Although not all tests are random, it’s important that you run a test with several different variations of an experience or treatment to ensure that significant results aren’t caused by chance.
For example, if half of your users receive version A of your product while the other half receives version B, then there’s a good chance they will buy something from you based on which one they try first.
That’s because they’ll see more people upgrade to get on using Version B instead of buying what they had already paid for.
You can minimize this problem by running a test with at least three versions (A, B, and C) and comparing each pair versus the rest. Then you can say with some confidence that one variation is better than the others.
We’ve all heard about A/B testing, but what is actual fact? It’s a way to test two different approaches to a problem or solution.
Let’s take Facebook’s “Liked” page status as an example. This was one of many things they tested in 2006. What made this test special was that the company decided to set up a team to analyze each person’s reactions to these various tests.
These ratings were then used to determine which version was most successful. After going through all of this, they concluded that although there was no clear winner, everyone seemed to like both versions very much.
Here’s the interesting part – people who saw the old style status updates became tired of them, while those who saw the new style updates felt more compelled to share them.
Clearly, something changed within their experience when they read either type of update. The change was enough to make them want to share the information with their friends.
The first way to improve the ROI of content marketing is by varying the frequency with which you communicate with your audience.
More often does not mean better results; it depends on the message that you are trying to send or the product that you are selling. Some messages require more emphasis than others, but having too much communication can confuse people and waste resources.
Also, different types of messages need to be delivered at different times. For example, sales information requires more attention early in the process, while general knowledge items can wait until after the sale was made.
Content promotion helps build engagement and visibility, two necessary ingredients for successful messaging. By adjusting the timing of when you deliver messages depending on their content, you can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your communications.
The performance of your content marketing efforts should be measured by one metric and one metric only: revenue per user (known as ROI or return on investment).
This is what will happen when users use your product or service: they will spend money in some form, such as signing up for a subscription, buying a book, visiting the website, downloading an app.
The money spent by each user can then be attributed to your content marketing campaign. It can be assumed that if people bought your product or signed up for their service because of your content marketing effort, then that amount you invested was worth it.
There are several ways to determine how much money you have raised through your content marketing campaigns; here are two easy ones. First, calculate how much you have raised through advertising expenditures.
Second, assume that any increase in traffic to your site is due to your content marketing efforts and subtract this from total visits to make the number less affected by fluctuations in traffic.
Calculate the cost of acquiring a new customer and add 20% to that figure to take into account lost sales due to infrequent updates and reduced engagement with your brand.
Finally, divide the overall budget by the cost of acquisition value to get the average whole dollar spending rate. This gives you your entire content promotion budget in terms of dollars earned per unique viewer.
Of course, not all content marketers need to do this step-by-step
Marketers have different strategies for growing their audience. But in my opinion, one of the most important factors is starting with smaller targets than you think you can reach.
You should also know how to measure your success--including getting more traffic to your website, increasing sales or converting some subscribers into buyers.
But there are few things that never change. Whether you’re testing marketing campaigns or seeking improvement, you must start with A/B tests (where you test two options against each other) or full campaigns.
That way, you won’t hit 100% success every time. And even if nothing changes and works for you, it could work for others.
Test what people respond to and try to make whatever you do responsive. That is, be willing to repeat an email until it gets opened or goes onto someone’s desktop.
Or put another way, don’t let perfect become the enemy of good.
“Measure what you want to measure” is very basic advice, but it can make a huge difference in testing. It gives you a way to track whether or not your test worked.
If you were looking for a way to improve content marketing ROI, this would be a great place to start.
You can also look at ways to measure things that you weren’t even thinking about when you created your content. For example, if one of your content campaigns resulted in an increase in social sharing, then that campaign probably worked.
Sharing online content is something people like doing – both as individuals and as businesses. By measuring share rates of your content, you can use testing to find out which types of articles users are most likely to share.
This helps bring more attention to your business through increased sharing.
A lot of businesses mess up their testing because they fail to realize that Google tests pages not just from a technical standpoint, but also from a user experience (UX) perspective.
That’s right. What you create as an SEO may not be what your visitors or customers are looking for.
You want to make sure that there’s a good flow, that the content is useful, and that the website is easy to use. These are all factors that play into how people perceive your business and whether others will work with you or find you helpful.
Google algorithms change very often, and very quickly. If someone feels like you aren’t updating your site with the changes that it makes them feel less comfortable in using it.
It can be very frustrating trying to manage a page without being able to trust that it works properly. When companies skip testing their marketing initiatives, there’s a risk that users won’t leave enough room for the message they’re trying to send.
A key part of any form of testing is consistency. The more you test, the more consistently you will apply your tested method.
Consistency is what will bring about significant changes in your data, tests, and results. You will also need to have enough samples that each action (test or experiment) contributes significantly to the result.
The best experiments catch everything possible. That includes things that you could count on your hands but also ideas and methods that people haven’t thought of yet.
People don’t always come up with the most innovative solutions when they are trying to get something done. But if you want to try one tactic for achieving this, it’s easy and scalable.
That technique is constantly changing around how you go about doing something. Try not sticking to your assigned tasks but instead work through all the possibilities and adopt new ways of getting things done.
This way you will find yourself constantly evolving along with your brand and marketing strategies.
There’s a saying in marketing: you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
But how do you know if you are breaking anything unless you test it?
Consider this study that tested different types of buttons on clothing products. One button read “Buy Now”, another read “Best Price”.
The first button brought up significantly more conversion rates, but resulted in customers who were less likely to purchase again and who left the site fewer comments than those who visited the page with the second button.
Which button was better? You can’t tell without testing them both!
Test all variables around your content and look for ways to experiment with new ideas until you find something that works. Don’t forget to set hard goals for yourself so you can track your progress.
Content marketing is a change process not a single project, so instead of looking for one magical solution that solves everything, try coming up with several solutions that work for you.