Proven ad templates can help you create ads that convert on paid social channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook without having to start from scratch. This helps accelerate output and keep your creative pipeline full.
But in a fast-paced marketing landscape with constantly shifting priorities and trends, ad templates are only as effective as the method you’re using to test your ads.
When 9 out of 10 ads are doomed to fail, growth marketers’ success relies on rapid, high-volume ad testing.
That’s why Primer developed an ad testing method that lets you quickly eliminate underperforming ads, identify top performers, and tailor your ad strategy and budget for efficient growth.
It’s called the “Outlier Method.”
When it comes to finding the best-performing ads for your paid social campaigns, the faster you can find ads that convert and eliminate those that don’t, the better.
That’s where the Outlier Method comes in. Here’s how it works.
What Is the Outlier Method?
The Outlier Method is an ad testing methodology for paid social media that lets you optimize your ads as much as possible by testing every element, including:
- Landing pages
The Outlier Method lets you rapidly test all the elements used in your ads, identify what performs and what doesn’t, and eliminate underperforming ads within the first 72 hours after launch.
That way, you can target the “Outliers”—the best-performing ads in an ad set—and iterate even more winning ads.
Using a TikTok or Instagram Ad Template with the Outlier Method
With the Outlier Method, you can use a TikTok or Instagram ad template from our library as a springboard to launch an ad set for a new theme or big idea. You can use these to create different versions of each element (such as copy, images, headlines, hooks, CTAs, and landing pages) to test against each other.
If you’re looking for the perfect TikTok or Instagram ad template to kickstart your creative, check out our “How It Works” theme.
Once you find the winners, you scale and iterate on them to help them reach their maximum potential.
How to Use the Outlier Method
This method requires a high volume of creative testing. It generally follows these steps:
- Launch – Launch a new big idea ad set. We recommend 3-10 visuals combined with different copy, headlines, and landing pages, totaling about 50 tests for every $25,000 in ad spend.
- Pause – Pause underperforming ads with a higher-than-average CPA (with 50% paused after 48 hours and 75% paused after 72 hours).
- Scale – Scale your Outliers—the remaining 25% of ads—by increasing the budget and making iterations from these winning ads. Make and test at least three ad creative variations for each Outlier.
- Iterate – Once you see which ads perform well, you can iterate even more ads and keep the wins coming!
We recommend you complete this process within two weeks for each new big idea, including iterations. If your budget allows, repeat this process twice per month.
Learn more about the Outlier Method in our Ultimate Guide.
How to Know When You Have a Winning Ad
Outliers are generally those ads that perform 2-3x better than the rest in their campaign. They should perform better than your account average by 10% or more.
Here’s how we define a winning ad at Primer:
- The ad has been live for at least 14 days.
- There has been a 10% improvement over the average CPA (or your goal metric).
- You’ve seen at least 10 conversions from this ad.
Note: The conversion rate may vary between high-value and low-value products and between B2B and B2C campaigns.
For instance, when advertising for a high-cost solution, 2 or 3 conversions could indicate a win.
Conversely, a B2C beauty brand, like our partner AllWell Beauty, might look for more than 10 conversions to identify a winning ad.
At Primer, we track how often our clients observe wins of different types to maximize both performance and ROI.
When you track your wins over time, you’ll see the long-term trends and know they’re working.
Here’s an example of how we used the Outlier Method with our partner Farmstead to find wins.
The Learning Curve
Since 9 out of 10 ads fail, failure is a necessary step to finding your winning ads.
Growth marketers may remove failing ads but still observe a periodic decline in their accounts, causing marketers to struggle with when to eliminate poorly performing ads and let winning ads run their course.
Despite these short-term dips, eliminating failing ads lets you build an ad strategy with a maximum boost to your ROI over the long run. Stay the course with the Outlier Method, and it will pay off.
Avoiding the Temptation to Optimize Current Ads
It’s tempting to optimize your winning ads to see improvements. Avoid this and instead focus on building a full pipeline of creative. Place your energy and effort into creating the next winning iteration.
To get the most out of the Outlier Method’s approach to rapid-fire bulk ad testing, you should put most of your focus into creative ideation—and not the optimization of it.
Pro tip: Keep your swipe file updated with creative ad ideas by checking out the Facebook ad library or the library of top-performing ads on TikTok. Be sure to check out our unique library of winning ads developed by Primer to inspire your creative team.
When you focus on planning and building multiple creative briefs, success might take time. You may not see immediate growth during the process, but you should still avoid the temptation to optimize current ads.
Using a TikTok or Instagram ad template or theme and using big ideas and iterations helps you keep the creative pipeline full and create ads faster.
Sticking to the Outlier Method will create a repeatable and more efficient way to drive sustainable growth that results in more conversions in the long run.
It’s Difficult to Repeat the Testing Process—But Worth It
When you first start using the Outlier Method for ad testing, you may feel like you’re falling behind. Producing ad creative in bulk takes a lot of time and resources, including remembering to use an effective TikTok or Instagram ad template for each big idea ad set.
The good news is that your creative output will eventually become a well-oiled machine with a content pipeline where you will find exponentially greater wins over time. In fact, our partners who have tested consistently generated a 2.55x better performance than those who did not test.
The key is to produce enough creative and rigorously follow the testing process, knowing you have to turn off underperforming ads quickly.
Take these two examples:
Runs 5 new ads in a month, finds one winner, and spends the rest of the month optimizing the account. The winning ad starts to lose performance, optimizations don’t have an impact, and CPAs get more expensive. New creative is rushed and does not deliver a win.
Runs 16 new ads in a month and spends the month developing creative to test the following month. Finds two winners and is testing additional creative. When the winners lose performance, they scale two new wins, never losing momentum. CPA steadily declines making acquisition more efficient over time.
Don’t Get Attached
For some growth marketers, letting go of ads that don’t perform might not be a problem. When a campaign you’ve worked on for a long time doesn’t succeed, it can be difficult to let go.
Regardless, maximizing ad performance means you must:
- Turn off 50% of underperforming ads after 48 hours.
- Turn off 75% of underperforming ads after 72 hours.
Move the 25% of ads that you did not pause into a campaign filled only with proven best performers. Add budget and watch them win!
This keeps ads from unnecessarily competing with one another and helps you hone in on the true winners.
Learn more about perfecting the Outlier Method: Download our Outlier Method PDF
How Primer Helps You Win Big with Ad Testing
At Primer, we use the Outlier Method to create and test thousands of winning ads for our partners. We’ll meet you where you’re at, so you can maximize your growth based on your specific needs.
Your Growth Partner: Need help scaling and testing your ads? When you partner with Primer, we’ll handle it all for you—the creative strategy, design, production, reporting, and media buying. Just sit back and enjoy the wins.
Creative On-Demand: For when you need a lot of high-quality ad creative fast, Primer On-Demand is an online platform where you can get videos, images, and landing pages produced by top marketing designers who know what converts.
Did you know there’s a tried-and-true creative brief template for building deeper connections with your audience?
It’s called the founder’s story.
The founder’s story—as its name implies—is the story of the founder of a business or organization.
