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Creative Tips & Tricks For Social Media Marketing in 2016

Data-driven digital marketing means constantly testing channels, audiences, ad units, creative, and copy to discover which combination attracts the best customers and highest return on investment. But when you finally do find a winning configuration, the challenge doesn't end there. How can you keep the engagement and conversions going and avoid ad fatigue?

By now everyone should know that a creative refresh is mandatory for keeping social and mobile audiences on their toes, but constantly coming up with new ideas isn't easy. To help kickstart your creativity in the new year, we've scraped the Internet for some outside the box approaches to digital advertising.

Kate Spade New York: "Shop the Video"

Kate Spade New York's series of videos featuring Anna Kendrick have been delighting fans on social media. Clocking in at over three minutes, the long-form ads are charming and quirky, featuring the retailer's products outside a New York City apartment, poolside, and in a restaurant. In "Episode 4: The Joy Ride," Anna shares an Uber with Zosia Mamet of Girls, and the two women bond while their driver is MIA.

Kate Spade - Anna Kendrick Video Ad

While the Facebook video ad series is innovative on its own, Kate Spade New York takes creativity to a new level by retargeting viewers with a carousel ad featuring the products worn in the episode they've just watched. Below is an example of how the online retailer ties both ad units together:

Kate Spade - Carousel Ad

There are several great lessons here:

  1. Retargeting doesn't have to be confined to "Hey, did you leave something in your cart?"
  2. Even though attention spans are short on social media, don't be afraid to experiment with long-form video.
  3. Your ads don't appear in a vacuum; they are part of an ongoing relationship with your customers. Play off that fact with campaigns that compliment what came before and what you are planning to run afterwards.

Milavida Timepieces: "In Stock" Carousel

We've all seen our fair share of advertising that yells - "BUY this!" "CLICK here!" "Shop NOW!" While this may be an effective tactic, it's not the only way to get shopping urgency across. Below, watch retailer Milavida Timepieces uses a less obvious approach.

Milavida - Carousel In Stock Facebook Ad

As you can see, they've cleverly added inventory numbers to their Carousel copy, subtly encouraging online shoppers to make a purchase before -- pun alert -- time runs out.

New Balance: "3D" Creative

New Balance - 3D Instagram ad

Did you double-take when you saw this New Balance ad? It definitely packs a powerful visual punch. Much as we'd love to say that Instagram has unveiled 3D ads, the fact is that the online advertising world isn't there just yet.

Someone very creative has doctored this image to appear to cover the ad copy below, while in fact the text is simply part of the image.

This kind of ad is eye-catching, and perfect for Instagram -- a mostly mobile, visually-focused platform popular with millennials who appreciate outside the box marketing techniques.

Backcountry Yoga: Video in Carousel

Facebook's Carousel Ads have become a favorite among retailers with multiple products to sell, but they've also been adopted by businesses looking to promote many angles of one thing -- whether that thing is a car, financial services app, or an adventure-packed ski trip.

Backcountry Yoga - Video In Carousel Facebook Ad

At first glance the Carousel Ad above looks like any other you might see in the Facebook Newsfeed, but look more closely and you'll see that the fifth panel is a video. If you look even closer, you'll notice that the images in the Carousel ad are stills from the video.

Not satisfied by attracting signups with a mere series of images, Backcountry Yoga has taken this ad to the next level by incorporating motion and sound. Lesson learned: If you've got a video, you've got an interactive Carousel Ad waiting to happen.

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