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How to Run an A/B test on Facebook

Every online marketer knows the phenomenon: A/B testing. It almost sounds as simple as it actually is. You create two ads and give both of them a different element in terms of ad-copy, creative or landingspage.

2 min read

How Can you Objectively Run an A/B test for Facebook Advertising?

Patrick de Wolff, social marketer at Pink Marketing has written his opinion about objective A/B tests for Facebook advertising.

Every online marketer knows the phenomenon: A/B testing. It almost sounds as simple as it actually is. You create two ads and give both of them a different element in terms of ad-copy, creative or landingspage. After running the campaign, measure the results of both ads. One of the ads have generated the best results. This ad is your winner and the other one is your loser. Determine which element has caused the better results, this is A/B testing in a nutshell.

For Facebook Advertising it is also very useful and important to improve the performance of your campaign step by step. Especially because Facebook advertising offers you the opportunity to attribute specific elements to your ads. Experience tells us that particular design (picture, video, or carousel) and your chosen landing pages can be of great impact on the effectiveness of your ad. As mentioned, A/B testing looks easy right?

Why running an A/B test for Facebook advertising isn’t as easy as it looks like

As an advertiser, Facebook helps you to optimize your ads by using their algorithms. How that works? Facebook allows you to set your budget on an ad-set level. Many advertisers assign a budget to an ad-set and test their ads in this ad-set. 

Within a very short time (a few hours) Facebook will determine which of the two ads performs the best. Facebook will show this ad more to your target audience, which means that in the end 90% of your budget is spent on this “best performing” ad.

In my opinion this isn’t an objective A/B test, since Facebook already determines which of your ads is performing better after a few hours. The poorer performing ad is for that reason been shown less to your target audience after a few hours, so it can’t perform any better.

How you can run an objective A/B test on Facebook

By splitting your budget and assign this to 2 separate ad-sets you can certainly run an objective A/B test! By using this strategy you prevent Facebook from funneling your budget to one of your ads after several hours. This allows you to draw a proper conclusion based on an extended period in which you spend the same amount of budget on both ads. 

“I’m not the first advertiser who invented this way of running A/B tests! Achmed Awad, co-founder of The Next Ad themselves also realized this already and came up with a very good solution for social marketers. The Next Ad (TNA), a management platform for social advertising, enables users ability to test automatically and objectively ads through “Hyper Optimization”. This functionality automatically test your ads with a proportional budget and term before your budget is moved to your absolute winner.”

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Sanne Kruis

The Marketing Manager of The Next Ad. Passionate about Social (Advertising), volleyball player and loves to socialise. Nice to meet you! 

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