In essence, it’s the motivation, the why, behind the origins of the business as well as a guidepost for its core motivations.
A good founder’s story gives users the context behind the product or service they’re being told about. It’s a long-form story on the key problem that the business is trying to solve and its unique approach (the story itself) to address it.
At its core, the founder’s story is a personification of the business itself, humanizing it for audiences through the character of the founder(s) and giving readers a more intimate look into the heart of the business.
The founder’s story has been around since the dawn of marketing and advertising, from the storied pitches of traveling salesmen to the contemporary “about us” page of Fortune 500 companies.
And for good reason—it works.
Here, we’ll dive into the elements of the founder’s story, how it works, why it works, and how to use it—specifically as it applies to video ads and video storytelling.
Leverage Your Founder’s Story
At Primer, we have a playbook of several themes that have been proven to drive strong performance in engagement, conversion, and retention. Among those themes is the aforementioned “founder’s story.”
Within this theme, a unique story that drove the creation of a product or company is shared.
Here’s an example of a founder’s story from Nom Nom:
The story begins with a pair of mini Australian Shepherds named Harlee and Mim, and a handful of dog lovers in San Francisco.
In February 2013 what would become the founding family team of NomNomNow — now known as Nom Nom — went to casually look at puppies. Naturally, Alex, Zach & Natethe fell in love at first sight and adopted half-sisters Mim and Harlee.
Bringing home the girls now meant searching for dog food, and the team was surprised to see how little had changed in the dog food space since the 1980s: most dog food was still kibble or canned, filled with unpronounceable ingredients and industrial filler – the dog equivalent of microwaveable dinners.
Beginning in late 2014, the team began experimenting with cooking and delivering fresh food for friends and family. Cooking fresh took on added urgency as Harlee developed health issues related to a compromised immune system, and her vet recommended a fully fresh diet.
Enter Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a clinician and professor at a leading college of veterinary medicine and one of the world’s foremost experts on cutting-edge dog nutrition. Today our recipes are crafted to ensure our customers receive the best food for their dogs.
Within a few short paragraphs, Nom Nom gives readers a clear idea of who they are, how they came to be, and what their brand strives to offer to the public (the solution).
In this sense, the founders communicate the value of their company by positioning themselves as its first customers. They understand your needs because they’ve been on both sides.
These kinds of successful founder stories, ones pulled from helpful creative brief templates, serve as the backbone for building a connection with new audiences through video storytelling. Viewers want to have an emotional connection and respond to an emotional trigger/element; they want something to relate to and identify with on a human level).
Give them one, and they will respond to it.
Here are just a few examples:
Each of these serves to drive the human element at the heart of their respective business and its message.
This particular theme works exceptionally well for video ads because video can combine a litany of audio and visual elements to tell a compelling story. In fact, many websites will leverage video assets on home pages, landing pages, and external social channels as core elements of their marketing/branding.
This Creative Brief Template Works for Expert Stories Too
But what if you don’t have a compelling founding story?
Perhaps your founding story is more simple and straightforward: You identified a market, offered a new/unique product, and found success.
In those instances, you can still use the founder’s story creative brief template in the form of an expert’s testimony. Testimonials are exactly as they sound, they’re the positive testimony of an individual advocating the success of their experience with a product or service.
An extended review of sorts, a testimonial is a critical asset in marketing and advertising, giving readers the opportunity to connect with previous customers in place of the business or its founders.
A well-done testimonial is the story of an experience, one that can work to set the expectation for your brand, product, or service. Thankfully, testimonials don’t require the reader to know the person giving them. They instead serve as characters for your user to connect to via their story.
And similar to the founder’s stories, testimonials are deployed the same way via homepages, landing pages, and across social media channels.
The Power of Storytelling and Emotional Connection in Video Ads
When it comes to capturing an audience’s attention, there’s no better way in the modern, digital age than video. Take a quick look at the top social media platforms in the world, and their bread and butter is video-based content—largely short form.
From YouTube to TikTok, the ability to drive a marketing message through video storytelling has never been more in demand.
In fact, there’s a concept called “significant objects” in video storytelling that involves bonding the viewer to a specific object/product by giving it sentimental value.
For example, there was a shop that allowed writers to mock up stories for trinkets they were selling. These trinkets were then posted to eBay and were sold at a much higher value due to the built-in sentiment—the story—attached to these pieces.
Here’s one example:
As a child, I loved Beatrix Potter’s story of the two bad mice, Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, who broke into the doll’s house where “the dinner had been bought ready-made, in a box full of shavings. There were two red lobsters, and a ham, a fish, a pudding, and some pears and oranges. They would not come off the plates, but they were extremely beautiful.” Tom and Hunca Munca smashed dinner when they found it could not be eaten; I keep the hot dog to remind myself that food does not have to be beautiful.
— Jenny Davidson
This case study showed that purchasing behavior is inherently linked to emotion, even when eBay marked the stories as fictional.
Users connect with these stories because they reflect the human side of companies. They show that experts at your organization change, grow, and face daily obstacles just like them.
If you can frame your story in those basic elements, you’ll be able to generate universal connections with your audience.
This is why the founder’s story theme and creative brief template work for video ads to drive conversions.
Improve Your Video Ads with This Creative Brief Template
Primer’s proven founder’s story template can be used to create winning video ads that will consistently and reliably drive conversions.
Here’s a quick look at the founder’s story formula:
Each frame holds a crucial step in driving the story and fostering a stronger bond between your audience and your brand.
Check out this example from the fertility-based testing company, Proov. In the video, you can identify the step-by-step framework from the founder, Amy.
The founder’s story is a powerful tool, at times instantly connecting an audience to a business through a human medium—the founder or fellow customer (testimonial).
By following the framework of the founder’s story, it’s possible to create quick and lasting connections with new and returning customers. All you need to do is share a story that rings true within the minds and hearts of your viewers.
<<Click here to get our downloadable Founder’s Story Video Ad Creative Brief Template>>
Start Building High-Converting Video Ads Now
At Primer, we help our partners develop winning ads and scale by handling the process for you, including creative strategy, design, production, reporting, and media buying.
If you need high-quality ad creative with a rapid turnaround, our online platform Primer On-Demand gives you access to videos, images, and landing pages with a proven track record of driving conversions.
To learn how to create high-converting video ads, schedule a free consultation with Primer to find out how creative testing can help you script successful video ads.
For performance marketers, finding inspiration to keep your creative pipeline full with video ads that keep pace with top-performing ads by your competitors and take advantage of rapidly evolving marketing trends is a constant effort.
Chances are that you’re already using the Facebook Ad Library and others to gain insights into ad trends across industries and brands on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
But are you getting the most out of these ad libraries?
When used right, the Facebook Ad Library and others help you keep your swipe file up to date and stay one step ahead of the competition with ads that drive conversions.
For instance, did you know that with the Facebook Ad Library you can search ads by keyword or by a specific advertiser to reveal critical details like how long an ad has been running, who paid for the ad, and who the ad is targeting?
