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How Animators Can Split Test Their Paid Ads

As a studio owner, you should advertise your animation services to the right audience. 

Simply posting animation ads online can earn you some clicks, but if you’re serious about your ad campaigns reaching your target animation clients and turning those clicks into conversions, optimizing your ads is crucial. 

One of the many ways this can be done is by making use of split testing. In this blog post, we will discuss what split-testing is, its advantages, and how to split test your ads as an animator on social media. 

What Is Split Testing? 

Girl doing the splits

 GIF by Big Brother via GIPHY

Split testing, also referred to as A/B testing, is a method used to compare multiple versions of digital property, like ads, emails, or web pages

The purpose of split testing is to determine which ad is favored by your target animation client and ultimately boost your conversions. A conversion is any action you want a visitor to complete, such as completing a sign-up for your newsletter or making a purchase.

To conduct a split test for your animation ads, you need to start with the original version of the ad you’re testing.

AdEspresso lists five common types of split tests which includes:

  • Creative: testing images, copy, CTA, etc.
  • Audience: targeting specific audiences
  • Delivery Optimization: comparing campaigns with and without campaign optimization
  • Placements: testing placement types
  • Product set: testing the performance of various product sets
  • Custom variables: Testing anything else in your campaign

By running a split-test, you’ll know exactly which components are performing well and which aren’t. 

Platforms to Consider as an Animator

social media icons and notification counters

GIF by No pot user! TV3 on GIPHY

Split tests are most famously related to Facebook ads, but you can run these tests on your website, email, and other social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

No two platforms are the same, so performing different tests on each platform is in your best interest unless you prefer assumption over proven data.

According to Yellow Head, Instagram has the highest engagement rate compared to other social media platforms, making it the perfect place to market yourself as an animator and drive traffic to your website and increase conversions.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to raise brand awareness for your animation services, advertising on LinkedIn will enable you to build a strong network of fellow animators and companies interested in creating animated videos.

Keep in mind that each platform is different. What works on a social network like Instagram may not work on a professional network, like LinkedIn. This is also due to the different algorithms and purposes of each platform.

Advantages of Split Testing Ads for Animators

Now that you have a basic understanding of split testing and the platforms you can use, let’s look at some reasons you should consider running your own split tests as a studio owner.

1. Optimize Your Marketing Strategy

Simpsons proclaiming it is time for change

GIF by The Simpsons via GIPHY

Once you’ve posted your animation ad, you may feel upset if you don’t get the engagements you were expecting. Low engagements shouldn’t discourage you, but rather motivate you to identify the reason why.

Often, people make the mistake of taking down their ads and playing a guessing game of which components to change. Sometimes, they even end up starting from scratch. This is time-consuming and can quickly become frustrating. 

By running a split test, you can compare the different versions and tweak precise details to create an animation ad that appeals to your intended audience. This can be anything from the copy in the headline, CTA’s, the layout and design, the images or videos used, and more.

As you continue to monitor your metrics with split testing, you’ll have an influx of data to work with. This data gives you insight into your target animation client’s online behaviors, which helps you immediately improve the elements of your ad and make more engaging ads in the future. 

2. You can Save Money 

Hate to see you waste your money, use your budget wisely

GIF by VCG Construction via GIPHY

You may think that split-testing ads are a waste of money, but in reality, you’ll end up saving by running split-tests than not running any.

Just imagine how much money is spent on revamping and running underperforming ads without knowing which elements to change. It’s important that when you optimize your ads, you understand what works.

By finding out what does and does not resonate with your target audience, you’ll have a track record of information about elements that contribute to your ads’ success resulting in a decrease in wasted ad spend and time

3. Improve Engagement and Conversion Rates

Graph increasing

GIF by Bark via GIPHY

The main purpose of split testing is to increase conversions by altering your campaign. More leads can be converted when you know what works and what doesn't.

Once you’ve identified what works for your visitors, you’re more likely to be their go-to resource for animation, making them more willing to browse your site and engage with what you have to offer.

Knowing what your intended audience wants and using that knowledge to provide a user-friendly experience, they will likely become loyal followers and clients. This will improve user experience and eventually web traffic and visitor engagement. 

How to Split Test Your Ads as an Animator

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of split testing, let’s take a look at the best practices to consider when testing your ads. Although split testing breaks down metric performances which simplifies what needs to be altered, it can sometimes become overwhelming if you’re new to it.

There are many ways to go about split testing, but 3 of the most important things to remember are testing one variable at a time, running your tests for full weeks, and budgeting wisely.

