Creative Testing: What it is + Free Guide

Making the best creatives is essential if you want to engage your audience with your company’s story. In marketing, creative refers to elements of a marketing strategy that tell your brand’s story, such as imagery, content, and videos.

Effective marketing initiatives can touch a customer’s heart. Keep their attention on material that supports their beliefs and way of thinking. It will assist you in getting the desired reaction. But unsuccessful efforts not only waste money and time but can harm your reputation by discouraging people from engaging with your company.

Creative testing will show you which of your campaign ideas and creatives are most likely to be successful. It will help make sure you meet your ROI goals and avoid not reaching them.

This guide will explain creative testing and its importance to your business. We’ll also demonstrate to you how to do it.

What is creative testing?

Creative testing is a way to do your marketing and messaging better. With this method, you can find out which creatives will get more attention from your target audience. The goal is to find out which creatives work best.

This type of testing is often used to test different combinations of images and words. Doing this determines which aspects and trends affect your marketing most. So, creative testing is about both your brand as a whole and your marketing efforts as well.

Testing helps you determine which ideas work best with the people you want to reach. But it accomplishes a lot more than that. Part of testing creativity is picking out the best parts and making them better before showing them to potential customers.

Importance of creative testing

Creative testing is essential for businesses. Now we will discuss the importance of it broadly:

  • Testing creative ensures you only run ad campaigns relevant to your brand and audience. You not only see what works but also figure out why it works.
  • This testing is putting the imagination to work with the help of a creative team.
  • It helps your business determine its strengths, so you automatically know where you shouldn’t waste time.

How to do a Creative Testing

You need to follow some steps or processes to do creative testing. Now we will discuss it below:

  • Organization

First, you have to organize your ideas to make testing possible. Right now, the best way to do this is to put everything for your business in a cloud folder. At this stage, some Digital Asset Managers can give you similar results.

All creative parts need to be put into different groups.

For example, you could have separate folders for images (of various suitable dimensions), videos, logos, and more. Make other folders like stock photos and videos your business uses.

Make a creative outline or creative brief. The best thing to do with outlines is to ensure that all your staff can understand the goals. It includes a list of deliverables, their goals, and clear key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs should have clear time frames, deadlines, and areas of responsibility. Without these, the rest of the process won’t have a clear direction.

In tested creatives, the best creative outlines include selling points. Different selling points are tested simultaneously, giving you more to work with for future messaging and branding.

  • Analyzing the Competitors

You can look at recent success stories if you don’t know what will lead to success now. Tools are widely available, which makes it easier to study your competitors. There are also a lot of paid services that can tell you useful things about how creatives are doing.

For example, the Facebook Ad Library is free and helpful because it shows you examples of ads that have done well. Businesses can search on Google to find competitor ads and landing pages that are part of a Google Search campaign.

When in a dilemma, analyzing the situation can provide valuable insights. Keeping track of your team’s success can push them in the right direction and help them develop new, better ideas.

  • Checking your creative ideas

It’s time to begin the actual testing now. Your testing framework is now set up, so it’s time to try some creative ideas.

You can make a mind map for each of your test subjects. Mark on a map which ideas you think will work better, which ones fit your brand better, and which ones will help your business the most.

At this stage, your only goal is to find your best ideas. It means figuring out your business problems and setting goals and expectations. So, the more accurate your tests, the more genuine they are.

  • Record Your Achievements

Identify the methods and ideas that are working. Based on your results, you may determine which ad campaigns perform best. Learning which individual creatives and ad packages do well is a short-term victory. 

Understanding which minor adjustments deliver the most significant returns is so crucial. They can then be used in the form of novel experimental concepts.

  • Study and explain the results

It’s just as important to understand your results to keep track of all the small changes that help or hurt your success. Online creative testing can get more complicated here because concluding takes time and isn’t always easy.

Several things could happen:

  • The results of different creative ideas are very different. If this happens, note what the best-performing ads have in common and do more tests to narrow down your thoughts. Keep putting the best changes into action.
  • Different creative ideas work about the same. In this case, you can keep doing any of them and add new twists to them. Minor differences in results show that differences in creativity aren’t all that important.
  • You notice that different creative ideas produce very different results, but you can’t figure out why. These findings may be interesting, but additional research is required before making any final judgments.
  • Restarting the creative process

Most creatives will stop working at some point. It can be caused by old ads or by showing all your creative testing to the same group of people.

There are many reasons why old creatives don’t work as well as they used to. This problem will only go away if we improve and test more. Trends changed, and the only way to ensure your branding communicates well to creatives is to test it more.

Creative testing with new ideas helps fight ad fatigue and creates new opportunities. It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s essential to be proactive and keep your methods up to date.

Creative Testing Best Practices

Keeping the above in mind is the key to success in any business. Besides that, you should keep a few other things in mind for continuous improvement of creative testing.

  • Check one thing at a time

You need to test each factor once to know if it affects your creatives’ success. So, try changing just one thing about your creativity and see how it affects your result and how well it works.

  • Imagery is important

Images are the essential thing for creatives to do well. People quickly understand what they see. Even if it’s a video, people will decide whether or not to click through based on the first frame and the thumbnail.

You can start creative testing with imagery and then move on to other things.

  • Each version is for a different audience

Creative fatigue will happen if the same people see the same or very similar versions of your creatives repeatedly. Make sure that your ideas are different enough to make testing results meaningful. Otherwise, this will make your results less clear and slow down the testing of your thoughts.


We discussed creative testing, guidance, and best practices. Testing creativity is a continuous process. While it is a process with much information to memorize, it becomes more accessible after the organizing stage. It is easier to keep testing when you have a standard operating procedure. This is why it’s so important to have a creative strategy. 

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