So you’re about to launch a new product, service or promotion.
Business has been booming, but with this launch you really want to make a big splash, so this time you’re going to allocate some of your budget into SOCIAL MEDIA.
Drum roll please.
Okay great, lets start the ad-copy and media selection process. No problem, you’re used to that, you want to make sure you are making a lasting impression so you finally get your selection just right, the ad is looking great and you are ready to put it into action…
WAIT, what if you could run more than one ad, and delete the one that wasn’t performing as well?
Your audience isn’t everyone. They’re influenced by unique motivations and held up by unique concerns, so why would you try to reach them all in the same fashion?
This is why marketers often lean on tried and tested techniques to validate their theories and improve customer conversion. In online marketing, one of the most utilized techniques is A/B testing, a methodology that allows you to improve your marketing approaches steadily with confidence.
So, what is A/B testing?
Split test, bucket test, split-run test; or more generally referred to AB Test is a simple way to compare two versions of a similar campaign and how the campaign performs with an audience. Very simply, you create more than one version of the ad, and determine which creative is more effective in engaging your audience.
A/B testing works by splitting an existing audience into two groups and presenting each group with a different version of a creative element like a landing page or a banner ad. Group A, acting as the control group, is shown the current creative, while group B, the treatment group, is shown the variant. These can be ads, emails, landing pages, banner ads, onboarding flows, forms or shopping carts. A/B tests can be used to discover how creative changes to these assets—like new copy or images—will impact conversion rates.
How do I create an A/B test?
Advertising and email vendors (like Facebook and Mailchimp) make it easy by providing the tools right in their platforms that do the work for you. However, the key to keep in mind is that although you are splitting your audiences, you will want them to be as much alike as possible, otherwise what is the point?
To test creative for other mediums, like landing pages, Google Analytics has a useful free tool. These tools allow you to have two separate versions of the same web page running at the same time, and to show them to different visitors at random, so you can see which is more engaging with your target audience.
Now lets define your test, just as your would with most tests, the best starting place will be your hypothesis. Your hypothesis should be specific and relate directly to your objectives, following an “if ____ then ____” formula.
For example: “If the landing page includes a relatable hero image, then the lead collection form completion rate will increase.”
Once you’ve clarified your hypothesis it can be easy to quantify once implemented.
Rinse and repeat
So there you have it, AB Testing in a nutshell. If my ad contains X then Y should happen. The scientific methodology for marketing. The beautiful part is as you test, and learn your audience you will be continuously evolving your creative and becoming much more efficient with your ad spends. As with most systems, the most important (and least fun) aspect is monitoring and recording your improvements, changes, successes and failures (thought I hope there is much more of the latter).
Questions, comments and/or concerns feel free to reach out!