How to Increase Conversion by 150% in Four Hours: Learnings from Facebook’s “Create to Convert” Summit

Photo of Rebecca Babcock

create to convertCan you remember the last time you went anywhere or did anything—let’s be honest, including brushing your teeth—without your beloved mobile device on hand? And if we are really getting real about it, you were likely scrolling through one of your social media feeds, right?

Why does that matter? As marketers, mobile hasn’t only changed people’s behavior, it has transformed advertising and the way we reach potential consumers. Nowadays, big beautiful brand films live side-by-side with ‘buy now’ buttons. Calls-to-action are now seamlessly embedded within branded content. And tough talking, hard-working sales activation efforts can now feel emotional, experiential, and–dare we say—rewarding. In other words, the good old sales funnel has collapsed on itself.

One of the world’s leading contributors of this change, no surprise, is Facebook. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a summit hosted by Facebook in NYC. In this world of marketing convergence, the Create to Convert summit provided me with a rewarding afternoon of timely insights, eye-opening stats, and a suite of solutions to help those of us in the marketing/advertising/creative space pioneer new, engaging ways to simultaneously build brands and drive sales through creative.

The Case to Change

My main takeaway (other than the mind-blowing amount of free food and drinks available to Facebook employees every day) is that there’s no better time to create-to-convert. Marketers must change how we show up in the mobile feed. The status quo reveals that there are wasted ad impressions, declining click-through rates, and diminishing conversions. All this, yet we see that there’s an increase in spend across the board. According to Facebook, there is an estimated $2.9 billion in wasted ad impressions each year. How and why? It takes an average of 13 milliseconds for a consumer to see and create an emotional connection with mobile content. With no shortage of mobile content—we are consuming 300 feet (the height of the Statue of Liberty) a day—the need to stand out is incredibly important. When studied, consumers are more attentive, focused, and have a more emotive response when consuming video on mobile than TV.  We are facing a marketing problem where we either create content for BRANDING (solely creative) or for DIRECT RESPONSE (efficient conversion). But with the increasing amount of mobile users consuming at the rates that they are—there needs to be a transition to creating content to drive both. There is no question that “Mobile” is NOW and we need to update our creative tactics.

The Rise of Performance Branding 

I hope we now agree that mobile is king, but why do we need to change the way we create for mobile so that is designed to convert? Three reasons:

  1. Mobile is Collapsing the Funnel
  2. Mobile Makes the Funnel Non-linear
  3. Mobile Changes the Relationship Between Creative & Intent

Consider the infomercials of the past: remember scrolling through the channels late at night and seeing the Snuggie commercial? It is a classic example of a direct response commercial: “Buy now!” On the extreme other end of the spectrum, there are ads designed just to entertain. I am truthfully no football fan, but I am glued to the TV for the Super Bowl every year JUST for the ads. How does this prove that mobile has changed marketing? The old school model: direct response ads were televised late at night and were low quality (Snuggie) and highly produced branding creative were featured during primetime (Super Bowl ads). Nowadays, with mobile dominating, consumers don’t discriminate on their personal content feed because they receive all the information at the same time. Even more, with the size of your potential audience being 2.3B consumers daily, every day has the potential to be Super Bowl Sunday in magnitude. This means creative needs to meet audiences at every part of the funnel at once. Mobile requires a collapsed, non-linear creative approach with high quality messaging that is both “pretty” and provides utility at the same time. But how?

The Creative Evolution

To see this in action, consider this: Aveda took their existing creative and created four new styles of mobile advertising designed to reach users in every part of the funnel at once. During the summit Facebook showed us these styles of “Brand Creative Designed to Convert”. What’s even more interesting about the Aveda example was that these were all created, designed and live within 24 hours!

  1. Basic Motion/Brand: 4 still images of 4 products using stop motion as a video format
  2. Brand in Motion: Focus on brand experience, logo and style (less product) using stop motion
  3. Benefit in Motion: Different images used, focused on one product/message using the product in real life
  4. Demo in Motion: Added VIDEO in step by step for application and use

The last two formats (Benefit in Motion and Demo in Motion) performed the best with consumers. It’s no surprise with the emergence of video on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest that it would. By using a low production stop motion graphic video rather than still images, Aveda was able to generate a 22% increase in incremental sales and saw a 150% increase in conversion! Another great example? Buzzfeed Tasty: the ones that bring you your favorite recipe videos, reaches 500M Facebook users each month!

Both Tasty and Aveda are great examples of brands creating to convert and there are some easy learning marketers can begin to apply today. Creating to convert doesn’t need to be time-intensive: it can take 4-5 hours to make stills into videos—less than one business day! Your mobile content does not have to be perfect. Get started today: create a focused sprint time, open with your brand (e.g. logo), end with the value/price point as a call to action, and test in real time. You might be surprised at the success of the results.

Resources

I hope you got a few nuggets that can be helpful to you as you get started. Here are some links to learn more:

  1. Get Inspired: https://www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub/gallery/

  2. General Creative Assets: https://www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub

  3. Video, Interactive and Image Formats with examples and mock ups: https://www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub/formats/

  4. Create a mock up! https://www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub/home/?act=10152680437594896

Questions? Contact us - we're happy to talk more!