Why You Should Be A/B Testing, How to Choose Your MarTech Tools, and More Marketing Know-How: ConversionCast Ep. 3

This is ConversionCast.

Every week, the marketing experts at Leadpages gather ’round to talk about what’s happening in the marketing world around us, chat about best practices that can be applied to businesses big and small, and answer pressing questions from fellow marketers.

Watch the action in the video above, or read on to get the marketing insights of the week.

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Snapchat, Amazon, and Google Continue to Push Marketing Boundaries

 

When it comes to marketing news, it’s no surprise that the biggest players in social, commerce, and search are making headlines.

What’s the key to sustained business growth? Is it heavy investments? Back-breaking labor? Burning the midnight oil? The ubiquitous “hustle” everyone is talking about?

Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana and co-founder of Facebook, says the key to success is building the business with intentional action and using mindfulness.

Your company culture is something that has be carefully curated—it can’t just be clumsily pasted together with hopes that it will all work out.

Dustin reflects, “When we saw things that needed improvement, we put our attention there, and iterated, and kept turning that crank until we had every part of the company running really well.” The result is a squad of engaged, happy, and productive employees who are ready (and willing) to bring the business to the next level.

Amazon’s most recent earnings are in, and while revenue surpassed expectations, net income fell well below.

What’s up with that?

Like any business hungry for continued growth, Amazon is heavily investing in parts of the company critical to that desired growth. Elements like technology and video content, sales teams for AWS and advertising, fulfillment centers, and international operations saw increased investment this past quarter.

What’s so intriguing about this? Tucked inside its revenue report is an “Other” line item—which grew by an impressive 53% to just shy of $1 billion. This “Other” category includes advertising revenue that’s been showing strong growth for weeks. This all means Amazon is nipping at the heels of Google and Facebook when it comes to making it possible for any business to advertise on sites across the web.

This episode of ConversionCast explores how Snapchat is making revenue outside of its own advertising. In its mission to prove the value of Snapchat ads, the company acquired location-tracking startup Placed.

Using Placed’s technology, Snapchat can start tracking how ads on the platform affect foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations. The first experiment was already a success: Theater visits to see the movie “Bad Moms” among people who were exposed to cross-channel advertising were 17 percent higher than consumers who only saw TV ads.

Before technology like this, there wasn’t an accurate way to determine if people were coming into your physical location as a result of your marketing tactics.

Similar to Amazon’s increased investment in (and net income from) advertising, Google’s revenue report also bears increased revenue from AdWords.

Q2 reporting shows that Google raked in $22.67 billion in advertising revenue—a $3.53 billion increase from this same time last year.

What does this all mean? If you aren’t using AdWords (or the newcomer Amazon Advertising), there’s a good chance your direct competitors are.

 

When You Should A/B Test (and When You Shouldn’t)

 

This week’s roundtable discussion dove into the realm of A/B testing.

Our own survey data from more than 10,000 self-identified marketers revealed that 44.4% of them do some sort of A/B testing either weekly, monthly, or occasionally.

However, 28.8% of respondents said they aren’t quite sure what A/B testing is.

Is it so awful that the majority of marketers aren’t split testing their strategies? Well, yes and no.

A/B testing might not seem like you’re not executing on your marketing strategies as quickly as you want to, which can be a turnoff for many marketers. However, investing time in A/B testing can reap huge benefits for your ROI.

Another factor that could be holding people back from A/B testing is being unsure of what, exactly, should be tested and when.

If you’re new to A/B testing, some simple elements to test include:

  • Landing page colors, e.g., background, CTA button, text, etc.
  • Copy length and complexity
  • The layout of your landing page

Many A/B testing tools will enable you to set up a test in a matter of minutes.

One reason A/B testing might not be for you is low traffic. Having conclusive and reliable test results depends on having enough traffic to your landing page to make the results worthwhile. However, if you have the site traffic to do so, A/B testing could prove that a few minor tweaks could have major gains.

 

Your Marketing Questions Answered

 

Every week, we take the time to answer questions from entrepreneurs, marketers, and customers. In this episode, we offered up suggestions to improve content distribution and tips for how to select exactly what tools should go in your marketing toolkit.

“We can produce great content, but how do you recommend we distribute our content for new businesses (lack of social, email lists, website traffic)?” — Peter Andrew

Our top tips:

  • Even if it seems fruitless, continue creating content and posting to your website and blog. This effort will pay off in your SEO efforts in the long-run.
  • If you don’t have traffic on your own site, post your content on websites that do. Guest posting is a great way to guide people back to your website and establish yourself as an authority.
  • Don’t be afraid to shamelessly promote your content on your own social media platforms (and ask your friends to share, too).
  • Don’t be afraid to buy your traffic in platforms like AdWords.

“There are tons and tons of martech tools coming out. How do I know whether or not it’s a good move to invest in a given tool?” – Tim Berman

Our top tips:

  • Ask yourself, “Did the last thing I buy have an ROI?” If the answer is no, was it the tool’s fault? Reflect on if you are honestly ready for the marketing tool in question.
  • Does the tool you’re looking at strategically align with what you’re trying to do right now? If not, don’t get lured in by “shiny object syndrome” (not a real illness, just something we call a fatal attraction to expensive tools that you might not use that much).
  • Take advantage of the free trial. Don’t feel pressured to dive in—test the waters first, then make an informed decision.

Tune in every week to get conversion marketing news, insight, and tips from a fresh crew full of marketing know-how.

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Have questions about this week’s episode of ConversionCast? Ask in the comments below!