Facebook Split Testing

Split Testing

It seems I’m always talking about split testing. So much so you’re probably thinking, ‘When will she ever stop talking about split testing?’ Probably never, sorry not sorry! Seriously though, I LOVE SPLIT TESTING! That’s why I’m pretty damn excited to introduce you to Facebook split testing!

What is split testing? 

Ok, let’s take a step back for a second. Split testing or A/B testing is where two variables are compared to measure which one produces the best result. Split testing helps advertisers and marketers understand how different aspects of their ads copy, image or theme affect campaign performance. It gives them the ability to effectively measure and continually improve their ads based on what performs best with the chosen audience. The below infographic from Facebook’s website helps visualise this.

Facebook Split Testing
Split Testing Infographic | facebook.com/business

How Facebook Split Testing Works

I was going to write it all out for you but the smart guys over at Facebook have done a pretty good job of explaining it so I’ll leave it to them:

“Facebook’s Split Testing feature allows advertisers to create multiple ad sets and test them against each other to see what strategies produce the best results. Here’s how it works:

  • Split Testing divides your audience into random, non-overlapping groups who are shown ad sets with identical creative.
  • This randomisation helps ensure the test is conducted fairly because other factors won’t skew the results of the group comparison. It also ensures each ad set is given an equal chance in the auction.
  • Each ad set tested has one distinct difference, called a variable. Your variable can be different audience types, placements, or delivery optimisations. Facebook will duplicate your ads and only change the one variable you choose.
  • To get the most accurate results from Split Testing, you’ll only have the opportunity to test one variable at a time. For example, if you test two different audiences against each other, you can’t also test two delivery optimisations simultaneously because you wouldn’t know for sure which change affected the performance.
  • Split Testing is based on people, not cookies, and gathers results across multiple devices.
  • The performance of each ad set is measured according to your campaign objective and is then recorded and compared. The best performing ad set wins.
  • After the test is complete, you’ll get a notification and email containing results. These insights can then fuel your ad strategy and help you design your next campaign.”

So What Should You Test? 

Ideally, you should test as much as you can! The more specific you can be in what is/is not working for your audience, the more articulate your final ad will be. In terms of the actual variables you can test, Facebook offers you endless options.

In collaboration with Hootsuite, AdExpresso analysed 1 million dollars worth of Facebook ads and ranked them based on the success of campaign objective. The following are examples of different variables you could test in your ad design and targeting.

Ads Design

  1. Image
  2. Post Text
  3. Placement (where your ads are displayed)
  4. Landing Page
  5. Headline

Ads Targeting

  1. Country
  2. Gender
  3. Interests
  4. Age
  5. Custom Audiences
  6. Relationship Status
  7. Purchase Behaviors
  8. Education Level

To truly optimise your ads you should attempt to test at least four variables over time!

Facebook Split Testing

Budget and Schedule 

When it comes to deciding on an appropriate budget it really depends on your objective. You need enough budget to produce valuable results but if you set your budget too high for your first ad you may be sending money down the drain. No matter the budget you choose, it should be divided equally between the ad sets.

When it comes to scheduling Google Analytics really is your best friend. Refer back to your Facebook metrics to analyse what time of day/day of week your audience is most active and schedule for theese times.

“Facebook encourages a minimum schedule of 3 days and a maximum schedule of 14 days for split tests. 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 14 days or sooner,” facebook/business.com

Facebook Split Testing Top Tips! 

  1. Only test one variable: perfecting your FB ad can take time! Don’t try to rush to the finish line by testing more than one variable at once. Try changing just one word in the copy or changing the colour scheme of your image. Keeping it simple will give you more accurate results and allow you to slowly narrow down what works best.
  2. Be patient: all good things come to those who wait! If you don’t wait long enough your results won’t be true. But don’t wait too long otherwise you may be pumping money into an ad with a negative ROI.
  3. Keep at it: Testing one thing is good, testing two? Yeah Awesome! But if you really want to optimise your ads you need to be in it for the long run! Record your results as they will come in handy for future campaigns.

That’s the basics explained! Have you tried split testing on Facebook? How did you go? Also, would an in-depth, step-by-step guide to Facebook split testing be helpful? Keep an eye out on the blog as I could be posting one soon!

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