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When Use Facebook Split Testing for Maximum Impact


We can acknowledge that a healthy amount of both is essential for effective advertising.(followers on facebook) As a direct response, advertisers’ testing is a significant component of our everyday ad operations. We’re constantly testing creatives against each other, optimizing budgets and bids, and analyzing the down-funnel results of different audiences.

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Well-structured campaigns will answer the many questions we ask most of the time. However, sometimes we must put on our lab coats and formulate a strong hypothesis, determine the variables we want to study, and then get our A/B testing done.

This article discusses our experiences using Facebook’s testing feature, called creative split testing. We’ll also suggest when and how to use this feature.

A brief introduction to the Facebook split-testing feature.

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Facebook Split Testing 101

The concept of creative split testing (Facebook’s term for advertising A/B testing) evolved from an application-based feature (which we used via our Facebook technology partner Smartly.io). It evolved into the self-service tool it is now.

Facebook creative split testing

In November of 2017, Facebook launched its first beta program. Facebook advertisers are now able to A/B test one among the variables listed below:

  • Creative
  • Delivery Optimization
  • Audience
  • Placement

A/B testing on Facebook works by evenly dividing your ad (up to 5 times) to eliminate any overlap in the audience and ensure that users only view only one option during the test. This also ensures that the exact budget amount is assigned to each variant. This is not possible to accomplish without this feature.

Of course, the specific guidelines for A/B testing are applicable:

It is best to isolate and test just one factor simultaneously for the best results. Time for the best results.

Make sure you give your test plenty of time to identify an appropriate winner. Facebook suggests four days; however, we use this useful statistical relevance calculator from Kissmetrics.

  • Similar to A/B testing, it generally performs best when it is conducted with large groups. The more significant, more powerful, however, try to aim at audiences of 1 million or more for each subset of yours.
  • Choose your KPI of interest upfront, whether click-through rates or cost-per-install.

To thoroughly understand how to create Facebook ads to split test, Adespresso has you covered.

When You SHOULD Use Creative Split Testing

The benefits of split testing with creative ideas are apparent; it assists advertisers in determining the most effective and scientifically-proven advertising, audience, and bidding strategy. However, it does require deliberate planning and a specific budget, which can result in a decrease in the overall effectiveness.

We’re constantly weighing the advantages of A/B testing against those costs. We’ve outlined the most common scenarios where you should use A/B tests and somewhere you shouldn’t.

Here are a few situations where you can use these scenarios.

#1 Test imagery to help guide the direction of future creative directions

The most important rule to follow when running split tests is to use them to test measurable hypotheses. As an advertising agency that strives to keep its campaign structures clean, We take this principle an extra step. We conduct A/B testing against beliefs that fit the overall plan of action.

If set up properly If it is set up correctly, A/B testing can give the black and white information you need to develop your future strategy of creativity.

We conducted a split-test that compared an existing, high-performing advertisement against another with the same message, concept, and copy but with a distinct design component.

When to use Facebook ads for testing

Information: The only variable we could identify during this test was the design idea; the ad copy, in-image content, CTAs, and overall concept were the same. In analyzing cost differences between our most successful audiences, we sought to know which direction to follow to develop creative ideas moving forward.

After running the test for a whole week to be statistically significant, we were able to identify a winner based on lower CPAs. Then, we used that knowledge to help us with the rest of our production of creative assets, which allowed us to cut the overall cost by an average of 60 percent.

#2 Test messaging to help aid in the development of a company’s strategy

Similar to the previous example, split-testing could aid in determining the effectiveness of messaging through multiple channels or corporate-wide.

We conducted a split-test for a transportation company in the early stages to determine which of their first-touch messages was most popular with their primary segment of customers.

Information: Although we could have used standard advertising sets, we realized that the highest level of trust was essential when it came to aiding our clients in determining the future direction of their business. Conducting a controlled A/B test also helped us understand the value of a lifetime, and we’ll go over it in the following article.

