A successful ad campaign isn’t as simple as throwing together some words and images to sell a product. Companies spend a significant amount of money on ads, and it’s crucial to get the most out of their ad budget. Professional digital marketing agencies use ad testing to identify a winning ad versus an underperforming one to create optimized and effective ads for their clients.
Here, our advertising experts at Alecan Marketing Solutions highlight the importance of ad testing in digital marketing and the best methods for measuring advertising effectiveness. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss how you can benefit from paid search ads by Alecan Marketing Solutions.
Why Is It Important to Test Ads?
One of the primary goals of an advertising campaign is to achieve a high return on investment (ROI). You invest money into campaigns to attract customers and drive sales, allowing you to grow and expand your business.
To prevent unnecessary ad spending, ad testing is a crucial step that determines how well an ad performs. By sending an ad testing survey to a sample audience, advertisers can measure how consumers respond to various aspects of an ad, such as its visual appeal.
Let’s dive in with the most significant benefits of testing ads.
Provides Data to Back Up Your Marketing Strategy
During the creative development process, having reliable data to back up your ad concepts helps you narrow in on proven marketing strategies. When pushing for particular ad ideas, you can use market research to prove why your strategy and ad creative will work for the target audience.
Research insights also enable you to make informed decisions when developing your initial marketing plan. If you’ve done advertising testing on the same target audience in the past, you’ll have a better idea of what will work in your latest project.
Helps Further Improve Ads
During testing, the research participants will identify what they did and didn’t like about the ad. Even the winning ads will likely have aspects you can improve further to appeal to potential customers.
For example, one ad might be the favorite of the respondents but has a few negative responses to the images. With the insights you gathered, you can tweak the visuals according to the results of the testing process. What you end up with is an ad that the audience already liked but now will love even more.
Identifies What Works with Various Audiences
Ad testing enables you to segment audiences, helping you determine how certain groups respond to different factors in advertising. Some ads might get a more positive response from men versus women or younger teens versus adults. The testing phase gives you the data you need to adjust your message to appeal to specific groups.
Your brand is an essential factor in the ad concepts you choose for the campaign. If your company’s products or services are popular with young consumers, you should use market research on younger demographics to develop ideas. During testing, you’ll likely survey groups who are millennials and younger.
Enables Your Organization to Grow More Efficiently
Testing leads to effective ads, which means higher conversion rates. Digital marketing agencies analyze the market to create advertisements that trigger the desired response (i.e., motivate purchases, click a link, etc.) and raise brand awareness for your company and ROI.
A successful advertising campaign can cause rapid growth for a business, and ad testing raises the chances of success and saves the client money.
How to Conduct an Ad Test
Choosing the method of running your ad test is a key part of the testing process. You’ll need to decide which ad to test and narrow down specific aspects of it on which to survey the participants, such as the visuals or copy. You’ll also have to choose what to measure, whether it’s uniqueness or purchase intent.
Next, you’ll send your ad testing survey to the audience your client’s brand is targeting. When you receive the test results, marketers can analyze the data to reveal insights about the ad itself and the different groups who responded to the test.
1. Choose the Ad or Ad Segment You Want to Test
The subject of your ad test, also known as stimuli, might include one or more of the following:
- Ad copy
The stimuli you choose for your ads depend on the channel you’re targeting. For instance, you might tailor your ads on TikTok or Instagram to a younger demographic compared to Facebook or Google ads. For example, a video ad works best for TikTok, where the primary format is short clips.
Your ad test survey should ask a few questions about one or more stimuli to a large enough sample of respondents to gather a significant amount of research data. Using the data, you can adjust your advertising method or come up with better ideas to market a specific brand.
2. Pick Which Metrics to Measure
Advertisers gather data on ad campaigns while they’re active, looking at key metrics like conversion and click-through rates. While these numbers can provide some valuable insights during A/B testing to determine which of two ads is the best, statistics can sometimes be unreliable. To combat this uncertainty, ad testing asks pertinent questions about a specific ad segment.
The top metrics to gauge during ad testing include:
- Visual appeal
- Purchase motivation
- Relevance to audience’s needs
- Believability of ad message
- Uniqueness from competitors
3. Send Survey to Target Audiences
Whether you choose to survey one or two groups, you’ll need to decide which specific audiences you want to evaluate your ads. While it might be costly and time-consuming to organize, a focus group is an effective way to gather specific feedback during testing.
Some ad testing companies use cutting-edge technology, such as eye-tracking and facial coding, to analyze physiological responses to ad stimuli. The method you use primarily depends on your budget and the type of research necessary for optimizing your campaign. Ad tests of any kind are invaluable for testing the effectiveness of various concepts in front of your target audiences.
4. Analyze the Results
The fruit of advertising testing is the data you obtain from the research. Once you have the answers to your questions, you can work out the best method of advertising a particular product or service to the appropriate demographics.
If you’re analyzing a single ad, you’ll focus on each stimulus and the participant’s response to it. When you test multiple ads, you’ll likely be measuring which had the most positive reactions from the target group. For instance, you might compare two ads with different copy but the same visuals. Based on which one performs better, you’ll know the type of copy that works best.
Ad Testing Best Practices
If you want useful insights on your ad campaign, follow these ad testing best practices.
Use Consistent Metrics
Whether testing a single ad or multiple samples, you should use the same metrics for all of your tests. Measuring your ads against the same criteria gives you a clear picture of how one advertisement performs compared to other ads.
Survey a Sufficient Audience Size
The best data comes from a representative sample of your target group. The more respondents you have, the more accurate your results will be. If you survey too few people, there’s a higher chance there will be outliers that sway the results.
Don’t Ask Too Many Questions
Even when you test multiple ads, your survey length should be short to make it easy for your respondents to give the valuable feedback you need. Some participants might speed through their answers just to get the survey incentive, but having fewer questions makes it more likely they’ll spend more time evaluating the ad.
Ensure Your Ads Use High-quality Media
This might seem obvious, but your pictures, videos, and other media should be high-quality, even during the test phase. Low-quality media could cause a negative response to an ad simply because the respondent couldn’t see the content clearly. The lack of effort in the ad can also reflect poorly on your company’s brand.
Compare the Results of Your Ad Tests to Competitors
Comparing the ad test results of your ads to competitors’ ads can help you see how they succeed with a particular audience. Uniqueness is important for a growing brand, but it’s also critical to identify the method that others have proven to work. You can also include previous ads that you’ve created to analyze how their performance stacks up against competitors and your current campaign.
Boost Ad Success with a Professional Digital Marketing Agency
At Alecan Marketing Solutions, we leverage ad testing to boost your consumer engagement, drive conversions, and effectively increase brand awareness. We’re an experienced team of creative developers and marketers that makes your business objectives our priority so we can help you reach, and exceed, your goals.
If you need help testing your ads and achieving a quality score on Google Ads, contact us for a consultation with our ads experts.