July 15, 2021
It’s clear that responsive ads are here to stay and optimizing their performance is an ongoing process of planning, testing, and iterating.
Below are best practices to help you achieve sustainable ROI during that process.
Responsive ads are the largest and most flexible search ad format. Unlike traditional search ads, where you write your headlines and descriptions together to create one static ad text, a responsive search ad allows you to quickly create multiple headlines and descriptions. Arranging these headlines and descriptions in different combinations can produce nearly endless ad testing possibilities. But, responsive ads do have their problems…
Search engines are striving for full automation with responsive ads that automatically mix headlines and descriptions to determine optimal combinations. A drawback to this is that the results of the automation lack insight. A search engine will continue to serve the ads that perform best according to their algorithms, which means you have to give up control of your testing.
Solution: target through your creative! Integrate actual creative strategy where your inputs – from user segments to proposition – are tagged in the assets themselves. This allows you to maximize insights while still working within a machine learning powered account setup.
Responsive ads will eventually be the only type of search engine format. This is good news if you are investing today in your marketing operations, which must include not just creative from an execution standpoint…but actual creative strategy. By using an automatic budget allocation, you don’t have to manually adjust, pause, or turn off underperforming ad sets. It’s all done for you without you lifting a finger. This is an awesome efficiency gain to help you focus more of your resources on other areas.
On YouTube, you can create lots of ad groups/campaigns with totally different targeting. An ad group is a way of organizing your ads around keywords, interests, topics, placement, custom affinity, or first-party data. You do this by first determining your ad groups.
To effectively create structured ad groups, you should base each one on a specific product type with descriptive, related keywords. As for successfully setting up your YouTube ad campaign, map out all the possible ad groups and keyword combinations. Continually hone this skill to improve your video ad campaigns. The only variable in the success or failure of your ad group’s campaign is effectively targeting and matching the message and creative to your audience.
When you’re creating ads, always try to add assets with at least ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ ad strength. Ad strength provides you with feedback to help you focus on providing the right messages to your customers. You can improve it by:
When your audience becomes overly familiar with your ads, they will get bored and stop paying attention. This will cause your ad campaigns to become less effective over time. How do you avoid this? Here are three ways that can help:
Efficient, accurate, scalable creative testing is the single best competitive advantage any advertiser has. You can lose a big chunk of your budget simply by testing ads that do not perform as well as your control. This is where a data-driven creative strategy comes in. One valuable tool is Ladder’s interactive marketing calculator. This tool will help you know just how many ads you need to test to hit your growth goals.
When it comes to testing, your opinion doesn’t matter. Ads that don’t resonate at all with you might turn out to be very successful. You’ll never know until you try them. So, always assume nothing and test everything.
The Pareto principle states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes. This means about 80% of the revenue on your account comes from roughly 20% of the ads. In order to hit an ad that turns out to be a gold mine, you will have to keep testing.
In the next blog posts, we’ll focus on the two most popular search engines: Google and Bing, and we’ll take a look at how to structure your account on those platforms for creative testing.
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