Introduction

Marketing budgets have skyrocketed in recent times and launching a new marketing campaign is more expensive and competitive than it has ever been. This implies that before embarking on any marketing activity, stakeholders and management need to be sure that the goals of the marketing activity would be achieved.

This is where a creative testing process comes to play. In this post, we will discuss the following; What is creative testing, the importance and ways to carry out a creative testing process, and we will show you how Formplus can help creative testers.

What is Creative Testing?

Creative testing refers to the process of sharing creative concepts/ideas with your potential customers to see which one they would like enough to make them buy your product. It is finding the best creative idea, before designing or agreeing on your final marketing materials.

The goal is to find out which one a target audience prefers the most, which will help hone marketing and messaging campaigns to ensure that they hit their mark. It is somewhat similar to A& B testing.

In its case, it is used to determine which images and copywriting combo would be best suited to helping you meet your marketing objectives. The essence is to outline which concept your target audience would resonate with and ultimately convert them to buying customers.

A creative testing process usually precedes a campaign launch and it involves careful selection of your creative aspects like images and articles that talk about your product before putting it out in front of your target audience.

The results of creative testing are usually backed by tangible data, showing you what worked and why, what didn’t work, and the reason as well. This data helps marketers take logical decisions based on result-oriented insights.

This in turn validates or invalidates any marketing activity or campaign before its implementation.

Importance of Creative Testing

Creative Testing is essential for the success of any marketing activity, as it helps in identifying the most effective way or ways of meeting your campaign objectives. Gaining insight into what works and what doesn’t helps organizations to save time money and human resources usually expended during a campaign. It eliminates wasted efforts by ensuring that communication materials are designed and crafted to align with the intended customers. It separates big ideas from effective ideas.

In summary, creative testing is important because it helps users to:

  • Identify ambiguous words, phrases, or ideas
  • The preferred language of the target market
  • The preferred visual concept
  • Eliminate weak concepts not strong enough to sway your potential customers
  • The best idea for the product.

How To Conduct a Creative Testing Process

Here are the steps to conducting a viable creative testing process:

Be Organized

Put together all the necessary materials that might be needed and tag them accordingly then save them securely in Google docs or any other software that gives you real-time access. For example, you should create separate folders for your brand images, logos, videos, and any other creative material required.

This should be followed by a creative outline that has each person’s area of responsibility, then your deliverables, clear timelines, goals, and metrics to track your progress alongside. This would give your project a clear road map to success.

Evaluate Your Competition.

This is one step you do not want to miss. You can begin this step by reviewing the success stories of your competition to see what tact worked for them. There are also a lot of tools available to aid you in tracking and observing the activities of your competition.

A good example is the Facebook Ad library which shows you examples of ads that performed well. You can also check the ads and landing pages of Google Ad campaigns conducted by your competition.

Doing this would give you valuable insights and inspire you with new/better ideas to help your brand.

Analyze your Creative Ideas

You can create a mind map for your creative test ideas to figure out which would work best. You might not be able to test every idea that comes to your mind, so brainstorm your creative ideas. Using your business problems, organization goals and expectations will help make this process easier.

Document your Achievements

Record your achievements, by identifying what ideas and methods yield the best results. Use these results to determine which of your Ad campaigns perform best.

Knowing what creative mix work for you is vital, this way you can duplicate the process 

Study and Explain The Results

Understanding your results is vital as it helps you to keep track of any actions that aid or deter your success. The outcome of various creative ideas differ and in instances like this, it is best to identify what your best-performing ads have in common and carry out more tests to confirm that the process identified works.

Best Practices for Creative Testers

The best practice here refers to the methods or process that have been proven to be more effective than other alternatives because of the superior results that it has achieved consistently over time.

We have put together a list of 7 best practices for creative testers:

1. Set Smart Business Goals

This should be foremost when preparing for your creative testing. The goals you set would determine how your Ads would be displayed and their alignment with your key performance indicators. Here are two goals you can adapt when planning your creative testing.

Awareness: Is the goal to make more people aware of your brand? If the answer is yes then that would be the focus of your creatives and the metrics you would be concerned about would be the cost per mile (CPM) which is how much you spend on impressions.

Purchase: Do you want the Ad to influence more purchase from your target audience and ultimately increase the average basket size, which is the total amount each customer spend when they interact with your brand?

 

2. Aesthetics is Vital

People respond quickly to what they see, therefore your images have to be pleasing to view, with all the right resolutions and color tones. 

3. Create Different Versions of your Ad Samples

Boredom would set in if your audience constantly sees the same versions of your creatives repeatedly. Create and test different ideas that can be shown to your target audience.

4. Monitor One Thing At a Time

You would be sure to get great results if you try not to do too much all at once. Hence you need to test each aspect of your materials individually to understand its effectiveness and how it impacts the whole process.

5. Test Your Brand Hypotheses

Design hypotheses that portray your brand message and align your campaigns to test the response of your target audience to the creative elements of your Ad. This way you can objectively track the impact of each creative element.

6. Target The Right Audience 

It is important to ensure that your ad is targeting the right people. If you fail to get your audience targeting right, you would not get the appropriate results because your effort would seem like putting round pegs in square holes.

7. Let Testing Be a Constant in Your Process

Continuous testing might seem difficult when everything is working as it should. However, even when your conversion ratio is high and your ad seems to be doing well, it is vital to keep testing because of creative fatigue.

You can never predict when it would set and begin to make your ad ineffective. Constant testing would quickly give you actionable insights and ensure your timely intervention.

How Formplus Can Help Creative Testers

Formplus is an online and offline data collection tool that can help streamline your creative testing process. With Formplus, you can create and carry out surveys seamlessly. Its wide assortment of ready-to-use templates can make the process of creative testing straightforward and you also have the option of customizing the template to suit your preference if you will rather create yours, you can use the code-free kanban style drag-and-drop form builder.

Here is a list of some of the free creative templates available with Formplus:

Logo Testing survey templates

With this template, you can gain insight into the perceptions people have about your brand logo, identify areas of improvement and you can find out if your potential customer finds your logo visually appealing. 

Ad Distribution Price Calculator Template

This template helps you calculate the cost of your proposed Ads as well as the budget for your Ad. This template can be tweaked to suit your requirements.

Estimate Advertising Budget Form Template

The Estimated advertising budget form aids users in gathering information on a fresh advertising project. The preferred type of advertising, description, budget, and more can be filled into this form. 

The feedback gathered can now be used by the marketing team to design effective Ads and campaigns within the company’s budget.

Ad Spot Booking Form Template

Formplus Ad spot booking from template helps clients to book slots for Ads. All the information required can be filled in the form, such as preferred Ad duration, creative artwork(images, videos, audio files ), and any other information. This booking form makes the booking process seamless and hitch-free.

Conclusion

With creative pieces, the only way to tell if they would perform well or not is to test them, as there is a proven methodology perfected to produce great results when it comes to Ads. Creative testing is a continuous process that involves a lot of information.

However, after the organization stage, it gets easier. Once you have perfected this stage, everything else falls into place and you can begin testing. Employing best practices when carrying out your creative testing would make the process error-free and you discover better methods of making the whole process faster.

 


  • Angela Kayode-Sanni
  • on 8 min read

Formplus

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