A/B Testing: What It Means, Why It Matters

 In Facebook

So, you’ve decided you want to start advertising on Facebook. That’s great news for you and your business! Facebook ads are wide-reaching, profitable, and effective. However, it can be hard to know where to start, especially when it comes to using demographic targeting to your advantage.

A/B testing is a strategic process that you’ll want to keep in your back pocket. It enables you to determine which marketing strategies work for your goal—and which ones don’t— by directly comparing them to each other. With campaigns on social media, the building process can quickly become complicated and mess with your results. So, what are you supposed to do?

If you plan ahead and strategize, this kind of testing can circumvent a lot of the potential pitfalls of a social campaign! It all starts with an understanding of the three “levels” of an ad campaign: the campaign itself, ad sets, and ads.

 

Anatomy of a Campaign

The campaign refers to the overall goal you want your ads to achieve. This can be anything that could benefit your business; for example, you might want to generate page likes, or send traffic to your website.

Ad sets are the next level down, and specify the target of your campaign. Perhaps you want to reach Spanish-speaking men in their mid-30s. Maybe, you think you really need to hone in on women over 60 who purchase cat food four times a month. Whatever the target, this is where you identify it. Ad sets are also where you figure out campaign logistics, such as your budget and schedule.

Finally, you have the individual ad. This is what ends up getting posted and sent out to your audience.

Because there can be multiple ad sets in a campaign, and multiple ads in a set, the number of individual assets needed for your campaign—images, graphics, creative copy—can pile up and start to feel daunting. Don’t worry! Here’s where A/B testing comes into play.

 

Never fear—A/B Testing is here!

If you run one ad at a time, your results won’t be efficient. Don’t create and pay for hundreds of ads before you know what works! Start off small, with a manageable number of ads, using different creative for each. This way, you’ll be able to test them against one another and see what performs best.

For example, consider the following two ads:

Both of these advertise the same promotion, and both feature the same written copy. However, the differences between these images can drastically change how a viewer perceives a product. “Is the product age appropriate? Is it suitable for my lifestyle?” If viewers, for the most part, find themselves answering “no,” they won’t want your product—after all, they won’t think it’s meant for them!

Each ad in a set pulls from that set’s budget, so if you want to test multiple demographics, you will need to make sure you have multiple sets. However, if you’re just testing on Facebook, you may not want to jump straight to a narrow target audience!

For example, Digital Marketer’s Molly Pittman says of demographics: “In terms of Age (and Gender), a big misconception that a lot of people have is that they MUST define their audiences by these parameters.” When you advertise on Facebook, you have access to demographic information about the types of people taking action on your ad. So, if you start broadly, you may discover interesting trends about who responds most to your posts. Use that information to focus your advertisements if you’re not sure where to start!

 

Need help getting started?

Now you’ve got all the basics to start A/B testing your own social media campaign! Or, if you’d rather leave it to the experts, get in contact with the Marketing Doctor team. We do this stuff in our sleep: testing ads, figuring out what works, and optimizing wildly successful campaigns!

Let us help your business! Reach out and find out what we can do for you today: https://www.mymarketingdoctor.com/services/social-media/

 

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