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A/B Testing Your Brand’s Facebook Ads

Phillip Reinhardt

Advertising on Facebook is a great way to strengthen your brand and reach a larger audience. From increased ad spend on video advertising to new innovative delivery methods, such as carousel units and dynamic product ads, more advertising professionals recognize the numerous benefits of advertising on the world’s largest social network.
But Facebook ads require rigorous testing to ensure they’re performing to the best of their ability. One such method is A/B Testing, and Facebook has a great program to walk you through the process.


What is A/B Testing?    

A/B Testing – also known as split testing – is the process of testing different ad headlines, body copy, images, call-to-actions, or a combination to determine which work best with your target audience. Predicting what your audience wants to see is a difficult task, but luckily there are tests to run on multiple ad designs and target audiences to uncover which ones are most useful.

  1. Text only vs. image only
    The age old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” applies to your Facebook ads, too. Test the effectivity of your advertisement as both a single image paired with a compelling headline and a text-only ad. Which one communicates your message clearest?
  2. Lifestyle vs. product images
    The basic concept of advertising is selling a dream to consumers, so people are commonly the focal point of ad campaigns. It’s about showing people and how their lifestyles represent your brand. However, if you’re trying to sell a particular product, an image of the item itself may be more effective.
  3. Stock vs. custom images
    Advertisers should not be afraid to use stock images in their advertisements – they’re cheap and accessible options. Meanwhile, custom photography gives you the flexibility to portray your brand in a one-of-a-kind light but comes at a steeper cost.
  4. One vs. many CTAs
    As a general rule of thumb, copy should never take up more than 20% of a Facebook ad’s total area, but there are some exceptions. If the product or service you’re advertising has numerous benefits, more than one call to action may be necessary. But if this overwhelms the ad with text, test slight variations to see which works best for your target audience.
  5. Question vs. no question
    Facebook ad copy that contains a question is proven to have stronger engagement. Open-ended questions encourage participation while declarative statements end it. Try writing two different versions of ad copy – one with a question and one without – and test which gets the most engagement.
  6. Mention “free” vs. don’t mention “free”
    There are five powerful words that advertisers keep in their arsenals that get people’s attention: “you, because, instantly, new, and free.” In this case, we’re focusing on the latter. Consumers are constantly on the lookout for savings (“free” shipping, buy one get one “free”, a “free” gift), and including the word free in your ad copy is a great angle to test out.
  7. Brand vs. no brand
    Facebook ads have limited space, and you need to work with what you have. Branding every piece of content takes up valuable space, and unless your company is a household name, some advertisers argue that branding every ad (like including a logo) isn’t very effective. Consider making the same ad, one with a logo and one without and A/B Testing should help determine which speaks clearer to your audience.

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