Are you giving as much thought to your email and social media marketing? Going with your gut is great for the office March Madness pool, but when it comes to your content marketing, you should be A/B testing. That is, testing content with various subject lines, updates and links to see which of the items are more appealing (and achieve engagement) than the others.
A few rules
Only test one variable at a time. While it might be tempting to send 50% of your audience A and 50% B, you’ll get more reliable results if you use a 10/10/80 approach. That means, send 10% A and 10% B, determine the winner then send it to the remaining 80% monitoring to see if the results hold up on the larger sample. Feel free to test a variable more than once. In case of a tie, do not go into overtime, perhaps the variable you’re testing isn’t significant or each is equally effective.
What you should be A/B testing
You can test basically anything you can measure, but here are some big ones you won’t want to miss:
- Email subject lines
- Email from lines
- Lengths of posts or emails
- Social media posting days and times
- Calls to action language
Indicators of success
At the end of the game, it comes down to who has more points:
- Open rates
- Link click throughs
- Engaged users (retweets, replies, shares, comments)
Use a simple spreadsheet to track your stats. Keep an eye on what’s working and what’s not. Change your strategy if effectiveness wanes. Eliminate the losers, and in the end, you should have a the champion of content strategies. Still, there’s no guarantee it’ll be winning next year, A/B testing is ongoing.