Why the future of optimisation for digital agencies will be creative

Chris Fraser
By Chris Fraser | 5 June 2023
Chris Fraser

As the digital advertising industry continues to evolve, agencies are discovering that creative optimisation is the key to unlocking long-term growth and profitability for their clients. In the past, most agencies focused on data analysis and technical optimisation to improve ad performance. However, as the market becomes more competitive, and customers become more discerning, creative optimisation is taking on a more significant role.

Creative optimisation involves creating tailored and engaging ad content for each digital platform and audience. The now unforgivable sin of simply dumping your TV commercial into digital channels has evolved with most brands providing, at the very least, a square and  portrait ratio along with the traditional landscape.

But more is needed, especially for paid social channels, with a key focus on delivering ‘the hook’ inside the first three seconds of the ad along with the brand, increasing the brightness and exposure, tighter framing and text overlays are critical for success. 

It also requires an understanding of the audience's needs and preferences, as well as the specific requirements of each digital ad platform. By focusing on creative optimisation, agencies can ensure that their clients' ads stand out from the competition, drive engagement, and ultimately generate more revenue. 

The shift towards creative optimisation has been driven by the growing importance of brand building in the digital age. Today, customers expect more than just functional products or services. They want to connect with brands that share their values and beliefs. This has resulted in a new approach to digital advertising, one that focuses on storytelling, emotional engagement, and brand building.

One of the biggest trends brands can embrace today is sharing behind the scenes (BTS) content - this can be the perfect complement for the larger TV campaign. Recording your packaging, manufacturing, shooting at your TVC etc.

LeRose Stories has done a great job of this - on its Tik Tok, the brand utilised B-Roll from a shoot to help promote an existing range. 

Initially digital advertising existed purely as a conversion channel. It was most common for brands to slice 10% of their budget and usually end up with some banner ads or Google Search (SEM). 

As more brands entered the market, especially those direct-to-consumer brands that could not afford traditional media, there was an explosion in the  maturity of digital advertising through paid social channels, namely Facebook and Instagram.

What started here as either static product ads or taking a brand’s TV ad and reposting for digital, developed into a performance variation when a brand’s static ads focussed on benefits, and video ads included the brand and/or punchline inside the first 3-5 seconds, versus the traditional media approach where the brand isn’t revealed to the last 3-5 seconds. 

That initial 10% of budget for conversions, grew into 50%+ of media spend being on digital channels and for some direct-to-consumer brands even 100%. At this scale, brands now require ads running at all tiers of the funnel, and that means a greater emphasis on messaging and creative than just running an SEM campaign. 

This is where creative optimisation comes into its own. We have recognised the importance of creative optimisation and introduced a new creative service offering for clients.  

The future of digital advertising will become even more focused on creative optimisation, as agencies strive to help their clients build stronger, more meaningful connections with their customers. The key to success will be understanding the audience's needs and preferences, as well as the specific requirements of each digital ad platform. Agencies that can master creative optimisation will be well positioned to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital advertising landscape.

By Chris Fraser, CEO of Intentional 

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