It’s Time to Turbocharge Your Social Creative

Algorithms aren’t as powerful as they used to be—here’s how to work around that

Hyper-targeted audiences that used to drive massive revenue will soon no longer be feasible, due to the iOS 14 privacy update and the phasing out of cookies. These recent announcements signal the beginning of a new era in social advertising. 

In the absence of audience targeting, social marketers need to get creative: not only with campaign ideas, designs and copy, but also with reaching their audiences. Performance marketers can no longer hide behind targeting tools. This new era of social advertising calls for never-before-seen automation and strategic thinking: a smarter way of working.

What will matter the most from now on is creative excellence. No one can justify—or get away with—bad creative any longer. Social campaigns will fly or flail based on the creative alone. And to ensure the highest possible success rate, performance marketers must focus on formulating new and better processes that can truly drive and support social creative.

Fostering creative agility

When marketers think of creative, we tend to think of the “big idea.” Yet social media is much more complicated than that. It’s a landscape of various platforms—and forms of content within those platforms, from feeds to stories. And that means social advertising requires a plethora of creative approaches. It necessitates exceptional creative ideas, but also creative range and volume to test what’s resonating and more importantly, what’s not.

Consider for example the social campaign from the ride-sharing app Uber, which started out with two videos highlighting different value propositions. The company wanted to recruit new drivers but wasn’t sure which approach on social would best appeal to its target demographic. So, it used a strategy of test-and-create.

With automation tools from, the brand was able to quickly create a modular video campaign, wherein the same core creative footage could be reworked, over and over again, to create a range of different ads, all with different moods, customized for different platforms. This resulted in two contrasting creatives: one with an emotional storyline and one with a rational one.

Then Uber put the various ads to work, to see which one resonated with its audience the most.’s actionable, all-in-one reporting view allowed the marketing team to quickly adjust the campaign to the best-performing creative and reap maximum rewards.

This type of creative agility is the future of social advertising. The most successful performance marketers know that there are artistic unknowns to the creative process, but also aspects to it that can be automated, streamlined and optimized with data. 

Automating creative workflow

When working with social media ads for a global campaign, for example, the creative volume of those ads can quickly reach thousands, or even tens of thousands. There are different sizes for ads and different copy that must be mocked up, based on varying audiences and platforms.

No advertiser can manually handle that high a number of ads in one go: Not only is there a risk that the ads’ quality will suffer, but the entire campaign could also lack in consistency, further hurting consumers’ trust in the brand. Automated tools, however, can take care of all that, providing both consistency and variation—and leave more time for the crucial, real creative work.

What about targeting, then? Here’s where automation can also step in and provide creative solutions for brands. With automation, ads can be tweaked in real time to draw on more general, contextual data—such as location and weather—resulting in more personalized ad experiences.

Mobile sports betting operator FanDuel, for example, used’s tools to optimize its messaging on Snapchat ads. With automation, FanDuel was able to run the same creatives for longer—crucial to the Snapchat algorithm—while simultaneously refreshing those ads in real time to reflect current programming data, such as upcoming local matchups and live betting odds. This type of agile creative personalization allows for near-equal levels of advertising impact as traditional targeting tools. And it does so without compromising consumer privacy. 

Evolving social advertising

The good news is that—because of these upcoming industry changes—social advertising is now evolving into a new type of creative wonderland. Regardless of industry, the advertisers who will thrive in this new era of social advertising are the ones who embrace the hybrid model of creative plus automation.

Automating parts of the creative workflow leaves more room for thinking through those big creative ideas; the ones that move the needle. In fact, it makes advertising even more fun, and more like the art that got us in the business in the first place. Automation frees us to let our imaginations run wild and to focus on creating the type of work that has the power to change the world.

Sharon Romang is the associate creative director, Americas, at’s Creative Services. With more than a decade of professional experience, Sharon has a background in digital advertising, branded content and visual storytelling, and has worked in digital agencies, creative studios and publications, such as New York Magazine, United Virtualities and Colorium.