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Campaign/Creative Performance Optimization Tips and Tricks

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This article will provide you with essential tips to enhance the performance of your Campaign/Creative when using Social Display within Nova. By implementing these tips, you can optimize your campaigns and improve their effectiveness.


Essential Tips

In most cases, CTR is the key success metric for Social Display campaigns. Here are tips for optimizing CTR in your DSP:

Target all supported sizes per creative

  • A quick reminder that Nova supports the following ad sizes for all formats
    • 300x250
    • 300x600
    • 320x480
    • 336x280
  • Make copies of the same creative for each of the above sizes for maximum inventory availability. You can use the same Nova Ad tag for each size. 
  • You can then chose to turn off/on the respective ad sizes based on performance


One important aspect to consider is Viewability. It is crucial for effective ad performance. Please ensure to pull a viewability report periodically from the DSP or any viewability tracker (MOAT, IAS etc.) being used, and monitor it closely.
  • To maximize the visibility and engagement of your ads, it is important to set a minimum viewability threshold - we recommend a minimum of 70%. This ensures that your ads are being seen by your target audience and increases the chances of them being effective in capturing attention and generating engagement.
  • We highly recommend using minimum viewability threshold targeting with all your campaigns
  • Increase viewability threshold if it is set lower than 60% or if you notice low viewability in your DSP reporting.

Always use minimum viewability threshold targeting at Insertion Order or Line Item level.

Note: High viewable placements will drive the CPM costs up, so use this in combination with a maximum limit for CPM set at an IO level

Focus on Flex/Full size rendering

  • Serve Nova's Flex sizes where possible! This allows for better looking creatives that increase engagement with your target audience. By default, standard Nova ad tags render the full size ad by resizing the targeted ad slot's iframe. That's why they appear much larger than the standard display ad size and deliver better creative performance using flex size.
  • There are 3 instances where fixed-sized ads (300x250, 300x600, 320x480, 336x280) automatically load, so we recommend avoiding the following:
    • When the ad is trafficked to safe-frames, e.g. when using GAM SSP (Google Ad Manager supply).

    • When the ad is trafficked to App inventory

    • When the ad lands on an AMP site/page

  • In general, to reduce fixed-sized rendering and ensure good performance we recommend blacklisting the following domains:
    • googleusercontent.com
    • amazon-adsystem.com
    • c.amazon-adsystem.com
    • ampproject.net
    • ampproject.org
    • doubleclick.net
    • googlesyndication.com
    • googleads.g.doubleclick.net
  • We recommend the following exchanges for optimizing for Flexible Inventory. Nova is compatible with all exchanges and there are certainly other exchanges you can use - these have simply been reported as the best performing!  
    • Pubmatic
    • OpenX
    • Index  Exchange
    • Xandr (AppNexus)
    • Magnite
    • Bidswitch

Note: These recommendations are not limitations of our product, but rather suggestions to ensure that Flex size loads more frequently. Nova ads automatically/dynamically fall back to the fixed sized versions if the iframe cannot be resized. Therefore, there are no rendering issues and the above can be inventory can be used if desired.


  • Targeting is another key factor in optimizing your campaigns. The more granular targeting used, the higher the click-through rate (CTR) is likely to be. This will also likely mean a higher CPM
  • Consider running multiple line items with different degrees of targeting and allocate the largest portion of your budget to the most targeted ones.
  • We recommend targeting mobile-web inventory only or up-weighing mobile web vs Desktop web. This has shown better performance given Social Display ads are more familiar in mobile environment
  • We also recommend targeting away from Apps and Google AdEx inventory (restricted sizing = lower CTR)

Targeting Mobile inventory and targeting away from Apps and Google Ad Manager supply are strong recommendations for best performance and are not limitations. You can of course target these inventory should you chose to if you run into budgeting issues.

Frequency Capping

  • If the CTRs are low, but the daily budget is being achieved, then apply a frequency cap to each creative
  • Start with 5 impressions per campaign lifetime per user. As the campaign progresses on you may need to adjust to 5 per week then 2-6 per day to aid delivery as needed

DSP Optimization Feature

  • Take advantage of your DSP's optimization feature at the IO level, specifically set to Maximize CTR - "Allow system to automatically adjust bids and shift budget to better-performing line items." 
  • Be careful to setup maximum CPM threshold to control cost
  • Add only one creative per line item to allow more control through optimization

URL Blocking

  • URL blocking is another strategy to optimize your campaigns.
  • During the course of the campaign, identify poor performing URLs and block them from the campaign so you are optimizing into the sites with the highest CTR’s. 
    • For example, remove URLs with non english-language content

Note: Using a limited site-list will potentially increase CPM costs as well

Language Targeting

  • Make sure to specify Language targeting to ensure it matches the campaign requirements or else non-English sites are also targeted in the Open Exchange.


Other General Recommendations

  • Run multiple creative variants: Create at least 2 or more variations of your ad creative for each campaign. This helps you test different messaging, visuals, and call-to-actions to determine what resonates best with your audience. 

  • Edit the CTA button with a strong hook text: The call-to-action (CTA) button is a critical element of your ad. Customize the CTA text to create a compelling and persuasive message that encourages users to take action.

  • Match the CTA button colour to the brand colour: Use the colour picker to match the CTA button colour with your brand's visual identity. This creates a cohesive and consistent brand experience and helps reinforce brand recognition.

  • Turn off social engagement icons: If possible, disable social engagement icons (like/share/comment buttons), especially for photo formats which are performance formats. This directs more traffic to your landing page, thus  maximizing page-views and conversions. This is ideal for for meeting conversion/low funnel/traffic KPIs

  • Utilize high-performing formats: Whenever possible, leverage high-performing ad formats such as stories, carousels, and videos. These formats tend to capture more attention and generate higher engagement rates. This is ideal for driving the highest overall engagement/CTR

  • Optimize for portrait assets/videos: When creating visual assets or videos for your ads, prioritize portrait orientation over landscape. Portrait assets tend to have better visibility and fit more naturally within the user's screen.

  • Choose the right social platform for your audience: Different social platforms designs from provided by Nova attract different audiences. Consider the demographics and preferences of your target audience when selecting the platform for your campaign. Facebook and Instagram posts appeal to general and older audiences, YouTube works best for video units targeting a general audience, younger audiences engage more with TikTok and Snapchat units, Instagram works best for high-impact stories and carousels, and LinkedIn works best for B2B audiences.

If you need assistance in maximizing the performance of your campaign, feel free to reach out to us at support@createwithnova.com. We are here to help you optimize your campaign and creative for better results.