Blue Wheel Creative Directors to be Featured in Wistia Series

blue wheel creative

Blue Wheel’s Creative Directors, Graham Burns and Jackson Cook, are featured in a new Wistia series called Show Business alongside other industry experts.

Show Business teaches you how to create video or podcast series for your business — from concept to production to promotion. Graham and Jackson consulted on pre-production and production, sharing their insight and knowledge as industry experts. They talk about everything from the importance of set design and gear to the value of planning.

The duo has extensive experience in video and photo creation, as well as producing podcasts and web series. Graham and Jackson previously owned their own creative studio, The Brothers Buoy, which was acquired by Blue Wheel in 2020. Now, the two serve as our Co-Creative Directors in our Creative Services department.

Show Business aims to teach brands how to create branded content  that is interesting and not intrusive  through the production of podcasts, web series, and the like. No matter your budget, you can create effective series that engage, educate, and entertain.

“This series encourages brands to think about their marketing differently. Instead of running an ad on a podcast, you can be the podcast,” says Graham. “This is the future of marketing. It’s not interruptive. You get to explore stories that are interesting, human, and entertaining — they just so happen to be tangentially related to your brand.”

Jackson offers a more personal note to their participation in the series: “It’s an interesting time capsule because we filmed this at least a year and a half ago years ago, and we were in such a different place. Being featured alongside these experts in the industry whom we admired was a great confidence builder.”

You can watch Show Business for free, and receive a Wistia certification in Brand Show Creation after you pass the test. Be sure to give a wave and a smile to Graham and Jackson when you see them in a few of the episodes!

Want Graham and Jackson to create high-quality photo and video content for your brand? Reach out to our Creative team today!

Skincare Marketing: Creative Strategies for Success

skincare marketing

In the world of skincare marketing, there’s a lot of best practices for your creative. There’s so much to consider when you’re creating photo and video content for your advertising and marketing efforts, and each can serve a different purpose at various points in the customer journey.

We’ve outlined a few best practices for skincare marketing creative! (PS our creative department is experts at all things skincare and content.)

Diversity

skincare marketing banila

In any industry, highlighting a diverse range of models is incredibly important. In the skincare space, it becomes even more important, as your products can perform differently on different skin tones and types. It’s also important to remember that diversity includes race, gender, age, and ability.

Sunscreen, for example, is one product that should be shown on multiple skin tones, as it can often have a white cast. Only showing this product on lighter-toned skin can be misleading if the product performs differently on darker-toned skin.

These Facebook ads from Banila show their products in a variety of settings on different models. Each setting for these ads is unique, colorful and highlights the natural beauty of each model.

Product Texture

skincare marketing erno laszlo

Showing the texture of products in your skincare marketing is absolutely a must. Not only does this showcase your high-quality product (because duh), it also gives consumers an idea of what to expect when they use the product — is it a cream or gel? Lightweight or rich? Tinted or transparent?

This is also a great opportunity to incorporate video into your advertising. Show how the product comes out of the package, and then spread it across a clean surface to show the viscosity and texture.

This Instagram ad from Erno Laszlo showcases the unique texture and color of their clay mask. You can easily tell the product is luxurious, smooth, and unique. And, of course, the GIF is fun too!

Product Reviews

skincare marketing korres

If your product is a cult fav, you need to share those rave reviews with people who aren’t customers yet. Highlighting reviews on your paid and organic social and search is a great way to convert leads into customers.

If your product has a massive amount of 5-star reviews, you can share something like “See why our eye cream has earned over 5,000 5-star reviews!” Or, if you have some particularly great reviews from customers, share those to social as a ‘real-life testimonial’.

This Facebook ad from Korres not only shows that they have 5-star reviews at Sephora, but also shows specific customer reviews that speak to the effectiveness of the product! Bonus points that they show texture here too.

UGC/Influencer Content

skincare marketing bliss

UGC, or user-generated content, is a great way to show how your products fit into your customer’s lifestyle. Shots of your product on a shelf among other skincare items, customers actually using your product, or a short video of the product in use are great examples of UGC content.

