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December 14, 2015

Frequency of new creative ideas in mobile marketing is crucial.

We’re not buying billboard ads here. Mobile is a medium where creative burns out in a matter of weeks (if not days), and there’s always an opportunity to do better.

Photos need to be refreshed. Copy needs to be tweaked. Again. And again. And Again.

So, where do you turn when you need new creative ideas? When you’ve hit a wall and can’t think of a new concept?

We’re sharing 15 techniques we commonly use at Bamboo. We hope these helps you make beautiful, performant ads quicker than ever before!


See What Your Competitors Are Running

AdEspresso’s tool is probably the most comprehensive free way to search through example Facebook ads. You can search specific keywords/brands to see what your competitors are up to or you can filter by attributes like industry and placement type for more broad inspiration.

2.  Moat Ad Search

Moat’s tool is better suited to see what large brands are running on display. You likely won’t find smaller companies here, but you’ll at least get a view of what the larger players in your space are doing.

See What All Facebook Advertisers Are Running

3. Biddyco’s Swipe File

The team at Biddyco spent months taking screenshots of Facebook ads to put together their Swipe File — a library of hundreds of real ads to learn from.

4. Aaron Zakowski’s Facebook Swipe File

Aaron’s swipe file is available without signup, and is nicely organized into slides by vertical.

On Your Own Feed


5. Swipe, Swipe, Swipe

Now that most ad units on both Facebook and Twitter are in slides, you can quickly swipe through multiple units. Doing this a few times a day for a week can easily result in building your own personal swipe file of 100+ unique ads.

6. Change Your Ad Preferences

Most people don’t know that on Facebook you can actually control the interests which drive much of how you’re targeted for ads.

Why is this handy? Say you’re looking for inspiration for a female apparel app. If you don’t fall within this demographic you likely won’t ever see ads that help you out with ideas. That is, unless you change your ad preferences.

Here’s the workflow on how to do it:

Shortcut: You can also simply go to Ad Preferences page here, but the flow above is informative in that it shows you why you were targeted for a certain ad, too!

Now, you truly can be anyone you want to be — to Facebook ads at least.


From Others Talking About You


7. Check Twitter Search

Search for your company name and see how others are describing you. If they are actually Tweeting about your company, you must have evoked a strong emotion (hopefully a good one!)
For example, a search for “GlassDoor App” on Twitter could inspire you to create ads focused on two different features which people love: finding out how much a company will pay you, and getting a resume review.

8. Check Google News

See how publications are writing about you. Creatives which reference press quotes or features often perform very well. From a quick search of “JackThreads” on Google News, you can quickly get ideas of new creative around quotes like “The Answer To Every Wardrobe Problem” or “The Cult Brand for the Masses.”

9. Check App Store Review on SensorTower

App store reviews are often incredibly valuable because they contain amazing one-liners and quotes from real people.
Instacart, for example, could create multiple new ads around what customers are saying. This is even easier when you have phrases like “Life changing” and “Couldn’t live without it” to choose from.

10. Hook Up Review Monitor To Slack

Instead of having to check to see when new reviews roll in, hook up ReviewMonitor to Slack. You’ll see new messages whenever a new review comes in. This ensures a continuous stream of new ideas from customer app reviews!

11. Check Your Own Facebook Ad Comments

While many Facebook commenters are trolling, a surprising number present really good questions. Take these as clues for where your next round of ads should be more clear or emphasis a particular benefit more.

With this SalesforceIQ example, one could consider a number of directions to try after reading these comments: Try an ad that doesn’t mention “Salesforce” (as it could be seen as a detriment for those looking for smaller CRMs), emphasize the beautiful interface of the product, and better yet, design a new ad that actually highlights what the interface is (rather than a blurred out screenshot).


Draw Inspiration Internally

12. Learn From Organic Social Efforts
Chances are that someone else on your team is on social channels all day in a brand-building, social media type role. You should try and learn from their efforts.

Things that do well on organic won’t always do well on paid, and vice-versa, but use this as a starting point. Look back at recent posts and see if you can spot any trends to inform your next round of ads. For example, someone at Indeed might notice that organic posts profiling sports jobs play well (each ~300 likes, more than average).


13. Search On Shutterstock

Struggling to come up with new ad ideas for your on-demand fitness class app? Simply search “fitness” in a stock photo site and get ready to be overwhelmed! (in a good way).
Look over each result. Have you tried an ad with an overhead angle yet? How about a black-and-white action shotMaybe Icons instead of imagesDo you know if group shots do better than individual shots? And, you really still haven’t tried a ridiculous image of a woman fighting back against fast food?

14. Look Around You, Offline

If you’re the average person, you’ll see hundreds of ads today. Start paying attention and look for ideas and inspiration here.
If for some reason you’re not able to make it outside today or ever, the Startup Ads in NYC Tumblr should get you started with some ideas.

15. Read Advertising Books 

Particularly, Ogilvy on Advertising and Scientific Advertising.Each is packed with examples of ads, techniques used to generate creative, and incredible stories that are as relevant today as they were many years ago.

Of Scientific Advertising, Ogilvy once said: “Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life.”

Interested in taking your mobile creative strategy to the next level? Learn more about Bamboo’s mobile advertising expertise and services >

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