How to optimize PPC reporting for ad creatives

Automation has stepped in to take over many of the levers we’ve had in digital advertising. Consequently, we must focus our attention on optimizing the things we can still control.

Right now, one of the essential tools in our kit is the ability to create and adjust our ad creatives.

Having the right creative in the right places helps brands break through the clutter. It also allows us to qualify audiences by evaluating the right messaging and creative element combinations to effectively target audiences and drive results.

However, simply designing and testing creative pieces is not enough. To squeeze the most value from each piece, you must:

  • Effectively report on the performance of more granular creative elements.
  • Analyze what is working to communicate results.
  • Continuously optimize ads for maximum efficiency.

Here’s how to develop a PPC creative briefing strategy to wow your clients and enable your creative team to do their best work.

1. Identify key creative elements to compare results

In addition to discovering the effectiveness of a single creative piece, stakeholders want to know why something works or doesn’t work.

Finding these answers requires breaking down different elements of the creative piece and measuring the effectiveness of each component.

Some examples of creative elements you might consider measuring include:

  • Ad type: How are your static ads performing compared to video, HTML, or other ad formats?
  • Primary colour: Is your audience more sensitive to a specific background?
  • Messenger service: Does the overall message of the ad resonate with your audience?
  • Product: Are you offering a variety of products in your creative pieces?
  • Placement: Where does your creativity show?

In general, being able to identify and analyze five to six items is the sweet spot. Anything more than that can risk analysis paralysis and data overload. But, less than that won’t tell you much of a story or give you actionable perspective.

These elements are not necessarily static or required. For example, if you find that analyzing color doesn’t make much of a difference to overall performance, consider removing it from your analysis and looking for something else.

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2. Analyze performance across all elements

To take ad creatives to the next level, brands and marketers need to prioritize cross-analyzing creatives with each other.

For example, you may find that one of your product offerings is underperforming the others overall. However, it can perform superiorly when combined with a specific product or color scheme.

Digging into this data and gaining this insight is extremely valuable to marketers. It will allow you to communicate what is working and allow the creative team to focus on providing new content that better aligns with what drives results.

Before launching your creative initiatives, make sure you have clearly defined your measurement and performance goals beforehand. This will vary depending on your campaign strategy and platform.

For example, top-of-funnel tactics can measure success by impressions and eyeballs. But the magic happens when you get performance data from your client that shows which ads, and ultimately which creatives, best drive the performance of your lower funnel metric.

3. Develop a clear feedback process for the creative team

With any report, the goal of creating creative reports is to be meaningful and actionable.

Whether the creative team is internal to your client or you’re working with an outside agency, it’s critical to relay your analysis to that team so they can focus on providing new content that better aligns with driving results.

A feedback loop might look like this:

  • Establish a bi-weekly cadence to review performance.
  • Give the creative team direct access to their reports.
  • Teach them how to derive the information they need.

The key to optimizing ad creative reporting is conveying your intent to your client and creative partners. It must show the value of having buy-in for a properly defined feedback and communication process. When a creative briefing strategy is fine-tuned, the results will always speak for themselves.

4. Consider creative fatigue as a factor

A crucial aspect to consider when analyzing and communicating creative results is the ability to identify when creative fatigue sets in.

What this looks like is up to marketers to quantify. But in general, if something that was working starts to noticeably decline, this may indicate that it’s time to change things up and provide new messages.

By regularly monitoring the performance of your creative, you can quickly notice an unexplained drop in performance week after week and ensure you don’t continue to spend valuable budget on outdated creative.

Food to go

With the ever-changing landscape of the digital advertising world, we continually need to find new ways to redefine our roles and demonstrate our usefulness as marketers.

The ability to dive into the numbers, analyze creative performance, and deliver robust, concise reporting will ensure you continue to deliver tangible value to clients and stay ahead of the competition.

The views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About the Author

Caille O’Leary is Business Intelligence Manager at Closed Loop, where she oversees customer data collection and reporting across multiple verticals. She is also responsible for software development and business intelligence innovation. O’Leary enjoys calculating risks and translating big ideas into reasonable, actionable plans based on data. Combining her technical skills, management experience and data-driven nature, her goal is to achieve analytical success for our clients. Callie also has a Master’s degree in Business Analytics from Arizona State University and a Tableau Professional certification. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found exploring Roseville’s food scene, attending a Sacramento Kings game, running a marathon, or embarking on her next travel destination.

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