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How and Why to Split Test Facebook Ads

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The number of businesses and brands using Facebook ads is on the rise, and for good reason. According to HootSuite, more than 74% of Facebook users say they’ve discovered a product through Facebook ads. Additionally, the average Facebook user clicks on 8 Facebook ads every single day!

If you are already using ads, but your campaign is struggling, it’s time for a change. You need a well-executed A/B test. Here’s how to set up your tests and why A/B testing works.

How to Run a Facebook Ad A/B Test

here are two broad ways to test Facebook ads; manually or automatically using the recently launched Facebook A/B test feature.

Manual Testing

Manual Facebook ad campaign tests are simple to set up. Follow the tips below;

  • Create distinct campaigns for each split test. Make sure to name the campaigns.
  • Create variations of the ad, changing a few elements to make the ads different. It’s best to vary only one ad element at a time, such as text, visuals or the CTA.
  • Send out the ads and monitor how your audience interacts with them. Use Facebook analytics to interpret the results.

Split Test Facebook Ads using Facebook’s Split Testing Feature

Facebook recently rolled out a split test feature for ad campaigns. This new feature is available to all advertisers with a Business Manager account.

One of the key advantages of the new A/B test feature is that it prevents ad overlap when conducting a split test. Previously, there was no way to prevent a user from seeing both sets of ads. The new A/B test feature separates your audiences so that each test group can only see one ad type.

Some of the things you need to know about the new A/B test feature include;

  • You can test up to 3 different ad sets at a time
  • You can select and target saved audiences
  • There is no limit on how long a test can run
  • You can opt to receive the test report via email

It’s also important to mention that you are able to create variations of an ad based on link clicks, conversions, impressions, unique reach, and conversion window. You can also adjust the bid amount as you wish or choose Manual vs. Automatic bidding.

To use the automatic feature instead of manually split-testing your Facebook ads, proceed as follows;

  • Enable the split testing option on the campaign page
  • At the ad set level, choose the variable you wish to test
  • Feed-in the variables for sets A and B (add more sets if needed)
  • Set your budget
  • Set your schedule
  • Add the ad copy and creative elements
  • Click on Review and Publish

Advantages of Facebook Ad Split Tests

Split testing Facebook ads comes with many advantages. The following are just a few examples;

It’s a low-cost option

If you’re already using Facebook ads to reach and engage your audience on the platform, split tests won’t cost you any extra money. Why? Because whenever you set up a Facebook ad campaign, you’re already establishing a budget! You won’t be charged extra just because the ads in your new campaign are meant for A/B testing.

Get to optimize your audience

A recent study by AdEspresso shows that optimizing your Facebook audience, specifically by country, gender, age group, relationship status, and purchase behaviors, results in significant gains for advertisers. Facebook split tests can help you optimize your audience and help your marketing plan going forward.

Validate your decisions

Budgeting remains one of the toughest aspects of social media marketing. How much do you spend per ad? What if the campaign isn’t performing? What if you don’t get an ROI? Split testing allays these fears by validating your decisions.

That’s It to Split Test Facebook Ads

Now you know how to set up both manual and automatic Facebook ad split tests. It’s time to get started on optimizing your advertising budget. Don’t forget to track the performance of each test, analyze the results, and implement the findings.


Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?

Let’s talk about life, leadership, and business coaching. With over a decade of experience leading companies and transforming lives, and a Master’s degree in Org Development and Leadership, Mike can help you find the best way forward!

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