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What Is Performance Creative? (And How to Merge Creativity and Data in Marketing)

As businesses gather more data and gain access to better tools for analyzing key marketing metrics, they’re better able to track marketing campaigns, and strategies become more data-driven. Implementing data-driven marketing campaigns is the approach we take here at WebFX as a performance-focused digital marketing company. Most people, however, don’t associate the more creative aspects of marketing, such as designing visual ads or writing copy, with analytics.

There are plenty of ways to integrate data with marketing — artistically — enabling you to improve your results without comprising your creativity or the human side of your company. It’s called performance creative. In this post, we’ll explore the definition of performance creative and discuss some of the most valuable tips for using it in your marketing.

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What is performance creative?

Performance creative is an approach to creative marketing tasks that involves using data to track performance and shape the development or distribution of creative marketing assets. These creative tasks include things like designing visuals for ads, planning videos, and writing copy for blog posts. Using data and analytics tools allows you to measure a creative asset’s impact on your marketing goals and make data-backed changes to improve performance.

How to get started with performance creative marketing

So, how do you use performance creative to improve your marketing content and your campaigns’ performance?

Here are five essential steps to follow – the five Ts of performance creative marketing.

1. Targets

A crucial first step is setting goals, or targets. You need to know what you’re aiming to achieve so that you can track your progress. Perhaps the goal of a blog post is to get people to sign up for your email newsletter.

Maybe the objective of your video is to persuade people to sign up for a free trial of your service. With an ad, the target might be a purchase. To make your goals more useful and easier to track, make them SMART goals, which means they’re specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to your larger goals, and time-bound.

2. Technology

Another vital step is setting up the technology you’ll need to track your marketing performance. The performance tracking and data analytics tools you’ll use may vary according to the medium you’re using. Some examples of these tools include:

  • Google Ads: If you’re using your creative assets in online ads, the digital advertising platform you’re using likely includes performance tracking and analytics features. Google Ads is perhaps the most common example of such a platform, but there are also many others.
  • Social media platforms: Like with advertising platforms, many social media sites also include built-in analytics tools that help you track how both your organic posts and social media ads are performing.
  • SEO tracking tools: There are various tools you can use for tracking how your content performs in search engines. If you’re posting your creative assets on your website and optimizing your pages for search, you can use tools like Google Search Console and Ahrefs to track their performance.
  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics is one of the most widely used web analytics tools. It lets you track and analyze a wide variety of metrics, from how users arrive on your site to how many users convert on a given page.
  • MarketingCloudFX: MarketingCloudFX also lets you track many kinds of metrics across numerous channels. It offers tools for lead tracking, email tracking, search engine performance, and more. You can even access video recordings of how users interact with the content on your site.

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3. Tests

A key part of performance creative is testing the changes you make to your creative marketing assets to see how updates affect their performance. For example, you could adjust the color scheme in an ad or the CTA copy in a blog post to see if the change leads to more conversions. If the update results in an improvement, you can keep the change and go on to test another element.

This process is called A/B testing. In addition to testing elements of your creatives themselves, you can also test aspects of how you distribute your ads or other marketing materials. For example, you might test different ads with different segments of your audience.

You can then show each segment the ads they like best, personalizing your marketing for your users and improving your results. While you can start with best practices and other similar benchmarks, remember that what works best varies from company to company. The only way to be sure what works best for you is to run a test!

4. Tracking

To take advantage of the power of performance creative, you’ll need to track your marketing’s performance over time, in addition to tracking the results of your tests. This is where tools like Google Analytics and MarketingCloudFX come in. You can use these tools to measure metrics such as views, conversions, bounce rate, and much more.

Tracking your results lets you see which marketing assets perform best for your company, allowing you to refine your campaigns over time.

5. Tune-up

Performance creative isn’t a one-and-done strategy. You’ll continue tracking performance over time and adjusting your marketing materials to continually improve them. As you learn more about what works well for your company through testing, tracking, and refining your campaigns, your performance creative marketing will continue to get better and better.

Additional performance creative tips

Here are a few additional tips to help you use the performance creative approach in your marketing.

Increase communication between teams

Performance creative requires you to combine the creative and analytical sides of your business.

If you have separate teams or team members working on creative tasks and data analytics, consider integrating them. Perhaps the two teams can meet occasionally and provide each other with reports and updates to make sure both sides of your marketing department are on the same page.

Get creative with testing

Performance creative is about using data and testing things for yourself. You might want to start with best practices, but you can also test an idea that is a bit out of the ordinary.

Keep in mind that testing might reveal that your initial instincts weren’t right — and that’s okay! You never know for sure if something will work until you test it for yourself.

Find the right balance

An important aspect of getting performance creative marketing right is finding the ideal balance between creativity and data. You don’t want to base every decision on your gut feeling alone, but you also want your marketing to feel human and genuine.

It can be tricky, but to succeed with performance creative, you need to find the right balance between making decisions based on data and letting your creativity flow.

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The WebFX approach to performance creative marketing

At WebFX, we love to flex our creative muscles, and we focus on creating marketing campaigns and materials that perform. We use data when creating marketing strategies and carefully track the results of all our efforts, so we can report on and improve them. We always focus on driving results that matter to our clients and tailor our campaigns to your company’s unique goals.

If you want to work with a performance creative marketing agency that balances creativity with data-driven performance, consider working with WebFX. We have a team of more than 500 digital marketing experts who are ready to start driving results for your business. Contact us online or at 888-601-5359 to get started.

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