The Science behind Facebook Ad A/B Testing for a Content Marketing Boost
Take your Facebook advertising to the next level. Stop wasting money on clicks that never convert into sales.
In an ideal world, every Facebook ad you invest would return stellar results. That means, a plethora of likes, attention, subscribers, and purchases.
Unfortunately, most ads you place on Facebook won’t perform as successfully as planned. You have to be real: research will only tell you so much about what your consumers prefer, you need something additional. That’s why A/B split testing is critical. But, before testing, you first need enough data. Nothing better than a properly organized test will give you the feedback you need to determine how your ads should change or if they should change at all.
Split Testing 101
Sadly, most marketers only showcase a single Facebook ad to their clients, that’s why you need A/B testing.
A/B split testing is the measurement of 2 or more components of a marketing campaign. In this post, I am referring to your Facebook ad campaign. Of course, don’t forget to test your landing page. For more about landing pages, click here.
The best way to advertise is to split test your ads. That’s when you take two elements of your Facebook ad campaign and test them against one another to see which one returns the best results.
Optimize Campaign Returns
These are the things you can do:
– change the picture of your ad and 2 two versions with everything else remaining the same.
If one ad performs better, that’s the picture you should use.
Performed correctly, A/B Testing can result in a 10 times increase in ROI. There is no boundary to what can be tested. Even the most insignificant elements, such your logo in the right- or left-hand corner, a different color, can potentially improve your marketing performance.
Why not get more money from your Facebook Ads with less work? Be Strategic & Scientific
To get the best results, make a list of all the ad elements you will need to test. Here is a short checklist of the elements you can change to test your ads moving forward.
- Ad Copy: Copywriting can drastically affect your ads. Should your copy be informative, funny, educational, or snarky? Only a thorough test can tell.
- Images: Text or no text?
- Colors: From the style of the picture to the background of your ads to the images you use, make sure all the shades you select perfectly mix together.
- CTA (Calls to Action) Facebook will propose several CTAs. “Learn More” might cause your audience to stagnate while “Click Here” entices them to act. For best A/B testing results, you may need to experiment with other CTAs like “Sign Me Up!” or “Let’s Do This!” That will keep things positive, edgy, and engaging.
- Audience Targeting: Have you defined your buyer persona? Are you sure your targeting matches your Persona? Are you targeting primarily women or men? Have you think about a new demographic subset to target. Be careful of shifting targets, and never assume that your audience and their preferences are set in stone.
- Element Positioning: You need to test where you place your sign-up form, headline, image, or CTA. Every element of your ads could potentially be somewhere else.
Sharpen Your Target Audience
Remember that your target audience not only must consists of the prospects who are most likely to be interested in the posts you are promoting but also most likely to purchase your products or service in the future. Your ads must follow the Customer Value Journey. Therefore, the audience you select can have a massive effect on your tests and cost per click.
To avoid that, choose your audience wisely.
- relationship statuses
- purchase behaviors
- education levels
Of course, for the best results, you need to install a Facebook Pixel. You can use it later in retargeting: this will allow you to target Facebook users that have been to your website or blog, giving you an indication that they’re at least somewhat interested in what you’re offering. If you are unsure how to install your Facebook Pixel, click here.
How to Determine a Successful Test
Measure by clicks
Don’t try to test an ad for one day only and automatically determine that who’s the ONE. If you do it, that won’t be as effective as a thorough and controlled A/B test. For a test to be conclusive, your ad should gather at least 200 clicks, 500 if you want to be accurate. Only when you have that data can you more accurately determine which ads you should keep in play.
Use an ideal time frame
When doing split-testing, Facebook recommends a 4-day tests for the most reliable results.
Actually, your test should run for at least 3 days and no longer than 14 days. Tests shorter than 3 days may produce insufficient data to confidently determine a winner, and tests longer than 14 days may not be an efficient use of budget since a test winner can usually be determined in less than 14 days.
Of course, your ideal time frame may depend on your objective and business vertical.
For example, let’s say you’re running a split test with the conversion objective, and you want to drive product sales on your website. You know that people tend to take longer than 7 days to convert after seeing an ad, so you’ll want to run your test for at least 7 days.
Don’t over test
Some marketers aren’t happy with the results they get with one test so they test over and over again or they test with far too many variables such as changing the headlines and background color in the same test, which cannot possibly yield statistically significant results. Proper testing is calculated, precise, and efficient, but never overdone.
Of course, if you keep on changing your ads and still have no results, you need to think about something else. Are you sure your landing page is good enough, or worse, are your products are the right fit?
Now that organic reach has reached new lows due to recent algorithm changes (it was 20% in January 2018 and 10% in July 2018), the time is now for brands to be focused on creating the ideal Facebook ads. While your posts may take the second stage to grandma’s quiche recipe, your ads will still be displayed prominently in users’ news feeds.
This is why it’s crucial to continually A/B test with the above best practices to ensure your ads always achieve their desired goals.