I’ve been in this industry long enough to know that trial and error isn’t something that only a few people do here and there or that it’s the ones who don’t really know what they’re doing use to justify bad results, it’s basically part and parcel with digital marketing as a whole. Yes, the more you do, the more accurate you’ll be with your first attempt but the industry is changing so quickly that a website designed 2 years ago might look outdated today, or the strategies that were used for SEO might not be the most effective anymore after only a few months because of a big update. Ultimately I wanted to publish a short post that explores the idea of trial and error and why I’m open about it.
When it comes to best practices in web design and digital marketing it seems that they’re changing on an almost daily basis and it’s not because of some structured scheduled change, it’s trial and error leading to innovation.
Don’t be afraid to try new ideas or concepts with the design of your website. You can always implement a split test to gauge the better performing from two different pages. In fact, you might be pleasantly surprised that the new design that utilises a concept or style that you’ve only seen in one or two places before does better because it helps separate you and makes your website more memorable.
Considering I’ve been doing this for over a decade there are some general rules you can follow when looking at a business and digital marketing. For example, if you’re a B2C business selling sweets, chances are you’re not going to find a lot of success or generate a high return on investment if you focus your efforts on LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a niche on LinkedIn or even expand your offering and find that if you readjusted your business slightly you’d find success providing businesses with corporate gifts.
This isn’t me saying that you should go out there and start marketing your business on the most counter-intuitive platforms you can find, but rather suggesting that you think outside the box. In a budget-conscious campaign I will always focus my efforts where I expected the best ROI is going to come from, I’ll do this by talking with my client’s and working out a customer profile, what do they do, what do they like, what are their problems and how can the product or service solve those problems?
But even with a well-defined customer profile and direction, there is always going to be some trial and error. That’s why platforms like Facebook Ads have A/B split testing built-in. It’s a tool that allows us to maximise your return by testing different images, headings, text and buttons.
In fact, I follow this to the letter for my own business, to the point that I’ve found the return on investment I get from email marketing is significantly more than any other form of digital marketing. As such, other than writing these blogs, which are a way for me to help clients, prospective clients or DIY marketers, I don’t focus on any other form of digital marketing.
I know this one was on the shorter side and that the style of writing was much more personal, but the reason I thought I would put these thoughts down was that I’ve come across a few others in the industry and a few companies that seemed to be confused at the idea of applying trial and error to digital marketing. But after all, the purpose is to get the most out of a campaign by giving it the attention it deserves and not treating it like a driveway and deck cleaner by doing a set and forget.