How to optimize creative sequences on Facebook to drive conversions

Savvy marketers understand that their ad campaigns do not live in a vacuum.

Different versions of creative intercept and interact with one another. When using traditional media, this process is largely uncontrolled. We cannot know how an outdoor ad interacts with a prime TV spot both in timing and in sequencing.

Using digital and social media advertising, we can optimize and control creative sequences of photo and video ads to drive key performance indicators such as brand awareness and sales conversion.

Video + Photo = Sequencing Matters

Facebook Marketing Science conducted a study in November 2014 of 3 sequencing strategies using photos and video ads. The experiment took place over a 4 day period on desktop and mobile.

The 3 sequences tested were as follows:

  1. Video ad followed by static ad (photo is the same as the thumbnail of the video)
  2. Static ad followed by video ad (same ads as previous group but different order)
  3. Sequenced series of 2 static ads (first photo is the same as other groups)
  4. A fourth group was the control and saw no ads.

Each ad sequence drove more traffic to the marketer’s site than the control; however, the most effective sequence at driving traffic was sequence 3 — a series of 2 static ads. Sequence 3 drove 1.7x more traffic to the advertisers site than the control

Sequence 1 was the most effective at driving conversions. A video ad followed by a static ad drove 1.3x more conversions compared to the control. This translated to this group being 31% more likely to make a online conversion than the control group.

Key Takeaways

  • The same creative in different sequences can lift different performance indicators. Social media, particularly Facebook, allows marketers to experiment with sequencing easily and efficiently.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all sequence strategy. We know that sequences of creative matters. As marketers, we must always test and evolve our strategies at the client level.
  • Storytelling matters. Creative sequencing allows us to tell a story to our consumer base. Using different ad formats — photos and video primarily — we can deepen the connection our consumers feel to our brands and shorten the path to conversion.

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