Cheaper Ad Creative Doesn’t Mean It Costs Less
When it comes to advertising, a crazy thing tends to happen.
People who are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on ads suddenly get skimpy when it’s time to pay for the most important part of any advertising campaign — the ad itself.
Where this comes from is anybody’s guess, but it might just be sticker shock. Creating the perfect ad isn’t cheap, especially when it comes to video advertising, so that can throw you off.
You also have to factor in the cost of running the ads and optimizing them. Ads don’t run themselves (at least, not yet). You need someone at the helm who knows what they’re doing and can save you money over time.
Most people get that — and they don’t have a choice really. Someone has to run the ads.
So it might seem like the only place to cut costs is with the creative.
This is absolutely a bad idea.
Why Does High-Quality Creative Matter?
Your creative is the heart and soul of any ad. It matters more than the amount you put into a campaign. It even matters more than the person running it (sorry guys!).
The creative is what moves people to action. The amount you spend on the ads is just what you’re paying to get in front of your target audience.
And as far as the people running the ads, they can only do so much. If people aren’t interested in your ad, they just aren’t going to be able to make that ad magically convert more.
People respond to the message and the way it’s presented. Period.
It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. If the ad isn’t compelling, people aren’t going to pay attention.
People are exposed to literally thousands of advertising messages a day. If yours doesn’t stand out from the crowd, it’s just going to be ignored.
How do you stand out?
The average consumer isn’t just flooded with ads — they’re flooded with good ads. They’re seeing ads from the biggest companies in the world, ads that have huge budgets behind them.
They just have high expectations. If your creative looks bad in any way, they’re going to pick up on it — and be unimpressed with you.
Your message matters, but the container the message is in matters just as much. Think about the average website. If you go to a website that looks terrible, you view the brand as terrible — immediately.
When the brand looks shady, you’re not going to feel comfortable making a purchase from that company, even if they have a compelling product, even if the copy is compelling.
On the other hand, a website that looks beautiful is going to inspire trust. They’re going to be more likely to read what’s on the website because they feel like your brand is professional. The same goes for an ad. An ad that looks professional is going to convert better.
What Does Good Ad Creative Look Like?
When you’re putting together a video ad, everything — even the little details — counts.
The picture quality is the first thing people are going to notice. You can tell pretty much immediately if a video is low-quality, and what’s even worse is when it’s clear you have an amateur behind the camera. Even a little bit of movement that betrays the camera person, even something as small as focus issues, can immediately show that the ad is less-than-stellar quality.
Sound matters too. If voices are muffled or don’t come across as crisp and clear, if your audience can even make out what they’re saying, they’re going to notice that lack of quality sound.
Once you get past these simple aspects, there are other aspects of an ad where a lack of quality will stand out. For example, if you haven’t hired professional models or actors. If it’s just Joe from marketing who is obviously reading from a script and stumbling over his words, your audience is going to focus on that — and not on your message (no offense Joe).
Sure, you might save some money, but if your audience isn’t paying attention or gets distracted by these “small” issues, then what they’re not doing is thinking about your product/service.
Just like with a website, this lack of quality paints every aspect of your brand in a negative light. If you can’t pay for something as simple as an ad, what’s to say that your products/services are high quality?
A clean ad that’s professionally shot, with professional actors/models and great sound, is a baseline. Customers expect this, just like they expect a modern website to be easy to navigate.
Now your customers can focus on what matters most — your message, your product/service.
Another thing to consider is that ads aren’t being shown in a vacuum. Your customers are regularly seeing ads from your competitors. Even if your product/service is superior, if your ads look bad compared to your competitors, your brand will be seen as lower quality.
You have got to invest in your creative if you want to convert. Higher-quality ads are going to see a higher return on ad spend because you’re not wasting advertising dollars on ads that aren’t working.
How Can I Save Money In My Advertising Campaigns?
Just because you’re investing in ad creative doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to save on advertising.
With great ad creative, your ads have the best chance of converting. However, they’re just the beginning of the process.
When you actually start advertising campaigns, you get to establish a baseline for every campaign and its effectiveness. You can see which ads work best, which aren’t performing in comparison, and which calls to action are bringing the most clicks.
The next step is to optimize this process.
You might stop using one particular creative, focusing on another that’s converting better. You might find that you need to tweak your audience to get better results. You might end up changing your landing pages around or changing the copy on your product/services page.
Over time, your return on ad spend is going to increase. For the same investment, you’re going to get more conversions.
This is a natural process for any well-run advertising campaign and is the main way you can save money over time. You need to make that initial investment and allow the people running your campaigns to work their magic.
And once your campaigns are completely optimized and you start to see that return, everything you invested in the creative is going to be worth it.
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If you want to see your advertising dollars work their butts off, you need someone in your corner who can create the high-quality ads you need to attract customers, sell products, and grow your business.
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