We believe that great marketers steal. It’s the idea that you should find something that works and make it your own. If you do it well, then it becomes yours.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when great advertising themes and templates like those we’ve developed at Primer have been proven to work time and time again.
Trends can change rapidly, and marketers often draw inspiration from one another to figure out what works and is successful in the current market.
Ad libraries are a great way to gain inspiration from what other brands are doing and find out what ads are performing and what ads are not.
Social media companies like Facebook and TikTok aren’t the only ones offering these crucial tools.
We developed our own ad library of high-converting ads across Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and more. By using our ad library, you can discover ad themes to create effective ads for your brand, keep your creative pipeline full, and drive ROI.
Here’s why an ad library might just be your performance marketing secret weapon.
3 Reasons an Ad Library Is Your Secret Weapon
Reason 1: Foster Creativity
An ad library is the perfect source for drawing inspiration from existing ads across social platforms.
These ads can help inspire unique and innovative ideas for your brand.
Not only can you brainstorm based on what works for similar brands, but you can even get creative inspiration from brands you admire in completely different industries!
Through our research testing thousands of ads across different social media channels, we found that themes and templates (like “how it works” or “vs. the alternative”) are industry agnostic and can work for any brand in any industry.
Reason 2: Know What Works
Using an ad library lets you find and target ad themes and templates you know perform well—and then incorporate top-performing elements of winning ads that use those themes and templates into your ads.
Ad libraries help you learn about successful campaigns that drive conversions. Once you identify these campaigns, you can easily compare them to find the best styles and approaches.
Not only can you learn what resonates with your specific target audience, but you can keep up with broader trends and stay one step ahead of the competition.
Reason 3: Build Your Swipe File
Sometimes when inspiration comes up short, great marketers turn to their swipe file—marketing materials they’ve gathered over time that have already proven successful, to help get the creative juices flowing when creating their own original campaigns.
Some common reasons to add something to your swipe file include:
- A strong hook, CTA, or both
- Creative use of native platform elements like sound, text, and UGC
- Effective for a specific platform you’re targeting
- Ads that fit a certain aspect ratio
- Ads with a specific theme or “big idea” you want to use for your ads
An ad library can help you collect great examples of ads that convert by giving you access to thousands of ads across advertisers and industries, targeting a variety of audiences.
Easily search and locate ads that match what performs well with your target audience and file them away for future inspiration.
Use these ads you know win to inform your future campaigns.
Find the Right Ad Library
Facebook, TikTok, and now Primer all offer ad libraries that can help performance marketers find ad formulas that work every time.
Here’s what you should know.
Facebook Ad Library
Facebook is the original, de facto ad library for social media ads across its advertising channels.
To add more transparency, Facebook designed its ad library to share every ad running on Facebook for a brand. These ads are compiled and shared in a searchable database.
They don’t include any stats or discussion of if the ad is performing. However, top performers will likely be left running for longer, meaning the brand is willing to invest more in ad spend to keep it visible on the platform.
You can filter by country and ad category along with your search term (keyword or brand).
Categories for users in the U.S. include issues, elections or politics; housing; employment; and credit.
You can then refine your search using built-in filters for categories such as whether the ad is an image, meme, or video, the platform used, whether the ad is currently active, and how many impressions the ad has had at the time of the search.
Tip: Try searching for a specific competitor of your brand to see what they are doing.
Example: Sunday Lawn Care
Tip: You can also try searching by a general product category.
Example: Lawn Care Products
TikTok Ad Library
TikTok provides users with a searchable ad library as well. However, TikTok only shares high-performing ads.
This takes a lot of the legwork out of the process for you, since you won’t be trying to deduce what works on the platform and what doesn’t on your own.
When searching the TikTok ad library, you can filter by location, industry, objective, likes, duration, and when it was shared.
Much like the Facebook ad library, you can search TikTok’s top performers according to a specific brand or by keyword.
Primer’s Ad Library
After testing thousands of ads across the most popular paid social channels, our marketing experts have developed a one-of-a-kind library of our top-performing ads that we know will convert.
With our ad library, you can search through all Primer-created winning ads (using our proven templates and themes) to find inspiration for our TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram ads (and more!).
Primer lets you search by:
- Industry (such as DTC or Fashion & Apparel)
- Aspect ratio (size)
- Our proven Primer-developed themes
Here’s how to search by industry:
Or by theme:
Our ad library is easy to use and gives you access to examples of how to create ads that stop users’ scrolling in their tracks and maximize your brand’s growth.
You can share the examples you like with your team, and you can also request creative just like an ad directly from the library.
Want to use the template shown in the ad above? Check out our How It Works Template>>
Use Primer’s Ad Library to Inspire Your Next Ads
Search our Ad Library to get inspired!
While popular social media companies like Facebook and TikTok offer valuable insights into the competition and current ad trends, only Primer offers a unique ad library of ads we’ve personally tested and seen perform at the highest level.
Want support taking using that inspiration for your own ads? Simply turn any of the ads in the Primer Ad Library into a template to use for your brand through our online platform Primer On-Demand.
The best direct response video ads for social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook drive conversions by persuading users to take immediate action. This can mean signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, or making a purchase.
When a user is scrolling social media, breaking that momentum takes a compelling ad and a compelling offer to make them switch gears and pursue a purchase. Growth-driven ads have to meet users where they are.
The best growth-driven ads speak to a problem the customer is having, then drive urgency, then make it easy to take immediate action.
Of course, not all ads are designed to elicit this kind of immediate and direct response. This marks the critical difference between brand-driven ads and growth-driven ads.
Hypergrowth marketing must drive users to act.
Brand-driven ads can draw attention to your brand, garner page views, and generate new leads, but they won’t facilitate the same direct growth.
Primer has tested thousands of growth-driven ads, and we have the experience to help you develop ads that will convert at the highest possible level.
Here’s what you should know about the key differences between brand-driven and growth-driven ads—and why it matters.
Growth-Driven vs. Brand-Driven Video Ads
Growth-driven and brand-driven ads both connect with consumers, but only growth-driven direct response ads persuade those users to take the next step and invest in your product or service.
Ultimately, growth-driven ads will help you expand your brand at a rate that meets your expectations and performance goals.
Let’s break down what’s important about each type of ad.
- Brand ads are often top-of-funnel (TOFU) ads that reach users early in the buyer’s journey. They raise awareness of your brand, and that awareness alone better positions users to convert later.
- As the name suggests, these ads are all about promoting your brand. They tell a story, but they don’t necessarily drive a user to click a link, fill out a form, or buy a product.
- Brand creative seeks to show how your brand is unique, i.e., what sets it apart from others.
- Brand ads don’t always have a call to action (CTA), and if they do, it’s not to drive conversions.
Consider this example:
- Growth ads reach users late in the buyer’s journey when they’re more likely to convert.
- Customers are always the central focus. Growth-driven ads should be more targeted to meet customers where they’re at and speak specifically to the target audience.
- Users at this stage need info that helps them validate a purchase. Growth ads provide this through an ad that links to a landing page. The ad offers essential product info, and the landing page tells them how to make a purchase.
