What Is A/B Testing?

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Testing testing testing. That is the name of the game, especially when you are marketing online. So what even is A/B testing?

To answer your question I’d like to bring up a short story.

Have you ever been stuck at a fork in the road with no Google Maps because a coyote den mother stole it while you and your friend were camping in the middle of the night?

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I have and it sucks. Just kidding that never happened to me but it would be a dope story.

Anyway, you are in the middle of this road and you need to figure out the best way to go to civilization. It’s too bad that said coyote mother also ate your map while you were sleeping.

Now your friend is telling you, let’s go towards the east based on a “gut feeling”. But your own gut is telling you that you should go the other way. So you both trust your gut and go in opposite directions.

Well, that sucks because you were both wrong and should have backtracked from where you came from.

That is exactly what is going on when you choose to market your film online without any kind of testing or metrics.

You are basically trying to reach your objective by throwing darts with a blindfold on.

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This will waste both your TIME and DOLLAR SIGNS. Going back to the fork in the road case, having some kind of tool that tested the time it would take to get back to civilization would look something like this:

A. The direction towards the east: 3 hours to civilization, obstacles: den mother

B. The direction towards the west: 5 hours to civilization, obstacles: falling rocks, no water sources, uphill climb

C. The direction towards the south: 45 minutes to civilization, obstacles: none

As you can see, all three will take you towards where you need to go but the last choice would have saved the most time.

And this is where we get down to the point of A/B Testing. A/B Testing provides you with a road map in which to most efficiently arrive at your original goal or objective. According to Optimizely, A/B testing allows you to compare multiple versions of a tactic to determine which one performs better.

So what are the elements that we would be testing?

*The content

*The phrasing or how we get the user to the content destination

*The layout and images or video we use

Designing an A/B Test

Let’s go back to science class for a minute here. Remember the scientific method? It consisted of an observation followed by an experiment an analysis and then a conclusion.

A/B testing works in a similar fashion. You have your control or original content and a variation of that content which you are testing against the control.

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Both of these advertisements have the same objective of getting traffic to the website. Now, all we have to do is measure which one does a better job of achieving this goal. 

Try this out with your own web and social media pages. Maybe you have multiple versions of your trailer and you want to see which is better for grabbing more engagement.

Or perhaps you have different log lines and want to test which one engages your audience better (this might be very interesting data to have when you start pitching investors…) Try multiple versions out on Twitter and see which one gets more heat over a predetermined period of time. 

Check out some of these tools from HubSpot, Optimizely, and VWO and start experimenting with your content before it’s too late and that den mother is waiting for you underneath the setting sun.