Have you ever run a social ad campaign with many different ads, only to have most of them perform poorly – with maybe one ad in the bunch that takes off like a rocket? What about when you tried to replicate the results of that great performing campaign, and you were left disappointed when your new ads didn’t perform as well? How about when you achieved pretty good campaign performance, but you couldn’t figure out what caused the results because your ads manager is so disorganized?
If this sounds like your company’s current ad campaign experience, then this technical guide on how to A/B test your social ad campaigns is for you.
Why Should You A/B Test Your Ad Campaigns?
A/B testing allows you to systematically test and optimize your ad campaigns so your marketing investment delivers more value (leads, traffic, follows, etc) for your dollar. If you are not testing your ad funnels, you’re wasting precious time and money on poor performing campaigns.
The ROI difference between a well-optimized ad campaign and a poorly performing campaign can make or break a company’s marketing budget. That’s why the top industry market leaders are using A/B testing to get consistently better marketing ROI – because it helps their bottom line.
How Does Social Ad A/B Testing Work?
An A/B test is the process of testing two or more variables against one other to determine which performs better for reaching your desired goal. Sounds easy, right? Well, it actually can be if organized properly!
Let’s imagine that you are trying to get more social media followers for your interior product firm. You might run two ads that are exactly the same, other than they each have a unique headline. One has a headline that says “Follow ABC Interior Product Co for The Latest Interior Products” and the other says “For The Latest Interior Products Follow ABC Interior Product Co”.
Notice closely that the headlines essentially say the exact same thing, but even that small change in word order has shown a significant difference in results in many of our client campaigns. Add some image testing, copy testing, audience testing, placement testing, and landing page testing on top of this – and you start to amass a ton of variables and different ad sets to keep up with. This is where the powerful methodology of the Bizop Media A/B Testing Process comes into play.
The Bizop Media A/B Testing Methodology
Through using this A/B testing method we’ve seen up to 5000% improvement in client ad campaigns within the course of a few months. In just a few test iterations clients have gone from a budget-wasting $5 cost per click and a paltry 0.5% click-through rate to an amazingly affordable $0.10 cost per click with a 5% click-through rate.
The results are consistent because they are driven by a very precise methodology that eliminates the guesswork. No longer will you be left wondering how to create the best campaign – you’ll know exactly what is driving the results.
Step 1: Preparing for your campaign
Define your primary campaign goal
First, we need to determine what the ultimate goal of the campaign will be. Is it to build your email list, generate sales, get in contact with leads, get more traffic to your blog, more follows on your social page, increase your brand awareness, something else? Defining this will narrow down our campaign type options later one when we build out the campaign and give a clear direction for the entire funnel.
Define your campaign budget & schedule
Next, we need to calculate your total campaign budget and the desired timeline to run the campaign. If you are unsure of what the campaign budget should be, feel free to copy our Ad Conversion Calculator Template to ensure accurate estimations when calculating your advertising costs.
Keep in mind you can accelerate the testing timeline by increasing your budget. You can generally choose between lifetime campaign cost, meaning you will never spend more than X amount for the whole campaign, or max daily budget, which caps your campaign at the max daily spend.
Define your ideal target audience
Once you’ve set your campaign goal, got a budget approved, and a timeline in place, it’s time to define who exactly we are trying to target with this campaign. The more persona traits we can gather here the better. What does your ideal target look like? How old are they? What publications do they read? Where do they live? These questions and more are all characteristics that need to be researched and identified.
Some common audience identifiers include: interests, age, gender, demographic, location, job title, frequented platforms, problems, favorite publications, etc.
Define your potential offer
What’s in it for me? That’s what your potential customer is going to ask themselves subconsciously when they see your ad. That’s also what they are going to be asking themselves throughout the entire funnel.
We need to clearly define what you are offering and why they should care. Whether it be a free download that will help them solve a problem or a contest to win a trip to BDNY (looking at you Samuelson Furniture) – you must communicate why it’s in their best interest to proceed with what you’re asking.
Keep in mind people are skeptical on the internet, so be sure to stick true to your brand, keep it human, and always deliver value.
Prepare your A/B Test Tracking Spreadsheet
Now that you’ve got the high-level campaign details laid out, it’s time to write them down and make them official. Feel free to copy our A/B Test Tracking Spreadsheet Template to save time and document your campaign goal, budget, timeline, and variables moving forward.
Campaign planning pro-tip:
The key to optimizing ad campaigns successfully over time is good organization. If you don’t analyze and document what you’ve learned during these tests, it can’t be applied in the future.
Step 2: Designing your ad campaign (DISPATCH Method)
At this point you have the high-level campaign strategy put together and documented in the A/B Test Tracking Spreadsheet, so now we focus on designing the actual campaign specifics and creating content.
Feel free to create these ad variations in whichever order you prefer; the DISPATCH acronym is just there to remember all of the potential testing variables available to us when we’re creating campaigns. The Bizop team starts with the high-level channel sources, campaign type, audiences, and destination offer and moves down to the ad specifics as we go forward.
Choose your landing page destinations (D)
Define the landing page you would like to direct visitors to if applicable. This landing page should match the ad offers exactly in branding and messaging to create consistency and flow. If a landing page is used, it’s very important to make sure it loads quickly and has an engaging message with the benefits and next steps clearly conveyed. Try testing different landing page versions and compare by the offer, message, copy, visuals, layout, colors, page length to name a few.
To continue reading, download the full whitepaper here:
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