- Growth creative isn’t different just for the sake of being different. Growth-centered ads stand out because they have a solid hook and grab users’ attention.
- A growth-driven ad has an implied or explicit CTA, and that CTA has one goal: to drive conversions.
The same company may create two completely different ads for the same product, one focusing on the brand and one driving growth.
For example, let’s say the company sells shoes.
A brand-focused ad might show someone wearing the shoes while running. The focus here is on the situation.
A growth-focused ad is more likely to show the shoes against a plain backdrop. In this case, the focus is on the product.
Brand ads have their place in the broader scheme of things, but only ads focused on growth will take potential buyers over the finish line and persuade them to take action.
How to Optimize Your Growth-Driven Ads
When creating and testing different iterations of your direct response video ads, here are steps you can take to maximize growth and your ROI.
1. Use Proven Ad Templates and Themes
By using one of Primer’s proven video ad templates, you can build your direct response video ads frame by frame. Using these highly effective templates will give your creative team a roadmap for delivering winning ads that will convert, regardless of which social platform you run your ads on.
Check out these examples of ad templates we’ve seen convert time and time again.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
A UGC-style ad uses the native style elements of social channels like TikTok and Instagram, imitating the feel of posts organic to those platforms. UGC ads feature content creators who demonstrate the usefulness of your product for consumers.
Here’s what a UGC ad looks like:
The “How It Works” Theme
The goal of “How It Works” is to build an ad that details, step by step, how your product solves a consumer’s problem. It should be succinct and contain just enough info to give a clear idea of how the product works and why it matters.
Here’s what a “How It Works” ad looks like:
Versus the Alternative
This ad style works by showing how your brand’s solution is the better alternative to another brand’s solution.
The ad below emphasizes that contrast by positioning TeePublic as a better, easier option than finding t-shirts at the mall.
Here’s what a Versus the Alternative ad looks like:
2. Start Your Ad Strong, and Finish Stronger
Nielsen analyzed Facebook ad content for 173 companies and found that viewers who watched less than 3 seconds of an ad still created almost half the campaign’s value, and viewers who watched up to ten seconds created almost 75%.
Thus, the first several seconds of your direct response video ad needs to convince the user to engage instead of scrolling on.
Meanwhile, the end of your ad needs to persuade them to take action. The ad also needs to deliver its message in the shortest possible time–though this varies between social platforms.
For instance, while Facebook recommends videos no longer than 15 seconds, our team found that TikTok videos perform best at 21 to 34 seconds long for a 280% lift. Thus, TikTok gives you more time to tell a story and engage users.
These elements are key for any company aiming to convert customers and increase brand awareness.
An attention-grabbing hook needs to engage users from the very first frame. Primer has developed hundreds of proven hooks that will help take your ad performance to the next level.
For example, try one of our hooks that focus on the user experience: “My X went from this… to this… with [product]!”
Drive conversions by ending on a strong CTA. Strong CTAs for social channels like TikTok don’t need to be overt, and they can attract more engagement and clicks by skipping the brand cards and adopting a style that feels native to the platform.
An example of a product-focused CTA might be: “Say to [brand].”
3. Focus on “You”, Not “Us”
Users will quickly skip over ads that feel too polished and brand focused. The ad is less likely to convert if you mention the brand more than in passing, especially for apps like TikTok.
Instead, focus on how your product, solution, or service helps users by giving proof and inspiring them to take action. In fact, sometimes you don’t even need to mention the brand specifically.
An ad centered on the user might say: “Check out this [product] I’ve been using to help with x.”
Check out this ad by our partner Apostrophe as an example of what performs well on apps like TikTok.
4. Link Your Ad to a Landing Page
After you put in all the effort on creating your direct response video ad, don’t overlook the landing page. Your ad will grab their attention, but it’s the landing page’s job to encourage them to make a purchase.
When an ad leads to a landing page instead of a page on your website, it is proven to drive more conversions, especially when the landing page:
- Carries over the key elements of the ad experience
- Answers questions a customer needs to have answered before buying your product (we call these buyer decision questions)
- Shows personalized social proof
- Has a single call to action to make a purchase or fill out a form
5. Test Your Ads!
Rapid, high-volume ad testing using Primer’s Outlier Method lets you quickly identify high-performing ads. Then you can take what works and discard the rest, scaling and iterating new ads by targeting the most effective elements, like what text, colors, and images to include.
You can apply the steps in this blog to the outlier method to create winning ads across all paid social outlets.
Here’s how it works.
First, ideate and launch “big idea” ads based on key questions buyers have.
Next, pause underperforming ads and identify top performers that beat the account average. These are the “Outliers.”
Use top-performing ads to scale the budget for the “wins” and make creative iterations. Then use these to test again.
Repeat these steps periodically, starting with a new “big idea” and continuing the process of identifying and iterating what works from the best-performing ads.
Depending on your budget, we recommend launching new big ideas once or twice per month. Continuously testing ads ensures that you’re able to iterate and develop ads that convert, keep pace with current trends, and scale your success without wasting your time or money.
This high volume of testing is the best way to get consistent, reliable results and maximize your ROI from your ads, but it also takes a lot of time and energy. That’s where we come in.
How Primer Can Help
Primer works with our partners to develop and scale winning ads. We’ll handle the process for you, including creative strategy, design, production, reporting, and media buying, so your team can devote their resources where they’re most needed.
For high-quality ad creative with a rapid turnaround, our online platform Primer On-Demand lets you access videos, images, and landing pages proven to drive conversions.
You can also schedule a free consultation with Primer to learn more about creative testing and how to develop high-performing direct response video ads.
Everywhere you turn, someone is talking about ChatGPT and other AI technologies that are taking the world by storm. But rather than wondering how AI might take someone’s job or even take over the world, I—Primer COO and Co-founder Brady Flynn—put ChatGPT to the test to create scripts for video ads.
I found that if you give the AI bot the right information about your brand and the ad template you want to use, you can create a first draft of a video ad script in under five minutes!
Using this process, you can overcome one of the biggest hurdles we see in video ad creation for our clients — creating bulk ad creative and iterations of scripts for successful video ads. Since 9 out of 10 ads fail, it’s necessary to have multiple versions of your ads ready to launch so that you can identify clear winners and keep your creative pipeline rolling.
Let’s get started.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using ChatGPT for Video Ads
Step 1: Start a New Chat
The first step in this process is pretty straightforward. Open ChatGPT and start a new conversation to give yourself (and ChatGPT) a blank slate.
You can return to this conversation if you want to write more scripts using the same core information you’ll share in step 2.
Step 2: Give ChatGPT Information
After starting your new conversation, you’ll need to give ChatGPT the information it needs to write for your video ads. I recommend giving it information from your website, like the text from your homepage or other core page related to your video ad’s topic, product, or solution.
Before pasting your information, include a prompt to signal to ChatGPT what you want it to do with the information.
Try this prompt: Here is the information from a website for a brand called [insert your brand name here].
ChatGPT will then produce an overview summary of the information you provided.
