Gary Vee had it right six years ago when he declared, "Creative is the variable of success." And if Meta's 2023 Performance Marketing Summit is anything to go by, it remains the same: creative is the "catalyst for growth." At Kynship, we couldn't agree more. But we're not just here to sing praises about the importance of creative; we're here to solve a pressing issue that many DTC brands struggle with—rising Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC).

Yes, Meta's platform changes have reduced the ways you can squander your budget. But what it has truly spotlighted is the enormous leverage creative holds in slashing CAC. 

So, if you want to reduce your acquisition costs and maximize ROI, we’ll explain how you can do just that, by focusing on the untapped potential of creative in influencer marketing.

Why Meta Is All-In On Creative

Over the last few years, Meta has steadily pared down variables that dictate ad performance, focusing on what really makes ads work: creative. They've made their platform way easier to use, so advertisers don't mess up and waste money. Why? Because when people mess up, they blame the platform.

At Meta’s 2023 Performance Marketing Summit, Meta doubled down on this. Jimmie Stone, their Creative Head, said creative isn't just a nice-to-have; it's the engine that drives growth. 

And guess what? They've got the data to back it up. Advertisers who mixed it up with different kinds of creative saw their costs per acquisition (CPA) drop. And brands that went the extra mile to look different and fresh? They saw a huge 32% jump in how well their ads performed and reached 9% more people.

So, the numbers show creative diversification is paying off.

The Intersection of AI and Creative

The topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was bound to come up at the summit, and Juhi Pikale, Marketing Director at Fabletics said brands can think of implementing AI into their creative processes using the 'crawl, walk, run' approach. From the simple stuff like auto-resizing your feed ads to the bigger game like generating new headlines and even whole ad concepts.

And speaking of doing things on a big scale, Fabletics launch 50,000 ad creatives every single year, just for Meta's platforms. 

Fabletic’s strategy rests on three pillars:

  • Diverse content sourcing, including live shoots, influencer marketing, and User Generated Content (UGC).
  • Diversity in ad formats to maintain a robust presence across stories, collection ads, messenger, feeds, and reels.
  • A meticulous naming convention and tagging system to analyze what works and apply those learnings for future cycles.

Quality creative, with cost caps, nails spending targets and boosts volume—no debate there. But while AI's a game-changer in pumping out ads, don't let it kill your brand's soul. In a world craving real connections, it's not about how much content you make; it's about making content that resonates. The real, raw, unscripted stuff? That's your secret weapon.

So, how do you balance AI’s scalability opportunity with the raw, emotional impact of authenticity?

Kynship’s Integrated Approach to Creative 

At Kynship, we bank on an integrated approach of sourcing high volumes of organic influencer content through product seeding, launching them as ads, and utilizing a Cost Cap bid strategy. This ensures profitable spending while using dynamic creative tests to identify, iterate, and scale winning creative.

Here’s how it works:

Sourcing High Volumes of Organic Influencer Content Through Product Seeding

Unlike traditional agencies that have you paying for every step of content creation, we leverage product seeding to source a high volume of authentic influencer-generated content. With the price of a single agency-produced ad, you can generate 20 times the content that's not only cost-effective but also resonates more with your audience.

Launching All Content as Ads

We launch (with usage rights) all the sourced influencer content as ads. This amplifies their reach and impact, making every piece of content work harder for your brand.

Utilizing Cost Cap Bid Strategy for Profitable Spending

No more spending without results. Our Cost Cap bid strategy ensures that Meta will only utilize your budget if the ads are actually effective. This approach allows you to test a multitude of creatives, landing pages, or products without putting your budget at risk.

Dynamic Creative Tests: Identifying and Scaling Winners

We believe in constant iteration for improvement. Through dynamic creative tests, we are able to fine-tune the various elements of your ads—from headlines to call-to-actions—to find out what truly engages your target audience.

For Purdy & Figg, product seeding kickstarted the playbook they followed to increase their New Customer Organic Revenue from $88,257 in January to $251,323 in April. But as Jack points out, the real magic happened when they launched the thousands of unique assets sourced and launched them as Facebook Ads.  

Read the full case study here.

Another example below is where, before we took over, the brand was running four ASC+ campaigns. But switching to Cost Caps flipped the script.

Here’s what happened:

  • In high-volume campaigns, you’re guaranteed to spend money, but not guaranteed to see results. That's Meta burning through your cash.
  • With Cost Cap campaigns, if the ads suck, Meta doesn't spend your money.

This way, you can test a bunch of different creatives, landing pages, or products without setting your budget on fire.

Read our Creative Testing Best Practice Guide

Embrace These 6 Mindset Shifts Essential for Creative Success in Performance Marketing

The brands that come to Kynship are usually grappling with high customer acquisition costs and ineffective ad spend. We focus on creative abundance, giving brands more opportunities for successful campaigns. But some, not all, still wrestle with the following:

1. Shifting Away from the Algorithm Blame Game

It's a common fallback to blame lackluster performance on advertising algorithms. This perspective, however, can often be a cop-out that allows brands to avoid taking responsibility for inefficient strategies or outdated thinking. 

2. Embracing Inconsistent Daily Spend for Long-Term Performance

You need to be okay with 'inconsistent' daily spend if that is what brings in better overall performance. When you focus on performance rather than just spend, you shift from a short-term outlook to a long-term strategy that truly builds your brand.

3. Understanding Fluctuating KPIs Like ROAS

When key performance indicators like Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) fluctuate, there's a tendency to pull back on these experimental budgets. In truth, the very way to improve ROAS is through continuous creative testing, which teaches you what actually resonates with your audience.

You need to shift your KPIs for testing budgets. Instead of clinging to ROAS as your sole metric, consider other meaningful indicators like click-through rates or hook rates. 

4. The Psychology of Loss Aversion in Marketing Spend

Some brands suffer from what economists call “loss aversion” meaning they'd rather have their consistent spend with low performance rather than risk possible gain by utilizing cost caps. 

5. Ego vs. Data: Trusting the Cost Cap Strategy

It’s important not to let ego cloud your judgment. As soon as you think you've cracked the code on what type of content works, the dynamics could change. 

Part of playing the cost cap game is acknowledging that there will always be winners and losers, but you’ve got to trust that Meta will back the ads that truly convert. Your job is to feed it with as much creative as possible.

6. The Importance of Relatability over High-Quality or Luxury

Another factor at play is that some marketers still believe that high-quality content is synonymous with high production value. This notion often leads to dismissing creative pieces that don't fit into a preconceived 'brand image.' But would you rather pretty or performance?

Brands that hold fast to traditional notions of 'premium' content may overlook creative opportunities that resonate more authentically with their target audience. In today's market, relatability can be just as valuable as luxury.

Takeaway: Open Up To New Learning & Approaches

The key to better performance is embracing new metrics, creative strategies, and the budget fluctuations. By doing so, you open the door to insights that can guide smarter decisions, efficient spends, and ultimately, more impactful brand stories.

So the next time you find yourself hesitating over an unconventional creative idea or worrying about day-to-day spend fluctuations, remember: sometimes letting go is the best way to gain more.