In our last post about internet marketing testing, I discussed how to reduce the number of items to test, and now we can start to consider what you should include in your testing strategy.
Everyone has an opinion about testing and as a result disagreements within your team are actually a very effective place to start. One person may feel strongly about creative headlines and copy; while another person may be focused on one type of media that they feel is best. These issues can often be rsolved through testing. In my experience, the best things to test are things that make the most difference fastest. This generally includes the following two things: the offer and the advertising media.
The offer is almost always the most important part of a campaign, and can come in many types. Early stage B2B offers are often white papers, a mid-stage offer may be a case study, and a late stage offer may be a sales presentation. All of these offers may be part of a complete and successful campaign. When you select an offer, remember to determine what you are asking users to do, and what their incentive is to do it. And of course, make sure your content is valuable and important.
The media you choose for your campaign is also of utmost importance. Making a mistake on which type to use is an easy way to blow a lot of money fast. An issue with media decisions is that they are often very expensive and can take up a large chunk of your budget. When choosing media it is important to evaluate each choice on similar criteria to enable you to analyze results when the campaign is over. For B2B campaigns, the metric our clients often use is the cost per quality lead. If you use a common criterion for success, it will be easier to evaluate the media test when it’s complete.
In today’s marketing environment, paid media may only be a small part of your media options. You need to manage your time on unpaid media as well, and time is money after all. If someone on your team is spending 8 hours per week on social media, make sure you allocate that time and include it in your cost per lead analysis when considering media choices.
Once you have a list of media options, it is critical to make small bets on new media until you have an understanding of the cost per lead. Too often marketing people throw 75% of their budget into a campaign without any knowledge of its performance. It’s vital to make smart small bets or it’s very hard to test. On the next post, we’ll talk about the testing process itself
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