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November 4, 2020 - By Hawke Media

The Importance of Testing

So you have a live digital marketing campaign, and you’ve found some digital media buys that are working for your brand. You developed a creative concept with your designers, and you’re starting to see some clicks roll in. What’s next? Today, I’d like to chat with you about the importance of testing, my testing methodologies, and share some testing ideas.

Why should you test?

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Do you see good numbers from the creative you developed? That’s great news! Not everyone is so lucky, and truthfully the first concept you develop may work sometimes, but won’t always work right out of the gate. Let’s assume you’re happy with its performance. Over time, when your message is being seen daily by the same audience over and over, it’s going to resonate a little less each day. Eventually, if you’re just running one concept, it will ultimately burn out and you’ll soon find your team back at the drawing board itching for a new winning concept, or what we call the control.

How to avoid this situation?

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The easy answer is – TEST YOUR CREATIVE. Assuming you have the volume to run more than one creative, I would launch with your two or three best creative concepts. Once you’ve collected some statistically significant data and have found a winner, you’ll want to iterate or repeat that concept. It’s important to isolate particular elements in your creative and do an apples-to-apples test, or what we call an A/B test.

What are some examples of A/B tests?

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Let’s say your creative looks something like this:

  • Headline
  • Model
  • Call to Action

This is a pretty standard format for a display ad. I believe the most important component that stimulates a click is your imagery. So I would begin by finding different models or images to rotate. Keep all other elements static. This way, you’ll learn something from your test – which model works best.

Next, once you’ve established the best model, I would A/B test your headline. Tricks in headline testing include bold statement contained in quotes. For example, say your brand is in fitness or weight loss, an example for this headline could be “Find Your Sexy.” It piques your interest but leaves some ambiguity.

You could alternatively use this headline as a question, “Find Your Sexy?” It’s pieced together in a way that you don’t hear every day and may catch someone’s attention since it interrupts the pattern of the way your viewer expects your creative to read. This is what we call a pattern interrupt.

We all have unconscious expectations for how we expect events in our life to go—you probably even had a certain expectation of how this article would read. From here, the possibilities are endless. You can test call-to-action verbiage, color palettes, layout, etc.

The important thing is that you are always learning something from your test, and this will ultimately prevent your concept from quickly burning out.