Build Better Storytelling Ads with Testing

Take your storytelling ads to the next level and learn how to test and optimize them for maximum effectiveness. Get tips on building out a cohesive story!

The best digital marketers are natural storytellers who can captivate and persuade audiences. Most advertisers match their ads with specific audiences to get more clicks. But if the landing page doesn’t match the ad, audiences get frustrated and bounce.

But it’s not easy to know what story will engage a specific audience. And there are so many aspects to a campaign — like audience segmentation, ad creative, CTA, and landing page layout — that it can be hard to know what will work. Some marketers get stuck running fruitless tests without seeing the bigger picture.

There’s a simple answer to this challenge. Use intelligent testing to identify what matters most to each audience. Then, use the principles of storytelling to build campaigns around those insights. Creating a story for each audience keeps audiences engaged beyond the ad click — leading to higher conversions.

The fundamentals of ad storytelling

You can create more effective campaigns with a principle called conversion storytelling. This technique applies age-old storytelling tips to digital ad campaigns. Create personalized micro-narratives for each of your core audiences that speak to their unique needs. Each stage of the customer journey should offer the right information at the right time. And the customer — not the brand — becomes the main character of the story.

We can borrow a classic storytelling framework to improve our customer journeys.

  • Establish tension. What is the problem that this customer is trying to solve? How does that problem make them feel? Remember that different people have different priorities — you need to know what matters most to them.
  • Describe the solution. Show how your brand can solve their unique challenges. Knowing audience priorities helps you lead with the right message. Use creative that evokes strong emotions in the audience.
  • Offer resolution. Provide a clear way to convert that resolves the initial tension. Leave the customer feeling like they made an easy decision. 

By centering the customer journey on the customer, you can make each ad click more valuable. Remember, a customer who clicks your ad is showing intent. They want to know if your brand can solve their problems. If your experience delivers on that promise, your customer will turn to you in the future — increasing brand loyalty and lifetime customer value.

Improve your stories with experimentation

Conversion storytelling requires a precise understanding of your audiences beyond surface-level demographics. To tell a story that converts, you need to know the psychographic makeup of each of your target audiences.

Picture a customer who’s searching for new hiking boots. A hardcore mountaineer wants to know if the boots are waterproof, see technical specs, and read reviews to see how the product performs. On the other hand, a fashion-first customer may want styling options, outfit pairings, or a celebrity endorsement. Once you know your audience, you can start telling better stories and earning higher conversion rates.

The best way to know your audience is through experimentation. While some marketers feel like they intuitively understand their audiences through and through, there’s no substitute for hard data. Your customer narratives should be informed by creative intelligence derived from testing every step of your campaigns, from ad creative to landing page layout. Analyzing what your audience has responded to in the past is the best way to predict what will engage them in the future.

This is another area where many marketers struggle. If every audience requires a personalized customer journey informed by data, how can you ever run enough experiments to keep up?

That’s where new advancements in marketing technology come into play. Multivariate testing offers marketers a way to test tens or hundreds of ad creative variants at once, without the struggle that comes with traditional methods like A/B testing. With multivariate testing, marketers can quickly and effectively learn what messaging and creative elements are most likely to resonate with a given audience. This gives marketers the micro-level data-driven insights they need to create personalized stories for their audiences.

Convert more customers with data-driven stories

Data and storytelling go hand in hand. When you experiment and understand what resonates with a specific audience, you can craft personalized stories that make audiences feel seen and understood.

Remember — it’s not possible to tell an entire customer-centric story with just an ad. Your landing page is a vital part of the journey that requires as much focus as your ad account. Use every part of your campaign to tell a story, and your digital ads will reliably convert.

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How to Run a Multivariate Test

The Beginner's Guide

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How to Run a Multivariate Test
The Beginner's Guide

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