Managing Facebook ads can be exhausting. It’s one thing when you’re only managing 1 or 2 ads but when you’re responsible for multiple ads within different ad sets and campaigns, it really takes a toll on you.

With this knowledge we’ve come up with a guide to show you how to audit your Facebook ad creative. That way, you can maximize your profits and level up your ad game.

Before You Get Started

Consider the Timeline

When performing a creative audit, it’s wise to always look at historical data first. It will help guide any conclusions you may come to initially. For every company, this range of time will be different. It will largely depend on how much you’re spending and how long you have been advertising. A good rule of thumb is to look at 30 days, 90 days,180 days and the past year. You want to be careful while doing this because choosing too tight of a window may not have enough significant data to make conclusions. If you analyze too large of a window you may be looking at data that isn’t as valuable in recent times.

For example, if you’re spending $1,000/day looking at the last 30 days of data may be an ok window to analyze. You’ll have a significant amount of information to go over, allowing you to draw useful insight. If you’re spending $10 a day you may want to broaden your window as you probably won’t have enough conversions to make statistically significant conclusions.

When auditing your Facebook ad creative you also want to consider seasonality. For most ecommerce businesses, Q4 (Oct – Dec) is the busiest time of year. You want to be careful when making conclusions based off of results during this time. High performance in Q4 doesnt equate to the results of the other9 months of the year. So when looking at your results during the holiday season, understand that you have to look at it from a different lens. Q4 holidays like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday as well as Christmas will give you different metrics than any other (non-holiday) time of the year.  

Evaluate Results Based on the Funnel

It’s important when analyzing creative to look at what creative performs best and where. For example, you may see that a piece of stop motion content tends to work best in your prospecting campaigns. You may also make the realization that static images with reviews work better with your warmer audiences. You could then make the conclusion (based off of your hard metrics like your cost per action (CPA) or your return on ad spend) that that stop motion works better for your cold audiences. 

The reasoning for this conclusion may be related to the fact that stop motion content shows the prospective customer how the product is used and the final result. The reviews may work better with your warmer audiences because they’re just looking for the social proof to help them make their decision. It’s important that you don’t make assumptions on what is going to work at any one funnel stage. In our experience we have used review ads at the prospecting and that worked really well for clients. Ultimately testing is the only way to form valuable insight about what works and what doesn’t for your brand. 

Identify Your KPIs

Before you go to audit your account, you want to know what determines success (KPI’s). Some KPIs you may want to consider are the Return on Ad Spend, Cost per Action (CPA), Click to Purchase Ratio and Click Through Rate (CTR), to name a few. You’ll first have to know what metrics you’re measuring to be able to determine an ad’s success or failure. 

If your goal is to maximize your ad dollars then you should be looking at more concretized metrics. KPIs like CPA and ROAS, for instance, should guide your decisions. You’ll want to look at ads that have a lower CPA because they allow you to acquire customers at a lower cost, extending your advertising dollars. You’ll also want to look at the ROAS which will tell you the rate of revenue generated relative to the cost of generating said revenue.

It’s important not to confuse the two. You may have an ad that has a lower CPA but generates conversions that are low in value. Because of this, the ad will have a lower ROAS. We’d recommend working with your current media buyer and discussing with the team which of these metrics you’d like ot focus on, and set yourself some guidelines for how you will determine an ad’s performance.

In some cases you may want to analyzeb the creative aspects only. Maybe your CPA and ROAS are at a desirable level and you may want to assess softer metrics. One such instance is the CTR, which may be able to help you identify a creative specific problem. It’s important to note that the CTR will only show you how creative performs in a vacuum of sorts. CTR doesn’t take into consideration the click to purchase ratio (the rate at which people purchase based on the number of clicks an ad receives) or landing page conversions. It only looks at how well an ad gets someone to a landing page. 

There are instances where an ad may capture people’s attention and get people to the landing page but the page isn’t optimized for the sale. The sales copy might be poor or there’s a flaw in the checkout process. These are important factors to keep in mind when looking at this metric. 

We’ll use Kopari beauty as an example and we’ll analyze click through rate only, as it mostly gives us information of the ads visual impact. We’re making the assumption that their ROAS and CPA are exceeding their goals. For the purposes of this post, we will make up some arbitrary success metrics. So in the event that we were looking to measure success solely by looking at the click through rate, we can assume that the image with the 3.4% CTR is more successful at getting people’s attention and delivering them to the landing page. 

CTR = 3.4%                                 2. CTR = 2.3%

With that knowledge, you may set out with the intention to find which images have a higher click through rate. Then, you can breakdown their composition and see which changes will have a stronger positive effect on results. You can maybe attribute success to the length of the copy. We see that it’s longer than the ad with the 2.3% CTR. You could also say that the discount may be a selling point which may contribute to a higher CTR. While we don’t know for sure, these are things you can look out for and can test to see if your hypothesis is true. 

