5 crucial media buying tips for performance creative testing

Brett Wagner, Co-founder at Batch Creative, takes you through the do's and don'ts of performance creative testing.

The saying ”Creative is the new targeting” has been making its rounds in the digital advertising space lately, but what does it actually mean?  Simply put, Facebook and Tiktok no longer want advertisers limiting their algorithms ability to find new customers with overly complex targeting inputs (Demographics, interests, age, gender, etc.) and manual bidding, but with creative that resonates with their users.

They know what users are shopping for, when and most likely why - and they know how much you want to pay for them. Because of this, they have created a system that excels off giving their algorithm as much free reign as possible - and feeding that algorithm with as much content as possible.

With that evolution, “performance focused” creative has burst onto the scene as the latest tool in an ever shrinking toolbox growth marketers have to influence the performance of their paid social campaigns. But what actually goes into performance creative you might ask? Surprisingly quite a bit.

Defining performance creative

Without going into the weeds too much, which could be an entire blog itself (it was originally but I deleted it to save readers time) performance creative is a process of researching your target audience in-depth, understanding why they might choose your brand and creating platform native content that delivers that message in 15-90 seconds at scale and making creative decisions based on the data, not on how close your assets match your brand guidelines.

When you're spending valuable time and resources on producing new performance creatives, you also want to make sure they get a fair change to perform. Setting up your campaigns the wrong way can harm the delivery of new creatives and often lead to the wrong conclusions. This is why we have gathered a list of media buying tips that we have seen drive results for some of the largest brands.

Media buying tips for anyone testing performance creative

  1. Go Broad + Use Highest Volume Bidding: Facebook & Tiktok know what their users are looking for. By overly constraining your campaigns with excessive targeting, you’ll limit the algorithms ability to go out and discover customers you didn’t even know were there.
  2. Don’t use Split tests: Let the algorithm make the decision. If an ad doesn’t work, it won’t spend. If it does spend, pause it (but it most likely won’t).
  3. Group Ad Sets by Creative Concept or Creative Type: Is price-competitiveness one of your best performing concepts? Put all price focused concepts together in (1) ad set. Do Statics tend to suck up a majority of your spend? Don’t put image ads with video ads in the same ad set or they’ll never have a chance to scale.
  4. Give your Creative time: On Average, it takes 5-8 days before Facebook or Tiktok will “Hit the gas pedal” on net new creatives and you’ll fully understand their performance potential. They may initially look shaky out of the gate but that’s because the platforms are trying to zero in on the right customer profile before scaling (Learning Phase). Give them a chance to win. Don’t pause ads within the first 8-days of launch.
  5. To Iterate or not to Iterate: Many marketers take a winning ad and think “maybe I could get even better performance if I change the hook or the copy”. Our recommendation is to focus on the next idea. Let the winning ads ride and continue to develop new concepts with the intent of dethroning or taking over from the current king of the hill creative.


Giving complete control of your campaigns to these platforms can be scary and nerve-wracking but after 100’s of test with many brands, the outcome has always been the same: focusing less on targeting and more on simplifying your campaign setup & the creative you’re feeding the system will help improve performance and scale spend. A marketers dream.

Simply put: Focus on increasing your creative output, give them a chance to win and let the algorithms do the rest.


Brett Wagner,

Co-founder @ Batch Creative

Batch is a full-service creative partner helping marketing teams scale their paid efforts on Meta, Tiktok, Snapchat, & Youtube Shorts with performance-focused creatives.

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