Facebook Ads A/B Testing

Facebook Ads A/B Testing: An Overview of Split Testing

In Digital Marketing, Paid Social by Kaomi Team

This will provide you with a user-friendly overview of split testing in Facebook by A/B testing the Facebook adverts to judge which adverts perform better – and why.

Facebook ad types

If you’re new to the concept of Facebook advertising, then there’s quite a lot to know. It’s considered one of the most cost-effective, far-reaching and diverse advertising mediums for good reason. One of the reasons it’s just so impactful is the sheer diversity of advertising types on offer. 

  • Facebook Video ads – These follow a similar format to the Link Click ads but, rather than a still image, you’re able to use a video advert. These are generally 15 to 30 seconds maximum and can be placed on a continuous loop
  • Carousel ads – This is where you’re able to run promotional offers, or showcase a range of products, in a single Facebook ad. You can upload up to 10 images, videos, headlines or links in one advert. This is a good option for those with e-commerce businesses.
  • Canvas ads – This mobile-based advertising format lets users engage with the promoted content, including swiping through images, tilting and zooming. 
  • Collection ads – If you have a series of products that you’re looking to advertise on Facebook, then this is the latest format which allows users to browse and purchase items. 
  • Story ads – Optimised for a vertical, full-screen view, these customisable adverts allow users to become immersed in your contact, inspiring them to take action. 
  • Messenger ads – These engage with consumers through Facebook’s Messenger platform, with a call-to-action leading them to a site, app or conversation.  
  • Slideshow ads – These emulate video ads in that there’s motion, but they’re more cost-effective because they tell a story using images. 

These ad types, among others, are then serviced depending on your advertising campaign objectives. This allows you to decide whether you’re looking to optimise clicks for web traffic, leads, or website conversions. 

Why Facebook ads?

We’ve had a look at the variety of Facebook ad types available, but there’s more to why this particular platform is such a lucrative advertising space. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why Facebook can enhance your business reach. 

Data sources

The amount of data voluntarily provided by Facebook users – including age, location and interests – allows for much more targeted, and therefore more effective, advertising. Depending on the individual, the ads will be tailored to products they’re more likely to purchase or events they’re keen to attend. 

Extensive analytics

Facebook is renowned for producing extensive reports and analytics on ad performance, empowering you with information about what is working and what isn’t. This includes information related to reach, post engagement, page ‘Likes’, and content performance. 

Customisable ads

In addition to walking you through the process of advertising, you are able to customise the ad to audience type, budget and timeframe. You have more control around optimising the ad for a better brand response. 

Further reach

Facebook prioritises family and friend posts over business posts which means that, to extend your reach, organic reach is not going to do it. If you’re on Facebook to attract customers, then you will need to advertise to attract an audience. 

Seamless user experience

Unlike with other social media platforms, Facebook doesn’t interrupt the user experience to showcase ads, rather they form a seamless part of the scrolling process. You can either check out the ad, or just keep scrolling. 

There’s a call-to-action (CTA)

Facebook ads will come with a CTA button that can be tailored to your audience. These will come in these forms:

  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Download
  • Contact Us
  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Watch More
  • Apply Now


This is a valuable way of getting people’s attention because, while they might be interested the first time they see your ad, they might be unsure about your brand. But, if they see it again, there’s more trust that this is a reputable brand. The more they see it, the more likely you’re able to capture a new audience. 

*Pro tip: When you re-market to audiences who have already seen your brand, advertise strong value propositions such as limited time offers, special discounts or other promotions. 

Cost-effective ads

Facebook has a high click-through-rate (CTR) and, the better you understand the advertising platform, the better your business is likely to do – all at a relatively low cost. By spending a small amount of money, you’re able to reach a large, dedicated audience. 

What is Facebook Ads Manager?

This is an ad management tool that is able to formulate, edit and then analyse paid promotional campaigns on Facebook. This is a relatively new tool that Facebook created by combining Ads Manager and Power Editor onto a single platform. This allows you to both create and monitor the ad performance across various Facebook-owned platforms

What are the Facebook Ads Manager features?

With this innovative advertising management tool, you get some incredible features, including:

  • Choosing which devices your ad will display on – laptop, mobile or both;
  • Uploading contact lists for custom audience targeting;
  • Choosing where on the page the ad will feature – news feed or column; and
  • A/B testing for most effective ad elements.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing – also known as split testing – is an advertising testing strategy that allows you to determine the performance of an ad before it is even published. Through A/B testing, you are able to adjust the variables of the advertising platform to hypothesise the best advertising strategy, including ad type and placement. 

Once you’ve chosen a variable to test, the budget will be divided for testing on creative, audience and placement variables. This will then measure the strategy’s potential performance on a cost-per-result or cost-per-conversion basis. 

Split testing will experiment with which ad headlines, body copy, images or call-to-action work best with your target audience, as well as determining which is your ideal audience. Once this has been completed, the results will give you statistical insight into which ad format performs best. 

Facebook ad testing strategy best practices

If you’re considering A/B testing on Facebook – and it really is encouraged to maximise your ROI – then there are certain strategies that will streamline the process for you. Here are the best split testing practices. 

Test one variable at a time

Don’t give into the temptation to test all variables at once because then you end up muddying the results. Rather test one variable at a time so that you get much quicker, more relevant results which are easier to evaluate. 

Choose the audience

While A/B Testing can assist in finding your ideal audience, it’s best to go in with an idea of the target audience, preferably a different audience if you’re already running a Facebook ad campaign. The audience will need to be large enough so that you can attain usable results. 

Structure the A/B Testing campaign

Your ad campaign can be tested as either a:

  • Single-set ad where all ad variations are within one ad set anatomy; or
  • Multiple single-variation ad sets where each ad variation is placed in separate ad set testing diagrams. 

Use measurable hypotheses and timeframes

It’s best to use easy-to-understand, measurable hypotheses for delivery optimisation as well as a timeframe that will provide enough usable information. You can run an A/B test for up to 30 days, with a minimum recommended timeframe of at least four days. 

Ensure the A/B Testing is valid

You will need to have a sufficient number of results to ensure that your final conclusion is valid. This means putting your results through an A/B significance test as well. 

Set a realistic budget 

Facebook is able to provide you with an ideal budget based on your test details, alternatively you can set your own budget according to your ad spend. To ensure your results are valid, then you’ll probably require at least 100 conversions per ad variation. However, if a split test variation is quite obviously outperforming the others, then you are able to stop the testing a bit sooner. 

What are the benefits of Facebook A/B testing?

Getting your A/B testing right means you’re getting the most out of the Facebook advertising platform. Here’s a breakdown of what this means for your business. 

  • Increased click-through-rate – You’re able to test which format is most likely to click on your website and increase web traffic. 
  • Increased conversion rate – By performing a thorough variable test, you will increase the number of people who submit information, thereby converting them to a lead. 
  • Decrease your bounce rate – If one of your problems is retaining potential customers, the testing process can identify why they’re leaving and amend this. 
  • Boost sales – The ultimate goal is to increase business sales, which means decreasing the number of people who abandon their shopping carts and follow through on the sale. 

Facebook is a leading platform for business advertising, and with the spike in online transactions over the past year, it’s vital that businesses are taking advantage of online advertising, including pay-per-click marketing, for realistic business growth. Through split testing, businesses stand a strong chance of achieving their goals, and there are many digital marketing managers able to assist in effective Facebook Ads A/B testing.