10 November, 2018

Top 10 Learnings of Creative Performance in 2018

At the end of 2018, we took our time to analyze the creative highlights of the year.

What have we learned? What has made the biggest impact? In this post, we take a look at the top key findings from our in-house creative team that we hope will help you design strong performing ads in 2019.

1. First 3 seconds is all you’ve got!

The first seconds of a video are the most valuable seconds of an ad. After testing and comparing different editing methods, we’ve found that showing an app logo, CTA and the main message right at the beginning of an ad will perform better than alternative options.

So, make sure to include your logo, main message and CTA in the first 3-5 seconds of your video.

2. Videos – forget landscape, choose portrait or square for mobile first

As mobile advertising is scaling and becoming the main channel for many advertisers, videos which traditionally were in landscape orientation are now performing better in square or in portrait orientation, as they fit the mobile screen better.

3. Use 3D effects to stand out in feed

The secret is to always keep surprising your users in every possible way that will attract attention. Using effects with 3D elements and illusions will help your ad be more eye-catching.

Also, we expect to see the augmented reality world take a bigger part in the advertising industry in 2019.

4. User as the main actor/actress in your ad

People react better to other people. Using facial impressions, showing hands using the product, and implementing users with similar demographics to your target audience can really make a massive impact on your ad’s performance.

5. Reviews and testimonials are your app ambassadors

One of the first things we as users do before buying a new product is go over the reviews, in order to see how other people describe their experience with the product. This can be applied to your benefit in app advertising – include user testimonials, as 3rd party recommendations and/or sharing of favorite features add credibility to your app. Having these in your video ad can lift your performance.

6. Don’t “surrender” to templates

Naturally, when we have a winning creative, we will continue using it or different (but very similar) variations of the same creative as much as we can. But as we know, after a certain period of time, the performance may start to drop. And that’s normal, as users will react differently each time (and who wants to keep seeing the same ad over and over again?). So, keep brainstorming and coming up with fresh ideas to surprise them again.

7. ASO: continuous backgrounds & UI elements that pop

App Store Optimization best practices of creative design are no different – you have to surprise and impress users, again and again. One of the techniques we found effective is using a continuous background throughout all screenshots (one wide background that starts in the first image and spreads to the last). It gives a panoramic feel and creates a visual connection between the screenshots.

Another effective design technique is making important UI elements pop, emphasizing the main feature or key moments within the product. Bottom line – make them bigger and stand out!

continuous background screenshots

8. Playable ads

Playable ads are probably one of the top ways to use interaction and user involvement within the actual ad. This is especially true for the gaming industry, as a playable ad gives the user a little taste of the game before installing it. It’s a big advantage, and using this format can really make the funnel much more entertaining for the user.

Check out this example of a playable ad.

9. Invest time in your copy – it’s an important part of your visual

We can all remember some funny or otherwise memorable ads we’ve seen. That’s why it’s so important to combine a strong visual with the right copy. Sometimes we think that the visual alone will do all the work in making our ad stand out, but smart copywriting that can make users laugh, be surprised and even emotional can do magic when used right.

10. Always innovate and never stop experimenting

As creative people and marketers, we all know it’s about finding the right ideas at the right time. Sometimes success lasts longer and sometimes it’s short-lived, but we must always keep searching for the next big things.

So, for 2019 we suggest creative teams to:

  • stay up-to-date on all ad types, new features, trends
  • and be informed about campaign results and numbers

as both are crucial for successful creative performance.

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