Machine learning and creative marketplaces are impacting the online advertising industry in noticeable ways. Facebook and Google are drastically changing the face of online advertising with machine learning algorithms that simplify the process of acquiring high-value users. They simplify user acquisition management by automatically optimizing placement, audience targeting, bids and budgets. Facebook’s Dynamic Creative allows advertisers to further automate creative testing workflow and performance by dynamically selecting combinations of ad creatives to show to the right audience at the right time.
Today, campaigns can be run with greater pace and scale than ever before, and require a much larger volume of high-performing creatives rotating in the market. As a result, advertisers are no longer struggling to optimize ads, but are now having difficulty keeping up with the pace and scale of their campaigns.
Dynamic creative is saving advertisers time and money in the creative testing process through automation, but scaling the creative production of ads to take full advantage of automation is where advertisers need help, and today, they’re getting it from creative marketplaces.
While outsourcing labor has been a common practice for centuries, leveraging the power of online marketplaces emerged at the turn of the 21st century with the rise of sourcing people and organizations to drive ideas and deliverables.
Today, in online marketplaces, typically advertisers submit a creative brief and receive creatives from editors and designers, which the advertiser then chooses to request changes or push the ad live.
Early successes in sourcing creatives include companies like Doritos, Starbucks, and Airbnb. The trend quickly moved to online advertising with a company named Trada launching a creative marketplace for Facebook advertising as early as 2011. Advertisers are now leveraging creatives from providers such as ConsumerAcquisition.com, Vidmob, Boost Media and Refuel4.
Why is a creative marketplace a necessary strategy for advertisers today?
Innovations in adtech have significantly simplified user acquisition management, and as as optimization improves, creative becomes the differentiator for performance. If advertisers are failing to meet their financial goals, it’s not because of poor campaign management, but because of poor creative.
Typically for direct response advertisers, less than 5% of creatives will outperform current high-performing ads in a portfolio, which means heavy creative testing is necessary to find winning ads that can allow advertisers to sustain profitability and scale.
Creatives cannot be algorithmically generated with AI or machine learning yet, so advertisers are turning to online marketplaces. These marketplaces provide the volume needed to maintain profitability and the quality that in-house design teams just don’t have the time to produce rapidly at high volume because they are often trapped producing derivative ads based on existing concepts.
Here’s how sourcing creative from online marketplaces can transform your online advertising and business growth:
Produce Creatives at Scale
About 95% of direct response creatives fail at meeting financial objectives, including cost-per-sale or return on ad spend (ROAS). Such is the challenge in a dynamic and competitive market for consumer attention and clicks that advertisers need an unprecedented volume of creative assets to test and optimize. Even when a winning creative is performing well, it will begin declining in performance as soon as audience’s ad fatigue sets in, so it’s imperative that new creative is continually being implemented into campaigns. Online marketplaces provide high-volume of designers and editors needed to develop winning creatives. Additionally, a creative marketplace offers a flux of fresh creative ideas and concepts by different designers and artists with varying styles. It’s imperative to constantly be testing new concepts to maintain performance and mitigate the short lifespan of ads due to ad fatigue.
Gain Access to Facebook and Instagram Advertising Expertise
Advertisers that leverage in-house designers to develop ad creative frequently find their teams get tunnel vision when working on a project too long or Facebook ads are outside the scope of their day-to-day design work. The result is that internal teams often produce low-performing ads and get stuck in a creative rut. Online marketplaces solve for both quantity (the power of many trained editors and designers versus in-house teams) and quality from accessing advertising experts focused only on advertising design. Designing effective creative that drive installs, signups and purchases is a specialized field given the complexities of the various formats, audiences and performance metrics. When picking your creative marketplace, look for expertise in the ad platforms where you plan to run your online ad campaigns.
Leverage an Alternative, Flexible Pay-Model
Online marketplaces offer different pay-models than your traditional hourly per project-based model. Often times, creative deliverables are performance-based, which allows the marketplace to share in the risk of campaign results rather than the advertiser paying in-house or individual graphic designers and video editors by the hour, per project or per unit of creative. Since most direct response creative fails to achieve and sustain financial metrics and high-volume creative are needed to sustain scale, a performance-based pay-model can reduce the costs of underperforming campaigns for advertisers.
How You Can Get Started
The creative development process begins with submitting a creative brief to an online marketplace of designers and artists. From here, you’ll have the opportunity to review creatives, select content and launch ads into the wild to test performance. As creative marketplaces have become more advanced with AI and machine learning built-in, the ability for automatic detect and swap out of underperforming ads is now available to advertisers, making the process practically seamless to iterate and optimize. With AI-powered adtech like dynamic creative that allows automation of testing workflows now coupled with the ability to produce high-volume, high quality creative at scale through creative marketplaces, advertisers have the critical tools to compete and achieve a profitable return on ad spend.