For this test, I pulled from our On-Demand partner Proven’s homepage to create this summary that includes an overview of the brand and its benefits:
Step 3: Pick an Ad Template for Your Video Ads
At Primer, we’ve created ad templates that convert and win across different platforms. Remember, the best marketers steal ideas that work rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with each new ad.
You’ll want to give ChatGPT one of these templates to help it write your video script.
For my test, I selected the Vs. Alternative template from our library of templates.
Step 4: Give ChatGPT an Example Using the Template
Next, you’ll want to share an example script using the template you chose, with a prompt telling ChatGPT exactly what to do with the information.
Try this prompt: Here’s a video script template for another brand [paste in the template you chose from Primer’s templates].
Using this example template, ChatGPT will first generate a script for that example, not your brand.
For my test, I shared this Vs. the Alternative script for the brand FitOn.
Step 5: Use that Example Script to Generate Your Own Script
Now, you’ll ask ChatGPT to use that script and template to write a video ad script for your brand. Before prompting, select a hook that you want to use in your script.
Remember: a strong 3-second hook is the key to successful video ads.
Try this prompt: Write another video script for [your brand]. Use an intro hook like [insert a script template].
Include voiceover and visual direction, broken into sections with the voiceover and visual directions in each section.
It’s important to ask for visual direction; otherwise, ChatGPT will only give you a voiceover.
For my test, I asked ChatGPT to use the hook “Stop scrolling if you want [solution]” to generate this script:
Step 6: Review Script and Import into Your Creative Brief
After generating the script, make sure you, a creative strategist, or a growth marketer review it.
We’ve found that while you can occasionally use the script as is, you’ll likely want to revise and edit some of the copywriting, which will ensure that
- The video script will produce a 20-30 second length ad—recommended to perform best on TikTok and Instagram.
- The information is accurate to your brand or product.
- You’re not missing moments where ChatGPT left a filler statement in your script instead of providing actual information. Example: In my test, ChatGPT failed to replace the x’s with relevant information for the hook “[x] hack #[x].”
After editing, import your script into a creative brief.
Go ahead and steal our creative brief template if you don’t have your own >>
Step 7: Make the Ad
Once you’ve edited your script and crafted your creative brief, it’s time to make your video ad!
A few options for making your video ads include
- Giving your brief to a video editor and using existing footage.
- Hiring a UGC creator to follow the general outline of the script and create new footage for your video editor.
- Using Primer On-Demand to leverage our team of professionals to create high-quality ad creative with a rapid turnaround.
Extra Tips for Creating Video Ad Scripts
After you’ve created the first ad, save your chat and use it again to have ChatGPT help you create iterations of your video ads with different hooks.
Try this prompt: Write me another, this time with the intro hook [insert hook].
You can flip the script and have ChatGPT write scripts using different CTAs instead of hooks.
Switch up your previous prompt: Write another video script for [your brand] this time. Use a call to action like [insert a script template]. Include voiceover and visual direction, broken into sections with the voiceover and visual directions in each section.
Let ChatGPT Help You Generate Ideas
For my test, I found that these scripts were rarely 100% ready for creative but were usually about 80% of the way there. While ChatGPT can’t do everything, it is a great tool for
- Getting through writer’s block
- Generating multiple concepts
Ready to Turn those Scripts into Winning Video Ads?
Now that you’ve kick-started your scriptwriting process, it’s time to turn those scripts into winning video ads.
Partner with Primer to develop winning ads and scale, and let us handle the process for you, including creative strategy, design, production, reporting, and media buying.
Schedule a free consultation with Primer to learn how to turn scripts into successful video ads.
The Power of Strategic UGC
Word-of-mouth motivates your customers 92% more than traditional advertising. They turn to social media feeds to find information from family and friends, discovering Instagram, Facebook and TikTok ads along the way.
Your customer’s goal is to discover authentic proof that your product or service will work for them, too. It’s up to you to tailor-make video ads that offer that experience to them, which is easier than you think.
UGC in performance marketing is incredibly influential, but some brands still hesitate to jump on the UGC bandwagon. These are the most common reasons that marketers are afraid to leverage UGC:
- Finding a creator is too complicated
- The ads will appear sloppy or off-brand
- Coordinating with content creators is challenging and expensive
Fortunately, high-quality, affordable UGC is easier than ever to coordinate. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to create high-converting UGC ads.
Simplify UGC from the Start
Explore the similarities between the buying patterns and shopping trends of your current and ideal customers and weave in the data you collected through marketing analysis and competitor research. Then roll it all together to create a fictional shopper or buyer persona that embodies all of these factors.
This customer—the “user” in your UGC—is who you’ve got to connect with. Tailor-make your UGC to appeal to them. Ask yourself,
- What do they want?
- What do they actively avoid?
- And what is your brand hoping to get from your UGC ad campaign?
Authenticity or Bust
UGC doesn’t work unless it’s authentic and natural. With new technology and social media platforms, brands can reach a seemingly endless pool of potential customers, all actively engaging with content. These potential consumers, however, didn’t sign into their accounts to become advertising targets. Instead, bombarded with ads, they developed an ad radar to detect overtly promotional or salesy content.
To avoid alienating their target audience, advertisers moved away from traditional ad campaigns on social media platforms towards UGC. But low-quality, spammy UGC sets off alarm bells every time.
59% of consumers say inauthentic advertising annoys them, which means if your brand sets off your customers’ BS alarm, you risk losing a potentially valuable customer.
Recommendations from trusted peers are more valuable. So, the organic UGC you’re creating reflects the relatable personality of your average buyer, making your marketing efforts far less likely to set off their ad radar.
Three Reasons Why You Haven’t Created UGC Ads—And What to Do About It
You’re Worried UGC Ads Will Feel Off-Brand
Here are some ways to inject your brand into your UGC TikTok ads:
Pick the right creator
Your content creator should embody your brand. Hire the real-life content creator version of your buyer persona. Having a content creator that is consistent with your brand helps blur the lines between paid and organic content.
Plus, working with a creator matching your brand’s target audience also provides fresh insights about your customer base and empowers you to create UGC ads that drive conversions.
All in all, your UGC gives your customers a glimpse into their future. If they can relate to your creator, they can envision themselves as your future customer.
Surround UGC with Branded Elements
Add an element of brand identity into UGC ads. Try layering text boxes and type treatments with your brand colors or fonts on top of the UGC footage. For more tips, see the next section.
Not to over-emphasize, but finding the perfect content creator for your brand will help ease your mind. The quality of your UGC is far more significant than the quantity of UGC you post.
If you’re still feeling hesitant even after your brand-consistent creator makes your fresh UGC content—start small. Add UGC snippets into regular ads and track engagement and conversion data.
You’re Afraid Your UGC Will Look Sloppy
Follow these tips to achieve native-style UGC that still feels professional:
Pick Your Platform
UGC best practices differ by social media platform, so great TikTok ads might need a tuneup to perform well on Facebook.
Your social media followers are more likely to buy your product than brands they don’t follow, so studying each platform’s popular UGC can inspire you to create great content that blends in. For more ideas, check out how these popular DTC brands leverage different features across social media platforms.
