Sarah Fish

How to use a March Madness approach to A/B testing

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It’s that time again. That time when those who lay quiet for 11 months out of the year awaken and show their true competitive colors. Like the brackets behind the NCAA Tournament, your marketing tactics can use a similar approach to introduce A/B testing to make for a winning strategy.

A/B testing is a common marketing tactic that allows companies to recognize best practices for their specific campaigns, and then optimize their deployments for maximum results. High performing results can be left on throughout the remainder of your testing, while you introduce different components as you continue to develop your approach.

What you might have assumed as a clear winner in your testing could surprise you, keep an eye out for those underdogs!

There is never going to be a wrong time to start testing your strategies.  61% of marketers use A/B testing to optimize their conversation rate, you never know what could make an impact on your approach until you test it.

Things to Test in Your Strategies

In 2017 we have multiple channels that function together to create the customer journey. This integrated approach to marketing makes it even more powerful when you can begin to understand your audience. Anything that can be changed in your tactics can be tried and tested. For example, in your Facebook strategy, you can test the following factors:

Audience

Create filtered audiences on Facebook that target different job titles, interests, incomes, and other factors. The insights you can gather from what works on Facebook will be valuable when you are optimizing other channels. Learn more about who interacts with your Facebook campaigns by exploring Audience Insights.

Language

In a recent test for a client, we compared two types of language in our ads: literal descriptions that get straight to the point of what the product was all about, and verbose language that used more romantic copy. Rather than the results indicating that the brand preferred one style over the other, it ended up providing valuable insights into the differences in preferences depending on their position in the customer funnel.

Landing Page

Similar to your March Madness bracket, you should only focus on one variable at a time. Try testing one of the following components of your landing page to optimize for conversions:

  • Headline
  • CTA
  • Images
  • Copy Length
  • Colors
  • Testimonials

Each win you see in your testing means you are one step closer to reaching your goal conversion rate. Use your bracket as a starting point to compare one factor versus another, then continue moving as you introduce one additional factor at each step forward. The results will take the guesswork out of your marketing decisions, and remember that each little optimization and experiment can mean big improvements long-term!

Marketing Tips to Overcome Challenges Facing Small Businesses

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It is common knowledge that marketing plays a crucial role in a business’s success, but not every small business understands that these strategies are within their reach.  Marketing may not always seem like a priority when dealing with other important facets within your company, such as personnel issues and adapting to the ever-changing economy, but the crux of the matter is that marketing is already playing a leading role in your success. Read on to learn how your small business can improve its marketing strategy by utilizing the following marketing tips.

Take Advantage of Word of Mouth Marketing

Small businesses have benefited from this type of marketing for years, and now with the rise of social media we are seeing more big box companies pouring money into this strategy.  When a potential customer asks you why they should go with your business, chances are one of the main selling points is your customer service.  Take advantage of word of mouth marketing by sharing your customer success stories and building on your existing brand recognition.

Small businesses are known for their positive customer relations, and now it’s time to flaunt it! Take advantage of these relationships by connecting with customers on social media and through email. Provide company updates, offer special “thank you” loyalty perks, and share an inside look at what goes on within your businesses. When potential customers see and hear how you interact with current customers, it will validate why they should work with you.

In today’s day and age, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (BrightLocal). Encourage existing customers to engage and review your products or services on your website or social media accounts. There is no better way to ask your satisfied customer for a review than in-person, but emails and Facebook posts encouraging reviews will also prove successful.

Choose Which Marketing Medium is Right for You

There are a plethora of marketing tools to implement at your small business, including SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, events, direct mail, and more. Maybe your budget doesn’t have room to take advantage of all that’s out there when it comes to marketing tactics, which is why you need to narrow it down to what’s right for your business.

Take advantage of cost-effective email marketing tools such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and MyEmma. If you already have an existing customer list with email addresses, email marketing should be a top priority. Start by separating your list by past customers and current customers. Existing customers and potential customers are more likely to engage with content that is relevant to their personal circumstances, so use these new lists to send specific marketing messages to individual audiences.

Social media may be the most budget-friendly way to kick start your marketing initiatives. Depending on where your audience falls, focus your efforts on a specific channel, and knock it out of the park. Your younger audience might be more effectively marketed to on Instagram and Snapchat, while an older audience could fall under Facebook. When you find where your customers are spending their time, focus your efforts on this channel.  To learn more about how to effectively use Facebook for small business, check out this blog post.

Find Time for Marketing

You are very busy. Your email has likely piled up since you started reading this article and your to-do list will continue to grow. Marketing doesn’t have to take up your whole day, but it is too important to forget about.

To find time in a tight schedule, take advantage of scheduling tools such as Hootsuite to plan your social posts for the week. Set aside time Monday morning to plan your posts for the week, then all you will need to think about is checking on engagement and being responsive.

Your small business might have an internal marketing person, an intern, or maybe these initiatives are falling on you. Whichever the case, an outsourced marketing company can help strategize and discover what your next steps need to be. We understand the challenges of running a small business and are here to make sure that every penny and hour spent improving your marketing strategies goes its farthest.