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How running variants of ads can refine your marketing messaging

If you want to get the most value out of your advertising dollar, testing different ads will help you find the messages that resonate best with your audience.

We all know advertising is an effective way to capture new customers and strengthen your brand awareness, but it’s important to back up your advertising campaign with data.

The best way to develop advertising data for your strategy is to test different advertising messages through A/B testing, also known as split testing.

An A/B test involves trialling slight variations to your ads, including programmatic advertising, Google ads, paid social media posts and landing pages, over a short period and then comparing the results for the top performers.

Once you have the most effective combinations, you can throw your budget behind those winning ads knowing that they are backed by empirical evidence.

Here are some helpful tips to test your ads:

Planning your advertising testing

You can test almost any variable of your ads through A/B testing, so you want to create a plan rather than making it up as you go.

Consider trialling different messages by making slight changes to the headlines, images and calls to action within your ads to see which yield the best results.

You can also A/B test your ads at different times and days to find the optimal moments to run your ads.

“Remember your audience’s needs when you’re testing ad variables,” said Assemblo’s founding director Steve de Niese.

“Tailor your message to the platform that you’re testing on and adopt the right tone, whether it’s for Google search or the Facebook news feed.”

For example, you might want to create a more compelling conversational tone for a social media ad to cut through compared to a Google ad, which should focus on reflecting the language and needs of your prospect’s search term.

Executing your advertising testing

When it comes to carrying out A/B testing, prepare to run a lot of tests with subtle differences.

For example, you may want to run five Facebook ads where you only change the headline in each, as well as five ads only changing the images, for a month and examine results.

You can track the performance of each individual variant by linking them to their own unique URL through UTM (Urchin Traffic Monitor) parameters and then analyse the data in Google Analytics or other web analytics services.

Remember to test specific variables in isolation, so focus on changing just the headline or just an image in a single test ad to avoid confusing the effectiveness of competing variables, said de Niese.

“When launching a new campaign, you can often end up with tens or even hundreds of ads with subtle differences to see what works. Often, there will be a killer combination that really rises above the pack, but it might take you a few tries to find it.”

Get the right advice

Running variants of ads can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your advertising campaign, however it takes time and the right expertise to execute properly.

If you need an expert hand to A/B test your upcoming advertising activities, then the team at Assemblo can help.

As a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, Assemblo has marketing strategists who can carry out A/B testing on your next advertising campaign to ensure your advertising dollar is working hard.

To learn more, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via the contact form below.

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