Introduction To A/B Testing
A/B testing can be termed as the method of comparing two variants at the same time and testing the differences between them in terms of response and engagement. Each and every difference is counted to create a compound of the best possible approach and creation.
The method came into existence just a few years ago and is being used less as compared to marketing tools. Earlier, the A/B testing method was quite expensive to run tests for various things but since digitalisation took place the costs have dropped, performance has improved and started to provide great insights to help increase the conversion rate of outreach and marketing efforts.
A/B testing is also known as ‘split testing’. In the field of B2B, the method is better known for increasing the conversion rate of an email, a web page, or an advertisement.
But very few of us are aware of its use in content marketing. Yes, the method can also be used to boost the performance of your content marketing campaigns to a significant extent.
How Can It Be Used?
It’s important for B2B marketers to know what strategies work and what doesn’t work effectively for their company. Marketers keep looking for something that would help them to hit their bottom line. Split testing will help them to do so. It will provide them a marketing insight on marketing strategies that to them influence their customer.
With A/B, it’s easy to make decisions and more effective marketing materials could be crafted out of it.
Things that can be tested with A/B include:
- The headline of a newsletter, email or content
- Your call-to-action button
- Any graphic you use in direct correlation to your sales efforts
- The sales copy or product descriptions
- The text for a banner advert
- Layout of a webpage
A/B Testing For Various B2b Marketing Campaigns
Using Website Visitor Tracking to capture the leads, A/B testing helps you guide this journey and it can be applied to various situations in which one can think to optimize performance. According to CMI’s survey in 2016, 88% of B2B companies were using content marketing among which only 6% stated that it’s very effective.
It shows that there’s really something big that is supposed to improve. Although one can find a number of ways to improve the content marketing campaigns, split testing can also be a good option and we will discuss how.
Headlines: Headline plays a crucial role in the success of content and it’s the first and the only part that forces the audience to click on your content and it’s the only part that will sue the audience away even if your content is great, informative, entertaining etc.
So, before you post your blog or content you should definitely get your headlines tested under split testing so that you can be sure of if the headline sits well with your content or not.
Headlines determine the number clicks your post will get. They are the factor that rules the mind of the reader and put them in the situation to continue with your article. Headlines are responsible for setting up the emotions of reader while reading your content.
Length of content: The best way to find out what content length your audience prefer to read is to split test it.
You just need to create two versions of your content. For better results, you can repeat the test with multiple bits of content with different content length. You can frolic around with the same until you get the best result. Therefore going forward you will know what length to aim for.
Placement of suggested posts: Great content is one that keeps its audience allured with the post and the one that develops an urge to read more and more. Don’t just keep your visitor limited to your landing page or just to the current content. Try to link the current content to other content, within the content itself. You can link above or below to the content or in the sidebars.
Or you can also opt for pop-ups like this
The exact positioning of these links can impact the effectiveness of the link. However, one can be able to maximize its effectiveness undergoing the split or A/B testing. There can be tests for-
- Number of links to be included
- The kind of links need to include
- Where the links should be included-upside, downside or at the sidebars etc.
Images: Images offer ice to eyes as these are easy and entertaining to understand and these give us a break from the lengthy texts. An image enhances the beauty of the content.
Images that you put into the content should be relevant and related to the work. Also, it’s been found that real images have brought more conversion rates (almost more than 45%)as compared to others.
Tests to be done for better results include:
- Real images vs. images found online
- Images with people vs. images without people
- Diagrams vs. pictures
- Photos vs. illustrations
Call-to-Action: When people find your content worth appealing, they need to contact you for whatever reasons-buying and selling, queries etc. The call-to-action button will connect them directly to you. But the kind of call-to-action button you have also plays a great role. It’s colour, placement etc. really matters a lot. Hence, with A/B testing one can add a better call-to-action button to the website.
Email Marketing Campaign
Email marketing plays an important role to any business. From advertising to communication, it’s very much required. Hence, you need to be very careful of the formats, texts, templates etc. you use while you send emails. Split testing plays an important role here too. It can guide you what email campaigns works best for you.
Elements that should be tested for better email marketing campaigns include –
- Subject Line
- Body content
- Personalization elements
- Layout of your message
- Offer or promotion
- Closing texts
- Likewise, there are few more elements that could be tested.
Web Pages contain numerous elements that can be tested with A/B testing method.
Whether it’s text, colour, position, size, format or a unique feature, each and everything can be tested to see what really works in the market.
Elements that can be tested include the following –
- Sub Headlines
- Call-to-action button
- Call-to-action text
- Website speed
- Awards and Badges
- Banner ads, scrolling buttons, menus, etc.
Likewise, you can implement split testing methods to get your marketing campaigns better functioning and get your audiences engaged with online marketing activities.