Ad testing is the process of evaluating different ad campaigns with various samples of your target market and asking for feedback on them. You can choose to run ad tests on an entire ad or specific aspects of it, and collect feedback on anything from how much the ad stands out to how motivated they were to buy what it’s selling.
Advertising campaigns can achieve many benefits for your company and can be quite costly. Measuring advertising effectiveness through testing offers many advantages such as it:
- Enables you to understand and segment different audiences
- Ensures your advertising efforts appeal to your target audience
- Provided ideas for further improvement
- Improves your return on investment
- Leads to better conversion rates
- Empowers your team to make more informed decisions
- The bottom line is ad testing helps you get it right.
“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” – David Ogilvy
To accurately test an ad concept, you should choose a specific segment of your audience that represents the target group for the campaign. For example, people in a particular age group, those in specific job roles, or a combination of qualifying criteria. This group can then be monitored to see how they respond to different versions of an ad, or different ad concepts.
1. Decide on what factors to test that incites action from your target audience.
You can choose to test videos, images, copy, audio, or a combination of all these. Also, take into consideration their content based on the platforms they will be used. For instance, you may want to test Linkedin ads to professionals in your niche, as opposed to Facebook ads or Google search ads. Your team should attempt to use at least three stimuli per test to get the best evaluation of your target audience’s preferences and opinions.
2. Choose the KPIs that are important to you.
Marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are specific marketing metrics that organizations track in order to measure their progress towards a defined goal within their marketing channels. The metrics that you measure should help you decide what makes an ad better than another.
Here are the top ad metrics to consider:
Imagery: How appealing and enticing is your ad?
Credibility: Does your ad’s message seem achievable?
Motivation: Does your ad positively affect people to buy what is being offered?
Significance: Does your ad address the desires of your audience?
Memorable: Is your ad unique enough to stand out from the noise?
The importance of each metric depends on your situation. For example, if the top goal for your ad is brand differentiation then uniqueness may be more of a priority. However, if your top goal is to influence sales, motivation to purchase may then be the most important metric.
3. Ask your target audience.
You can only determine the effectiveness of your ads after your target audience evaluates them. Decide who will be your participants and allow them the opportunity to give feedback on your ads. There are two main ways this is done:
Online Surveys – This option is cost-effective as you are able to reach more people at a lower cost, but you might not be able to gather feedback that’s as in-depth. You can utilize platforms such as Typeform, SurveyMonkey, or Google Forms to engage your audience and get feedback from them.
Focus Groups – This option works great in that you can collect in-depth feedback on a variety of different questions. This is a great way to hear from actual users and potential customers. However, focus groups can be costly to organize, and you may not be able to gather feedback from a representative sample of those who will ultimately see your ads.
4. Analyze and report your results
Once you’ve collected responses, you’re ready to compare the ads against each other. This step requires strict attention to detail and careful records of survey data in order to be effective.
You can break your report into two sections- overall findings and individual ad results. Your overall findings will give you an indication of which ads had the best initial reactions and are the most likely to drive sales. Individual ad analysis will allow you to dive deeper into the details of each individual ad to identify any weak spots.
Advertising, when done right, is a key part of your branding strategy and your business’ success. Now that you have the steps to run and test your advertising campaigns you can be confident in your efforts and relax knowing that your days of creating ineffective ads are over.