In recent years, one of the most consistent concerns of both existing and prospective clients has been, “how can we generate more high-quality creative quickly and affordably?”
With Facebook favoring video in the newsfeed and Instagram’s rollout of Stories, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and assume regularly producing high-quality creative requires a dedicated design and videography team.
That’s simply not true. From my experience working with many emerging e-commerce leaders, you can achieve your goals — whether they’re increasing engagement, greater click-through rates, or lower cost per acquisition– by following the five strategies below. I’ve seen these strategies used over and over to achieve great results without breaking the bank.
1. Create High-Quality (Not Overproduced) Content
One of the biggest misconceptions of Facebook advertising is that every piece of creative needs to look like it was made by a professional photographer or Hollywood filmmaker. More often than not, creative that looks user-generated will outperform its more polished counterparts. When an ad is overproduced, it can create “banner blindness.” Fast-scrolling thumbs won’t slow down to look at something if it looks too much like an ad. On Facebook and Instagram, ads that look like a photo or video from a friend are more likely to catch a prospect’s attention.
2. Use The Boomerang App
Boomerang from Instagram allows you to create captivating mini videos that play forward-then-backward, creating a neat, GIF-like video loop. These videos are fun, eye-catching and, most importantly, only take a second to produce. Boomerang videos do not include audio, which makes them great for mobile.
One of our clients, Brooklinen, has done a great job using Boomerang in its Facebook Ads. The bedding company created boomerangs of people jumping into bed, putting on a luxe duvet cover, etc. These eye-catching ads increased click-through rates, which in turn created lower cost-per-click and overall lower cost-per-acquisition of new customers. Customers have also responded positively, leaving comments on the ads describing the fun and quirky format.
3. Repurpose Online Reviews
Many online retailers would be surprised to see how many customers have created “unboxing” videos and uploaded them to YouTube. Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially consumer products, where the process is captured on video and uploaded to the internet. According to Think With Google, “unboxing fuels anticipation and provides useful product information.”
Many people think that unboxing videos are just for tech gadgets – not true. This same Google publication reports that “Food and drink, fashion and style and mobile phone unboxing videos have seen 42%, 90%, and 200% growth in popularity, respectively.”
Combining user-generated content with useful, relevant product information is a proven winner. Be sure to always reach out to the creator first for permission to use their content.
4. Crowdsource Creative
User-generated content, or user-created content, is any form of content created by customers or end users. UGC most often appears as supplementary to online platforms such as social media websites and may include such content types as blog posts, photos, videos or reviews. Many emerging brands are using UGC in their advertising campaigns as it speaks in the voice of the customer and is highly relatable.
According to the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Internet Trends 2017 Report, “Effective UGC can create 6.9x higher engagement than brand generated content on Facebook.”
Many successful brands have leveraged contests to generate more UGC, including one of our clients, MVMT Watches. The MVMT team holds a monthly contest where customers upload photos of their purchase to Instagram using a specific hashtag that enters them into the contest. This contest has generated thousands of pieces of high-quality content that are used in future advertising campaigns. It works because MVMT customers are highly engaged with the visual brand and want to help build the brand, thus creating more customer loyalty and further building brand identity.
Just remember to have clear rules and rights to ownership of content produced.
5. Use Snapchat Lenses
If your goal is to reach millennials, pay extra attention to this. According to a TechRadar writer, “Snapchat lenses are augmented reality filters – you’ll typically find these on the selfie camera, but some are available on the rear-facing camera – within the SnapChat app … use these to make your face look like a dog or give yourself a strange hairstyle.” These are fun, social and highly recognizable, which gives your brand familiarity.
These short videos can easily be repurposed and used for Facebook advertising. Another plus: They’re vertical (mobile-first format), which generates a full-screen experience on mobile.
These five tips alone will not create winning advertising campaigns, but they certainly can help take the headache out of creating content. With strong technical knowledge of Facebook advertising and consistent testing, you should be able to easily identify and source the creative that works best for your online brand.