak. I do make sure I factor long-term sales data into that equation. This means ease of service and retention. @navahf

Very little creative testing. Production budgets and timelines make it very challenging, so we tend to test audiences over creatives. smaller shops take note. that was a freebie. @JuliaVyse

Testing can mean a lot of things. Understanding at a product or category level what resonates w/customers is important. Certain products work better on the platforms. Then you can work on your messaging from there to fine-tune, but it is social so it will change. @lchasse

Also, could Meta BE any worse about breaking out platforms? let me see Reels adoption! let me choose it and report on it. this blending everything is ew. @JuliaVyse

Look for their current online presence. 1a: Yes – What formats get maximum engagement? 1b: No – Competitor’s data. 2. Research the IVOC (Inner Voice of the Customer) + Sparktoro – What platforms & formats do they consume upon? 3. Create some tests. @1tagupta

Very boring/basic AB testing in platform but would love to try other methods. @PPC_Fraser

The main way we do testing is by adding pieces of creative that have the same theme/message but are different ad types to the same ad set, then see the performance based on that. E.g – single image – shoe – collection ad – hero image shoe – video – shoe. @dylanppc

At least in Canada, some brands have core interest audiences that work. We can test those against new creative. If we can get new creative. Can test new audiences, even doing broad and LAL. With USA brands. Anything goes. @duanebrown

By asking my 11 year old if this creative is “Lit” @JonKagan

Q4: What is your biggest challenge or frustration when it comes to testing ad creative in your social campaigns?

Random policy restrictions, the $ and time expense of making the creative, limited results to report on. @JuliaVyse

I think the biggest challenge is receiving this volume of ad creatives to starting testing in the first place. @DianaAlinaAldea

Random disapprovals because the platform thinks I’m in an industry that I’m not. Also getting the visuals to translate across platforms. @navahf

Real answer, it is not the platforms themselves. It is getting creative from clients. Getting creative is always a pretty big hurdle, especially if it is video. Winston Churchill once said that “perfection is the enemy of progress.” @lchasse

Resetting learning when I need to make edits. Or test a new copy. Or try out a sale image for a promo. Or edit because pricing changes. Basically, anything that has to do with resetting learning bc u want to test. Feels like your penalized for wanting to improve things. @timmhalloran

Platforms picking a winner and giving it all the budget 90% of the time. @duanebrown

When the platform doesn’t serve any or few impressions, chooses a winner before it’s even able to spend much, thus skewing results right out of the gate. @AkvileDeFazio

Clients not having the capacity/ability to create enough content for testing. – misalignment between briefing the creative team and what they produce. – not always having enough budget to allocate to testing on creative for significant results. @dylanppc

Getting over the creative briefs. I collab with the creative heads & it takes a lot of time sometimes. 2. Get the desired volume to experiment with. 3. Get the desired quality to test. 4. IMP: Getting multiple hooks to test for videos. @1tagupta

It isn’t the creative, it is the platform itself. Facebook Ads Manager is almost as bad as dealing with GA4. @JonKagan

Q5: Are there any resources you’ve found that help with your social ad creative? Either inspiration and/or for testing?

I love watching ads for any vertical, on any platform they appear on. It doesn’t matter it isn’t the vertical I am in, but I think we can find inspiration everywhere. @DianaAlinaAldea

1,300+ DTC brands with links to their FB ad library, and organic IG & TikTok & Youtube accounts. Plus site URL. If we need creative ideas, first place we hit… DTC Brand Index*… *looks 100% better on desktop. Mobile airtable sucks. @duanebrown

(for reals this time): Canva is the obvious win – I also am not above using stock creative to test ideas before investing in custom creative. AI generation tools also are useful! @navahf

Actually not really. There’s a team I sometimes connect with, but not a particular resource. hoping the HireFireTeam might have something. @JuliaVyse

Doing lots of testing is the best teacher. No better tool then testing your own brands. A couple of folks I would follow would be @AkvileDeFazio and @DenneyDara who also give a lot of insights into social advertising. @lchasse

Also, recently I got to play a little with TikTok’s Creative Center, where you can find trending ads for a specific industry, or in a specific country. @DianaAlinaAldea

I find suggested pages or known competitors and make a list, then look through page transparency and screenshot, then break them down by copy/image types, bucket them based on feature, problem-solution, etc. That’s where I’ll usually start, esp in unknown industries. @timmhalloran

Checking the ad library & browsing what brands in other verticals, as well as competitors, are running. Good inspiration to try something different or borrow themes from non-competitors to see what we can apply & stay authentic to the brands we advertise for. @AkvileDeFazio

Just frantically gathering links to share with all the creative teams…@JuliaVyse

We have been testing AI for creative brainstorming. It’s usually just a way to trigger another idea from our team. Like, “oh, not that but what about THIS”. Kind of like having an intern in the design meeting. @ynotweb

Spy tools to get inspiration for the ad hooks. and Ad Platforms metrics like video views and watch time. @1tagupta

The DTC Index that @duanebrown put together helps a ton! Especially when looking at brands in similar industries. For copy specifically, I’ll use Chat GPT when I have writers block on copy. @dylanppc

Q6: Do you have any questions about ad creative for @HireFireTeam ?

@HireFireTeam how do you go about getting the first few creatives when the clients insist to do it in-house but take a lot of time. 2. How would you go about testing the fresh ads for a brand with 0 online presence? I mean where do you start with? @1tagupta

Is there anything that horrifies you when it comes to ad creatives? If yes, what that thing is? @DianaAlinaAldea

PPCChat Participants

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