The first introduction to a brand is often done via creative. Design, video, and writing play key roles in any campaign. What sets apart good creative from bad? Many times, it boils down to a stronger understanding the overall scope of the campaign before setting pen to paper (or hand to mouse). What goes through the mind of a creative when thinking about how to support a business’s goals? In a recent podcast, we sat down with two Creative Strategists to discuss that question. We came away with a few key points to consider when building out your next ad campaign.

Understand your audience

Always think about who the creative is reaching. Consider age, gender, personalities, and sensitivities that might affect the campaign before moving forward. Connect with audiences on an emotional level so you meet them where they are.

Creatives are always reading people to understand what makes them tick. Everyone they meet informs their unique worldview and drives educated decisions about what ads will be compelling to a large audience.

Understand your client

Creatives are usually nothing more than a messenger. They are verbal and visual storytellers. While they may not personally hold the same values as their clients, they constantly learn about their clients and put themselves in their shoes. This helps to develop a position of authority when telling their story. Asking questions like “How is my client different than their competitors?” or “What personality does this business have?” will have an effect on the creative outcome.

Understand Yourself

Think about what pieces of creative made you take action and why. Learn from your own reactions to art, media, and advertising. While creatives may be dissimilar from the audiences they are trying to reach, they are people as well and this practice informs their worldview just as much as studying others.

Think about the campaign as a whole

An ad campaign should be greater than the sum of its parts. Think about it as a journey and where your audiences should begin and end on that journey. A Facebook ad might lead a viewer to your website, which in turn might lead them to make a purchase.

Your audience may not stop at every road sign along the way, but all of them should be lead toward the destination. Keep this in mind for your next campaign.

Keep a fresh eye on the creative

If a designer is cloning the same ads over and over, they won’t stay engaged in the creative process. Think about how your audience might feel to seeing those same ads too. While you want to keep true to a brands style and voice, keep improving or tweaking the creative. The journey won’t progress if the ads stay the same.

Be curious and tinker

In a nutshell, curiosity is the obsession about something you don’t know. People are naturally inquisitive but may need to remove obstacles that dampen that curiosity. Go for a walk and study architecture. Tinker with Legos with your kids. Don’t be afraid of going down a “YouTube rabbit hole” and learn how bowling balls are made. This may spark your desire for learning about new creative techniques or open your mind up to fresh new ideas.

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