Digital MarketingSocial Media MarketingStrategies for how to test your Facebook ad campaigns

Strategies for how to test your Facebook ad campaigns

Facebook has two features to help determine which creative is best: Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO), and split testing to run A/B comparisons.

As Facebook has automated its bidding, creative has quickly become the driver for the best financial performance. Creative can now be optimized to match the user’s experience, location and device. Video templates assist with the creation of generic creative and dynamic pricing; however, non-templatized creative cannot be generated with AI or machine learning — yet!

This begs the question, how much creative do you need?

Our experience in spending over $150M indicated that 95% of direct response creative fails to outperform a portfolio’s best ad. Thus, a large volume of quality creative is needed to find that 5% of winning creative to achieve and sustain return on advertising spend (ROAS). Since creative rapidly fatigues with increased spend and audience reach, constant creative testing is necessary to produce wins to offset fatigue.

Facebook features to help determine which creative is best

You should always be A|B testing your creative to optimize on spend, and Facebook has released two new features to help determine which creative is the best. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) selects the best elements to put into an ad based on audience segments to deliver in real-time the right ad, right copy, right audience, right time, right language, right placement and right device. Further, DCO offers both creative delivery at scale as well as testing with endless experimentation, all without human intervention required to drive continuous testing and optimization. It’s also possible to enable language testing through DCO to deliver the most efficient language based on performance.

Their second innovation is a simple split test that allows advertisers to efficiently to run A|B comparisons between videos, images, ad copy, and more. The real innovation here is that Facebook will split the traffic on the back end to avoid overlap. For example, if you have an audience of 1,000,000 and you want to test five videos, Facebook will show each video to an audience of up to 200,000 people. This new feature, has radically simplified creative testing of ads for Facebook and allows for much more efficient media spend.

You should configure split tests in a dedicated campaign to eliminate the likelihood of incurring a significant to your regular structure. Once a winner is identified, you can roll it out and scale using your dedicated scale campaigns ad sets. If you are testing new audiences, and an ad set performs well, use the ad set continuously and add new ad creative over time to offset audience fatigue. If the audience does not perform, pause and abandon it.

All of your split testing should have an end date. Facebook recommends that you now use daily budgets instead of lifetime budgets. Once a winner is identified, you should pause the split test contestants and re-launch an ad set with a dedicated unique audience.

Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)

CBO vs. non-CBO: By placing a single campaign budget and allowing Facebook to dynamically adjust ad set budgets, you give control to Facebook for budget optimization. This also allows top ad sets to scale volume without triggering a significant edit, putting less risk on high-value ad sets.

Dynamic Language Optimization (DLO)

DLO vs. non-DLO: DLO is particularly useful for targeting multilingual audiences in a single location. By allowing Facebook to determine which ad and which language to serve, you hand more control to Facebook to surface the winning ads automatically.

It’s important to note that DLO performance seems to fluctuate significantly and it is possible that non-DLO ads can outperform DLO ads during any given month. In general, language targeting requires continual testing with a focus on refreshing copy, creative, and audience. Also, country targeting appears to make a significant difference. For example, targeting worldwide French speakers may produce different results compared to targeting French speakers in France, Canada, etc., and vice versa.

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

DCO vs. non-DCO: DCO automatically optimizes ad creative based on multivariate testing. By running DCO, Facebook has control over which creative is served and can more quickly optimize a high volume of creative combinations versus just running many ads per ad set.

Split Testing

Split Testing vs. CBO vs. Neither: Use split testing for creative, audience and placement testing to optimize your campaigns.

Always be testing

Regardless of the size of your ad spend on Facebook, continuous creative testing of copy, video, and images is imperative to help you reach your campaign objectives. By using a variety of testing techniques on Facebook, you’ll be able to continue optimizing your spend and start generating ROAS with your campaigns this year.

Brian Bowman is CEO of Consumer Acquisition.

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