As we move closer to a device ID-less world, marketers need to get more creative on developing a creative ads strategy to attract high-quality users without user level data targeting. Developing mobile ad creatives that are clear, concise and attention-grabbing is one such strategy.
Below, we cover the core elements of high-performing mobile creative ads. We also outline best practices for optimizing your creative ad strategy in a post-IDFA world.
1. Make your ads mobile-first
To truly engage users on mobile, marketers must embrace the native functionality of mobile devices in their creative design. More intrusive ad formats like pop-ups and interstitials can be seen as examples of creatives that were designed without mobile functionality in mind. While they might grab attention because they monopolize a device screen, they don’t blend with existing content a user was interacting with. Furthermore, their intrusive nature can have a negative impact on a user’s experience.
On the other hand, native mobile ads that blend seamlessly with surrounding content can get users’ attention while also giving them more control. What are mobile-first native ads? Ads designed to fit user-controlled formats, such as scroll-reactive creatives (ads that change based on scroll velocity) and ads that rely on the user to play audio or a video. These types of mobile-first creatives can achieve up to 53% more engagement than traditional banner and display ads.
2. Keep content short and concise with a clear CTA
To catch your users’ eye, remember: less is more. A cluttered creative with tons of text can lead to ad burnout; especially in a world where users are bombarded with content constantly. It can also dilute your message. Fewer words leaves less room to obscure your message.
Create a tone of urgency in your copy that grabs the attention of your users. This can be done by using words like “offer ends soon” or “limited time” when retargeting users with seasonal promotions, deals or discounts.
Finally, thoughtfully design your CTA buttons to clearly lead a user to a next, desired action. Supplement this thoughtful design with a deep link. This will drop users exactly in the part of your funnel that you want them to take said action. If you’re adapting retargeting creatives from UA creatives, make sure to update the CTA to “Subscribe Now”, “Buy now” or “Start a free trial” rather than “Install Now” or “Download Now”. This meets users where they are in their experience as they’ve already downloaded your app and are familiar with its offerings.
3. Optimize creatives for different platforms
Whether it’s Facebook or a smaller DSP, each platform has certain image specs for the creatives they serve. Get clear on the ad formats you need — whether, static, interstitial, banner or video — for each platform you’re using. From there, you can discern the different sizes for each type of ad.
It’s also important to identify whether you can undertake small creative optimization tasks like image resizing internally; or, if you need support from an external partner like your DSP. If brand safety is a top concern — organize the internal resources you need to design and optimize your own creatives as needed. Setting up and organizing these resources beforehand can limit the risk of campaign delays due to creative changes later.
4. Set up VTA to optimize your video ads
View-Through Attribution (VTA) is a measurement model that allows marketers to credit installs to users who have been exposed to an ad and converted without actually clicking on it. Essentially, it measures how many people saw an ad (i.e. impressions) and then converted as a result. VTA or view-through attribution credits actions to users who have been exposed to an ad and converted without actually clicking on it. This is key functionality for video creatives, which are a high-performing ad format across app categories.
VTA recognizes the multitouch nature of the user journey today in which consumers interact with brands in roundabout ways via social media, mobile apps, and other on-and-offline channels. A user might see a video ad for flower deliveries on an app and then only go to make an order a day later when they’re at home, checking off their to-do list. VTA tracking would successfully be able to attribute that user's conversion to the video ad they saw for flower deliveries earlier that day. With that said, to successfully attribute the impact of video creatives and set your retargeting campaign up to perform well with video, you should enable VTA tracking.
5. Test the impact of your creatives with incrementality
Incrementality, or incremental lift, is a key metric for measuring the value of your retargeting campaigns. You can isolate and test the incremental lift of any aspect of your campaigns — including creatives. At its core, an incremental lift test is a simple A/B test designed to evaluate whether your optimizations have an incremental lift on your goals.
When doing this type of testing, make sure to isolate and test for one variable at a time. You can set up tests for each element of your ads: headline, main image, CTA button design, etc. Following the process of an incrementality test, isolate a holdout group that does not receive treatment. From there, create two treatment groups: one that receives one type of ad creative and a second group that receives a different variant of the ad creative. We recommend using the ghost bidding methodology as an efficient and effective incrementality testing approach. This method places ghost bids on both the treatment and holdout groups to control for “noisy” data.
For more information on how to set up and run an incrementality test following the ghost bidding methodology, read our blog post here.
Post- IOS 14.5, marketers have gotten more creative on developing strategies to attract high-quality users without user level data. Crafting mobile ads that are clear, concise and attention-grabbing and a creative ad strategy that is effective and efficient is key in a post-IDFA world.
- Design mobile-first ads. Craft native mobile ads that blend seamlessly with surrounding content can get users’ attention while also giving them more control. These types of creatives can achieve up to 53% more engagement than traditional banner and display ads.
- Include concise content and clear CTAs. To catch your users’ eye, less is more. Thoughtfully design your CTA buttons to clearly lead a user to a next, desired action. Use copy that creates a sense of urgency.
- Optimize creatives for different platforms. Get clear on the ad formats you need — whether, static, interstitial, banner or video — for each platform you’re using. From there, identify the different sizes for each type of ad.
- Enable VTA to optimize your video ads. To successfully attribute the impact of video creatives and to set up your retargeting campaign to perform well with video, you should enable VTA tracking.
- Test the impact of your creatives with incrementality. At its core, an incremental lift test is a simple A/B test designed to evaluate whether your optimizations have an incremental lift on your goals. Isolate and test for each element of your ads at a time: headline, main image, CTA button design, etc.
Looking for support with your creative strategy?
Whether you’d like advice on creative optimizations or a trusted design partner, the YouAppi team is here to help. Reach out to us for support with your app’s retargeting creative ads strategy.