5 Steps to Elevate Your DCO Experience

AudienceX logoEvery day, more marketers test Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) for the first time.  Whether those tests soar or falter depends on one important question: Are marketers setting up their campaigns to succeed, or are they tethering their potential?

To elevate the effectiveness of their efforts, there are 5 key best practices to consider when foraying into DCO:

Think Full Funnel

DCO is more than a lower-funnel conversion tool. With DCO, marketers can craft full-funnel campaigns that optimize engagement at every stage of the customer journey. However, leveraging this requires implementing dynamic goals and rethinking KPIs for each phase of the funnel.

Consider the customer journey and develop messaging iterations for each phase, from brand awareness through consideration, conversion, and advocacy.

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Weave Unifying Threads

When crafting messaging and visuals for each phase of the journey, don’t forget to weave unifying threads. As the AI will be determining the exact iteration that will be most effective for a given user at a given time, marketers cannot assume that users will see messages in a predictable sequence.

With that in mind, take a step back and examine the creative elements across the campaign. Is the brand voice consistent whether the message is driving awareness or trying to drive a conversion? Are font choices and colors aligned? Are images consistent in composition? Could the pieces be shuffled, and would each ad sequence make sense?

Nurture the Feed

Once the overarching theme and unifying visual threads have been woven, it’s time to nurture the feed itself. Each item should be carefully curated and optimized to perform within the context of the campaign and the templates chosen.

In short, the feed should never be a direct export of a store’s top 100 selling products. Instead, the feed should contain carefully curated products with titles and descriptions that are edited to read cohesively when they appear next to one another.

For instance, individual product names might be rather long, and available space for overlay text is limited. To avoid unfortunate truncation, carefully consider every character so that information is clear, concise, and compelling.

Similarly, select product shots that utilize the majority of the frame when placed within the template’s container. Be mindful of any borders that are added via HTML to ensure adequate negative space.

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Trust the AI

With many DCO ad builders, it is often tempting to use a pre-built template that fits as many products as possible within the space. However, moderation is key.

The strength of DCO lies in its ability to showcase the right message to the right user at the right time. This highly surgical tactic shouldn’t be treated with a scattershot approach wherein 4 or more products are crammed onto a single display banner. Trust in the AI’s ability to accurately select the best products to feature, and go with a template that is less busy and more compelling.

Leverage the Overlay

Another way to create a more compelling DCO unit is to utilize the overlay. Typically, animated DCO units will include an overlay that appears at set intervals. Leverage this overlay smartly with a captivating and impactful visual.

Don’t weigh overlays down with cluttered products or extraneous copy. A strong, unifying visual with a succinct message will help capture viewer attention, increasing engagement likelihood when the animation cycles back to dynamically optimized elements.

It will also help in strengthening your unifying thread while aiding in upper funnel brand awareness objectives.

Reap the Results

When marketers are thoughtful and strategic with DCO, the results are phenomenal. Across the board, advertisers we’ve guided through the DCO setup process have seen five to seven times higher engagement rates, significantly improving return on ad spend.

The results are a testament to the importance of using data to deliver the optimal message at the ideal time, at any phase of the customer journey.  The key is in remembering that data and creative must serve as equal partners. When creativity is lost, so too is the potential of dynamically optimizing it.

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