The results: in this instance, our messaging did not impact CTR. While statistically, the winning message was less than 3% higher CTR. It’s important to note that these findings are significant and prompt us to think about other things- do we have to pay attention to other areas similar to the images? Calls-to-action? Value-prop communication? Should we reach different audiences using different messages?

#3: Creative Test concepts for particular personas

Split testing can help determine what kind of creativity is most appealing to new or difficult-to-reach audience members. Utilizing an “ax first, sandpaper later” concept, you could use a split test to determine which strategies work more with your audience and then create incremental adjustments.

One client wanted to conduct the split test to determine the effectiveness of persona-specific creativity better than generic creativity in the new demographic.followers on facebook

Facebook advertising personas

Specifics: This particular study employed successful ads from the past against brand new advertisements to verify our hypothesis that creatives targeted to a specific persona will be more effective.

Results: These results were significant because it was a completely untapped segment of our users and offered definitive recommendations for how we can engage with this segment the next time. The costs associated with the loss idea were 270% more expensive.

#4: Determining the importance of messages or groups of users

While more time and resource intensive, it is also possible to use split testing to build pseudo-cohorts that you can monitor over time following the initial test has been completed. Here are some suggestions…

  • Determine which messages result in the highest bottom-of-the-funnel sales (purchases and so on. ).
  • Test to determine which Facebook spots offer the lowest costs for acquisition.
  • The test will determine which demographic (i.e., gender, age, interests, or educational level) has the highest value over time.

We used this strategy for an online company that sells subscription consumer goods to find out which upfront advertisement messages would provide the most significant ROI on advertising within 28 days.followers on facebook
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Test Facebook ad messaging.

Information: We wanted to track the ROAS of groups with and without offers for this particular test.

Results The test was run for long enough to obtain reliable cost data. We continued to track the two groups. After 28 days, even though conversion rates were almost identical, the one group did have a 27% ROAS advantage.Read more 

When NOT to Use Split-Testing on Facebook

It’s time to do a reality check. It’s not always possible to have the time to conduct precise, scientific, and monitored A/B testing. In many instances, our well-planned ads and campaigns work well. There are also custom-designed solutions that can be used in other scenarios.

Here are three scenarios you might want to reconsider running an A/B-test…

#1. Testing several different creative variables

This is a basic test of A/B practice; test only one parameter at a time. Time.

Do not do too much testing on too many variables at once.

If you were to try 20 different variations of one parameter, you’d be having a hard time getting statistically relevant. It’s better to stick with regular ad sets, or if you want to experiment, you can try dynamic creative optimization (DCO).followers on facebook

While it’s more of an unlit container, DCO could efficiently learn multiple lessons simultaneously. Although it’s unlikely to guide your strategy overall, it’s an excellent option when you’re looking to test different ad copy options such as pictures, CTAs, etc.

#2: Test minor creative tweaks which aren’t beneficial for your business

As we’ve already stated, A/B testing is best used when you must have lessons learned- when you have a particular and measurable hypothesis you need to disprove or prove. We don’t recommend spinning your wheels by testing overly-complicated ad variations such as pictures, headlines, and background colors. Instead, you should try ads that are very different conceptually.followers on facebook

When to not use split testing

The left-hand test is more suitable for A/B testing since the left image represents typical San Francisco imagery, and the one on the proper means an image that is more “local” imagery. The picture to the left (testing the effects of color against black and white photographs) could be helpful. However, it is not as valuable to your overall business.

After the day, Facebook split-testing is the sole method that allows you to conduct a precise and scientific A/B test. However, they take planning and resource, and as a general rule of thumb, be confident the Facebook algorithm delivers the highest-converting advertisements.followers on facebook

If you don’t need absolute answers, standard ad sets will suffice. We urge you to consider the advantages and disadvantages of making the test and running it and then analyze the results of a Facebook inventive split test from the beginning. We hope this article can help you conclude.

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