We talked last week about ‘testing’ being the answer to all marketing questions. I thought this week I would give you a couple of examples about the kind of testing we have been doing this month.
Before that, let me talk about why testing is important.
Years ago when I worked at Yellow Pages, everything was a bit slower. You created an amazing ad for your client (naturally) but then you had to wait at least 3 months, sometimes a lot longer, before the directory was published. And then – even longer to see if the ad was actually working.
If it wasn’t working, you had to wait a whole year before you could change it. So, getting it right first time was PRETTY important. Which is why the Yellow Pages advertising training was SOOOO good and so renowned in the industry.
They had the art of compelling copy, killer headlines, great calls to action, and amazing images, down to a fine art.
And once you had a great ad, working well, you could pretty much leave it alone for a couple of years – until too many other ads started copying you.
Have Things Changed That Much in Marketing?
Well, not really. The principle is the same. You need great headlines, compelling copy etc etc. And you still need to test – because you don’t know what works until you do. But the timescales are SO much shorter.
Instead of a lead time of 3 – 8 months for old Yellow Pages, or a month to 6 weeks for a mag – or 2 – 5 days for a newspaper, now you press GO and the ad is live. That’s the good bit. You can stop or tweak the ad very quickly if it’s not working, and you can start off with a really low budget.
So, What’s the Problem?
I don’t know if you, like me, have noticed that someone’s strength is also often their biggest weakness? That friend you have who is really kind, is the one that often gets taken advantage of. And the ‘life and soul of the party’ friend can be annoyingly enthusiastic when you just want a chill out night.
Well, it’s the same with marketing.
The speed at which you can test marketing is great. The flip side is that things change so fast that there is no comfort zone anymore in marketing. You might run a highly successful campaign for one event, and when you run that for another event it doesn’t work. Or you put out a post that goes viral and then you try and implement that idea for another client and it falls flat.
Here’s the thing. You have to just accept that you need to be constantly testing.
So – What Did We Test This Month?
Well the first thing we tested was repetition.
I wanted to know if putting out the same posts (with gaps in between) would be a negative or a positive as I had had some results I had not expected.
So – here is what we did.
We repeated posts on an account every 2 – 3 weeks, mingled in with new content. Posts that had good traction the first time around were repeated. And here’s the interesting thing.
The 2nd time out, the posts got around the same or just a bit more than the first time. The 3rd time they really jumped up in likes especially but also shares, and the 4th time – it went up even more.
Why Would That Happen?
Well – I don’t know for sure. Have you ever tried to get FB or Insta to tell you WHY something worked? It doesn’t happen! You can only see that it DID or did NOT, and then make your own inferences.
So, my thought process on this is that by the time the post had gone out 3 times, it was getting recognition. People who had seen it before recognised it – either consciously or more likely subconsciously. And as their brain recognised it as something they liked, they liked it again.
The more likes a post gets and also a page, the more reach FB will give it – so the 3rd and 4th time, more people are recognising and liking and more reach is happening so more likes follow. Does that make sense? Virtuous circle.
Moral of the story – don’t be afraid to repeat your great posts. If you post daily then it is unlikely that someone will scroll down 3 weeks of posts and take offence that you posted it before. As long as ALL the posts are not repeats.
The Second Thing We Tested was SHORT FORM ADS
I like to buck the trend sometimes (no s*** Sherlock! I heard someone say!). I am sure you agree – attention spans are getting shorter. Long form posts are starting to really irritate me. I don’t have that many hours in my life to waste reading a load of old codswallop before people get to the point.
It’s a bit like those godawful webinars where you start off all excited that MAYBE, THIS time, you are going to learn something ACTUALLY useful. So, you sit through the first 20 minutes of somebody (usually American, usually male) showing you their expensive cars and their amazing homes, and their fantastic holiday. And then they spend 15 minutes telling you that they weren’t always this rich and they used to live in a shoebox under the motorway. (Oh no, that’s a Monty Python sketch sorry!).
Then they get to the meat of the webinar, so you start listening again, pen in hand, waiting for the golden nuggets……………which never come. They are talking in such generalisations that you hear yourself saying out loud – “yeah, yeah, I know all that – but HOW….”.
And then there is a 20-40 minute sales pitch at the end. And there’s another hour of your life you will never get back.
Well, I don’t do that anymore. I don’t go on long webinars with someone I have never heard of before. And I don’t read long boring posts either.
So, This IS What We Did Instead
I put up my Leading Women in Business event on the Facebook page as usual (linked to Eventbrite). I created an ‘event response’ ad for that. I used an image which I know has worked before (I usually test a few but this time I didn’t). And I put 2 short sentences into the ad which spoke directly to the woman I was trying to reach and her main desires.
In other words, I got straight to the point.
Now there were some free tickets available – but that was NOT in the advert. I wanted people who wanted to know more to click the ad, go to the event, and read all about it there, and not in the ad.
Now in the past – I have run ads for the 4 weeks between my events and on average have topped up the mastermind numbers by 4 or 5.
This ad has driven 3 times the traffic, 3 times the link clicks and reduced my cost per registrations from £1.31 per registration to £1.02. I have spent £35 in total so far.
What is interesting is that the organic social media posts and the paid for together have resulted in 193 views of the Eventbrite page, and 53 tickets sold (including free ones). That is huge. The average conversion rate on Eventbrite is hard to find – but it’s in the 1-5% range. Not 25%.
We have a week to go and our typical event holds up to 30 – so I am confident we will have a good turn out – I will let you know.
But the point it. Testing.
Keep on testing.
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