Hiring the right content creator will virtually eliminate this concern altogether! They’re industry professionals. Rest easy knowing you’ll have high-quality footage for your team to edit.
Although UGC is supposed to be unpolished, good lighting is always appreciated. It’s worth mentioning to your creator that great lighting and clever product placement are important for your brand (many creators like to film during golden hour).
Provide a Shot List
You don’t want to get in the way of the creative process, but if there are specific shots, specific footage, or essential elements you want, including close-ups, demos, unboxings, etc., make a list for your content creator beforehand. Otherwise, let them run with it!
You’ve hired the right creator, so you’ll end up with professional footage.
You’re Concerned Your Ad Will Look Out of Place
Incorporate these native elements into your ads to achieve seamless UGC:
Use First-Person Perspective
Your audience wants to know how people like them use your product, and since your content creator fits your buyer persona, they’re the perfect person to share their experience directly.
A great way to create that connection is by using the first-person perspective. “I” statements are more relatable and help communicate authenticity—without being salesy. The “testimonial” and “how-to” formulas are great examples of first-person in UGC.
While it’s fine to mention, remember it comes naturally to most content creators, so don’t limit their creativity with a script. Your creator is the embodiment of your buyer persona. They’ll be able to relate and identify with their peers—your target audience—more authentically if they can speak freely (see next tip!).
Check out how the best TikTok ads are fun and creative without losing their organic feel.
A video with sound improves the experience for your audience, whether they are Instagram Reels or TikTok ads. Trending songs, platform-specific sound bites, and voiceovers can add authenticity to your ads, but prioritize clear audio above all else.
Using voiceovers rather than trending music or audio clips engages your client and makes your UGC feel more relatable. You build trust by using narration to lead your audience through an experiential journey with your product as if they are close friends or are in on a secret.
Use This Formula for Winning UGC TikTok Ads
Take the guesswork out of your UGC ads by trying any of the fantastic ad templates available to brands and content creators.
Remember that effective UGC ads typically need the following:
- A great hook– It’s what compels people to stop scrolling and start listening. Ask your creator to film a few hooks—two is fantastic, and 3+ is even better!
- A motivator for finding solutions– Give the audience a moment to relate to the content before jumping into the fix.
- A way out (your brand!)– Introduce your brand’s product or service as the solution to their problem.
- An explanation of the benefits or features of your solution– Describe specific benefits and features.
- An authentic testimonial– Your creator’s voiceover or video (they can provide a few options).
- A CTA– Your audience wants to buy the product. Tell them how to do it!
Try this template:
Leave It to the Pros
When your target customers become curious about how a product look in real life, whether they actually work as advertised, and if they are worth their money—they’re logging into their social media apps and looking for recommendations from content creators to find out.
By giving your customers access to this information, you can convert curiosity into purchases and see for yourself the significant ROI that UGC advertising brings.
Primer makes it easy. Discover new creators and get ready-to-launch UGC video ads with Primer. Schedule your consultation today.
TikTok recently released Smart Performance Campaigns (SPC) for TikTok ads, and it’s a game-changer for advertisers on the platform.
Similar to Meta’s Advantage+ campaigns, SPC is TikTok’s end-to-end automation solution that uses machine learning to optimize for the best performance and marketing goals. It simplifies the campaign creation process and enhances ad delivery strategies for audience, bidding, and creative exploration. Essentially, SPC removes the need for marketers to set up individual ad groups, determine bidding strategies, or place creative tests.
At a high level, TikTok (Meta too) is trying to further level the playing field for advertisers so that the practice of running ads is simple. With account optimizations removed, this is also more evidence that ad creative is the biggest lever brands can pull to drive growth.
Who Should Use SPC for TikTok Ads?
Any performance marketer who wants to reduce time spent in the account and see an increase in performance is a good fit for SPC. According to TikTok, it reduces campaign creation time by 26%. They also say it extends the ad lifespan by 37% when compared with manual campaigns. 87% of the Closed Beta advertisers also reported statistically better CPA and ROAS when compared to status quo setups.
We’re seeing pretty amazing results at Primer too. Here’s what our team had to say:
SPC is great for performance-driven advertisers who are comfortable with giving control to the system over audience targeting. It can mean less time spent setting up campaigns and tinkering with ad accounts.
How to Set Up SPC for your TikTok Ads
To test SPC, ensure a minimum of 20:1 budget-to-bid ratio, with 50:1 being the most ideal. Use daily budget for even pacing and avoid touching the campaign for the first 7-days or prior to reaching 50 conversions. CPA fluctuation is normal during this time, so it’s essential to stay patient. Use a minimum of three diverse creative assets to get the best results. We recommend setting it up as an equal, 1:1 test against a standard campaign with the same budget to really understand if SPC is a winner for your account.
Get Access to SPC
User-generated content brings products to life in a far more personalized way than traditional ads. Increasingly, your customer’s experience with products comes through their smartphone screen. By hiring professional UGC creators and using UGC templates, you can maximize the value of customer-created content and harness the power of authentically representing the user experience.
But “authentic” is the operative word—and it’s where others can fall short if they’re not intentional about hiring the best content creator for their brand.
Follow these essential tips to maximize your UGC by hiring the perfect pro to create content your audience can’t resist.
Why are UGC templates successful?
Brands are embracing user-generated content (UGC) worldwide, but only some use it effectively. While anyone can use popular UGC ad templates, professional content creators have the experience and creativity to make your content stand out—driving engagement and conversion rates.
The pioneering “user” in UGC
Before UGC rose in popularity with marketing teams, users posted and shared organically created content. The posts were based on real-life experiences with a product or service and geared towards their followers—and potential customers.
Embracing the opportunity to build a community around their products and services, companies seized the opportunity to engage directly with their customers.
Brands repost reviews, feedback, and other user-generated content on their social channels to positively influence engagement metrics. According to one survey, 77% of respondents are more likely to purchase products from brands that use UGC.
UGC in ad campaigns
To traditional marketers, UGC ads seem counterintuitive. The brand takes a back seat, the production value is intentionally low, and they’re giving up some creative control.
A professional creator understands the fundamental advantage of user-generated content. UGC minimizes consumers’ distrust of conventional advertising by engaging directly with brands’ customer base from the consumer point-of-view.
And most importantly, content creators know how to do it authentically—with eye-catching content that subtly communicates your call to action before your audience realizes they’re watching an ad.
UGC creators vs. influencers
Although influencers create content, there are significant differences between UGC creators and influencers. Know the difference so you can hire the right content creator to represent your brand.
Brands engage influencers as product ambassadors for access to their follower base and clout as microcelebrities. It is tempting to reach out to influencers because of their large followings, but it’s important to note that their audience may not be relevant to yours. Misaligned or unrelated content could be interpreted by their audience as outright advertising, which isn’t the intention of well-made UGC, or you could end up paying for an audience that is not likely to convert.
Brands hire UGC creators for their creativity, ability to capture the brand’s voice, and connection with a target audience. They don’t need a large following since they do not typically share UGC content on their social channels. Social platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels have popularized UGC templates for both ads and organic posts alike. With content creators, brands can leverage those UGC templates to create ads that feel more native to the social feed.
