Ecommerce Brands: Here’s Why Your Ad Creatives Aren’t Getting Any Clicks

8 Minutes

Nov 10, 2022

Low engagement? Low click volume? No CTR? There’s a lot that goes into improving these metrics, but have you ever thought about the visuals behind your campaign? This is what’s front and center to your audience, so capturing the attention of your target persona is what is guaranteed to get them thumb-stopped. 

We live in a time where social platforms are increasingly centered around boosting advertising efforts to maximize revenue. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, SnapChat - you name it. For social platforms with organic and paid content, brands NEED to take advantage of eye-catching creatives, brand recognition and monitoring ad recall to get noticed. Effective, attention grabbing visuals can be the make or break of your digital campaign.

The truth? People want a seamless experience when it comes to online shopping.. Clear communication, brand objectives and a strong CTA will do wonders for your campaigns. If you’re not utilizing creatives to your advantage in your paid social strategy - it’s time you start.

You Don’t Fit in a Box. Your Digital Advertising Shouldn’t Either.

It takes awhile for consumers to warm up to a brand and get some eyeballs on a new campaign. This is why ad creatives are so vital. It is the first thing your audience sees.

It’s important for customers to recognize your brand and have it top of mind when making a purchase decision. Is estimated ad recall performing well in your campaigns? You need to monitor this metric to ensure your brand is getting noticed and consumers remember who you are.

When it comes to your ad creative, a few mistakes are probably being made:

1.  Your Brand Elements Aren’t Being Incorporated Into Your Creatives

Everyone, and I mean everyone loves a cohesive and consistent brand. We’re all guilty of impulse purchases when an aesthetic brand comes along. A great looking, on brand visual is what captures our attention, but utilizing your logo and brand colours to stay on theme is what keeps it. By creating a unique brand experience across your advertising platforms is what sets you apart from competitors. Your brand is your brand and that’s something no one can take away.

2.  Your CTA Is Not Actionable Enough

CTA’s are of the masses. What’s the next step you're asking your audience to take? Is it to Sign Up? Shop? Order? Subscribe? Include a strong next step directly in your creative. Relate your CTA back to your overall objective of your campaign to drive optimal results. 

3.  You’re Not Writing Like a Human

A clear headline, subtext and a strong CTA is pivotal for campaign success. For text overlays, speak to your audience and use your brand tone. Humans like other humans and in order to stay connected to a brand, put a personality behind one.

Who are you targeting? Does this speak to your ideal persona? Are you utilizing your brand voice? These are some of the questions you should be asking. Write authentically and write like a human. Personality characteristics in your creative copy should be strong, catchy and straight to the point. 

Your messaging in your creative needs to be clear and concisely communicate what your campaign is all about. Have a sale running? Include the discount off. Launching a new product? Include that product directly into your imagery. Make sure you include value propositions or key features that speak directly to your customers. Solve your audience's pain points directly in your visuals.

Below is an example of how brands can highlight value propositions while tying them directly back to their products.

Your creative messaging should align back with your ideal target persona. Relate your creatives back to who your audience segments are and always make sure your visuals are positioned to speak to them and get your ads in front of the people that matter the most.

4.  You Didn’t Know Text Hierarchy Was a Thing

Take advantage of heading hierarchy in your ad creative. Sizing matters. Your most important messaging should be the largest and most prominent. Details of your campaign should follow thereafter.

In short - important content should be the largest in your ad creative.

When your customers come across a catchy, attention grabbing headline, they click. Metrics, stats, numerical numbers and urgency are some of the various tactics to incorporate into your headlines for quick improvement.

Example: Clear messaging, text hierarchy, stays on brand, imagery is engaging, branding (use of colours and logo) and a strong CTA is used.

5.  You’re Not Utilizing Device Targeting

How many times have you viewed an Instagram story but it isn’t formatted to be 1080x1920? That’s a simple mistake that’s made too often. Create your advertising experience based on user trends. According to Tidio, mobile commerce sales in 2021 grew by 18% from the previous year and this number is only expected to rise.

What does this mean? Tailor your users' consumer shopping experience. 

Users like convenience. User behaviour often changes based on the device being used. 

For smaller screens, adjust your font and weight sizes, keep your ad text short, simple and straight to the point. Don’t be afraid to adjust your content based on the sizing variation. Eliminate certain components for different screen sizes like story sizes.

Example: Tailored advertising placements for in-feed vs. story variations. 

Meta and other social advertising platforms allow you to adjust your ad variations based off of the different placement options that they allow. This includes direct in-feed placements, right column, search results, instant articles and Facebook and Instagram stories. Take advantage of this feature and don’t neglect this mistake that’s made too often.

Example: When creative is not customized to each placement.

You wouldn’t view a mobile creative on a desktop so why would you view a desktop ad on a mobile device?

6.  You Haven’t Been Running Creative Tests

Test, test, test!

Test different creatives to optimize your performance and learn from your outcomes. Add to your storytelling with relevant content pieces that appeal to and engage with your audience. By doing so, you’ll get a better understanding of customer patterns and see the type of content that resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. Assess your key metrics and analyze which creatives generate higher impressions, reach, clicks, CTR, and ROAS.

A few examples of creative tests that you can be running are:

  • Logo vs. No Logo
  • Image Creatives
  • Static vs. Carousel Ads vs. Video
  • Value Prop Messaging
  • Light Text vs. Heavy Text

Below is an example of two different creative tests. The ad copy is the same on each creative but the imagery is different on both and the first one includes text overlay.

Ad Variant 1
Ad Variant 2

The results?

In previous tests, we’ve found adding text overlay can result in increasingly efficient CPMs (55% less in previous tests) with greater impressions (159% higher) at lower costs.

Our key learnings?

The results of this campaign speak for itself. The audience resonated with the text overlay creative more as shown by having higher impressions, reach and overall clicks. 

Notice the differences in the creatives of the one that performed better and use those learnings for future objectives. In this case, continue testing ads with different text overlays and different product imagery.

With all this in mind, an additional benefit of performing creative tests, is avoiding ad fatigue. After a certain time period, your audience may become disengaged with your creative so keep things fresh and keep audiences engaged. 

Utilize the Power of Storytelling

Paid social is going nowhere. Now more than ever it’s important to have beautifully designed creatives or an in-house graphics team dedicated to supporting these assets. Understanding that the creative behind your campaign is just as important to the metrics you’re monitoring. Creatives can be the end all be all behind your paid social campaign, make sure yours is designed what it’s meant to do - perform.