BRICKS - DEEP DIVE (not literally!)
Discover how data can tell you exactly how to talk to your customers to improve the efficiency of your ad campaigns.
Message Testing Brick
Rapid test cycles of messaging and creative styles can help us continuously improve the performance of your digital marketing.
The Japanese have a word, “kaizen”, or continuous improvement, which has its roots in lean business management. It’s the drive to make small and regular improvements with a focus on long-term improvements, an approach that can be applied to Digital Marketing. Nonetheless, the majority of accounts I audit are not utilising it.
Most brands already know how they want to talk to their customers. Their Tone of Voice and Brand Assets have been codified and set in stone, but these might not have undergone extensive testing. Too often I see a brand running copy that clearly satisfies the decision-makers, but may leave the potential customer guessing.
Whilst some companies might need a serious refresh of their entire brand, including taglines and copy, most businesses just need a few data-driven tweaks in their Tone of Voice. If the individuals in your audience are constantly changing, why should Tone of Voice stay the same?
This is where the Message Testing Brick really adds value. Instead of taking existing tag lines, ad copy, and Tone of Voice as gospel, I create a list of messaging experiments that will help us understand how to improve the performance of your ads over time. Through years of testing, I have identified a variety of messaging styles that work for specific niches:
- Including emojis in ad copy
- Adding elements of humour or light-heartedness (potentially even a rhyme?)
- Portraying your brand as “the next best thing”
- Scrapping all technical jargon and explaining product benefits simply (the “Explain It Like I’m 5” approach)
Sometimes the experiments can get a little whimsical, but small tweaks to ad copy can make a huge difference. We’ve seen cases where capitalising the first letter of every word increased the click-through rate by 20%, or using a commonplace analogy to explain a technical product improved conversion rates by 9%. A consistent, data-driven approach to Message Testing will likely improve key metrics over time (not a fluke!).
How far these experiments lie outside your brand’s “norm” is entirely up to you. I always suggest seeing it as a spectrum, having some that are very close to your current messaging and some completely different. Over time, we will move towards an understanding of what we need to include, or how we need to talk to see a continuous performance improvement.
The process is pretty simple. First, we undertake a collaborative exercise to identify a range of Message Experiments to test. This exercise is informed by my knowledge and experience, your understanding of your audience, and what has worked to date.
Once we have a list of potential experiments, we start writing ad copy into each style. This can be written from scratch, but more often than not will be tweaks of your existing best-performing messaging. Once you’re happy with the outcome, dates are assigned to each piece of copy and this then forms your Message Testing Flightplan - at this point the fun begins!
Using Facebook Ads to ensure a lot of people see your newly written ad copy, I will run various tests across your core audiences and compare the result of each different ad copy. This enables us to find Winners and Losers and to document any learnings we gather along the way.
In an ideal world, I would create the Message Testing Flightplan, run the experiments and analyse the results for you. This is to ensure that the process is followed and results are accurate and reliable.
However, that may not be the right choice for you. Depending on your budget, internal resources, or desire to learn, you may choose to own some parts yourself. At the end of the day, all of this is designed to suit your brand’s needs, and that means flexibility is baked right in.
ISN'T TESTING ALSO PART OF THE DIGITAL ADS BRICK?
The standard Digital Ads Brick will come with some standard Message Testing as standard. It is, after all, a key part of improving the performance of campaigns.
However, to truly get the most out of the experiments, including per message performance and learnings broken down, and experimentation at scale, you will need to add the Message Testing Brick to your Digital Marketing Structure.
Start identifying the building bricks for your strategy, book a call today.
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