A Data-Based Approach to Creative Strategy

As the number of social media channel increases across the board, a one-size-fits all approach to marketing is no longer an option.

Where brands were once able to produce a handful of standard creative variations for television, print, radio, and online displays, the disparate ways in which people currently consume media requires marketers to take a new approach to the task of retaining a viewer’s attention. With so much of advertising taking place on social media platforms, creative teams must act with a social-first mindset.

Thankfully, it’s possible to maximize the potential of your content without much increase in the way of cost. The digital nature of the current marketing arena means we can use the data we collect from consumers to craft a more scientific and deliberate strategy. Used effectively, data can help reduce the cost of content production, as well as maximizing non-working media dollars to achieve better outcomes on social media platforms.


Use Data Signals to Inform Creative Production

The analytical tools offered by platforms like Facebook and Instagram are full of data that can help marketers track toward their online goals.

Discovering which posts perform well and which perform badly allows brands to adjust their strategies quickly, a necessary move in the digital age of marketing.

To that end, brands are employing creative pre-testing, the modern equivalent of focus groups. Marketing teams can run media at low levels of spend to test creative variations against potential audiences, and use the data collected to identify the top-performing content. They can then scale their spending accordingly. For example, one could pre-test multiple images or videos, or variations on the same creative (such as logo placement or the amount of time a logo is shown). According to data from SocialCode, campaigns that pre-test content are 20-25% more efficient.

Identify Your Learning Agenda Before Beginning the Creative Development Process

When you meet with your creative team, no one should be flying blind.

Use the data you’ve already collected about your audience, what you hope to learn from them in the future, and how you plan to measure the success of your campaign. Insights from digital data can both inform and inspire your content creators in their projects. Identify a goal for your creative tests, and for your campaign at large; with goalposts in place, it’s easier to determine which ad units and placements will align best, and produce creative content tailored for that purpose. Brands who wish to showcase a new car, for example, might choose to employ augmented reality tools that let users take a virtual tour of every angle.

The fast pace of advertising cycles is helpful for marketers, who can test and learn rapidly. Using data in this way offers brands an opportunity to reverse the trend of rising creative production costs. The breadth of the data available lets creative teams focus-spend on the best-performing content, as well as personalizing advertisements and experimenting with advances in marketing technology. When we let the ample available data drive our creative production, our chances of hitting the mark with consumers rise significantly, at lower costs.

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TrendsRyan Connolly