Creative split testingSplit testing (or A/B testing) allows you to test changes in Facebook variables like ad creative, audience, or placement to determine which approach performs best. More of Facebook ads just became a whole lot easier with the update of Facebook’s built-in split testing feature.
Don’t confuse this update with the dynamic creative feature (which is also amazing). Facebook creative split testing is a great way to run tests to determine your best performing ad without audienceThis is the group of people who can potentially see your ads. You help influence this by adjusting age, gender, location, detailed targeting (interests and behaviors), custom audiences, and more. More overlap.
Let’s take a closer look…
Facebook Split Testing
I first told you about Facebook’s built-in split testing feature nearly a year ago.
To use the split testing feature, you’ll need to use one of the following objectivesThe campaign objective is the ultimate goal for your Facebook ad. Your selection will impact options, including optimization and delivery. More:
- ReachReach measures the number of Accounts Center accounts (formerly users) that saw your ads at least once. You can have one account reached with multiple impressions. More
- App Installs
- Video Views
- Lead Generation
- ConversionsA conversion is counted whenever a website visitor performs an action that fires a standard event, custom event, or custom conversion. Examples of conversions include purchases, leads, content views, add to cart, and registrations. More
- Catalog Sales
While setting up a campaignThe campaign is the foundation of your Facebook ad. This is where you'll set an advertising objective, which defines what you want your ad to achieve. More, you’ll notice a checkbox for “Create Split Test” under the objectiveThe objective reflects the goal you want to achieve with your advertising and is established at the campaign level. More.
At the ad set level, you would then select the variable you want to test…
Until now, you could split test delivery optimizationHow you optimize impacts who sees your Facebook ad. Facebook will show your ad to people most likely to perform your desired action. More (Conversions vs. Link ClicksThe link click metric measures all clicks on links that drive users to properties on and off of Facebook. More, for example), Audience (Website Custom AudienceA website custom audience matches people who visit your website with people on Facebook. You can then create ads to show to that audience. More vs. Page ConnectionsWithin your ad set, you can further narrow targeting by adding a connection to a page, app, or event that you control. More, for example), and then later, placementA placement is a location where your ad is shown. Examples include Facebook's mobile Feed, Messenger, Instagram feed, Audience Network, right-hand column, and more. More.
One of the primary benefits of Facebook’s built-in split testing tool is the lack of audience overlap. Facebook will randomly determine who is tested against each variation. No exclusions necessary.
Prior Creative Split Testing Options
While Facebook’s built-in split testing tool is great, it didn’t previously address creative. So, if you wanted to split test creative, it was difficult to make it a true A/B test without overlap.
In the past, you would have done one of two things:
1. Create two or more separate ads within the same ad set. By doing this, Facebook optimizes to provide the most impressionsImpressions are the number of times your ads were displayed to your target audience. Impressions aren't counted if it is detected they came from bots. More to the highest performing ad. The same audience will be served ads from the same pool of creative, but some will see only one variation while other users may see multiple.
2. Create multiple ad setsAn ad set is a Facebook ads grouping where settings like targeting, scheduling, optimization, and placement are determined. More with a single ad variation within each. As long as you were careful with necessary exclusions, you could prevent overlap, but it takes more time.
Additionally, it’s a bad test by comparing results from two potentially very different audiences as opposed to randomly selecting people from the same audience. Are the better results due to the creative or the audience you are targeting? It wasn’t always clear.
How to Use Creative Split Testing
Thankfully, Facebook addresses these concerns with the new creative split testing feature.
Now, when selecting the variable you want to test, you’ll see the option of Creative.
Set up your audience and placements as you normally would.
Your split test will need to run for between three and 14 days. This is required so that Facebook can get the sample size necessary to determine a winner.
However, there is an option to end the split test early once a winner has been found…
On the right side of the ad set, Facebook shows you how your split test is being organized.
Even though you’re putting in the work of creating a single ad set, Facebook is generating an ad set for each ad. Each ad set will have identical settings for audience, placement, and delivery.
REMINDER: While the audience is the same, there will be no overlap. Each user will only see one creative variation, and users are selected randomly.
You can create up to five ad variations. On the left, you’ll see Ad A through E (if applicable).
Create your ads as you normally would with image, link, headline, text, link description, CTAA call-to-action is a button or link on your ad that suggests the action you want your audience to take. Examples: "Learn More" or "Sign Up." More button, and more. When you click the “Test Another Ad” button, Facebook will copy the prior ad for easy editing.
This is a great new option for advertisers to help uncover the highest performing creative. By using this feature and (separately) the dynamic creative feature, advertisers are much better equipped to serve high performing creative.
Have you tried out the creative split testing feature? What do you think?
Let me know in the comments below!