Content Writer | Sugatan
January 11, 2022
Designing Creatives That Convert To $250k+ In Revenue
You can strategize like the great Genghis Khan, but if your creatives aren’t up to scratch you might as well kiss conversion goodbye.
We’ll show you what goes into making social media ad creatives that convert. You’ll find out what to focus on for highly converting videos, GIFs, and graphics. It’s not all math and market manipulation – good design goes a long way!
What is good design?
When it comes to conversion, “good” design is when a single-minded message can be understood at a glance. In the end, it’s all about offering an informative visual cue that is packaged in an uncomplicated way so comprehension can be optimized.
“Sometimes the most functional things can be perceived as the most beautiful. Design should be optimized in this way. It looks good because it makes sense. And because it makes sense and looks good, it also creates deeper meaning and values.” – Maryna Taiberman, Graphics Director at Sugatan
The Design Equation
1 + 1 = 3
No, that 3 is not a typo. This equation means that the combination of simple design principles adds even more to the meaning of the information that was given.
It’s like Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”
Take a look at the following graphics we created. We’ll analyze them as practical examples of basic design elements becoming altogether more effective.
The first creative generated $220,432 in ad revenue and 1.98x ROAS. The second one resulted in $269,744 ad revenue with 2.09x ROAS.
The power of gaze
By using close-up shots of eyes, we’re able to take full advantage of the power of gaze – one of the most effective human-centric design tactics.
At the same time, this socially-driven effect also brings your attention to the product’s benefits: how they work and how it will enhance your look.
The messages on the creatives are short but crystal clear. You understand it straight away.
Put these two principles together and you’ve got a killer creative loaded with meaning, such as:
- These lashes are revolutionary.
- They’re better than conventional lashes because you don’t need glue or magnets.
- You won’t have to wash glue from your eyelids after wearing them.
- There are many styles to choose from (and their names are given), so you’re bound to find the perfect pair.
- Getting your own pair is as easy as clicking a button below the image.
Send the right message
If good design is all about getting a clear message across, you’d better make sure it’s a message worth receiving for the person looking at your content.
The message is the most important element of any creative that aims to convert. If the message doesn’t resonate with the target audience there’s no way your creative will convince them of anything, let alone hitting a buy button.
This is where a mutual understanding between the Copywriter and Designer comes into play. They need to put their heads together to create synergy between the copy and visuals, with the common goal of getting a distinct message across.
How do I know what the right message is?
Ask yourself these questions and the message should become apparent.
- Is there a benefit the customer should know about?
- Is there a pain point this product addresses?
- What information can I share that isn’t obvious by just looking at the product?
- What sets this product apart from competitors?
Look at this creative. It generated $528,236 in ad revenue with 2.28x ROAS.
✅ The product is visible in high quality.
✅ The product name is clear and big on the right so you don’t need to zoom in on the image.
✅ The copy focuses on informing and showcasing the benefits, which you wouldn’t know by just looking at the bottle.
This ad checks all the boxes of getting a message across that the customer would want to receive.
Benefits vs. solutions
Choose your words carefully based on your type of creative.
You have the luxury of time with videos. You’re able to employ storytelling techniques to focus on pain points in the opening shots and then move to solutions for those pain points.
However, be aware of how your word choices can impact your ad. For example, the word “solution” implies there’s a problem to be solved. Not all customers want to think of their needs or desires as “problems” that need solving. The word “benefit” has a more positive connotation because a problem is not implied. It simply states how your life can be improved.
With graphics, it’s best to put benefits at the forefront and not focus on a pain point or problem at all. Your viewer has 1 second to grasp the message of the creative, so make it easy for them to see the benefits straight away.
Many customers will be more receptive to messages that are informative instead of prescriptive. People don’t want to be told what to do outright, so hard-selling isn’t a surefire way to get conversion.
Instead, try an educational angle with the intent of giving them all the info they need to make their own informed decisions about a product. That way you’re giving them the power to choose – and hopefully, to make the right decision by choosing to purchase your product.
This GIF creative doesn’t mention any benefits. It only informs about the product’s active ingredients. The ad generated $230,427 with a 1.72x ROAS.
Provoke but don’t offend
There’s a fine line between sending a message with a shock factor and offending your target audience.