Repurposing influencer content is another great type of creative to include in your skincare marketing. If you do influencer marketing, you likely have high-quality shots from those campaigns, as well as some testimonials, that you can use. Plus, you’ll be taking advantage of the recognition that influencers have on social media — potential customers will likely recognize the influencer’s face or name!

This Instagram story from Bliss features YouTube star Emma Chamberlain, one of their influencer partners for their Clear Genius campaign. By leveraging the content she produced, they can take advantage of the recognition she has (she has 10M+ subscribers on YouTube) and the results achieved!

Product Ingredients

skincare marketing caudalie

Listing the ingredients that are in your product is a great way to showcase your product in a different way. In today’s skincare-focused world, many consumers will recognize and seek out common ingredients like salicylic acid, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E.

Highlight the ingredients, but also the benefits they have for skin, in case consumers aren’t sure what that ingredient could do for their skin.

This Facebook ad from Caudalie highlights the main ingredient of salicylic acid while also educating the consumer about what the ingredient and product can do for their skin. Showing how the product looks when applied is a great addition too!

Product Benefits

skincare marketing versed

Your skincare product probably has a ton of great benefits — so share them with the world! Highlighting the benefits of your product in your skincare marketing plan is a surefire way to educate top-of-the-funnel prospects.

Remember, Facebook does not allow before-and-after shots that are unrealistic or unlikely, so be sure your images meet those requirements. Also be careful not to make any claims that aren’t true or are over the top. Just mention the tried and true benefits customers’ skin will receive after using your product!

This Facebook ad from Versed showcases the benefits of the product in the copy and creative, while also utilizing a customer review for the product! Bonus points awarded for showing the texture of the product as well.

Don’t leave your skincare marketing to just anyone. Trust the beauty experts at Blue Wheel!

Blue Wheel Honored as Gold Stevie® Award Winner in 2021 American Business Awards®

blue wheel stevie

Blue Wheel was named the winner of two Gold and one Silver Stevie® Award in The 19th Annual American Business Awards®.

The American Business Awards are the U.S.A.’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations — public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. 

More than 3,800 nominations — a record number — from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories. Blue Wheel was nominated in the Marketing Campaign of the Year category for Beauty, as well as Marketer of the Year.

Blue Wheel and Bliss won a Gold Stevie® award for Marketing Campaign of the Year in the Beauty category for our work on Bliss’ Clear Genius campaign. One of the judges said of the award entry, “Solid results for a highly targeted campaign introducing a new line of products to a new audience not served previously.”

Blue Wheel’s own Nick Bond, our Director of Account Strategy – Owned & Operated, won a Gold Stevie® award for Marketer of the Year. The judges raved about his performance both on his professional career and his work with clients: “The results speak for themselves with Nick. The increase in managed revenue, improvement in ROAS and social campaigns highlight his ability to grow the business but also execute relevant, targeted campaigns for his customers. Great work!”

Blue Wheel and Grande Cosmetics won a Silver Stevie® award for Marketing Campaign of the Year in the Beauty category for our work on Grande’s Lash Lift campaign. One judge said, “Kudos for integrating the concept, timing, and education on a new way to get lashes ‘right’ using clever advertising.” Another judge was excited that they found the product by reading our entry! “First of all, I’m really happy I discovered… your product. It’s amazing and can’t wait to try it.”

More than 250 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.

“The American economy continues to show its resilience, and as we’re poised on the beginning of what should be a phenomenal period of growth, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of a wide range of organizations and people over the past 18 months,” said Stevie Awards president Maggie Gallagher.  “This year’s Stevie-winning nominations in The American Business Awards are testament to the ingenuity, the commitment, the passion, the adaptability, and the creativity of the American people.  We look forward to celebrating this year’s winners during our virtual ceremony on June 30.”

Details about The American Business Awards and the list of 2021 Stevie winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.