 1. Test One Variable At a Time

Sports star showing number one

GIF by WNBA via GIPHY

Focus on a single variable within the ad rather than testing multiple variables to get more accurate results. For example, changing only the headline and testing against another variant will teach you the specifics as to why the ad performed well. 

By testing more than one variable, you’ll find the better-performing ad, but you won’t know why. Remember, for split testing to be effective, it’s best to keep things simple so you can pinpoint the success of specific metrics. 

After identifying specific wins, you should do further research into what resonates more with your target audience. 

2. Use a Specific Time Frame

Give it a little time

GIF by fallontonight via GIPHY

Collecting relevant data for ad performance takes time, so you have to be patient and allow your target audience to engage with the ad variants if you want accurate results.

Using an ideal time frame is important to ensure reliable results. According to Facebook for Business, it’s recommended to start with at least 7 days, but no longer than 30. Tests shorter than 7 days may result in inconclusive results, and tests longer than 30 days may be an inefficient use of budget. 

However, the test doesn’t end here. Seasonality should be ruled out as a factor, so if you started your test on a Sunday, you should end it on a Sunday as well. This is because your conversion rate can differ depending on the day of the week.

Be sure to set up your own split tests and experiment with various metrics and durations to determine which results work best.

3. Use your Budget Wisely

Fish typing on calculator to work out figures

GIF by Spongebob Squarepants via GIPHY

When split testing, you need a budget that will maximize results to determine the winning strategy. 

Before creating a variant ad, go over your control ad’s analytics and get customer insights that will help you generate leads inexpensively.

To save money on a budget, you should focus on the most important components of your animation ad. Although making small tweaks to your ads can be beneficial, making bigger changes to your ad will pay off long-term.

Another way of making split-testing more affordable is by setting target milestones. According to WordStream, the average conversion rate for Facebook ads is 9.21% across all industries, so it’s better to limit your budget until you reach specific milestones instead of throwing money at your ads.

4.  Monitor Your Metrics

Cartoon man working on computer analysing data

GIF by Achievement Hunter via GIPHY

If it’s your first time running split tests, you should narrow down the number of ad performance metrics you monitor to prevent getting overwhelmed. 

All of your metrics can be used to measure success, but choosing the ones that have the greatest impact on your business growth is more strategic. A good starting point of metrics to monitor includes:

Click-Through Rate

Click-Though Rate (CTR) is used to measure the success of marketing efforts. When it comes to online advertising, clicks drive everything from campaign to conversion costs. They all start with a click.

Neil Patel describes CTR as the number of people who saw your ad and performed a click. To calculate your CTR, divide the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions.

A high CTR indicates that your audience targeting is relevant and that your creative components are compelling enough to drive interests and clicks.

CTR ad clicks can drive costs up or down depending on the copy, ad targeting, and engagement with the ad. It’s the first step in the process of improving your ad’s relevancy and generating desired actions.

Cost Per Conversion

As we know, a conversion equals a sale. It occurs when someone completes the desired goal, whether that be making a purchase or signing up for something.

Cost Per Conversion (CPC) is the total cost paid for an advertisement based on its success at reaching its objective. To calculate your CPC, divide the total amount paid for an ad by the total number of conversions.

A high cost per conversion could indicate that you are targeting the wrong audience. Likewise, a lower conversion rate could mean your ads are well optimized. Hence they convert easily. 

To reduce your cost per conversion, you should write copy that resonates with your target audience, review your analytics to figure out the best time to post your ads, and of course, run split tests.

Cost Per Result

Cost Per Result (CPR) is defined as the average cost per result from your ads. To calculate your CPR, divide the total amount spent for your ads by the total number of results (such as reach, clicks, conversions, video views).

It’s an important metric to measure, as it allows you to keep track of the overall performance of separate campaigns and give more attention to a specific campaign when the CPR starts to decline.

To Summarize

As an animator, split testing allows you to improve every aspect of your business’s online presence. It is a method used to compare multiple versions of digital property, like social media ads, emails, or web pages.

You can run split tests on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. It would be wise to run tests on all platforms since they have different audiences who use them for different purposes.  

Variables animators can test include headlines, which is the standout feature of your campaign that determines whether someone will engage with your ad. Other variables to consider are design, layout, CTA’s, and the images used.

When done right, split testing allows you to optimize your marketing strategy by comparing the different versions of your ads and testing to see which metrics need to be improved. This will ensure that there is no wasted ad spend and will help with your overall engagements and conversions.

The best practices for split testing include testing one variable at a time to ensure your results are accurate. To ensure accuracy, you should make sure the duration of time spent running your split test is efficient, as well as prioritize the metrics you want to monitor.

For more tips and information about animation and its business side, sign up for our free masterclass or download a copy of our free marketing handbook.

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