How do you think the creative below would have been received if the copy stated “Wave goodbye to your neck flaps” or “Sayonara, saggy neck skin”? Most likely, we would have gotten a few angry face reactions on Facebook.
Find the balance
Top-performing creatives find the balance between entertaining, informing, storytelling, and solving a problem.
A creative that is solely focused on entertainment won’t convert to sales but might get an emotional reaction out of the customer.
Creatives that focus purely on informing might not pass the thumb-stopping test because there’s no wow factor.
Those that are too focused on storytelling will lose out on punting benefits.
All of these tactics can work in conjunction, but it requires a skilled balancing act to do so successfully.
“It’s a lot easier to tick the entertainment and storytelling boxes with videos than with graphics. Use graphics to combine informing, problem-solving and entertaining by using eye-catching approaches such as boomerangs, GIFs, animation and typography.” – Oleksandra Hruzynska, Sr Graphic Designer at Sugatan
Here’s an example of a creative that entertains with its borderline trypophobic clips of eyes blinking, while also being informative about the styles of lashes and their names, and solving the age-old problem of usually having to use glue when applying lashes.
It generated $140,835 in ad revenue and achieved 1.74x ROAS.
Video vs. Graphics
Video was king of the Facebook ads castle for the longest time, but nowadays graphics are showing immense promise as the new kids on the conversion block – especially with cold audiences.
Listen to the podcast episode where we discuss how Sugatan’s graphics team generated $6 million in trackable revenue from August 2020 to October 2021.
“Graphics are working exceptionally well with cold audiences for one of our footwear clients, whereas videos are more effective as a retargeting tool. Usually, you’d think the opposite would be true.” – Maryna Taiberman
There are some instances where videos will always win. We don’t foresee graphics taking center stage in organic content on Instagram Reels and TikTok, but there are ways of blending the two mediums. For example, by creating boomerangs or video slideshows using graphics, or via split-screen product demonstrations with moving backgrounds or flashing graphics.
Here’s an example where graphics and video have been combined to maximize the visual impact.
When it comes to storytelling, video usually has the upper hand. However, a storytelling angle isn’t quite as punchy or conversion-focused as an eye-catching graphic that gives you all the info you need in a flash. After all, people’s attention spans are shorter now than they’ve ever been.
The choice you make between a video or graphic ad will depend on the platform you’re using, the message you want to convey, and what kind of action you want the customer to take.
UGC has been hugely successful for conversion and can work in video or image format, depending on the product.
For example, if a user shows how a product such as an eyelash curler works in a quick video, a customer will have the question of “How easy is it for someone like me to use this product?” put to bed.
Whereas with a diet shake as a product, a user’s before/after split-screen image shows the customer that the product actually works for people just like them.
Play into trends
Social media trends come and go at a ridiculous rate, but there’s a method in the madness.
The surge in UGC could be perceived as just another trend but for now, it’s a golden goose for many marketers. It’s important to play into social media trends and to optimize them in your creatives.
There are a couple of no-nos to keep in mind when your goal is to convert using graphics.
- Overdesign or overthink your creative
- Tell a long story
- Try to be clever with metaphoric language
- Use images just because they look cool
- Confuse, scare or offend your audience
- Stick to simple and clear design principles and language
- Use spy tools to see what competitors are doing and what images they’re using
- Inform first and entertain second
Follow the data
You know we’re gaga for data at Sugatan. We really can’t stress enough how important it is to conduct thorough research on competitors – their products, reviews, customers, and the types of ads they’re running.
The same goes for customer research. Troll forums and review sites like Amazon and Reddit for copymining AKA review mining. Find out what they desire, need, and dislike and let your creatives be guided by all these insights.
There’s no magic key that unlocks the secret to creatives that convert. The key is following the data.
Test a large number of creatives and keep pushing in the direction that has worked for you in the past. You have to keep testing, evaluating, adapting, and then test again.
Let’s get creative!
If you’re ready to scale, our creatives will help you reach new heights.
The Creatives Only Package provides conversion-focused creatives to businesses who already have a marketing plan and media buying team, but just need our video, graphic design, and conversion expertise to run kick-ass ads on social media.
The basic package offers 100 ad creatives in total. Check out the full scope of the package and fill out the application form here.