Social Commerce: 4 Tips for Brands in 2021

social commerce

Social commerce is certainly a buzzword in 2021 — brands are eager to adopt this new way to drive sales within social platforms where their loyal fans already live. This not only allows for a frictionless checkout experience, but also an opportunity for brands to gain real insight into purchases from social, a difficult channel to monetize.

We’re sharing our top 4 tips for social commerce in 2021 as your brand expands or starts experimenting with this new ecommerce strategy!

Don’t Input Your Whole Catalogue

You don’t need to input your whole product catalogue into your social commerce platform. Choosing your most popular or best selling products is a great place to start and gives you the opportunity to easily test and monitor results. Plus, it’ll save you loads of time!

Additionally, you can choose your selected products based on the demographic you’re trying to reach on social. So, if you’re trying to engage with Gen Z, select products that cater to that audience. You can also monitor how the products sell, getting an idea of how well a new product might launch.

Launch Products Exclusively on Social Commerce

And speaking of launching products… social commerce provides a great place to launch limited run products and build hype around them. You’re likely building excitement through your organic social efforts already, so launching products exclusively on your social channels can benefit your brand in a few ways.

First, it can help you determine the effectiveness of social commerce for your brand. By launching products exclusive to social commerce, you can easily see the effectiveness of a campaign since the product isn’t being sold elsewhere. Social commerce is certainly an emerging tactic that all brands should test, but it might not be right for your brand at this time.

Second, it can encourage your followers to get used to purchasing through a social commerce platform, rather than traditional methods. Social commerce allows for less friction and easier purchases, so it should be a win-win for you and your customers! And by launching products exclusively on social commerce, you’re building those habits to get customers used to purchasing within the platform.

Test with Paid and Organic Social Commerce Strategies

If you’re interested in social commerce, you likely already have robust organic and paid strategies for your social media — and social commerce can of course fit nicely into those strategies! This allows you to easily attribute the results of your social commerce sales to your paid and organic strategies.

Launching products exclusively on Instagram or Facebook gives your audience a sense of community, and advertising that as such on social would be an interesting way to build excitement around a product’s exclusivity.

Tie in with Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is certainly a huge part of many brands’ social media strategies, but it is notoriously hard to quantify. Unless you attach a discount or affiliate code to an influencer, it can be difficult to know the exact impact their promotion is having on your brand. However, integrating influencer posts with this feature would allow brands to gauge success (or failure) more easily.

Some influencers can tag products for brands they’re working with, which is a game-changer for brands who are looking to quantify their influencer marketing. Currently, most influencers usually just tag the brand in the post, but this feature would allow them to actually tag a product that could be purchased in just a few taps.

Note that this feature is still in beta, and only select influencers have access, but it’s certainly one to keep an eye on. We imagine it will only expand in the future, especially as influencer marketing continues to grow on Instagram.

All these updates have you swirling? Reach out to the team at Blue Wheel for help today!

7 Ways to Find the Best Ad Agency

best ad agency

You can’t trust your advertising and marketing to just anyone. That’s why when it comes to finding the best ad agency, you need to know what to look for.

Researching agencies and listening to endless sales pitches can be exhausting, discouraging, and overwhelming — how do you know which agency will be the best fit? What can you do to avoid listening to a sales pitch from an agency who clearly isn’t going to work out?

Here are our top 7 ways to find the best ad agency — before you ever sign a contact!

During Your Initial Research

Before you submit that form or book that call, you should do some initial vetting of the agencies you’re looking into.

Research their Reputation

This is a little hard to quantify, but researching an ad agency’s reputation is essential to finding the one that’s the best fit for your brand. Getting a word of mouth recommendation from a colleague is a good first sign!

But what if you don’t have a first-hand recommendation? You likely have colleagues in either your own industry or the advertising space. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them to inquire about your potential agency partners. Ask them what their reputation is in the industry, or if they know of any brands who have worked with them in the past.