At their core, UGC creators and influencers are content creators experienced in crafting a message that resonates with an audience within niches. Partnering with creators who can speak directly to your audience, whose audience matches your ideal customer, and who represents that ideal customer maximizes your brand’s messaging.
Brands are no longer limited to marketing strategies that rely on public figures and celebrities with large audiences. As a result, content creators give brands a voice that is relatable and accessible.
Consider your audience
The more your creator fits the persona of your target audience, the more successful your campaigns will be. They will be able to capture your customers’ attention, keep them interested, and motivate them to buy more effectively if they can identify with your audience—their lifestyles, preferences, challenges, and spending habits.
Hiring and working with freelance UGC creators
It’s not one size fits all. Choosing a professional who understands your brand can make or break your UGC marketing strategy, but you may not know where to start, what to look for in a creator, or how to tell if your UGC templates are effective.
How do you find and hire a content creator tailored to your brand and target audience? And how do you keep your project on track once you hire one?
TikTok Creator Marketplace
TikTok is the mothership for UGC creator content. There is an endless supply of talented creators ready to take on your project—and TikTok made it easier than ever.
Discover hundreds of professional content creators on the TikTok Creator Marketplace by applying filters based on the type of creator you need, your brand’s goals, your target audience, and other relevant requirements.
Tip: Searching #UGCcreator tags on TikTok and Instagram is a great way to surf professional UGC creators’ content to see if they’re the right fit for you.
Fiverr & Upwork
Popular freelancing platforms, like Fiverr and Upwork, allow businesses to browse through the catalog of talented UGC creators or post an ad for their campaigns. Creators have their rates and reviews in their profiles, helping you stay on budget while searching for your perfect creator.
Connect with a creator
Investing in a content creator to convert your product or services into credible endorsements and content that feels native to the platform requires some prep work.
It’s important to communicate your brand’s goals. Define your marketing goals and sales strategies ahead of time. Your perfect content creator can apply your UGC templates to make the biggest impact.
If you think you’ve found the right creator, talk to them about your campaign. They need to know:
- About your company: your target audience and UGC goals
- Campaign name + details
- Campaign budget
- Their point of contact
Impactful UGC templates
Professionally made UGC blends advertisements with organic user content, but it’s only effective if customers believe in its authenticity. Viewers won’t stick around if they feel tricked into watching a sales pitch. The pros know how and when to use different UGC templates depending on your goals, your audience, and your product. And by passing off these ads as native social media content, popular UGC templates are integrating creator-produced UGC into ads that convert.
Common freelance UGC creator challenges:
Delayed response times
Independent contractors might not have availability to respond to your inquiry immediately or have room on their schedule to spearhead your campaign due to other client commitments. When seeking out creators, ask for their availability right away and make sure to factor in production times (see below).
You never want to be caught with surprise fees or upcharges. Start by confirming the fee structure against their freelancer profiles before moving forward to avoid inaccurate rate estimations.
Make sure you factor in the time it will take to ship the product and have it arrive in the creator’s hands. You should also consider the time it will take to film the content, deliver the footage, and then edit time on your end and apply your UGC templates.
Getting ghosted by creators
Let’s face it, getting ghosted by creators, or slow response time from creators, is not as unusual as you’d hope. It can take a lot of research and reaching out to find a reliable content creator who is professional and responsive. Try to factor in the time it will take upfront to find the right match and get the responses you need to confirm it.
Let them work their magic
Remember, making heavily scripted notes can hinder your creator’s creative process. Add these points to your UGC brief to set your campaign up for success.
- UGC brief
- Required shot list
- Product approach: selling points and important details to mention
- Brand do’s and don’ts
- What the creator should not to say (e.g. any legal limitations, competitors, etc)
- Ask the creator not to add copy to the videos—makes the footage more versatile and avoids future image cropping issues
- High-level creative concepts
- Trending sounds
- UGC template preferences, like “How to” videos, etc.
- Layout ideas
- Authenticity is essential—audiences won’t appreciate blatant advertising. Keep the content organic and natural. The best UGC campaigns are natural and unpolished, so avoid overdirecting.
You’ll get more ad material for your money if you don’t expect—or ask— for a completely finished ad from your UGC creator. Instead, direct your creator to record a few different hooks and show a few different sets. You can edit the raw material yourself and end up with more than one ad from the same material.
Finally, if you like the content creator’s work, hire them again!
Consider the done-for-you UGC route
Alternatively, you can leave the entire process to the pros at Primer. By offloading the UGC creator-hiring process to a marketing company that excels in social advertising, you’ll save yourself the time, staffing, and hassle of tracking down and project managing a freelancer.
Primer-led prep work
Primer builds your ideal customer persona for you, eliminating the guesswork from identifying your target audience.
Simplify the search
With Primer, your brand is connected to the perfect content creators based on your audience profile through their extensive network of highly qualified, trusted specialists. Primer allows you to rank a list of 5-10 verified creators that match your brand.
Primer-led ad creation
Using the content creator’s video footage, Primer creates multiple iterations of your ad across a variety of platforms. Building multiple ads allows you to test them against each other and discover a winner among them.
Simplify your UGC creator search
Whether you DIY or let Primer handle the heavy lifting, you’re on your way to maximizing your UGC content and sharing content your audience will love.
At Primer, we talk a lot about ad testing. There’s a simple reason why: it works. In our full-service agency, we run performance marketing for dozens of brands. Each of them comes to us with an aggressive growth goal. Ad testing is the way we hit their goals.
We run new tests every two weeks, following our Outlier Method. In one month, our testing schedule looks like this:
We aim to alternate new, big idea tests with scaling tests that create variations on our top performers. In each group of tests, we create videos, copy and a landing page (we often test static images too).
In the example above, the “big idea” test is the designer highlight, while the “scaling top performers” test is the scaling or iteration test.
This testing cadence fills the creative pipeline, ensuring there is always fresh creative and new opportunities to find a top-performing ad.
We know that when we don’t follow this cadence, performance suffers. In the past, for various reasons, a few of our agency partners didn’t sustain this testing schedule continuously.
When their tests fell short, so did their number of wins, ultimately affecting their CPA and ROAS.
In one month, for example, when our partners fell short of their testing cadence, they generated 0 new wins.
No Ad Testing
In contrast, in the same month, the partners who tested consistently saw significant wins and consistent or improved performance, generating performance that was 2.55 times better than the partners who did not test.
Consistent Ad Testing
What is a win? A win, or Outliers as we call them, are generally ads that perform better than the rest in their campaign. We define them by this criteria:
- Not identified as a new win in a previous month
- Live for at least 14 days
- At least a 10% improvement over average CPA/ROAS OR 5% below the big win CPA/ROAS goal
- A minimum of 10 conversions
Ad Testing Can Be Hard
There are a lot of good reasons why you may not be testing a lot in your ad accounts.
Isn’t It Easier to Optimize for Growth?
It could feel good to make immediate changes in the ad platform. When account performance is not ideal, it’s a natural tendency to want to make quick account optimizations.
