A common misconception is that your ads need to be perfect before they go live. However, a big part of marketing is testing and changing your methods accordingly. If you create something that you are reasonably happy with, pull the trigger and start promoting. Interactions with your initial ad will provide feedback you can use to iterate upon throughout your digital advertising journey.
Before you begin testing, it’s important to understand the three most common testing methods. Let’s go over A/B testing, multivariate testing, and multi-page funnel testing, and how you can incorporate each into your marketing strategies.
Perfectionism Is the Enemy of Progress
Every marketing strategy involves trial and error, and content is no different. Holding up the release of a blog post, ad, or video to achieve perfection is an inefficient way to work. There is no way to accurately predict audience reactions to your marketing content. That is why you need to cultivate a mindset of testing and iterating — make small changes to your content and watch how your audience responds. Put your content out there, and if it is not doing well, you do not need to spend a lot of money on it. Pay attention to the response you get, and work on improving your content. And test, test, test!
Basic Types of Testing
There are a few ways you can test your content, including landing pages, designs, and ads. The three most common testing methods are A/B testing, multivariate testing, and multi-page funnel testing. Each can provide insights for your next wave content creation.
In A/B testing, you have one ad or piece of content. You duplicate it, only changing one aspect. Then you run both ads or pieces of content to see how your audience responds. This lets you see if the change makes a difference. Elements that typically change in A/B testing include:
- Email subject lines: See what makes someone open an email or send it to the trash.
- Ad copy: Look into the product descriptions or the content of an offer. You could test emotional copy in one ad versus statistics and logic in the other.
- Calls to action (CTA): One could encourage your audience to sign up for a newsletter, while the other asks them to visit a website. Switching colors on your call to action button or text might create results as well. Do not forget to test the copy within the CTA buttons to see whether unique or generic works better (an example of generic CTA text is something like, “Read more,” or “Subscribe now”).
- Images: See what resonates more, a human face in a photograph or an illustration of your product. Typically, a human face looking at the camera increases emotional engagement, while an illustration appeals to the more logical side of the brain.
- Landing pages: Test everything from the layout and product descriptions, to the headlines and videos.
Multivariate testing takes a similar approach to A/B testing for content. However, instead of just changing one part of the content, you change several parts to see how people respond to it.
You might decide to run two ads. The first version uses the image of a human face, a call to action that says “Sign Up Now,” and a red button to click. The second uses an illustration, a call to action that says “Learn More,” and a gray button to click. You will not know exactly what got more users to click on one versus the other, but you will see different engagement rates.
Multi-page funnel testing
Multi-page testing, also known as funnel testing, is when you compare multiple pages with each other. Rather than altering some elements of the control page, you create variations of all the original pages in your sales funnel. The goal is to track the way your visitors interact with different pages so you can know which designs and methods work best.
For example, version A could have all the “Buy Now” buttons in purple, and version B could have the “Buy Now” buttons in yellow to test which color gets your audience to buy.
Consistently Test For Results
Testing is an integral part of marketing and, ultimately, growing your business. Do not be afraid to try something new to see what works better for your audience.
Review your ad performance regularly. What visitors respond to may change over time, and by periodically checking on how your ads are doing, you can make sure you evolve your ads to keep engaging your visitors.
Now that you know more about implementation and testing, are you ready to learn about measurement? For the full A to Z on how to identify, grow, and maintain your audience through content and marketing strategies, don’t miss out on AdRoll’s Ultimate Guide to Growth.
Laura Smous is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at AdRoll.