According to a recent study from Harvard Business Review, advertisers who run at least 15 experiments a year see a remarkable 30% increase in ad performance, measured in average spend per dollar of ad investment. Later in the same year, they did the experiments, and those same advertisers saw a further 45% performance increase. Let’s talk about how to experiment with content marketing.
So if that’s the case, then why aren’t more marketers conducting more experiments with their content marketing?
Why Do Businesses Need To Experiment With Content Marketing?
In times of uncertainty, even the most experienced content marketers begin to doubt themselves. Overcome by pandemic-induced fears, these digital marketers resist experimentation to maintain stability during this crisis.
But it’s in these times when businesses should be pushing for more experimentation initiatives! These experimental processes move you to revisit and break established, non-working processes to develop superior ones that adapt to the times. In doing so, you’ll be creating groundbreaking innovations tempered in the heat of adversity.
To reap the rewards of experimentation in content marketing, here are a few things you should do:
1. Develop More Adaptable Content Writing
Experimentation requires versatile strategies for content writing. You aren’t just playing with your strategy for kicks, after all.
You’re developing a system of production and promotion that adapts to any marketing scenario and delivers potent results. As you experiment more with your content, you start to challenge your long-held biases.
Although it will be difficult at first, you’ll ease into discovering previously unknown systems that will give you the success you’re looking for.
2. Build True Personalization Of The Online Brand Experience
Becoming the industry leader you envision yourself to be isn’t easy. If your strategies and executions are indistinguishable from your competitors’ reaching your goals will be challenging.
However, as you create a more genuine user experience for your online brand, you’ll soon be building towards scaling your content marketing capacity. This process involves experimenting with formats, tones, and tools to discover what works just for you and your specific clients.
The process will take a lot of work, but the results will speak for themselves.
3. Turn Trend Followers Into Trendsetters
Lastly, market leaders don’t just follow trends – they set them. If not, your audience will see right through your pandering and look for something original.
To avoid this, consciously breaking your status quo through experimentation will transform you from being a follower to a trendsetter! Once you offer unique solutions through ingenious content, others – even your biggest competitors – will want to emulate you.
Once you’re equipped with an experimental mindset and expert digital marketing techniques, you’ll be able to create content that changes the face of your industry! So take risks and challenge your biases to find success.
How To Ensure Your Content Marketing Works Well
Now that you know how content marketing experimentation can lead you to accelerated innovation, it’s time for you to learn how to do it.
To create marketing strategies and conduct intelligent experiments, you need to sprinkle in everyone’s favorite ingredient: Data.
Check out these data-driven tips to reap the benefits of marketing experiments.
1. Strive For Iteration, Rather Than Perfection
Finishing an experiment is not the end of the process. In fact, for many situations, it’s merely just the beginning. As new variables come into contact with your plans, you’ll need to adapt your planning process to these new additions.
As you undergo several experimentation processes, testing will start feeling tedious. However, when you choose to explore various content possibilities, you are sure to find something groundbreaking that is miles ahead of the competition.
Once you’re armed with data-driven insights from constant experimentation, your content marketing strategies become resilient against challenges such as content stagnation, being indistinguishable from others, and worst of all, boring.
2. Diversify Your Ideas
With constant and consistent experimentation, you’re sure to find some interesting results you can use for your digital marketing content writing.
These results hold the key to the creation of well-rounded content that your audiences will surely eat up. Be sure to try out these results you’ve found on various topics, formats, and distribution channels to keep your campaigns fresh and interesting.
This includes testing newer formats like short-form videos, or experiments with unfamiliar distribution channels like TikTok, YouTube, and other new media platforms.
Additionally, the exploration of timely topics is a must for your process. As you make case analyses for certain industry issues or high-value guides for your audiences, you’ll discover solutions you never thought possible.
3. Utilizing Ideas Backed By Data
The entire purpose of content experimentation is to find the right solutions to deal with certain client concerns. This newfound solution works because it’s based on data from audience feedback—not just assumptions you acted on by impulse.
Always make sure to test ideas out using the data you have on hand. If marketing experimentation intimidates you, build it on your proven data and you’ll have a surefire roadmap to success.
However, it’s still important to note that these won’t ensure absolute success for the campaign they’re being used on. After all, times are always changing. So remember to keep testing and follow the conclusions you come upon.
4. Tweak All Relevant Variables
After undergoing data analysis, you can now conduct experiments to discover what works best for your content marketing efforts. During this process, you need to observe what practices resonate most with your audiences.
Once you’ve discovered what works and – by extension, what doesn’t – it’s now time to optimize past and future works to fit these new findings.
By identifying relevant variables in your copy and tweaking them through A/B testing, you can better understand your target audience’s preferences and the search engine results page’s (SERP) algorithm updates.
Doing so allows you to optimize your content to fit their needs better and yield better results.
5. Don’t Hesitate To Kill Ideas That Don’t Work
Everyone, even leading experts, create content that can fail every now and then. This is perfectly normal since not every idea is going to catch on. However, what isn’t normal is still running the idea that doesn’t work, instead of scrapping it.
This definitely sounds harsh, especially with the amount of time and effort put into concretizing these ideas. However, content marketing should be, and is, bigger than your pride, else continue wasting resources. It’s about giving value to your audiences.
After all, how can you do that when you refuse to kill ideas that don’t work?
Remember, when your results invalidate your hypothesis, you need to accept that giving it up leads to a better solution.
A lot of your ideas will get disproved during your experiments, and that’s okay. Every failed hypothesis leads you, little by little, to a robust content marketing strategy.
6. Eliminate Unnecessary Steps In Your Process
Removing unnecessary steps in your process means you have to audit the entirety of your content marketing system. Remember: Every moment you spend on unessential tasks is lost money and time which could have gone to something more useful instead.
The point of iterating and experimenting is to test and scale things fast so you eliminate losses and double your ROI. So experiment as much as you can to get the best results for your brand.
7. Be Open To Revisiting And Questioning Your Biases
These marketing experimentation tips all lead to the revisiting and questioning of your content biases.
As various industry pressures come crashing around you, the call to experimentation becomes louder than ever. Instead of being overwhelmed, the best experts plan ahead and begin creating contingencies to survive the oncoming struggles.
Despite brand-new ideas being relatively untested, experts don’t falter knowing these will ensure a positive, long-term impact beyond the worst of times.
So take the time to revisit your active strategies to prepare for the inevitable new challenges and opportunities with regard to your digital content writing.
Final Thoughts: The Only Constant Thing Is Change
By making data-driven experimentation a part of your regular processes, you’ll develop an adaptable and resilient content production system. Make the ever-changing digital landscape work for you with expert advice and skill-building today.
Guest Author Bio:
Gary Viray is the founder and CEO of Propelrr, a data-informed digital marketing agency operating both in the United States and the Philippines. Gary’s insights are founded on decades worth of experience in various digital marketing principles, with particular expertise in conversion rate optimization (CRO), and marketing experimentation. He usually writes for HubSpot, AWR, SEJ, Rappler, e27, and more.
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