This type of scrambling, however, takes away from bigger priorities, like strong ideation and development for new creative tests. What results is an account that is just treading water.
Once ads are fatigued, it’s rare (if ever) that they come back and perform at peak levels. It’s better to take what you learned from those ads and keep building.
Ad Testing Takes Time
Creative testing can seem time consuming. It takes time and preparation to develop a creative roadmap and the creative assets you need to test. Maybe you’re not sure where assets are or what the best messaging is. Testing can feel like you’re just throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
The truth is… you are. But it’s important to start noticing what sticks and building from there. Once you unlock the key creative learnings for accounts, briefs become much easier to write because you have such a strong baseline to build from. You can mix and match what’s working for scaling sprints or build off them for new big ideas.
A repeated testing cadence has an outsized impact in the performance of your ad account.
Ad accounts with consistent creative testing have fewer daily fluctuations and can ride the small ups and downs of daily account performance because of the bigger creative wins that improve overall account performance.
Is Creative Testing Expensive?
It’s true that testing ad sets are almost above campaign averages. However, if you are building off of your learnings from those tests, you should find outliers that make incremental improvement towards your CPA goal.
Creative testing and learning is just like any other journey — you can only take one step at a time. Taking those individual steps will lead you to eventually reach your goal and consistent cost savings that far outweigh the costs of creative development and production.
Ad accounts with creative testing performed 2.55x better than those without testing.
Test More, Win More.
When performance starts to drop for one of partners, the creative testing cadence is the first thing we look at. We suggest you do too.
Are you running enough ad tests? Here are a few resources to help you find out and plan:
- How many ads you should be testing
- What to test (big ideas vs. small iterations)
- The step-by-step guide to the Outlier Method of testing
Looking for Help With Ad Testing?
Maintaining this cadence can be tricky. If you need help filling your creative pipeline with high-quality ads, check out Primer’s On-Demand creative service that delivers conversion-focused ad creative in 2 – 4 days.
For a growth partner that can handle your creative and testing strategy from ideation through to analysis, schedule a call with Primer’s full-service agency team.
One of the most effective forms of digital advertising today is performance user-generated content (UGC). We’ll break down what is performance UGC, share the essential elements of successful UGC, and give you four UGC video ad templates you can use for your ads right now.
What Is Performance UGC?
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by individual users to share information or tell a story. Digital social platforms like TikTok and Instagram helped to popularize UGC with video-focused social feeds that spotlight the first-person point of view. Traditional UGC content features the user or customer of a specific product telling their own, genuine account of their experience.
Performance UGC is when you apply the best practices from traditional UGC to digital advertising, and create UGC-style ads that are designed to convert.
The Essential Elements of a UGC Ad
The goal of a performance-focused UGC-style ad is to feel native or organic within the social platform where you’re advertising. If it sticks out and feels different, the user is likely to immediately recognize it as an ad and scroll past it. If it grabs attention and feels organic, then it has a higher chance of stopping their thumb and getting engagement.
Here are the essential elements of a top-performing UGC ad:
UGC Ads Are Not Overly Polished or Produced
When creating a UGC ad, avoid the tendency to make the ad feel professional or polished. This applies to all businesses, including B2B advertising. If it feels like it’s been professionally produced, you have immediately lost the feeling of “user-generated content.”
Rather than smooth, flashy transitions between frames, use quick cuts. Eliminate text transitions — they should appear as they do in organic images and videos in the platform.
|❌ Brand-driven design using brand fonts and polished graphics||✅ User-focused video footage using text in the native style of the platform|
UGC Ads Use a First-Person Perspective
UGC videos have a conversational style and appear as if they are coming from the point of view of one person. Successful UGC video ads feel as if they are relatable — ”this person is like me” or “this person has traits that I admire”.
When putting together your UGC ad, try to stick to one featuring just one person in the video if possible. If you have multiple shots, try a montage approach featuring many users in quick succession. Then, connect your footage with voiceover from a single person to reinforce the first-person point of view.
UGC Ads Have Sound On
Gone are the days when sound was considered disruptive in your social feed. Today, users expect sound on, and when done right, it adds to the experience. We recommend including a voiceover with every video and music when you can. Look for trending sounds on the platform where you’re advertising and incorporate them when they fit your brand and goals.
How to Create a UGC Video That Fits Your Brand
A common objection to UGC ads is that they can feel “off-brand.” We understand. Here are some tips on how you can create UGC video ads that serve your brand well and deliver a good experience for your audience.
Study the Ad Platform
First, consider the environment where your ad will run. Will a polished, branded ad feel natural in that environment? If so, then go for it. If you’re looking to run ads in social feeds, like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook or Snapchat, a high-production ad may feel out of place and stick out as an ad. Look at the trends in the platform and identify the ones that feel like the strongest fit for your brand. Small trends like a sound or text style can help your ad feel more organic while still staying true to your brand.
Pick the Right Influencer
To create an on-brand UGC ad, first start with the creator or influencer featured in your ad. Who is your ideal customer? Select an influencer who represents that person. If you’re working with a creative partner, share samples of creators who feel like a strong representation of your audience. It can also be helpful to pull examples of creators who do not represent your brand. If your creator is a strong representation of your brand, the content will likely match too.
Don’t Over Direct
Avoid over directing your UGC ad. It can be a natural tendency to want to control the direction of the ad to help protect your brand, but overly produced UGC ads can easily feel scripted and forced. Social influencers or creators have a unique point of view, and you’re hiring them to share it. Embrace their creativity and give them the space to tell the story in their own way.
If you’ve identified an influencer who is a strong match for your brand, you should feel comfortable knowing that this is in line with your audience. Include brand don’ts so they are aware of what is off limits, but then give them the space to talk about your brand in their own special way.
Four UGC Video Ad Templates You Can Use Now
Now that we have the basics covered, here are four UGC video ad templates you can use for your ads. You may notice that each of these has three common elements:
- Engaging hook that grabs users’ attention within the first three seconds
- Main message
These elements are essential for any conversion-focused video ad. When we’re building video ads, we apply several different themes to this framework to test different creative approaches. The four themes below are some of our top performers.
At Primer, we like to say “great marketers steal” and so we encourage you to steal these templates and use them for your UGC ads.
Need help creating your ads? Check out Primer On-Demand.
Press + Testimonial UGC Ad Template
What it does: Uses press quotes and customer testimonials in creative to tell the story of how and why the product works. It provides social proof and validation that the product works and that customers love it.
How the example uses the template:
How It Works UGC Ad Template
What it does: Explains to customers how to solve a key problem and presents your product as the solution. This can be humorous or more didactic.
How the example uses this template:
Buyer Decision Questions UGC Ad Template
What it does: Answers the most important Buyer Decision Questions (BDQs) that potential customers would ask themselves during the purchasing process.
How the example uses the template:
X Reasons Why UGC Ad Template
What it does: Gives the user several reasons why this product can solve their problems.
How the example uses this template:
Once you’ve selected your template, turn the table from the examples above into a creative brief by swapping the example text for your copy and send it over to your design team. (Or grab our creative brief template here.)
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