What if you could increase readership for sales related blog posts by 67% or more?  And… what if you knew, before spending a lot of ad dollars on your content, exactly how well it engaged your target prospects?  Kapow.

Webdirexion Testing Kapow Campaign

Kapow: How split testing + Facebook audience engagement pays off — before your ad campaign (and after).

We do a lot of split testing at Webdirexion because it causes our content to perform better for clients and our agency itself.  Too many content marketers and web designers think they are done after their “first guess” at compelling copy and design.  Not so.  Better engagement of qualified prospects means more sales, so why would you not test for this?

In this post I’ll tell you about a Facebook pre-test “Kapow” tactic that helps you get your content optimized better results before a higher advertising spend.  Then I’ll answer the oft-asked question… how do you know when you have enough of a test sample so that your results are valid?  Quick tip — the wider the percentage of conversion results, the sooner you can end the test; see below.

Facebook Pre-Test Kapow Tactic:  We call this the Facebook Kapow, because for a relatively low cost, you can optimize your content to really pay off for you in terms of ROI.  And, yes — that’s for B2B marketing as well as B2C marketing because Facebook, like Google’s Adwords, has developed demographic targeting. Here are the steps we recommend:

  • Set up an A/B copy and/or image test for 3-5 blog posts.  Each post should be informative, but also ask for a conversion (ie. the posts we are testing offer a free eBook in exchange for an email)
  • Boost the posts to a smartly targeted audience on Facebook for about $30 – $50 each.
  • Run these boosted posts until you learn two things:  the winning version for each post, and which was more impactful on Facebook.  You look for engagement to determine “impact”:

    Facebook Impact posts

    Above, if one post causes significantly more engagement, it becomes a good candidate for further advertisement.

  • Once you have reached enough people on FB (shoot for around 1,000), determine the top 1-2 posts in terms of engagement.
  • At the same time — test a headline, lede, and/or a graphic on those posts for which version causes more people to engage AFTER they reach the post itself.  You are now testing for two key conversion results — engagement (“impact”) on Facebook, then reads on the post itself (those that continue to read your entire post instead of bouncing away).  This is heart of the “Kapow” factor.
  • After you get this far, you can have a great confidence in the top performing post(s) for further advertising, with the side benefit of having tested to optimize readership of the 3-5 posts on which you did a split test.   Do a larger campaign on Google Adwords.

Write 3-5 helpful posts, relating to your business, that are informative and also ask for a conversion.  Remember not to make them “corporate” or too “salesy”.  Just help people.  Do a split test for each post to find the best performing Headline, Lede, and/or graphic for “readership”.  Test each for best impact on Facebook.  Pick both the Facebook winner(s) and the split test winning version, and expand your advertising for the optimized post version.  Still another side benefit of this approach is that your editing team better understands what business related stories your readers want to read.  Kapow.

How do you know when you have enough tests in the bag to declare a winner?  Good question.  I confess — even though I took a statistics course in college, the math is something I’d like to avoid.  Fortunately there are some helpful split testing calculators online.  First, we’ll look at an example post test result using “Divi” the WordPress platform that has built in split testing, then a calculation of how close we are to determining a winner:

Webdirexion subhead split test

So far, our subhead/lede split test is showing one version with 67% stronger results — but is the test over?

Version B looks like a winner, but we need to be statistically satisfied before we end the test.  Here’s what one online split test calculator has to say about this (try it yourself at Conversioner.com):

Conversioner Split Test Calculator

Conversioner calculator shows 85% confidence version B will win.  Note that if you had a higher conversion rate, say 180%, you could end your test earlier.

Hmmm 85% is good?  Well, yes, but not enough to yet be valid, according the art and science of statistics.  We all know how “exit polls” and other research can be proven wrong, so the higher you can get toward 100% (most conversion scientists recommend at least 95% certainty) the better your results will prove to be.

I can just hear the CFO/accountant asking, so how many more do we need for this test, and what will that cost?  There’s another calculation site by “Dr. Pete” that performs a similar analysis, then specifies the “number of additional visitors” required.  In our case this comes out to 698 additional visitors.  So the answer to the CFO’s question is usually around 1000 total visitors, and the initial cost on Facebook between $30 – $40.  Not a bad ad spend cost to get your content optimized for conversions, right?

Kapow Tactic Campaign:  Wedirexion will be pleased to serve you with a turn-key 5-post Facebook Kapow test and Facebook ad campaign — contact us today (and yes… we are testing this post too… to improve how many visitors read down to this offer  🙂 ).

Scott Frangos

About

Scott serves as Chief Optimizer on the Webdirexion team for both development and content marketing strategy, and is the author of the new book, “The Marketer’s Concise Guide to CRO” (Oct. 2015). He is a career marketing communications professional with niche industry specialties in healthcare, law firms, and hotel marketing and holds recent certifications in Google Analytics Mastery (Udemy), and RACE Digital Marketing (Smart Insights).

Scott has also taught business, web programming and eCommerce courses at colleges in the Portland, Oregon area. He currently teaches WordPress Content Marketing Power, an online course through Udemy, and has spoken at several Content Marketing conferences.  When he is not geeking out on a Mac, Nexus 7, or Google Chromebook, he enjoys Tai Chi, walking with his two dogs, and survives on Coffee and Pizza.

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