A lot can happen in 15 days. I was actually planning on listing some amusing examples, but really, literally anything can happen in 15 days…
As a business owner, I’m sure you know that. I’m sure you’ve seen products created and launched, marketing campaigns released into the world like a dove and maybe even staff come and go; but what if I told you that you can launch a whole Facebook ad campaign that works, in just 15 days?
Facebook Ads are easy to dabble in – to dip your toe into them now and then but ultimately skirt around the edge. The thing is, dabbling and dipping won’t ever bring the results that you want – you’re going to have to dive in, or, at least, lower yourself in strategically using a ladder.
Split testing your ads should be a part of that strategy; without it you’re going in blind, with limited insight into visitor behaviour – it’s that insight that allows you to tweak and improve ads, and ultimately improve your conversion rate.
Like backing up your computer, visiting your great aunt or eating your 5 a day, A/B split testing is something that many business owners know that they should do, but everything is ‘ok’ if they don’t, and so it’s still not a very common practice.
What hinders the implementation of A/B split testing the most is, simply, that the process of it is not very well known; the dos and the don’ts, the pitfalls and the tricks.
If you’ve never heard of split testing, are a bit familiar with it but aren’t too clear or have given it a go, but aren’t too sure if you’ve done it correctly then this guide will, er, guide you in the right direction, so that you can begin to implement the knowledge and really get ahead with Facebook marketing.
So, what is split testing?
It’s an experimental approach to your Facebook Ad campaign, which will, quickly and clearly, identify how your ads need to be tweaked in order to maximise their results. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase your conversion rate and gives you important insights into the behaviours and preferences of your target audience.
Next, what do you test?
So, you have a couple of Ad designs: A and B. Typically, A is the existing design (called the control), and B is the new design.
You want to create live ads around these two versions and measure their performance using the metrics that you care about (impressions, clicks conversion rate, etc.).
In the end, you select the version that performs best. Even though every A/B test is unique, certain elements are usually tested:
• The call to action – wording, size, colour and placement,
• Headline • Top Text
• Body Text
• Promotional offers
• Images within the Ads – and the wording/colour on the ad itself
• Amount of text within the Ad
• Use of Capital Letters
• Use of a coloured border around your image
• The page the Ads land on
Putting A/B Split Testing into Action
There are many online tools available to measure split testing but I find that these can often over-complicate the process; not helpful at all. For the uninitiated, there are many questions that need to be answered –
• How long do I run the testing?
• How will I know how many things to test at one time?
• How often do I change my metrics to test?
• How do I keep track of all my successes?
We’ve condensed it all down so that you can get it cracked in 15 days.
First let’s take a look at what a typical ad looks like:
It’s imperative to make sure you test ONLY ONE thing at a time.
Begin your split test by testing the images that you want to use in your ad. Facebook actually allows you to upload 6 images within your ad set, however if you do this it may take a long time to start seeing results. I recommend you start with 3 or 4.
Day 1: Create 3 ads with 3 different images, but with identical top text, headline and body text for all 3 adverts. Run these for three days. This will allow you see what sort of imagery resonates with your chosen audience. Start with the images because this is likely to be what the potential customer notices first.
Day 4: Take your best performing image (by using whatever metric you deem to be important). Create another 3 adverts – however, this time, use the winning image from the first test and instead use 3 different types of top text. Again, keeping the headline and body text the same. Run your ads with the ‘testing top text’ for a further three days.
Day 7: Keep your best performing image, take your best performing top text (from the last test) then change the headline, using 3 different types of copy but keeping the same body text. Create 3 ads and test your headline. Run your ads with the ‘testing headline’ for a further three days.
Day 10: Keep your best performing image, keep your best performing top text, take your best performing headline and create another 3 ads with different body text copy. Run your ads with the ‘testing body text’. Again, do this for a further three days.
Day 13: Keep your best performing image, keep your best performing top text, keep your best performing headline and take your best performing body text and have fun testing this ad (which is, after all, your best ad based upon your split testing) to different audiences.
Your split testing doesn’t have to stop there. This strategy of A/B testing can be applied to all sorts of paid advertising, including your AdWords and landing pages.
P.S. After spending so long nurturing your ads, you can become a little protective of them and it’s tempting to go with your ‘gut feeling’, but it would be a real mistake to reject a result just because of your arbitrary judgement. Other than that, I wish you happy A/B split testing!