Look into why their past clients have left — did they bring their marketing in-house because they outgrew the agency space? did the agency partner not deliver the promised results? was there a lack of communication?

Peruse Their Clients

When you’re in the sales process, take not of what brands the reps mention they’ve partnered with before. Are they in your same industry? You want to make sure this agency will understand your specific industry’s needs. (For example, Blue Wheel is a leading beauty marketing agency — we’ve worked with brands such as Caudalie, Erno Laszlo, Banila Co, and Grande Cosmetics.)

Additionally, you can browse their case studies on their website to get a sense of who they work for before you jump into the sales process. But make sure you look at more than just the brand names; also look for the results of their work with those brands.

A major red flag would be if an agency features a brand’s logo on their homepage, saying they’ve worked with them, but has no results or case studies to share about the brand. You don’t want an agency who books a big brand and then loses the contract because of poor performance!

Analyze Their Thought Leadership

One quick way to vet a potential ad agency is to look at their blog and LinkedIn page. Do they keep up to date with the latest digital marketing and advertising news? Are they regularly posting articles that show they’re experts in the field? Any ad agency worth their weight in gold will be regularly engaging in thought leadership, either on their blog, by guest posting on industry publications, or on social media.

During the Sales Process

Once you’ve booked a sales call, make sure to look into each of these areas before you jump on Zoom. And then after the call, be sure to analyze your experience. Every communication matters.

Go Over Needs/Goals

Make sure you have clearly outlined your company’s needs and goals to present to your potential ad agency.

Do you just need someone to run your digital advertising? Are you looking for someone to help you create content for your Facebook ads too? Outline exactly what you’re looking for and the goals you hope to achieve with the help of an ad agency — whether that’s grow sales, reach new customers, or scale your advertising efforts.

Outline Expectations

Be clear with what you’re looking for in an ad agency. You’re likely looking for someone who will be an extension of your team, who will understand your larger business goals and be able to manage your digital advertising efforts in light of your larger business strategy.

Don’t be afraid to lay out what you expect — whether that’s bi-weekly meetings, weekly reports, email responses within 24 hours, or a structured approval process.

Ask for Rates

Don’t be shy about asking for rates. After all, you’re the one who has to pay for their services! Be up front in asking what they’ll charge you for your needs that you’ve outlined. Don’t just go after who is the cheapest ad agency — lower prices usually mean lower quality. You get what you pay for when it comes to advertising, so don’t cheap out on investing in a quality ad agency.

Then ask the nitty gritty questions. Do they require long contracts? Can you do month-to-month contracts? Be wary of ad agencies that only offer long contracts (24 months, etc.) as you will be stuck with them for a long time, regardless of the results they provide your business.

Evaluate Sales Process

After you’ve left the Zoom meeting, write down your thoughts right away while everything is still fresh in your mind. (Hopefully you were taking notes when you asked about rates and expectations!)

Ask yourself:

  • How knowledgeable was the sales rep? Did they have an understanding of your business?
  • Did they seem to over-promise results?
  • Did the pitch seem generic and not geared towards your specific brand?
  • What was the communication like before and after the call. Were they clearly and promptly communicating throughout the process, or was it like pulling teeth to get a response? (This could be an indicator of how communication will be once you’re onboarded.)

We don’t want to brag, but we think we’re one of the best ad agencies in the game. Get in touch with us today for an experience that will knock your socks off.

How to Choose a Digital Advertising Agency

digital advertising agency

Choosing a digital advertising agency partner is a tough decision. The research process alone can be intimidating — but add on hearing numerous sales pitches that all start to sound the same, wordy contracts, and promises of results, and the whole thing becomes a little overwhelming.

Here are a few items to keep in mind when you’re researching a digital advertising agency, and some things to remember when you reach out for that first sales call to hear how they can help you grow your business.

Goal Oriented vs Service Focused

Some agencies are focused on getting you to sign up for as many of their services as possible, without regard to whether or not it serves your business goals. So you get signed up for services you don’t really need, costing you time, extra money, and not generating the return you want.

