- Vanessa Rowley-Matthew
How to Determine What Your Audience Wants From You
Updated: Feb 25
You're already used to researching what you want before making a purchase, from checking out Seamless and Amazon reviews for the best item to asking your friends the best place to go on a vacation.
What's a little research to make sure you pick the right direction for your marketing and promotions after you've tackled your brand and messaging strategy? Due diligence never hurt anybody, and it's the best way to approach your marketing, especially your social media marketing.
Like you, many service businesses want to be actively present on social media but do not know how to use social media effectively to achieve their business goals.
Since the best use of social media for a service business is to build brand awareness, you want your business to win on the battlefield for attention. Winning requires being targeted with your efforts to build brand awareness by running A/B tests on your content.
Why A/B Test?
Just because you were told which content marketing tactics would work best on social media marketing efforts does not mean that the recommended marketing tactics will necessarily work for you and your target audience.
You have to determine what your audience wants to watch, read, or hear from you. For example, pictures may work for your best friend's business, but your audience prefers to watch videos.
How To A/B Test
You can A/B test your content by producing and distributing similar content but with one element of the content changed.
A change to the content may mean swapping out the main image on social media but keeping the copy or altering the blog's title but not changing the blog's body copy.
You can check out the examples below for more context. For example, do you see how only the content in red changed and not the entire design?
What's most important is that you test one change at a time. If you run tests on too many elements, you will struggle to determine which change achieved the best results, which will defeat the test's purpose.
Keep in mind that A/B testing is a method of marketing testing meant to optimize conversions. So, if you want to maximize the impact of your content, A/B testing is the way to go.
What About Split Test?
Split testing for your service business marketing is not A/B testing. For example, to conduct a split test, you would use, let's say, one of your social media posts as the control and then create an entirely different design for the same post to see which one your audience likes more.
Below is an example of a split test with most of the layout altered when comparing both designs.
Ways To A/B Test
Same Copy Different Images
With social media posts, you can create one with the same copy but with different images.
Same Images Different Copy
You can create a post with the same picture while changing the text copy.
Image vs. No Image
You could also test posts with the same text but one with an image and one without a picture. We all hear that posts with visuals do better, but that may not be the case for your service business.
Other A/B Testing Variations
You can run an A/B test by either changing a post's length, style, tone, or hashtags. Add a quote, emojis, or bullet points to switch things up, too.
This exercise will help you to see which posts receive more engagement and use the content that works best for your audience.
Also, be sure to test different changes to your content on various platforms. For example, what seems to work well for your service business on Instagram may not work as well on Twitter.