We love words. But language is very subjective. You can’t assume that everyone will respond in the same way to content, which is why it pays to test and measure when investing in digital marketing.
Split testing (or A/B testing) is about comparing the performance of two pieces of content that are similar, but with a few crucial differences. In this way, you can determine what works and what doesn’t, so that you can replicate the best-performing aspects of your copy and make good on your marketing objectives.
We’re big advocates of the ‘split test’ school of thought, and you should be too. Allow us to explain why it matters…
You’re able to quantify social influence
The main contenders for your time – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and aggregate sites like Reddit – are a mainline to an audience that really cares about your brand. Social media and discussion boards can break down the barrier between you and them. But to see what’s being registered with interest, humour or controversy, split tests are essential.
Unlike everyday conversation, we can track how many people like or share our points of view. Once a few articles or ads are online, engagement metrics allow us to see what’s performing well. With this information, we can double down on content that users are hoping to see, or something that fires up their urge to comment.
How many followers have debated the post? What did they think? How far has it travelled, and how many impressions has it gained? We can then even forecast how boosting the post or constructing a similar paid-for ad can add to the organic engagement gained – and inform a wider marketing strategy without investing too much time in it.
It’s easy to dig into theme and tone of voice
Once the answers to the above questions come to light, we know just what to write on a related topic. People like to return to a few of the same areas of interest, if they know it’ll still have a unique angle.
As award-winning copywriters, we’re used to coming up with fresh spins on similar subjects. One article might show a single POV, while another could compare several opinions. Maybe the topic could be explored over a four-part guide or email campaign. In any case, wisdom is power. And the greatest wisdom comes from analysing data.
Whether it’s a webpage, blog or social media ad, split tests can show what tone or ‘voice’ style your audience relates to the most. Subtle changes in wording can be the difference between someone buying from you or not; as soon as the data points to a preference, we can double down on a topic and approach.
You can build on great content
We’ve all heard that people don’t have the patience for longer content. But, with the right subject, backed by evidence of your audience’s likes and dislikes, they can bolster the level of insight you’re trying to give away (or delve deeper into the technicalities of your product or service). And your readers will thank you for it. The trick is knowing which blogs deserve the longer-form treatment.
Again, split testing clarifies what really resonates with your target audience. You can start with a minimum viable product (MVP) blog of 500 words that covers the basics and, if it performs well, then see how it could be of even greater value to your website visitors. Testing opens the possibility of lengthening existing pieces, so they’re able to say more and include a wider number of SEO keywords. Now and then, that’s a very good thing.
Well-thought-out content writing is central to creating the best marketing your brand has ever seen. To do this, you need to take a test and measure approach, using split testing to gather data that drives smart decision-making.
Did you know we can support you with content distribution, as well as content creation? Get in touch to explore how we can help you dip your toe in the digital waters.