You should look for a digital advertising agency that is goal oriented, not service focused. By focusing first on what you’d like to achieve, the best agency will help you determine which services will best help you reach that goal. 

Industry Expertise

It might seem counterintuitive to hire a digital advertising agency who has worked with your competitors or other brands similar to yours, but that can actually be a huge advantage for your brand. (For example, Blue Wheel is a leading beauty marketing agency and works with lots of brands in the beauty space, so we know the industry and consumer better than most and can leverage trends in our first-party data to help scale your business.)

In addition, if you’re a big brand with a large budget, you wouldn’t want to work with a digital advertising agency who primarily works with startups — you’d want to hire someone who has the staff, knowledge, and experience to manage significant spend and handle more complex campaigns.

Ad Partners

One easy way to tell if a digital advertising agency is worth their weight in gold is to see if they’re a verified Facebook Advertising Partner and a Google Advertising Partner.

Additionally, you can inquire if they work with technology partners such as Criteo, Adroll, and Outbrain to boost your advertising efforts. These partnerships aren’t necessarily the end all be all, but they’re a good indication that the agency is reputable and knows how to harness technology to better automate certain processes, freeing up valuable time for more strategic thinking.

Reporting

When trying to choose the digital advertising agency that’s best for your needs, inquire about how they report on the advertising they do. (Hint: just using Google Analytics is not enough.) Vanity metrics, such as likes, won’t help your brand meet your larger business goals or show how well your agency partner is doing.

The types of campaigns you’re running and your business goals will determine which metrics you should be measuring and reporting on. For example, for awareness and prospecting campaigns, you might want to report on Video Completion Rate. For retargeting campaigns, you’d want to know the ROAS. Make sure your chosen digital advertising agency is reporting on metrics that actually correspond to the results you want to see from a given campaign.

Your Digital Advertising Agency partner might be closer than you think… Reach out to the team at Blue Wheel today!

Blue Wheel Fast Fives: Tayler Carpenter

At the start of our call, Tayler frustratedly fixes a few flyaway hairs on the side of her head.

“I look like a yorkie! What is going on here?” (I personally think she looked more like her dog, Sparty, who regularly makes an appearance in our company pets Slack channel dubbed #furryfriends.)

Tayler dons pink eyeshadow, winged eyeliner, and a red-ish lip — fitting for someone who runs multiple makeup and skincare Instagram accounts in her free time. “My current thing is filming Reels on IG and perfecting transitions going from no makeup to either glam or just fun makeup looks.”

What does one listen to while filming hours of makeup looks? Turns out, just about everything: “My current playlist has DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Jack Harlow, Glass Animals, Beyonce, Fall Out Boy, Talking Heads, Los Campesinos, Local Natives, Cut Copy, Lord Huron, Drake, Yeah Yeah Yeahs — I like a lot of variety!”

Unsurprisingly, this is only the first time Drake was mentioned in our conversation. While rehearsing an answer to the question “What is your biggest professional achievement to date?” Tayler’s eyes light up, and she excitedly asks, “Oh my gosh, can I quote Drake right now?!”

Tayler goes on to tell the story of how she grew the advertising team at Blue Wheel from 1 employee (her) to 12. She finishes her retelling: “I guess you could say we started from the bottom, and now we’re here.”

Tayler makes the whole process of growing a department from the ground up seem easy, but anyone who knows Tayler will tell you that not only is she super smart, she’s also super organized. Tayler fully owns this characteristic about herself: “I love organization, although my parents may have a different opinion seeing as my room was never the cleanest…”

As she grew her department, she had to maintain that level of organization while creating internal processes, developing unique advertising strategies, as well as managing clients and running campaigns. No big deal.

It’s hard to imagine Tayler doing anything but being an absolute boss running her department as the Director of Advertising. But it turns out that 21-year-old Tayler really wanted to work for Lollapalooza. (Could this be our third Drake reference of the interview?)

