Overcoming the campaign content bottleneck with dynamic ads
Scale your content creation efforts by taking an atomic approach to your initiatives, and personalize like a boss
The importance of providing personalized ads, content, and offers to your customers is already well established. Research shows that 71% of consumers prefer personalized ads—with 74% saying a lack of personalization leaves them frustrated. This frustration leads to a huge drop-off in engagement: Monetate found that poorly-personalized ads have an 83% lower response rate than the average digital advertisement.
Unfortunately, the majority of marketers admit that their ability to personalize content and ads for their customers fails to live up to their audiences’ standards. Adobe reports that 60% of marketers struggle to integrate real-time personalization into their content creation efforts, while 83% say personalization is their biggest challenge overall.
To be sure, actually creating fully-personalized content for every single one of your customers just isn’t possible.
Luckily, you don’t have to sit down and manually create dozens of versions of the same content until your brain leaks out of your ears.
What you do need to do is master the arts of atomic content and dynamic content delivery.
What is atomic content?
The term “atomic content” refers to content created by filling spaces within a template with smaller content “parts.”
Perhaps the best way to illustrate this process is to compare it to the more traditional approach to content creation. Generally speaking, the more traditional method involves creating full-length pieces of content, each tailored to a specific audience or segment.
Of course, this just doesn’t scale: Your audience will eventually become too segmented and too diverse for you to create uniquely-personalized content for everyone.
In contrast to this traditional approach, atomic content creation involves developing a blueprint that all ads within a campaign will follow—regardless of who the target is.
When developing this blueprint or template, the focus is on identifying the various elements of the ad. These elements include the ad’s:
- Body copy
- Imagery and multimedia
After you create numerous assets for each element, you’ll be able to mix and match them to achieve dozens of variations. As your “content database” grows, the process becomes even simpler, enabling you to pull content from your existing ads and make adjustments as necessary to develop a brand new piece of content.
Typically, you won’t need to change every aspect of a given ad when tailoring it to different audiences. In fact, the nature of atomic content is that you probably will end up using some of the same elements in each version of the ad.
In the example above, Allstate uses the same image, font, and overall layout for each ad—but changes the information provided within the ad’s copy based on the recipient’s current insurance agency.
It’s also worth noting that, in this and many other instances, the variable information is actually presented based on automatically-deciphered information. Here, the amount of savings presented to the individual is (presumably) calculated by subtracting Allstate’s annual rates from their competitors’.
(In other instances, the auto-generated variable might be the individual’s name, location, or other such information.)
Effective? You bet.
Unfortunately, this is where many marketers tend to over complicate things. Instead of just tweaking the relevant parts of a given ad to better fit a given audience, they assume they’ll need to create an entirely new advertisement for everyone.
The thing is:
Your different customer segments don’t care whether you create brand new content from scratch or if you use a template when presenting an ad to them. All they care about is whether the ad and offer is relevant to them.
Taking this a step further, if you’ve targeted your various segments correctly, none of them are going to even see the other versions of your content, anyway. Going back to the above example, if Allstate’s system knows I’m a State Farm customer, the only version of the ad I’ll ever see is the one that references State Farm.
But, let’s back up a bit and explain how to achieve exactly that.
Using dynamic content technology to deliver personalized ads
Okay, so we know that creating atomic content involves:
- Developing a template for your individual ad campaigns
- Defining the specific audience segments being targeted
- Defining the elements of the template to be varied per audience segment (and which will be uniform throughout each version of the ad)
Now, the question is:
How do you ensure the right version of the ad reaches the right target? Furthermore, how do you ensure that the content or promotion offered within each ad variation is relevant and valuable to individual recipients?
Dynamic content technology.
What is dynamic content technology?
Dynamic content technology automates the creation and delivery of ultra-personalized ads and content in real-time.
These tools pull information from a variety of sources, including:
- The team’s “content part” database
- The company’s customer data system
- Any relevant third-party systems the organization may have access to
From there, dynamic content tools fit the optimal “content part” into the optimal template space for a given target customer—then delivers the ad at the optimal time to engage said target.
You’ve likely seen dynamic ads in action throughout your daily internet usage—even if you haven’t recognized it.
Take a look at the following ads from Trivago:
It should. Because it’s the exact same ad with a few variables switched around.
Many other platforms, such as Google and Instagram, have dynamic ad technology built into their marketing suites. Similarly, third-party advertising platforms like Kenshoo and Amobee provide user-friendly solutions for creating dynamic ads.
Two key uses for dynamic ads
There are two main reasons to opt for the use of dynamic ad technology:
- Customer acquisition
In aiming to acquire new customers, dynamic ad tools allow you to target “lookalike” audiences, as well as consumers who fit a specific description as defined by your team.
Basically, the tool cross-references contact information from your database with customer information from the ad platform’s database, then targets other individuals who fit a similar mold.
In remarketing to current prospects or customers, dynamic ad technology takes more than just this surface-level demographic information into consideration. In these situations, the tools look to past engagements with the individual, as well.
For example, let’s say a customer has previously been shown dynamic ads using two different CTAs: One saying “Save now!”, and another saying “Shop now!”. Your data shows that, when shown the first CTA, they click through to your website two times more often than when shown the second. Ergo, the tool will know to use the first CTA when targeting this customer.
Remarketing technology goes a bit further than this, too: It also uses customer engagements as triggers for showcasing dynamic ads to specific customers. For example, if a visitor comes to your site and visits a certain product page—but doesn’t end up making a purchase—you can use dynamic ad technology to create an ad on the above-mentioned platforms specifically promoting that item.
Remarketing also works to re-engage customers and prospects using:
- First-time purchase discounts
- Upsell and cross-sell offers
- Winback promotions
In any situation, dynamic ad technology takes all pertinent information known about an individual to create the perfect ad to nurture them through their current spot in the sales funnel.
Key benefits of implementing dynamic content
We’ve talked about some of the benefits of using dynamic content already, but let’s quickly go over the most impactful reasons you should be using it in your own marketing initiatives.
As we mentioned in the intro, using dynamic ad technology allows you to scale your marketing efforts well beyond what you’d be able to do manually.
How else would you be able to deliver ultra-personalized content to your individual customers in real-time?
Additionally, dynamic content takes care of the “legwork” involved in creating multiple ads for multiple audiences. In turn, your team will have more time and other resources to focus on the bigger things involved in growing your brand and your business.
Decreased ad spend and acquisition costs
Dynamic ad technology allows you to create more effective ads—and do so more easily. This inherently means your ad spend and customer acquisition costs will decrease.
While your monetary ad spend might actually increase (you do want to invest heavily in your effective ads, right?), you’ll more than make up for this cost in saving time and other resources. Again, since your team will be able to put their efforts toward making more vital improvements, the bottom line is you’re not spending nearly as much as you would have without this automated technology.
With this decreased ad spend (and more efficient ad creation processes) will also come a decrease in customer acquisition costs. Simply put: the more engagement your dynamic ads generate, the more bang you’re getting for your advertising buck.
As we discussed earlier, dynamic content allows you to re-market to current customers, promoting highly-relevant offers based on their engagement histories.
Since you’ll have more information to use as your customers continue to engage with your company, your remarketing efforts will become even more effective as time goes on. Basically, the longer you keep your customers on board, the better your chances of retaining them even further become.
Now for the big one:
If everything we just mentioned falls into place, increased profits are sure to follow for your business.
Going back to the idea of scalability, it’s not just that you’ll be able to save a little on ad spend here, and earn a bit more revenues there: You’ll be in a prime position to completely transform your business.