Facebook Advertising: A/B Testing

One of the coolest things about launching digital marketing campaigns on Facebook is testing creative (aka the photos, videos, and copy), audiences, or placements and seeing what delivers the best return on investment.

The goal of A/B testing is to understand what drives more actions (a call, a form submission, a purchase) for each campaign. Perhaps it’s the image that gets people to click. Maybe it’s a very unique audience that you never thought about targeting. If it’s the placement, perhaps Instagram stories, or ads delivered in Facebook Messenger deliver the best results.

You won’t know what works until you try it!

Marketing is about making informed decisions on how you conduct your lead generation or sales efforts. But really, you have a hunch what will work, so now you can test your hypotheses! 

Below are a few ways in which you can test new creative on Facebook.

Do an A/B Test With Your Campaign

When you go to Ads Manager and select “New Campaign,” you’ll select your campaign goal, and then you have the option to “Create A/B Test.” Click this “On” and you can select the variable to test: creative, delivery optimization, audience, or placement.

How is a winning campaign determined?

The winning campaign is determined by comparing the cost per result of each campaign, where the result is the event you selected during test creation, such as cost per click, cost per purchase, or cost per incremental purchase.

Based on the activity observed during the test, Facebook simulates possible outcomes tens of thousands of times to determine how often the winning outcome would have won. This statistically calculates a winner with a certain confidence percentage, or chance of similar results if your test was repeated.

Once a winner is determined, you’ll receive a notification in Ads Manager and an email will be sent to you with the results.

Duplicate an existing campaign, ad set, or ad

If you’ve previously run a Facebook campaign, you can duplicate a campaign by hovering over the campaign and selecting “Duplicate.” Then, you’ll have an option to create a duplicate and change a variable.

Duplicating an existing campaign lets you compare it by changing one or more variables to determine a winning strategy.

Duplicating an existing ad set or ad lets you choose a variable and Facebook will walk you through the kinds of changes you can make to compare and determine a winning strategy.

Try Different Headlines and Text Combinations for an Ad

You can also make creative changes by changing the “Ad” in the “Ad Set.” In this example, we’re reviewing the Primary Text and Headline options for a 5K race in Tampa, FL. You’re able to try five examples of each.

Here are the Primary Text Options:

Headline Options:

Facebook will optimize the best performing combinations! It’s really a win-win situation; come up with the headlines that you think will get people to take an action, and try some off-the-wall ones as well. Facebook can determine a winner after recording data from impressions and clicks.

If you need assistance with A/B testing campaigns, or launching digital marketing ads on Facebook, please contact us today!

RJ Huebert
RJ Huebert is the founder and managing principal of HBT Digital Consulting, a Pittsburgh-based business. A digital marketing professional, he specializes in search engine and social media marketing for B-to-C companies looking for lead generation and online optimization. He is also the co-race director for three Tampa Bay 5K events called The Great Mother’s Day Race, The Great Father’s Day Race, and The Great Gay 5K. The races have had over 12,000 participants and have raised over $7,000 for local charities since 2012. Previously, RJ was the marketing director for a world-wide market research firm, and has held management roles in verticals including healthcare, banking, and for-profit education. Helping local business succeed online is his daily passion, launching 5K events gives him joy, and contributing to the Pittsburgh business scene inspires him. RJ earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and Master of Arts from the University of South Florida, focusing on Strategic Communication Management. Currently, he sits on the American Marketing Association Board of Directors - Pittsburgh Chapter. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Taylor, chocolate Lab Coco, and a Jack Russel Terrier named Rosie.