Quick Wins: How to Optimize Ads Without A Formal Testing Strategy



Discover actionable strategies and insights to streamline your A/B testing process and achieve faster results with a simplified and scalable approach.

By Brittany Lieu, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

“Test early, test often” and “test everything,” they say, but maybe you’re wondering “how?”

For many marketers, A/B testing is no stranger. We all know and love the efficacy of proper split testing, but the challenge seems to always boil down to time. 

Whether it’s a matter of time-to-value depending on traffic levels and goals, or testing velocity per quarter or throughout the year, it may feel like a struggle to achieve confidence at speed. 

Enter, rapid validation or your cheater’s guide to quick and iterative testing. 

Leveraging testing doesn’t always have to require a formal testing strategy. Let’s break down how you can continue to optimize your ads and campaigns without costing too much time.
Heinz Marketing B2B Content CTA

Step 1 – Pick One and Run

Contrary to belief, you don’t have to test everything. The key to a simple and effective test is to hone on one variable. Once you’ve decided what the goal of your test is (growing CTR, boosting conversions, improving ROAS, etc.), identify one or two key variables likely to have the most significant impact on ad performance. 

A few variables to test:

  • Ad copy and messaging: Example – Test different ad headlines emphasizing affordability versus quality to see which resonates more.
  • Ad creative: Example – Experiment with images showing your product versus people imagery to determine effectiveness.
  • Audience targeting: Example – Try targeting different personas or company sizes to refine your audience segmentation strategy.
  • Ad placement: Example – Test placing ads on Google versus industry-specific websites to gauge audience engagement.
  • Ad format: Example – Experiment with video ads versus carousel ads to identify the most effective format.
  • Bid strategy: Example – Try manual bidding with keyword adjustments versus automated bidding to optimize ROI.

Step 2 – Create Two Versions 

Once you determine what you want to test, create two versions of the ad. Remember, the goal is to make quick but impactful changes. Keep your variations simple and focused on the key variable you identified in Step 1. Avoid making too many changes at once, as this can muddy the waters and make it difficult to determine which changes are driving results.

Step 3 – Optimize on the Fly

You don’t have to wait until the campaign ends to optimize. Consider checking in on your campaign performance weekly or bi-weekly, depending on its scale and complexity. This rhythm keeps you nimble and responsive to shifts in the digital landscape.

Take a close look at which ad variations are hitting the mark and which ones could use a little extra TLC. Maybe one headline is driving more engagement while another seems to miss the mark. Redirect your budget to high-performing ads and note what has worked for your next campaign. 

Step 4 – Learn and Iterate 

Now that you’ve completed your A/B testing journey, distill the insights gained and apply them for ongoing improvement. Dive deep into the data, deciphering beyond surface-level metrics to understand audience preferences and behaviors. Armed with these insights, iterate and refine your future campaigns, integrating what you’ve learned into ad copy, imagery, targeting strategies, and more. 

In addition to your learnings, fostering a culture of genuine knowledge sharing not only promotes collaboration but also streamlines the testing and optimization process. This collective learning accelerates the pace of iteration and enables quicker identification of effective strategies across your team. 

Wrapping It Up

Mastering the art of A/B testing doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle. From picking one variable to focus on to continuously learning and regular knowledge sharing, each step is essential to incorporating rapid and regular testing and optimization into your marketing strategy.

Reach out for a free brainstorm call here.