There are many different elements that need to be inspected when considering what aspects affect your advertising the most. Below we break down what we believe to be the 3 main components of an ad and highlight why focusing on visual elements may be more important than not in the current advertising climate. 

3 Main Components of an Ad

Targeting

The right targeting will make sure that our ads are seen by the right people. Well written copy will speak to your potential customers in a way that will resonate with them and prompt them to click on our ads. The right creative, however, will capture our potential customers’ attention. Before they even realize it, it helps them make subconscious decisions about your ad before they’re even aware.

You could say that if you get your ad in front of the right people, the copy and creative can take a secondary role. That’s a good take, however in recent times Facebook has been encouraging advertisers to incorporate broad targeting in their ad sets. This is also coming off the back of the recent iOS 14.5 changes implemented by Apple in April 2021. After the implementation of Ad Tracking Transparency (ATT) across iOS devices, audience sizes have decreased in response to people opting out. That, in addition to Facebook removing detailed targeting options, now more than ever it’s harder to decipher your audience.

Copy

What we say in our ads has impact, that cannot be disputed. There are many different ways to use your ad copy to encourage your potential customer to click on your ad. Some of these methods include utilizing numbers and statistics to establish some trust in their eyes.

You can also utilize emotional triggers to drive traffic to your landing page. You should ensure that whatever emotion you evoked in the copy lines up with your landing page copy. There shouldn’t be a disconnect when folks land on your page. 

Additionally, you can adjust your copy to line up with your audience. You may not want to use your ‘new parents’ messaging to address ‘parents of teens’. The struggles both these types of parents face are different, and require different copy.

This opportunity allows you to address common objections and focus on the outcomes of using the product. This is done to handle any objections before they even have them when navigating to your landing page.

These are all great. It’s easy to tweak your ad copy to have impact and generate results on Facebook. While the copy is an impactful element of determining ad success, visual creative still reigns supreme in most cases. 

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. That means that before your customer can read your punchy direct response copy they’re already responding (whether they know it or not) to what they’re seeing – your creative.

Creative

Creative generally refers to the images or videos that you use in your ads. Like we mentioned earlier, having a consistent stream of creative is essential to finding advertising success and that isn’t just a hunch. Facebook says that brands who succeed on facebook make 11x more creative than their competitors. That means that it’s not really about finding the one piece of creative that will cause your ad account to blow up, but more so about having many different pieces of creative that your can test and see what performs well.

Facebook also reports that 56% of brands’ lift in KPIs are attributed to creative. These stats highlight the importance of having fresh creative on hand. Reaching your Facebook advertising goals practically depends on it! So, with this in mind, we know a few key points.

  1. Having a consistent stream of creative is correlated with success.
  2. It takes the brain 13 milliseconds to process an image.
  3. How important it is to have the right creative. Ultimately, this being what makes potential customers taking the decisions you want them to – to click your ad.

Auditing Your Facebook Ad Creative

Identify the Highest Performing Ad Sets

You’ll want to find the highest performing ad sets in order to determine which creative is working best for you. In some cases this may be the ROAS or purchase conversion value. Once you’ve identified this you’ll want to dig a little bit deep and start looking for the ads that performed best in these ad sets and you do that by evaluating the click through rate. 

Look at the Click Through Rate (CTR)

Now that you’ve found the timeframe you’re looking at as well as the place in the funnel you’re evaluating you want to look at the click through rate. The click through rate tells us the rate at which people are clicking on your ad based on the number of people who saw it. This is probably the most valuable metric when it comes to evaluating creative performance. 

Analyze the Image Composition

Once you find the ads with the highest CTR, you’ll want to analyze the image composition. You want to make iterations and test your theories, right? What you’ll find is that the key to getting good creative is to make constant improvements on what is working. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are: 

What small thing can I change in this image?
Are there elements I can remove from this image? Something that won’t alter it too much but may impact the likelihood somebody will click on it? 

You want to focus on small changes you can make to an already well performing piece of creative. The goal is to see if you can replicate your success.

Testing Ad Creative

No one marketer has all the answers. What works for one brand may not work for another. It’s important to test the theories you may have and have a process for this. You’ll need to have a steady flow of creative to truly reach operational supremacy when it comes to Facebook advertising.

Think about creating a process with the media buying team, creative development team and the graphics team where there can be a focus on creating testing and iterating on content. Here are some different components that you can test: long form copy vs short form copy, photos vs videos or different hooks & angles.

Conclusion

Overall the biggest thing about creative is that it’s entirely dependent on testing. What works for one brand might not work for another. It’s important that you develop a system and structure to analyze your results, create content, test, and iterate to find success while advertising on Facebook.

If you’re looking for a team who’ll be able to help you and provide insight during the creative process don’t be shy to reach out to us, we’d be happy to help!