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Optimize Facebook Ads: A/B Testing

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Kristin Dyak

Facebook ads

Creating perfect Facebook ads isn’t one-stop shopping. It takes creative elements, a calculated budget and definitive results. A sure way to optimize a Facebook ad is to compare various ad assets by running an A/B test.

In reference to paid Facebook ads, A/B testing is the comparison between versions of an ad to determine which ad performs better. The key components of a Facebook ad include title, copy, landing page, creative element, targeted audience and budget. Start by choosing one of these areas to test. Additional variables can be tested simultaneously, although keep the test clear and simple so the results are concise.

Halfway through the ad-run, or about a month into an ongoing ad, evaluate the performance based on the Cost-Per-Result for each ad. This measure takes your spent amount and divides it by the number of results. Out of all the data that Facebook provides, this top-level indicator will allow a comprehensive analysis of your spending and results in one number. A lower Cost-Per-Result, ideally under $1.00, indicates a stronger result. When the cost reaches over $2.00 per result, some immediate attention is needed to see how the ad can be improved.

Here are a few examples of testable elements for your A/B Facebook ads:

If one ad is significantly outperforming the other, consider adjusting the elements to better match the successful ad. You can also turn off the underperforming ad and reallocate the funds to the all-star ad. These changes will help create better ad results, but once any change is made, the A/B test is broken.

Don’t forget…

Testing ads will impact your budget. Here is a quick and easy formula to help you develop an appropriate budget that allows you to get the most out of your ad test.

Average Cost-per-Result X No. of Variations X Needed Conversions

 Let’s break this down:

  • Look at your other Facebook campaigns and define your average cost-per-result.
  • Let’s say your goal is to get people clicking on your Facebook ad and the average cost-per-click for past campaigns has been $0.80.
  • Let’s continue the hypothesizing game, and say you’re looking to split test 3 different ad variations.
  • To get valid test results, you’ll need around 100-500 results per each ad variation.
  • So, the formula to calculate your budget would be: $0.80 x 3 x 300 = $720

Facebook advertising is so much more than creating an ad. Successful ads have gone through A/B testing so marketers can gain a better understanding of the audience’s click-through habits and reachability. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Take advantage of these testing capabilities to get the best bang for your buck on Facebook.

Visit our Deep Ads Thoughts blog to learn more about current advertising, marketing and public relations tips and trends. Plus, check out our Push n’ Pull blog for all things in the world of digital and social media.

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