Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.
In the digital age, mobile marketers have user acquisition strategies down to a science. This “science,” can sometimes dismiss the art of creating stellar images while worrying about various campaign details. While targeting, timing and budget are all equally important for a successful advertisement, creatives take the cake. In fact, research has shown that a staggering 75% of a campaign’s brand and success is determined by the quality of its creatives.
With hundreds of thousands of marketers entering the mobile space, the success of an ad is completely dependent on its “pausing power.” In other words, what are the images that captivate a consumer enough to stop and learn more? For starters, no one wants to see advertisements or be interrupted when playing a game, browsing, or surfing. When developing a campaign, you must consider how it can be a source of utility and entertainment for users, rather an unnecessary noise added to their newsfeed.
App developers are no exception when they launch paid advertisements. If you’re going to invest time and money into your marketing strategy, the same should apply to the graphics that accompany it. The images your audience sees is the initial hook that translates the core functions of your app to convince users they need your product.
However, trends in user preferences are constantly changing, which means creatives must be continually optimized to feed the ever-changing needs of your target audience. In addition to making adjustments to follow current trends, consider implementing these best practices to ensure you’re catching the eyes of potential users with attractive ads.
Living in a time that is truly digital means that the demand for people’s time is at an all-time high, and their attention is fragmented among numerous channels. Research has shown that a user’s attention span averages at 1.7 seconds when consuming any piece of mobile content. This means that app you should not only target a relevant audience, but strive to develop creatives that make users curious enough to interact with the ad.
Whether you’re posting ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Google Adwords, relevancy is key for a meaningful interaction between the advertisement and the user. This can involve anything from choosing the most effective platform to advertise on to researching what types of images perform best with your target audience. Since you only have so much time to capture their attention, creatives need to be striking and relevant enough to make a user pause and consider clicking to learn more.
With the wide variety of media people are exposed to on a daily basis, they are always craving new content. Mobile consumers want to be shocked with unique and innovative images. By catering to your audience’s needs and wants, you’ll truly craft thumb-stopping content. Think about what particular elements of an ad have successfully intrigued you in the past and persuaded you to click on it. Were the ads different from anything you had ever seen before? What did they do differently that enticed you?
Create a campaign that will make a mobile user say, “I’ve been looking for something like this,” but make sure to differentiate yourself from competitors with eye-catching images, like Airbnb did in a 2017 campaign pictured above. The image you create needs to be something that not only translates the true core functions of your app but is equally bold enough to convert users.
Keep the campaign goal in mind
Approach your campaign with clarity and direction. Ensure that you:
- Have clearly defined goals
- Understand that crafting creatives is an iterative process
Just because something works today, doesn’t guarantee that it will perform well next month, or even next week. Your tech-savvy audience will move on from outdated creatives and take their attention elsewhere. That’s why you should utilize platforms that allow A/B testing to discover which images perform best with your target audience for optimal results.
As your campaign strategy is optimized time after time, so will your creatives to reflect those changes. In the process of campaign modification, it can be easy to lose sight of the core strategy. This is why developers must never forget the core purpose of their campaigns when designing ad images.
While paid user acquisition efforts are methodical and require a detailed scientific strategy, app developers shouldn’t neglect their creatives in the process. Ad images are what captivates a user and drives their curiosity for a product or service. While keeping up with constant changes in user trends, always remember to ensure your ads allow space for meaningful engagement, are bold, and keep the campaign goal in mind.