One of the keys to successful branding is successful creative. To determine if your creative is truly successful, it’s important to perform a creative audit that looks at every aspect of your campaign. While you may believe that reviewing the data behind your campaigns can gauge their success, there are other steps you should take to ensure your creative is truly effective once your ads no longer appear as prominently as they had early on.
The following are some of the steps you can take to run a creative audit to make sure your creative is doing its job.
Review the Concept
One of the elements that will separate you from your competitors in the creative department will be the concept behind it. The effectiveness of the concept can mean the difference between success in the long-term and failure.
Even if your logo doesn’t appear, people should be able to recognize your brand based on the concept as it evokes a sense of familiarity among your audience. A good concept will make sure that your brand feels distinctively “you” when people encounter it.
With the right concept around your creative, you can convey a specific narrative or idea that truly helps your brand connect with your audience while helping you stand apart.
When reexamining your concept, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the concept elicit certain emotions?
- Does it help your brand stand out?
- Is the concept flexible enough to use across multiple campaigns?
Assess the Aesthetics and Overall Feel
The look and feel of your creative are also important elements to consider. Make sure your designs and layouts are equally fresh and appealing across all media, without deviating from your brand’s concept and messaging.
While following trends is a good way to guide your layouts and designs based on what people like, try to avoid making them feel generic. People should be able to see these elements and know instantly that that look and feel is distinctly yours, regardless of where it appears.
When running an audit, make sure the look and feel are unique, well-executed with sufficient balance, not too overwhelming or underwhelming, and geared specifically toward your audience.
Strengthen Your Messaging
The voice behind your brand is a potentially huge asset. In addition to your concept and the overall look and feel of your brand, your voice will help you stand apart from competitors saying the same tired thing, and combining your voice with the appropriate tone can create everlasting messaging that serves as one of the most powerful tools in your belt.
Messaging should be as instantly recognizable as any other aspect of your brand, utilizing clarity, impactfulness, and succinctness to connect with your audience. Your messaging should be usable in every type of media and remain uniquely yours, allowing people to easily engage.
When developing and reassessing your messaging, consider whether it has something original to say, whether it sounds like your brand, and whether there’s something specific that people can take away from the messaging.
All of your campaigns should feel cohesive. Otherwise, it can be jarring if people encounter your brand on one platform while it carries a different vibe on another. The more consistent your brand is throughout your campaigns, the more people will be able to connect and familiarize themselves with your brand. Conversely, inconsistent branding can make your brand more forgettable or confusing, turning people away from your brand as you fail to convey a specific brand identity.
When checking for consistency, determine if the design and messaging are uniform across all campaigns, align with your brand and offerings, and are balanced throughout.
Running a creative audit can help you identify any weaknesses in your campaigns and determine what steps you need to take to strengthen them. In the process, you’ll be able to establish more authority and recognizably as you connect more effectively with your audience.