Rewiring your marketing: From tiny tweaks do mighty oaks grow

Approaching your marketing communications with an inquisitive, open mind can be the difference between hitting the viral jackpot and another near miss.

The willingness to ‘test and rework’ or ‘test and abandon’ will move your fundraising needle. It should be integral to your creative process and part of your team’s DNA.

There are obvious testing arenas that will be familiar, for example, subject lines on your e-mail communications. If you can segment your data, try different tag lines and study how it impacts open rates, click through rates and revenue.

But if ‘test’ is in your DNA you should delve much deeper than the art of e-blasts.

How we formed our marketing strategy

Our latest experiment saw the team A/B test a series of four video adverts on Facebook. 

Each video featured a ‘recommended’ custom thumbnail – an opening still image that gives you the chance to sell the story and to encourage consumers to click and watch the film. It’s a chance to use striking typography, brand colours and a logo much like a meme.

Of course, we all love a custom thumbnail, right? Any organisation worth its salt has an impactful thumbnail style for its video content. YouTube is testament to that. 

As part of the B test in this experiment, we switched away from ‘heavy branding’ and auto-selected six thumbnails direct from the films (featuring subtitles). These were used as the opening images posted to the Facebook timeline.

Polished branding versus raw footage… there was, of course, only one winner.

The Facebook landscape is littered with the bodies of the corporate fallen, those who forget the platform is consumer driven and heavy branding is often an instant turn off.

And the results…

Conversion rates on the adverts varied between 18-37% higher on unbranded thumbnails with the cost per acquisition up to 22% lower. Unique reach was also significantly impacted on the branded ‘thumbs’ with variances of up to 25%.

If your marketing delivery is still linear – ‘create and publish’ – rewire your team’s approach and press the pause button. Find the time to discover your own test and trial process… it might transform your results.