Don’t Leave Your Content Marketing on Autopilot—Experiment!

by James Colvin - 07/10/15

In my last post on data-driven marketing (Why We Love Measurement Plans—And You Should Too!), I discussed the importance of getting all your ducks in a row before launching a marketing campaign by constructing a measurement plan. Now let’s talk about how to improve your campaign once its out among the masses.

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Hopefully, you now have a measurement plan in hand and your campaign is live and bringing in leads. The next question to ask is: How can I make this better?” The answer, to paraphrase from the real estate industry, is Experiment, Experiment, Experiment!

Keep in mind these steps when you’re experimenting with your content marketing. 

1. Choose a KPI you want to improve.

Dont get overly ambitious with your experiments—each experiment should only be related to a single KPI. If youre thinking “I want to increase my appointment requests and how many people sign up for my e-newsletter”—youre looking at two experiments.

2. Create a hypothesis.

The purpose behind making a hypothesis for an experiment is similar to creating goals in a measurement plan—so you know what you’re trying to measure and whether it worked or not. An experiments hypothesis is just a single sentence that states what youre testing and the desired outcome. For example, “If we change the color of the Book an Appointment button to red, we will increase our appointment conversion rate. Now its clear what you’re changing, along with the outcome youre hoping to see.

3. Run the experiment.

Work with your marketing agency or internal team to set up and launch the experiment. Your team should have one or several tools that let them test content for performance. Once the experiment has run its course, return to your hypothesis to see if it held true. Share your results, and process what you learned.

What determines a successful test isn’t whether your hypothesis was true: it’s whether you learned something. If you learn that changing the color of your CTA doesn’t drive more appointments, now you can move on and focus on other changes. Maybe changing the location on the page will have an effect—or changing the words on the button. The key is to keep asking questions, and be willing to act on the answers.

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