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4 Elements to Test in Your Ads

Shae Henrie

Content Strategist @ AdRoll

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Are you new to the world of ad testing and feeling overwhelmed by all the different options and strategies out there? Don't worry — getting started with ad testing is easier than you think. Ad testing can be a powerful tool for optimizing your ad concepts and getting the best return on investment (ROI) you can!

Ad testing involves analyzing your ad concepts with a sample of your target market. By testing different variables like the ones shared below, you can determine which version of your ad is most effective at achieving your goals and start seeing results in no time.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Not every ad will work the same. It’s important to remember that every ad is unique, and what works for one ad might not work for another. That’s why testing is so important — it allows you to determine what variables have the biggest impact on your ad’s performance. It’s also important to test your ads with different audience segments to see how they resonate with different groups. By testing your ads in different ways, you can optimize their performance and achieve the best possible results.

  • Don’t be afraid. Ad testing can be intimidating, especially if you're new to it. However, it's important to remember that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Don't be afraid to try new things and experiment with different elements. This will allow you to unlock new perspectives and discover what works best for your brand. Creativity is key when it comes to ad testing, so don't be afraid to think outside the box and try new approaches.

  • Be prepared and don’t stray away. Ad testing can be overwhelming, especially if you're unsure where to start. That's why being prepared and focused on your goals is important. Before you begin testing, make a list of goals that you want to achieve. This will help you stay organized and focused on the bigger task at hand. It will also save you time and money by ensuring you're testing in a structured and efficient way. Remember, ad testing is a process that takes time to see results. 

  • The more you test, the more success. It's true that the more you test, the more successful you'll be. By repeatedly testing different groups and elements, you can gather more insights and optimize your ads for success. Each test provides new information that can help you refine your strategy and achieve better results. It's important to remember that ad testing is a continuous process and requires a long-term commitment to seeing results. The more you test, the better you'll understand your audience and create effective ads.

4 Focus Areas for Testing

The elements you test depend on what exactly you want the reaction to be with each segmented audience. Do you want Gen Z to find the ad funny and share it on social media? Or do you want this ad to drive more high-intent traffic to your website? Keeping some control elements will help you determine the most effective, much like a science experiment.

For example, if you're testing two different headlines, make sure all other elements of the ad (such as the image, copy, and call to action) remain the same.  

  1. Color is usually the first attention grabber. The tones displayed in your ad can capture initial interest and set the mood for your audience. Usually, vibrant colors draw people in, but if that doesn’t feel consistent with your brand, you can experiment with different color palettes to see what resonates best. For setting the mood, if you want people to come away from your ad feeling happy and uplifted, test out ads with yellow or green tones and keep a control ad that has blue tones and compare results. 

  2. Switch up the copy in your ad. Your audience will receive the most information from the text in the ad — make sure your message is clear and concise. Nothing is worse than working so hard on an ad that is confusing for people to understand and too long to read. If humor is something that your brand is known for, testing will be vital for the tough crowd out there. There are many examples of brands that have told a bad joke — and once it’s out there, there’s no controlling it.

  3. People love sharing and seeing images. Ads with great images are most likely to be shared, and that’s free advertising. Images play a big role in a brand's identity. Have you ever seen an ad and immediately known the brand behind it without seeing the logo? 

    Images are a great element to experiment with and a chance to get creative! If you’re testing a pet ad, keep all aspects the same, but change the animal for different audiences! Is there a group that prefers dogs to cats? Does anyone strongly react to seeing a unique pet like a parrot? Does a parrot make it more memorable compared to other brands’ ads? Ask important questions like this to gain a sense of differentiation in your brand marketing. 

  4. Perhaps the most popular and vital element is the call to action (CTA). If your CTA is too weak, your ad is nearly worthless. You need to direct your audience to your goal, or they won’t know what to do with the information you just provided and move on to the next thing. A button that says “Sign up for emails and get 10% off” is likely more appealing and informative than “Reach out to us.”

Room for Improvement

Once you've run your ad tests, it's essential to monitor and analyze the results. Look for patterns and trends in the data to determine what's working and what's not. Use this information to inform future ad testing strategies and make adjustments as needed to increase ROI and bring in new customers.

By following this guide, you can create effective, high-performing ads that drive results for your business. So, whether you're just starting out with ads or looking to improve the results of past campaigns, implementing these testing ideas can help you increase conversions. Learn more about ads and testing by exploring the linked resources below!

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