A/B testing or split testing, in other words, is an approach of testing two ideas head-to-head to perceive what yields the best outcome. It’s a way to put a logical rigor behind testing propositions to figure out which advertisement is the champion for your business.
More or less, A/B testing allows you to show two indistinguishable audiences different versions of something at the same time. Perhaps you’re running a print ad and you’re not sure whether it’s ideal to show an image of your item without anything else or an image of someone using the product. Such a situation is where a split test comes in to help you figure out which version of the ad could drive better results.
Critical considerations before split testing
Identify the variables you need to test.
The best examples for A/B testing include audience, placements and optimizations. In order to get the most precise outcomes, test the variables one at a time. Some variables such as budget changes and creative changes may not deliver recognizable results.
Create a measurable proposition based on your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Examples include “returns on ads would be higher when advancing for Add to Cart vs. Clicks” or “cost per acquisition will increase when using Audience X vs. Audience Y”.
Find an audience that is sufficiently huge to support your test
This audience should not be part of any of your other audiences used in other advertising offers. Facebook A/B Ads testing takes individuals from your audience and arbitrarily divides them into non-overlapping categories. Overlapping may bring about delivery issues and contaminate the test results.
Set an ideal duration and budget for the campaign
The tests should ideally be done within 3-14 days. The minimum budget is usually calculated in relation to the size of your splits and an estimation of what’s probably going to create a significant test. This budget guarantees adequate data to assertively determine a test winner.
Setting up the test
There are two options here; using the Split Ads Testing interface in Ads Manager and the split testing API.
Using the Ads Manager
Facebook A/B testing supports testing audiences, optimization variables such as optimizing for clicks versus conversions and optimizing for 1-day versus 7-day conversion, and placements. This functionality is apparently accessible for Mobile App Installs, Website Conversions and Lead Generation business goals.
Using the split testing API
If you are new to the ads management platform, you might need some assistance from your Facebook account team on the use of this function or visit Facebook Blueprint for a hands-on, instructional tool. Otherwise, if you frequently use the marketing API for campaign creation and management, then you have a tool that allows you to test your campaigns without any assistance.
Observing your test
Do not make any optimizations or enhancements while your test campaign is still running. You should only make changes when you want to mitigate or solve problems and not to enhance settings for better campaign execution. Introducing changes to already running campaigns increases the likelihood that your outcomes won’t be significant.
Analyzing your outcomes
Start by focusing on the key performance indicators (KPIs) identified in the initial test outline and proposition. If you used the split testing interface in Ads manager, you’ll get your winning outcome as soon as the test campaign is over. You’ll receive a notification in Ads manager and an email will be sent to you with the full results.
When you get your split test outcomes, you can audit them to discover insights about the best performing ads. These insights can help you determine your ad strategy and plan your next campaign. Generally, split testing allows you to test what ad works for you and what doesn’t. By reviewing the ad sets that performed best or worst, you’ll also be in a position to assess what offered the most value.
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