Testing… testing…

On the Digital Action Plan we like to challenge participants who are already confident producing content across a wide range of channels. One of the ways we do this is by asking them to test and improve their content.

Here are a selection of examples which demonstrate the value of regular testing and improvement.

Netflix: emotional images generate most engagement

Variations in the images used to promote Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Note how over three seasons the focus has shifted from an ensemble cast to the main character

Variations in the images used to promote Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Note how over three seasons the focus has shifted from an ensemble cast to the main character

Netflix is well-known for its data-driven approach to decision-making. It recently conducted a study to see what difference the choice of a film or TV programme’s artwork made on viewing figures. Through their work they discovered:

  • Images matters. Images constituted over 82% of people’s focus while browsing
  • Three’s a crowd. Images with fewer than three people in them were more more likely to get people to click that images with more people, such as the ensemble cast of Orange is the New Black
  • Emotion is everything. Images which clearly demonstrate emotion, such as close ups of people’s faces, generated more clicks than images where people’s expressions were harder to distinguish

You can read more about the findings on Social Media Today.

Organ donor register: finding the right call to action

Variations on the DVLA's call to action, encouraging people to sign up to organ donor register

Variations on the DVLA’s call to action, encouraging people to sign up to organ donor register

The stakes are high on when it comes to an organ donor campaign. Testing to improve the performance of a campaign ultimately means more donors and more lives saved.

Working with the DVLA, the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Unit and GOV.UK, the NHS Organ Register Service tested 8 different ‘call to action’ messages to encourage people to register as an organ donor, immediately after they had renewed their tax disc.

The service aren’t sure why one variation was more successful than the others but they extrapolated that using the most successful message would lead to around 100,000 extra donor sign ups over a 12 month period. You can read a really detailed case study on GOV.UK.

40 shades of blue

Google results page showing results for Google blue links

Could Google’s famous blue links soon be a thing of the past?

Google tested 40 shades of blue before settling on the right one to use for its Gmail advertising. Going to this trouble in a $200 million dollar advertising boost.

Right now, Google is currently testing black links on the main Google site. So far, it has faced some fairly negative feedback on Twitter. The ultimate test will be whether black links encourage more clicks and therefore more revenue. Will it make more people click, bring in more revenue and if so, will Google implement it?

What can you test?

What are you working on at the moment? Could you tweak and test variations of your content? It doesn’t have to be on the scale of these examples. It could be as simple as sending the same tweet at two different times of day, posting the same message with different images, or using different hooks to drive traffic to your website.

Facebook insights, Twitter analytics, and Google analytics will all help you to judge the response so you can compare, contrast, and improve your results. Let us know how you get on @digiactionplan

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