Facebook has accounted for more than two thirds of global social media ad spend this year.
Its popularity among brands cannot be questioned. But despite the ease of creating campaigns, it’s always been tricky to set up definitive split testing. It was possible, but not without a fair bit of effort. And even if you put the time in, there was no way of preventing users from seeing more than one of your ads.
But according to expert Jon Loomer, who runs a blog for advanced Facebook marketers, a new split testing tool has quietly been launched by Facebook.
The roll-out is still in progress with some features yet to be added, but Loomer has put it through its paces and has the following advice for those looking to get cracking…
How Facebook split testing works
- Split testing will be available to most advertisers with a Business Manager account within either the ad creation tool or Power Editor.
- It is currently available for the following ad objectives: Website Conversions, Mobile App Installs and Lead Generation.
- Previously, there was no way of avoiding ad overlap. You could send different ads to different audiences, but there was no way of preventing a user from seeing both ads. Now Facebook will separate audiences to prevent overlaps.
- You have the option to test up to three ad sets.
- When split testing using the Audience variable, you have to select from saved audiences rather than creating a new one.
- If you split test using the Optimization variable, you can create variations based on Optimization for Ad Delivery (Conversions, Impressions, Link Clicks, Daily Unique Reach), Conversion Window (1 day vs. 7 day) and Bid Amount (Automatic vs. Manual).
- Facebook will display a minimum budget required to obtain sufficient data to run a test. This budget will be split equally between sets.
- There are no requirements for how long a test should run, though Facebook recommends between three and 14 days.
- When your test is complete, you’ll receive the test results via email. The winner of the split test will be the ad set with the lowest cost per outcome.
Jeremy Taylor of agency OST Marketing says the new feature will give marketers much more control over their ad tests.
“Split testing has always been an essential component of running successful Facebook ad campaigns,” he says. “In the campaigns we manage, we are constantly testing the creative, targeting, delivery and bid.
“However, this required creating different ad sets for each variable and there was no way to de-duplicate the audiences. With this update, we can now run much more controlled split testing.”