Now that you reviewed your SMBs’ 2019 performance, it’s time to refocus and think about goals for 2020. Have your goals changed? Are you now focusing more on efficiency, new customer acquisition, or building upper-funnel leads?

Are you trading efficiency for awareness or vice versa? Are there new customer segments that you are pursuing? Do you have new products, services, or functionalities to introduce? The answers to these questions should form the foundation of your digital growth strategy and should define the tests you run to support that strategy.

In this post, we’ll talk about the alignment of goals and tests to get you on the right path for 2020 growth.

Goal/test alignment

If your main goal is building brand awareness and your base of engaged users, testing new audiences should be a key focus, with a secondary step planned for retargeting these users in the future. Facebook/IG has great demographic intelligence to tap into, and LinkedIn allows B2Bs incredible targeting capabilities by title, industry, company size, and other relevant parameters.

If you’re more focused on getting more value out of an already-healthy customer base, bringing them back to your site and working to earn more conversion, turn your attention to remarketing and user experience. 

What does this mean for B2C and ecommerce?

For B2C and ecommerce, this means optimizing remarketing campaigns (testing promotions and other messaging) and running CRO tests to make sure your landing pages are finely tuned and moving the users through the conversion funnel. 

What does this mean for B2B and lead gen?

For B2B and lead gen, moving a strong upper-funnel base of leads through the funnel means making sure your content and messaging is aligned with their place in the purchase journey – so test different copy and themes to see which resonate the best, then target leads that went dark during the sales process with retargeting campaigns on LinkedIn and GDN.

If your goal is to lower CPA and establish more reasonable CPCs in a world of oversaturation on Google and Facebook, I recommend testing new channels with less competition and lower CPCs/CPAs. Those platforms include Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, and Reddit.

Goal-agnostic testing

No matter what your overall campaign goals or business type are, it’s critical to establish a testing strategy and framework for creative assets and automated features. For creative, this includes everything from ad format (video, single-image, carousel) to the aspect ratio, and specific messaging/offers. For automation, consider that Google and Facebook’s powerful machine-learning tools, including automated bidding and campaign budget optimization – can help improve performance. However, they would require oversight to ensure they’re on target. Automated creative tools, including Google’s responsive search ads and Facebook’s dynamic creative, blend machine learning with creative testing and should be tested and monitored to leverage in campaigns for all business types.

Measurement

Once you begin these tests, the rock-solid measurement must inform decisions and optimizations moving forward. If your goal is to drive brand awareness, focus on improvements, on metrics such as impressions, clicks, site visits, and reach. Customer acquisition goals for B2B and lead gen should incorporate metrics including upper-funnel leads, converted leads, opportunities, CPL, and lead-to-opportunity conversion rates. 

Ecommerce businesses focused on driving sales should focus on metrics like ‘add to cart’, purchases, CVR, ROAS, and CPA. Reviewing these metrics at a campaign level, ad group or ad set level, audience, and creative level will help inform decisions and future tests. 

There are many more testing layers to get into, but make sure you have started towards your 2020 goals by aligning the first wave of tests and KPIs accordingly to give yourself a foundation for growth in the coming quarters. 

Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.

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