Setting up a Facebook ad campaign involves setting several variables. A/B testing your Facebook ads allows you to isolate and compare this multitude of ad variables' performance so you can adjust your campaigns accordingly.
A/B Testing Facebook Ads for Faster Optimization
Want to take the guesswork out of creating higher performing Facebook ads?
Ready to ditch poor performing ads that don’t convert and drain your budget?
Want to make faster, result-driven optimizations to your Facebook ad campaigns?
A/B testing (also sometimes called split testing) is what you need.
Testing your ads lets you quickly and easily compare ad assets such as images and copy to identify what engages your audience. You’ll know which images, calls to action buttons, and videos influence the most interaction with your ads.
Does your ad work better in Facebook Stories or the Facebook Feed? You’ll be able to find out which ad placement and platforms (Facebook or Instagram) are best for your business with A/B testing.
When you continue to test your ads, you’ll develop deep insight into which combination of variables in your ads and campaigns works best for you.
What Is A/B Testing?
A/B testing isolates two or more ad elements and tests them against each other to identify the best converting ad. This usually means making a noticeable change to images, copy, placement, calls to actions, and other variables to see which perform better in comparison.
For example, you could A/B test a color image against a black and white image across different but similar Facebook audiences. Now you can quickly and easily measure the results of the two images side by side.
Like an A/B test, split testing lets you create multiple ad sets, then you can test them against each other. A split test divides your audience into random, non-overlapping groups. This randomization helps make sure other factors won't skew the results.
Each of your test groups receives ad sets that are identical in every way aside from the variable you've chosen. The variables can be creative, audience, delivery optimization, and placement.
Facebook measures each ad set's performance against your campaign objective, and the best ad set that performs the best wins. You receive a notification about the winner after the test ends. You can now leverage this new insight to improve your ad strategy and design better-performing ads for your next campaign.
Facebook A/B Test Types
Facebook gives you a bunch of ways to create A/B tests. Which one you pick depends on the variables you’re trying to test and where you start designing your A/B test.
Most will want to create an A/B test with the Facebook “Ads Manager” toolbar, where you can use an existing ad campaign or ad set as a template for your test. To A/B test in the Ads Manager toolbar, follow these steps:
- Go to the Ads Manager main table, where you will see a list of all of your available ads, campaigns, and ad sets.
- Check the box left of the campaigns or ad sets you want to use in your A/B test.
- From the toolbar, click the “A/B Test” button.
- Select a variable for testing and follow the on-screen instructions.
With the “Experiments” tool, you can create or duplicate ads, which is useful when you want to finetune your ad campaigns before you start or want to use several existing ad campaigns for your test.
You can also choose to run A/B tests when you create a new ad campaign or duplicate existing campaigns if you want to make quick changes to existing campaigns and see which one performs better. Duplicating an ad or ad set (as opposed to a whole campaign) allows you to choose a variable, and then Facebook walks you through the kinds of changes you can create.
No matter which type of test you run, all A/B tests use the same underlying technology to compare a different creative, audience, or placement and then make all test results available under “Experiments” once tests are finished.
Benefits of A/B Testing Facebook Ads
Get rid of the guesswork and make informed marketing decisions knowing what works best and what doesn’t work at all. Your results are both credible and tangible, enabling you to pivot and make improvements to reach your conversion goals quickly.
A/B testing also puts you in a position to learn what motivates your audience to follow your ads' call to action. This is information provides a proven set of best practices to apply to all future ads, no matter the objective.