Unlike traditional marketing, the digital space allows advertisers to test various elements within a campaign to optimize key performance metrics and audience reach. Tests are vital in maximizing client budgets and help us to make more informed, effective decisions. Set the foundation for a successful campaign by following these four testing best practices.
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1. Be Curious
Testing and campaign optimization would not be possible without a strong sense of curiosity and eagerness to learn. Evaluate current campaigns and marketing processes while identifying points of weakness that might benefit from a market test.
Why have past campaigns been successful?
Are those elements missing in existing campaigns?
From there, brainstorm ideas of possible variables that could be manipulated or adjusted to drive campaign success. This sense of wonder and constant process analysis will drive the effort required to yield better campaign outcomes.
2. Make it Meaningful
Regardless of the client or campaign type, your test should be about more than just the color of a CTA button. Keep in mind the consumer’s perspective and make purposeful changes that will impact their willingness to engage with your advertisement. Elements in your ad to consider include length of copy, audience targeting, call to action, and ad format among others. These are the details that jump out to consumers and adjusting them appropriately can drastically alter your campaign results. At the end of the day, you want to treat your client’s dollars as your own and make worthwhile decisions that can impact your ad effectiveness without wasting time or money.
3. Write a Hypothesis
This best practice can seem rather intuitive, but clearly outlining the problem, applied solution, and expected outcome helps to assess if the test achieved what it intended to do. Prior to your launch, explicitly define measures of success and the overall goal of the test. A strong hypothesis should be based on quantitative data and composed only after observing current customer interaction with the ad. Don’t worry if your initial hypothesis eventually proves to be false; the goal of this step is to create a benchmark to measure effects of the change and collect information to be used in future testing.
4. One Variable at a Time
After identifying the problem and forming a clear hypothesis, it can be tempting to test multiple variables at once. Although it may seem like changing the headline, wording of ad copy, and call to action on an ad will increase the number of conversions, there is no way to precisely measure which factor contributed the most to success. The only way to truly judge the effectiveness of a change in your advertisement is to isolate a single element and test it independently. Multiple changes require multiple tests, so a slow and steady approach is best when attempting to improve ad performance.