As with any type of advertising such as TV or print, digital ad messaging and creative can quickly turn old and stale. Take FanDuel’s TV ads for example. If you tuned into any sports-related TV programming this past year, you probably saw one of its ads. Looking back now, the CEO of FanDuel confessed that they may have overdone it. The company recognized that the heavy advertising mixed with repetitive messaging had the unintended effect of annoying people who had no interest in playing, causing folks to have a negative perception of the company.

This begs the question – What makes an ad become stale? And how can advertisers recognize it before their ads do?

There are many different reasons an ad can become stale, some of which are very subjective, but for the majority of advertisers, repetitive messaging and ad frequency can play a big role in ads quickly becoming old and stale. Today, I’m going to share with you Kenshoo’s creative and landing page testing methodologies in greater detail and give you a few tips for keeping your ads fresh and preventing them from impacting your brand in a negative way.

Although testing methodologies can change from company to company, with particular differences between B2B and B2C companies, it is helpful to learn from other’s experiences and continually test to determine what works best for your organization. Take what we’ve done here at Kenshoo for example:

This holiday season, we promoted our 12 Tips of Christmas Infographic. This infographic was very visual, so we decided to do some creative testing to see which type of imagery drove more engagement while leaving the rest of the messaging consistent.

12 Tips 112 tips 2

Testing within the same time period and budget for each ad, we found that the ad on the left generated more clicks, a higher CTR, and more conversions than the ad on the right. By testing this, we were able to understand that the more intricate, detailed image was able to catch the attention of our audience more than the simplistic image. We were able to apply this takeaway to our program moving forward and continue to test alternate styles for optimal results.

Not only do we value our ad performance with regards to engagement metrics such as clicks and likes when assessing the success of our paid media program, but we also consider the experience our audience receives once they click on our ads and are driven to a separate landing page. Testing different landing pages can help to understand what is driving more conversions or may just even bring a different branding experience and exposure to your audience.

Kenshoo is a Facebook Marketing Partners, and in order to promote this status and get our audience to associate our brand with theirs, we ran a couple ads with similar messaging, but drove users to two different landing pages – one on Kenshoo’s website so that we could track website engagement and conversions, and one on Facebook’s website to highlight our partnership and create brand association with Kenshoo and Facebook.

FB Partners 2FB Partners 1

Per above, the ads look almost identical except for the URL at the bottom of the ad. Even with this slight of a tweak, we saw a considerable difference in performance between the two ads with the ad on the left driving 25% more clicks at a 3% lower CPC. Even this small, almost unidentifiable difference in the ads can shift performance and make a substantial difference in your overall efforts. Plus, it can help to tailor the overall experience, drive website engagement, and allow audiences to gain a better sense of your brand.

While the examples I shared above are very specific to Kenshoo’s program goals, here are a few things you can take away to apply to your own efforts:

  1. When testing, be sure to only have one variable. Keep the majority of the ad constant so you know that the one piece that you are testing – whether it be the image, the URL, or the messaging – is the variable that is affecting performance. This will allow you to come to definitive conclusions about your tests.
  2. Let your ads run for a consistent and sufficient amount of time before making conclusions. If one ad runs for a longer period of time than another, or the ads don’t run for a long enough time, your test may be inconclusive.
  3. Continue to test even after you draw conclusions. Ad formats, channels, and audiences are constantly changing, so ad performance will also continue to change. To account for this, adopt a continuous testing strategy to strengthen your campaigns, increase performance, and stay ahead of the curve with the latest trends.

Be sure to continue to check back at Kenshoo.com/blog for more insights about Kenshoo’s campaigns and tips and takeaways to apply to your practice!