The Basics of Facebook Split Testing

The Facebook split testing (A/B testing) features enables businesses to run more data-driven campaigns. Advertisers can answer important questions about different components of their campaigns as opposed to just assuming what works and what doesn’t. The feature compares different versions of your ad so you can be confident of which style performs best and improve your future campaigns.

For example, you can test the same ad on two different audiences to see which performs better. Or, you could test two delivery ad creatives to see which yields better results.

How does Facebook Split Testing Work?

Facebook Split Test

Advertisers can create multiple ad sets and test them to see which strategy delivers the greatest results.

Facebook divides your audience into random, non-overlapping groups. The randomization ensures that the test is conducted fairly and ensures each ad set is given an equal chance in the auction.

Each ad set in the test has one difference, known as a variable. Facebook duplicate the ads and only change the variable you select.

So, Facebook can deliver you accurate results, businesses can only test one variable at any one time. For instance, you can’t test two different delivery optimisations and two different audiences at the same time because you won’t know which one impacts the performance.

Objectives Available for Split Testing

The following objectives (goals set for your Facebook campaign) are supported by Facebook for split testing:

  • – Traffic
  • – Lead generation
  • – App installs
  • – Conversions
  • – Video views
  • – Catalogue sales
  • – Reach
  • – Engagement
  • – Brand awareness
  • – Messages

Variables Available for Split Testing

Facebook Split Testing

Testing only one variable at a time is important when you’re varying creatives. If you experiment with different images, headlines and text all at once then your results will be skewed, and you won’t know which exact factor to credit.

There are 5 variables Facebook allows advertisers to test:

  1. 1. Target audience
  2. 2. Deliver optimisation
  3. 3. Placements
  4. 4. Creative
  5. 5. Product sets

How Results Are Determined

The cost per result of each separate ad is calculated and compared. The ad set which achieves the lower cost per result is the winner. The calculations are made through Facebook’s attribution system, where the data from the text and thousands of simulations based on it determine the results.

If your results have low confidence, you can always test the campaign again with a longer schedule or a larger budget for more accurate results. The more time a campaign runs for and the more money behind it, the more data is produced.

Using the Results to Improve Next Campaigns

Once you have reviewed your results and understood which strategy has performed best and why, you can:

  • – Launch a new ad from the winning ad set
  • – Reactivate the winning ad set in Ads Manager
  • – Create a new campaign based on what you discovered

Could Your Campaign Benefit from Split Testing?

If you’re looking to get started with Facebook advertising or you want to optimise an existing campaign, we would love to hear from you.

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