If you’re looking for ways to improve sales and profits in 2017 through marketing avenues, it’s important to always remember that top results aren’t all about increasing your budget and pumping out more and more strategies. Instead, you must find ways to ensure that your marketing campaigns are actually effective, and learn which tactics work best when targeting the specific businesses you’re trying to lure.
To improve your results, it is very important to take the time to regularly test your marketing campaigns and analyze the marketing metrics that matter (which include more than just the number of leads you receive from a campaign). Read on for some ways you can go about testing and measuring your marketing spend in 2017.
Split Test Your Content Marketing
While many people understand the role that split testing can have when it comes to advertising, web pages, and email conversion rates, many haven’t thought about using the strategy on their content marketing campaigns. However, a split test can actually be utilized on many different types of situations in which it is preferable to optimize performance, including in content marketing.
Take a look at the results from a 2016 survey of content marketing trends run by Content Marketing Institute, and you’ll find that although a whopping 88 percent of B2B businesses use content marketing in their organization, only a tiny 6 percent of them actually find it very effective. These statistics show that there is a definite need for improvement in this area.
Split testing can be helpful here because it enables you to gather current and accurate data about the content you produce, by comparing multiple variants of a post or other format against each other. These comparisons will then enable you to find out which variant performs best.
While the simplest option is an A/B test, where only two versions of content are pitted against one another, you can add a number of other variants to the mix if you like, kicking it into gear to multivariate testing. (Note though that this more involved testing typically requires a lot more website traffic if you want to properly gather valuable data).
You might want to manually conduct the testing yourself, but it’s also worthwhile to consider some of the split-testing platforms that are available today, as they can save you a lot of time. As you test the content you create, look for areas where you can enjoy a good-sized uplift in your marketing results. This will ensure that you’re seeing proper results from the testing, rather than simple, natural variance that can occur from user behavior.
Keep in mind that the larger the size of the visitors/readers, the smaller the uplift needs to be; and that you should conduct the testing over a reasonable period of time so you can accrue plenty of data and be sure that your results aren’t just occurring by chance.
Test the Pricing of Your Goods or Services
If you want to amplify your marketing results it is also beneficial to test the pricing of your goods or services. Many businesses tend to assume that they really know what the best price for their offerings should be, and fail to do any sort of testing of various price points to see how this affects results. This is a mistake though, as consumers can be changeable and incredibly unpredictable.
The best way to get top results from marketing outlets such as online and offline advertising, direct mail, e-newsletters, presentations, events and the like (anywhere you are promoting an offering and its price), is to test to see if the price is right. Conducting these tests will let you find out which price point generates the most inquiries, sales, or other responses, and then allow you to adjust your price and your future marketing to suit accordingly.
To use this tactic, think about splitting up your target market in various marketing platforms. Then, test out multiple price points and analyze the results before choosing a final cost to put in place for your goods that will be promoted to the entire market.
Use Social Media to Test Campaigns
Another great way to test out your marketing campaigns early on, and have them be as effective as possible, is to make use of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. For example, Twitter, with its limited character space, is the perfect place to test out email subject lines for your newsletters. After all, a predominant factor in the click-through-rate on a mail out is the headline used — it must being interesting and engaging enough that people decide to open the email in good numbers.
You can use the social media site to do some testing by creating a few different headlines, then assigning a unique, short URL to each Tweet so that you can manage the individual click-through rates. If you find that a particular subject line resonates well with your social media audience, this should be a good indication that your campaign will enjoy a similar response.
Homework: Retest and Re-evaluate
It’s not enough to test all of these things once. Due to the rapid changes of the digital world, you must constantly test your marketing campaigns to see what’s still working and what is no longer effective. Regularly testing will help keep your company fresh and make sure your marketing efforts continue to thrive instead of stagnating.