Like most people, Tayler’s career path didn’t go exactly the way she thought it would. She describes her journey as such: “Your career path isn’t linear. In fact, it’s anything but! There will be times when you take one step forward, 3 steps to the left, 4 steps back, sprain your ankle and stop walking all together, cha cha real smooth, then end up on a completely different path on a whole other level that you even started with.”

Her final piece of advice to her younger self? “Always wear sunscreen every day.”

I think it’s time for me to adopt the Tayler Carpenter routine: Apply SPF. Put on some mascara. Get shit done.

Watch Tayler’s Fast Fives video below!

Wanna work with and for driven people like Tayler? Join our growing team!

How to Find The Right Instagram Marketing Agency

instagram marketing agency

When you’re looking to find the right Instagram marketing agency, there’s a lot to consider. Whether you’re looking for a team to oversee your organic social, assist with influencer marketing, or manage your paid efforts, you need an agency who are experts at all things Instagram marketing.

It’s relatively easy to find someone who labels themselves as an Instagram marketing agency and who says they’ll manage your organic and paid Instagram efforts. What’s harder to find is an agency with a proven track record who can successfully manage, scale, and deliver tangible results that impact your bottom line.

Our tips on how to find the right Facebook marketing agency still apply here, but Instagram is in some ways a whole different beast, even though they’re both owned by Facebook. Being an official Facebook Marketing Partner is still beneficial as an Instagram marketing agency, as your agency will get access to new Instagram advertising features and beta programs.

Read on for four crucial questions you should ask to find the right Instagram marketing agency.

Are They Experts in Social Commerce?

“Social commerce” is certainly a buzzword phrase these days — you’ve probably heard it muttered in a few Zoom meetings as something your brand needs to explore.

At its simplest, social commerce is when transactions take place from start to finish within a social media platform. So, when you click on a product a brand has tagged on an Instagram photo, you can buy that product right there within the app, without ever being taken to the brand’s website. It certainly reduces friction to purchase, and it can be a huge revenue driver for brands who have been frustrated with social content not directly translating to sales.

Social commerce has changed the game for many brands who want to monetize their social media, and you need an agency partner that is an expert in this emerging field.

Do They Have A Creative Studio?

You’ve likely invested in product photography for your website and product pages, but have you invested in creative specifically designed for your organic and paid social media efforts? Repurposing your existing creative for Instagram marketing might be an okay band aid solution for those on a shoestring budget, but it’s not the best long-term strategy.

Ideally, you should invest in content specifically created for social media, whether organic or paid. Static images, GIFs, and video content should be developed and then tested using various ad types including Instagram photo ads, video ads, stories ads, and more, with the purpose of moving customers through the journey. 

Inquire if your potential Instagram marketing agency has an in-house creative studio for content creation. If they do, ask to see samples of their creative that was made specifically for advertising, and how that creative impacted key metrics including CTR and ROAS.

Do They Have Dedicated Organic and Paid Teams?

If you’re trying to find the right Instagram marketing agency, you first need to assess whether your potential partner has the experience to manage your organic social, paid social, or both! While you might assume Instagram can just be taken over by one team, it really is essential to understand whether an agency has the expertise in both areas due to their differing nature.

What’s Their Organic Scope?

It’s important to make sure you’re on the same page with your Instagram marketing agency, and that they have experience in each of the areas you desire. When it comes to organic on Instagram, there are a few areas to consider:

  • Community management
  • Long-term strategy
  • Social commerce
  • Influencer marketing (more on that later)

Each of these areas of organic social require unique strategies and a team of experts to manage each facet. Having a team who simply responds to comments and replies to DMs is different than having a team who also constructs a social strategy designed for growth and engagement.

What’s Their Advertising Scope?

You might think that any Instagram marketing agency will be able to handle your advertising efforts on the platform, but that’s not always the case. You need an expert paid strategist, not just someone who can run a few ads. Your Instagram advertising strategy should fit into your larger business goals, and serve to help meet those goals!

