You’ve likely put lots of thought into conversion rate optimization (CRO) to ensure your digital marketing funnel is supplying a steady stream of customers. A big part of CRO is A/B testing — figuring out what works and what doesn’t and committing to what works. But are you A/B testing for content?
A/B Testing for Content in Emails, Social Media, and Blogs
Content, in all its shapes and sizes — email, social media, blogs — appears at the top of your sales funnel. When you get it right, you get more conversions. That means it’s worth testing and tracking. Here’s how to start A/B testing for content in:
Emails and Social Media
A/B testing for content in emails and social media has everything to do with getting the subject line and headline right. Why? Because 80% of people only read the subject line and headline. We live in a world of skimmers.
By A/B testing your headline in social media posts and A/B testing your subject line in emails, you can ensure that you are giving that 80 percent of your audience the content that’s most likely to convert.
Here’s how you do it.
First, select two headlines/subject lines that answer these three questions:
- Who will benefit from the content
- How will it help them
- What makes THIS content special
Now that you have your two subject lines/headlines, you need to send them both to an audience and measure the response to see which is most effective. If it’s a social media post, post across different channels or at different times to test which headline works better. If it’s a subject line in an email, send each subject line to 25 percent of your list. Whichever performs better, send to the remaining 50 percent of your list.
When it comes to A/B testing for content in blogs, the most important metric you want to look at is length. While the rule of thumb in the digital marketing world is that long-form blog posts that take about 7 minutes to read perform the best, that won’t be true for every company. Your B2B marketing process needs to be tailored to your customers.
How do you do it?
To find the length that works best, you have to post blogs of varying lengths and see which get the most traffic. Try a 1,500-word blog post one week, a 200-word blog post the next week, and 3,000-word how-to guide the week after that. Promote them all the same way, whether that means via social media or email, so you’re comparing apples to apples. To find out how much time is spent on each blog, just use one of the free Google Analytics reporting tools.
You may not think of images as “content,” but they are. In pay per click advertisements and social media posts, the image matters as much if not more than the headline. Content Marketing Institute found that testing a new image in an ad resulted in a 65 percent greater engagement than when only new copy was tested.
So how do you do it?
Select two images. Both need to relate to what your blog or advertisement is about, be compelling and be high-quality, by which we mean NOT grainy. Beyond that, it’s pretty subjective. Which is why you need to A/B test to see which works better.
If the image is in a social media post, try the post in different social media channels to see which performs better. If it’s in a PPC ad, run each for a short period of time and go with the one that performs better for the remainder of your send. In email marketing, simply split your list and A/B test the image to different parts of your list.
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