The biggest mistake most brands make is not testing enough in their ad accounts. What works today, may not work tomorrow or next month or even next year. Resting on your laurels is the fast way to see your ad account performance tank over time. Learn how and what to test in your Facebook ad account.
Running tests in your ad account is the best way to keep up and stay ahead of your competition. It’s easy to get sucked in your success and not want to jinx it by running something new. The only issue is you are shooting yourself in the foot and being short sighted.
Why Do We Test?
- Increase or even maintain your conversion rate (CR)
- Performance dies or starts to tank in ad account
- Someone is always asking for “better” results
- Looking for new ways to spend more ad dollars each month
What worked today, won’t work tomorrow. Stagnation is the enemy of a great ad account. Don’t rest on your currency success because it could all end tomorrow. Continuous testing leads to better ad account performance… in the long run.
The Four Areas Of Testing
- Ad Copy
- Ad Creative & Format
- Landing Page
What types of tests can you run across these four areas? Let’s dig into each one and look at some options.
The easiest way to run ad account tests is trying new audiences. With that said, we still see ad accounts with a set it and a forget it mindset. The three audience options
Saved Audience (interest targeting)
Think beyond the obvious to test more interests and scale ad spend or improve your KPIs. If your target audience was parents, sure you can use the Parents or Family interests targeting on Facebook but what else are parents into? Looking at adjacent audiences are helpful:
- Little league
- After School Activities
- Rachel Ray
- Baby Brands
What else do parents do? Going one level deeper means you won’t pay as much for each click usually. More quality clicks, leads to more traffic which you can turn into conversions and revenue.
To build a lookalike audience, you need a seed list (audience), which is the data Facebook uses to find other people on the platform who look like your initial seed list. Garbage in, garbage out applies here so you want a high quality list of users. Your seed list could be based on Facebook pixel data or emails you upload into Facebook:
- High-Value Customers (subscribers vs non-subscribers)
- Facebook Pixel
- Video Viewers
- Email Lists
- Post Engagers
- Past Purchases/Subscribers
- Form Submitters
Basically any audience list that isn’t based on interest targeting can be used as a seed list on Facebook. The size of lookalike audiences comes in at 1% to 10%…1% = closest match to seed list
Custom Audience (emails upload)
Custom audiences are based on emails uploaded into Facebook. You could have an email list based on:
- Form Submitters
- Events Registration
Once you upload those emails, Facebook will try to match them to people on Facebook. If you have other data like first and last name, phone number, address and country. You can include that data with your emails and increase the chance that Facebook can match it to someone on their platform.
Shorter headlines usually win but doesn’t mean you can’t test longer ad copy with your advertising. Ad copy is often overlooked as a form of testing as I think most marketers don’t view themselves as copywriters.
However, ad copy is a huge lever you can use when testing different themes of ad copy:
- Discount/Free Giveaway
- Action Words
- Use Reviews
- Social Proof
- Tell A Story
- Address Concerns
Ad copy shouldn’t be one dimensional. You should try different ad copy until you find something on brand and works with your ad creative. If you find it hard to get new creative, then the easiest way to breathe new life into your ad account is writing a new piece of ad copy to go with your current creative. All things being equal, people will look at your ad copy after looking at your creative.
Ad Creative & Formats
The first thing people see. This doesn’t include ad copy or other parts of the ad unit. It’s purely the ad creative (image or video) the client sent you or the team made in-house. It’s the visual element of your ad unit. You can test the following:
- Product vs Lifestyle
- Instagram vs Facebook specific made creative
- Amateurs vs Professional
- User Generated Content (UGC) vs Organic
You can also look at testing your idea across images, video and carousels. Even within video, you can look at GIs and stop motion. Facebook shows people what they click on. If you click on videos, then you will mostly see video ads. Same with if you only click on images.
It’s important to have and test a mix of images and videos in your ad account to see what is going to work best. Only running images or just video is the worst way to run and manage an ad account. Check out our post on Facebook ad styles that convert.
Next to getting more ad creative made, landing page testing is not easy to do because you either need someone on your team with experience making them and you also need access to the site’s back end. When making landing pages, always make sure your ad creative and landing pages match and have the same branding, copy and design/look. Nothing worse than having your ads say one thing and your landing pages say another.
We have written a few posts on building great ecommerce product pages and landing pages. If your product pages are not converting, look at sending people to your category pages or even your homepage. Sometimes your homepage will convert better.