eight&four look at how establishing yourself as a trusted partner for platforms can grant you first access to these tests on social, placing your brand at the forefront of innovation by trialling new formats ahead of the crowd.
Before rolling out new formats or features to their users, social platforms carry out alpha and beta tests amongst select groups in order to gauge performance, gather user feedback and iron out any bugs ahead of release.
While alpha tests are usually the last tests carried out by internal teams prior to the features being released, beta tests are carried out by real users in a real environment – the final step before these are rolled out to markets en-masse.
As with all testing there are challenges involved: activation bugs, a lack of concrete KPI benchmarks; and associated minimum spends to name a few. However, if you’re a brand that champions fresh thinking and isn’t afraid to take a little controlled risk, beta testing will not only equip you with the means of cutting through a cluttered marketplace, but also make you an authority on what works well for that format before it becomes widely accessible – giving you a leg up in driving beta performance.
Beta Releases to Consider
Youtube In-Feed Video Autoplay News Pilot
- Enables in-feed autoplay across the YouTube Home Feed and Search Feed
- Captures 10+ seconds of autoplay as a View, in addition to today’s click-to-play View Definition
- Opportunity for increased views and lower CPV
- Views will be deduped if a user does both actions
- Reduced guarantee that viewer is engaged
- Minimum spend applies
TikTok Interactive Add-Ons
- Impactful ad display methods including Shake Gesture and Story Selection
- Opportunity to increase dwell time and engagement with ads
- Have been available in Alpha since Q1 2022, so initial bugs are likely to be ironed out
- No minimum spend
- Can only be tested as part of Reach & Frequency buys, where a TikTok rep is required
Pinterest Shop & Checkout
- The ‘Shop’ tab will make it easier for consumers to browse products via brand profiles
- Pinterest Checkout simplifies making a purchase and allows the audience to buy in-platform
- Removes unnecessary steps in the user journey to help drive more purchases
- Only available to select merchants
- May reduce site traffic as consumers won’t need to leave the platform
- Checkout will be available in the UK by H1 2023
Does Beta Testing Actually Generate Beta Results?
Being partners with all major social platforms allows eight&four insider access to both alpha and beta format testing, something we were able to make the most of in a recent campaign for Sandals Resorts, promoting the reopening of their Royal Bahamian resort.
Our close relationship with TikTok saw us become one of the first UK agencies to activate the platform’s beta Countdown & Vote Stickers – two brand new interactive features which we ran alongside a gamified Instant Experience and Collection Ad (also formats which hadn’t been explored by the brand to date). When it comes to analysing the benefit in creative testing, the campaign results really speak for themselves:
24 resort bookings
Don’t Be Better, Be Beta
The benefits to testing are unde-beta-ble, but before choosing whether to test a specific alpha or beta format for your brand, you should first consider how well it aligns with your business objectives and how likely it is to resonate with your audiences.
If you’d like to learn more about how to navigate the world of beta testing – or to find out which formats your brand could become the face of – get in touch with eight&four.