Best Practices for Testing, Segmenting and Optimizing Facebook Ads
Facebook isn't just a gathering place, it's become an increasingly popular marketplace and haven for all things consumer-related. While this makes it a great space for advertisers, it also makes it a very competitive marketplace.
What's necessary for Facebook advertisers to understand is that great attention to detail is required to find the audience you're looking for as well as to enagage them to want to find out more about your products. The following three tips outline strategies for refining your levels of engagement and ensuring that your message is reaching the right audience and standing out among the crowd.
Multivariate ad tests
Online marketers have been using A/B tests since the very beginning, and it's standard practice at this point. What we know about advertising is that it's the audience who decides which of your ads are the best. You may find yourself surprised to learn that an ad or landing page, or combination of the two, performed better than you might have expected, but at the end of the day, the most important person in this equation is the consumer.
By employing multivariate testing techniques, you're getting a lot more out of ad testing. For example, you can create multiple versions of your ads in which you test the headlines, images, offers, prices, colors, arrangement of the forms and other aspects. By creating different versions of these ads, you can drill down deep to find out which combinations and which of these aspects are most successful.
One thing that's necessary to get good data from tests of this nature is traffic. With very little traffic, it's difficult to ascertain the results of these tests, especially if you're using many variables.
A method to employ in this case is full-factorial multivariate testing, in which you test three ads with three combinations of elements. For a Facebook ad those elements might be the headline, text and image. This gives you nine combinations from which to distribute daily budget that, in the end, gives you a full set of data from which you can get the highest-performing element from each variation that you can then use to create your best ad from each of these variables.
Facebook allows for some very deep targeting options that give you the means to reach very specific groups of individuals. To be really successful at Facebook advertising, it's necessary to break your offers down to those specific groups.
If you're too broad with your ads, you won't reach your target audience. In doing so, the Quality Score of your ads can suffer, which could cause a ripple effect across your entire campaign causing the whole thing to be cancelled. When you're more granular with ad targeting, you have greater control over your placement, giving you a higher level of performance. You're creating thousands of ads that target different ages, regions and all different aspects of these in order for you to have greater control over your clickthrough rate. With better targeting, you have better control over your ad groups, allowing you to pause groups that aren't achieving the rates you need for them to.
The process is a long one, and your best chances for success are with a tool that allows you to create multiple versions of your ads and upload them quickly. Doing this through Facebook's interface is unnecessarily clunky and will take a great deal of time. However, it is the way to success, so finding a tool that helps you do this is something that you must do.
Testing your ads is an ongoing process. You don't stop because you've gone through multivariate tests and found a good combination. That's just the start. All great online advertising campaigns go through a constant state of analyzing the results and using those results to try to make them better. You're always trying to find what's best for your audience.
For example, you might find that when an ad mentions your brand and not a product it doesn't do as well. The results may be confusing. You may be constantly surprised. The process of optimization relies on your ability to analyze results and keep searching for better ads.
The process of advertising on Facebook is one that takes a great deal of effort. To spread your message the way that you need to in order to be successful, you'll find that you get out of it what you put in. When you use this process and keep refining your advertising efforts, you're able to get the most out of an advertising channel that can allow you to reach an incredibly large audience in a space that they enjoy being in.
Marc Poirier is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Acquisio.