Facebook ads are every marketer’s wildest fantasy come true. No other social media platform owns as much data on their users as Facebook does.
You can target users based on their age, gender, location, work, interests, political and religious beliefs, music taste, favorite books — you name it.
This allows you to narrow down the audience you want to target, so you don’t waste your marketing budget on reaching people who aren’t interested.
That said, you still need to put in some work to find your ideal audience. A/B split testing is an excellent way to optimize your ads.
How to Split Test Facebook Ads
Let’s have a look at how you A/B split test by manipulating the following variables:
- Call to action
- Ad type
- Target audience
Split Test Your Facebook Ads #1: Images
The image in your Facebook ad is the first thing that people will see, which makes it one of the most critical components of your ad. Your picture is what will make the viewer go on to read the copy, which we’ll cover in a moment.
The best images are:
- Bright and colorful
- Relevant to your product or service
- Do not contain any text
Create a shortlist of images and run a few A/B split tests to see which ones result in the most engagement from the audience.
Split Test Your Facebook Ads #2: Video
Images are a great way to get noticed, but videos are even better. Video ads always outrank any photos, copy, or links in the Facebook feed, and the same holds true for ads.
As with images, your videos need to be bright and eye-catching but also brief and to the point.
Keeping it under 10 seconds will increase the number of places your video can be shown, such as in the middle of other videos Facebook users watch.
Split Test Your Facebook Ads #3: Copy
The copy of your ad is the next thing viewers will turn to once your image or video has grabbed their attention.
The copy is also the part of your ad that will sell your product or service to the audience. Keep it short and sweet, and write in a tone that resonates with your target audience.
Just changing a few words around can make a big difference in audience engagement, so make sure to run several split tests to identify the best version of the copy.
Split Test Your Facebook Ads #4: Call To Action
Although you can include a call to action as part of your copy, Facebook also gives you the option to add a button in your ad.
These buttons can be aggressive ones like “shop now” or “sign up,” or more subtle, inviting ones telling the viewer to “learn more.”
Experiment with the split testing different call to action buttons to see which ones the audience responds to the most.
Split Test Your Facebook Ads #5: Type
Facebook offers marketers many different types of ads. Some interrupt the users by appearing in the middle of videos they watch; others look like normal posts in the news feed.
Although Facebook gives you the option to let them automatically try out different types of ads, you can also select the types manually and do a split test to see which ones work better for your audiences.
Split Test Your Facebook Ads #6: Audience
The audience is arguably the most crucial part of your Facebook ad. It doesn’t matter that you have the best image, video, copy, call to action, or ad type if it is shown to the wrong audience.
It is important not to make too many assumptions when putting together your audiences — you might miss out on great customers!
Create a few audiences to split test, and remember that the sweet spot is between 500,000-3,000,000 people. That may seem like a huge range to be a sweet spot, but just keep in mind how local you’d like your targets to be and keep them on the lower end. In general, any less is too narrow, and any more is too broad.
To Sum Up
The goal of optimizing your Facebook ads is to spend less money on marketing to reach more of the right people. You can accomplish this by using the A/B split test function in the Facebook Ad Manager.
While you can manipulate as many variables as you want be sure to only test one variable at a time. That way you can quickly isolate the part of your ad that makes all the difference to your results.
Written by Brandon Stapper
Brandon Stapper is a self-made entrepreneur and investor residing in San Diego, California. He is currently the CEO of Nonstop Signs where they have split tested 1000’s of ads for signs and printing.
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