On a more detailed level, you should clarify what your agency deems “advertising” — in-feed posts? stories? boosted posts? A combination of all three will likely serve your business well, so verify with your potential Instagram marketing agency that they have experience in all of these areas.

Do They Manage Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing has grown tremendously in the last 5 years, so much so that many Instagram marketing agencies now include influencer marketing in their scope of work.

Influencer marketing requires more work than you might think. You need to create a list of potential influencers that align with your target audience at a variety of follower counts (micro and macro), reach out and negotiate compensation, provide creative and copy direction, ensure follow-through, monitor engagement, and consolidate results. Some Instagram marketing agencies rely heavily on technology to do this hard work for them, but there are drawbacks to that approach.

If you’re looking to branch into influencer marketing, working with an Instagram marketing agency partner could be the right move for your brand.

The right Instagram marketing agency is closer than you might think — reach out to the organic & paid social team at Blue Wheel today!

How Creative Impacts Your Facebook Ad Conversion Rate

facebook ad auction

Did you know the average person scrolls through 300 feet of mobile content every day? That’s equivalent to the size of the Statue of Liberty! (According to Andrew Keller, VP, Creative and Experiential at Facebook)

So how do you stop the scroll? It all comes down to the creative itself. 56% of a brand’s sales lift from digital advertising can be attributed to high-quality creative. It’s simple, better creative will get you more conversions per impression.

In this post we’re going to break down exactly how creative impacts your Facebook ad conversion rate.

Creative and the Facebook Ad Auction

The Facebook Ad Auction

Everyone wants a good ad conversion rate — whether you’re a small business running your own Facebook ads or an agency managing large-scale campaigns.

Creative impacts your ad conversion rate during the Facebook ad auction at every stage of the customer journey. The type of creative you choose — GIF, video, static, or carousel — as well as the actual substance of that creative heavily impacts your campaigns from the top of the funnel to the bottom.

Facebook’s ad auction is a combination of three criteria:

Advertiser Bid x Estimated Action Rate + User Value = Total Value

The advertiser bid is the max you are willing to pay, but not necessarily what you will actually end up paying. What you actually pay is impacted by the action rate. After the auction has run, you’ll pay the outcome of the equation.

The estimated action rate is how often we predict your desired outcome to occur. Good creative will increase this action rate and decrease costs for you, but bad creative can decrease action rates and increase costs.

The user value is any positive or negative impact that might influence the user experience. This factor is also influenced by the quality of creative as a general relevance to the user. For example, the creative might be great, but the product might not be relevant.

The Impact of Creative

The quality of your creative drives the estimated action rate, which impacts your overall ad conversion rate — good creative makes it better, poor creative makes it worse. Creative can impact your estimated action rate by up to 50% the user value by up to 10%. 

Your estimated action rate is heavily influenced by your creative. Facebook’s algorithm does what it can to optimize your ad placement for optimal conversion, but your creative does the rest of the legwork. Clear, engaging images or short, informative videos can make or break your ad conversion rate.

The user value is primarily dictated by the relevancy of your product or service, but your creative certainly still has an impact. If your creative isn’t relevant, it won’t convert the customer. For example, if you show your product being used on a woman, but the ad was being served to a man, that could negatively impact your ad conversion rate — even if the product itself is relevant.

Aligning Creative to the Customer Journey

The customer journey is absolutely critical for any marketer or advertiser. Copy, CTAs, and audience are all impacted by the funnel — so why shouldn’t your creative?

Your creative impacts your ad conversion rate at every step of the customer journey. The type of content you choose to show, as well as the quality, can and should be directly related to where your customer is at in the funnel. Let’s get into some specific creative types for each step of the customer journey.

Awareness

Awareness campaigns usually focus more on the brand itself. Many brands choose to serve video ads that give an overview of the brand ethos. Because these campaigns are designed to generate buzz and define differentiation, metrics like ROAS are not tracked. Metrics such as  video completion rate, time on site, and reach of ad are usually tracked instead.

At this stage, your creative (video) should speak to who your brand is as a whole. Think about what differentiates your brand:

  • Sustainability initiatives
  • Product ingredients
  • Diversity
  • Give-back initiatives

Consideration

In the consideration phase, consumers know who your brand is thanks to your awareness video campaign. Now, they’re ready to learn more about your product or service through how-to videos, your ingredient or technology story, or a value proposition. Clickthrough rate and web traffic are typically tracked at this stage — you want to drive people to your website.

Your creative should be designed to drive clicks to your website. Provide relevant, specific details about your products; imagery that shows texture, movement, or packaging; or the main value of your product.

Conversion

This is the culmination of your entire ad campaign — conversion! The moneymaker ad unites! Since you’re seeking to drive sales with these ads, you’ll most likely be looking at ROAS, sales, and conversions for your success metrics.

Whether you’re serving evergreen retargeting or dynamic product ads, your creative should pack a punch to move your consumer over the finish line. Reviews (5-stars, etc.), user-generated content, and promos should be utilized at this stage to drive conversions.

Learn more about common ad creative mistakes and what 10 types of content you need to be testing with our Conversion Creative Checklist. Watch below! 

Creative and Results Data

Data should drive almost every aspect of your advertising — you’ve likely tested your copy and imagery and determined what works best for which stage of the customer journey. But have you ever leveraged data to inform which type of assets work best for which campaign type?

At Blue Wheel, we use this approach to identify which specific ad creative types have the biggest impact on ad conversion rate and ROAS. Take a look at one particular client’s data:

As you can see, different types of creative perform better at different stages of the customer journey, and this often varies by client and industry. For this client, videos have the highest ROAS during the prospecting phase. But at the retargeting stage, GIFs generate the highest return on ad spend. 

By analyzing our clients’ content and determining which type of asset to use at each stage of the customer journey, we help transform their ad campaigns and can reallocate budget accordingly!

Looking for someone to help create content that actually converts? We shoot, edit, design and manage ad creative and campaigns that drive sales. Turn to the experts at Blue Wheel for your digital advertising needs!

Blue Wheel Celebrates International Women’s Day

March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day. The team at Blue Wheel couldn’t be more excited to celebrate! We’re proud our team is over 60% female, and we wouldn’t be the company we are without the smart, hardworking women on our team.

For the entire month of March, we’re celebrating the accomplishments of women all around the world and throughout history. 

Raising Awareness and Education

Every Monday in March, we’ll be sharing a post on our Instagram feed about women — celebrating achievements, raising awareness against bias, and providing suggestions for how to take action for equality. 

On March 8, International Women’s Day, all of our social profile photos will change from our usual blue to purple to help spread the word about the holiday. We’re also encouraging members of the team at Blue Wheel to wear purple! Our name won’t be Purple Wheel, though. 😉  If you join us in wearing purple, be sure to tag #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021on social media to help raise awareness for the movement.

Image source: Every Mother Counts

Highlighting Organizations Helping Women 

For the month of March, Blue Wheel will feature nonprofit organizations that support women. Every week, we’ll be sharing Instagram stories where you can swipe up to learn more and donate to a nonprofit:

Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Project Beauty Share provides personal hygiene, cosmetics and beauty products to non-profit organizations who serve women and families overcoming abuse, addiction, homelessness and poverty to help restore hope and dignity in their lives.

Step Up propels girls living or going to school in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women.

Live Your Dream  is a movement fiercely dedicated to ensuring every woman and girl has the opportunity to reach her full potential, be free from violence, and live her dreams. They provide advocacy and action opportunities to spread awareness about causes such as access to education, empowering girls, and ending violence against women.

Every Mother Counts works to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for everyone, everywhere. They work to achieve quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care for all by giving grants and working with partners and thought leaders to increase awareness and mobilize communities to take action.

We hope you’ll join our employees in supporting these great causes! Follow along on our Instagram to learn with us this Women’s History Month.