Both audience and creatives are the essential items before getting started on any Facebook Ads split test.
- We launched a new campaign in the US territories and have only seen '3' conversions come through on Facebook. I've been split testing audiences (broad, LL, interest) and creative. I'm at a loss on what to do...
- I have a clear winner based on the CPM, CTR and Relevance Score. Shall I kill the split test and use the clear winner?
- Will Facebook reenter the learning phase if I rerun it or will continue from there?
You can't test creative without audience;
You can't test audience without creative.
It was like asking “Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?” in Facebook language.
Several digital marketing agencies love to serve established clients, advising them on how to scale up their campaigns using new methods. One of the reasons is that they already have a purchasing audience in place - they know who their customer is.
What they need is either an expansion plan or more creative approaches; while you as a Facebook media buyer are more likely to succeed in whatever you suggest.
Likewise, if you own a business that has been operating for more than a year, the audience is never your primary concern. All you need to do is to sort out new ideas to keep your Facebook creative fresh so that your audience won't get bored watching the same video over and over again.
However, if you have just started a business (Whether Lead Generation or E-Commerce) and plan to use Facebook Ads to get your first conversion, now you have a problem to fix.
While there are multiple strategies and ideologies on campaign setup, here are my 2+1 cents on setting up split tests on Facebook Ads:
- Start With the Core Audience
Regardless of what you're trying to sell, you should already know who your primary customer is. For example, if you run a business selling Coffee Beans directly to end-users, your core audience would be Coffee enthusiasts who love to brew coffee themselves (but not the cafe hoppers who would visit different cafes every weekend). Now you can tailor multiple ad variations talking about different types of coffee, daily coffee fixes, hand-brewed coffee, etc.
- Use "Winning" Ad Creative To Test New Audience
Once you identified the ad creative that works, adapt similar ad creative and test it on your new audience. Facebook users with similar interests would react similarly toward what interact with, and so would their purchasing behavior. Sound familiar? Because this is exactly how Lookalike Audience (LLA/LAL/LAA) works. Using your winning ad creative, and combining it with Lookalike Audience and the other Detailed Interests available on Facebook Ad Manager would give you a great boost in scaling your campaigns.
- Use Broad Audience To Test New Ad Creatives
After repeating Steps 1 and 2 multiple times, you should have a pretty mature Facebook Pixel (>1000 conversions) in place. At this point, even if you set a broad targeting (aka no targeting at all), Facebook will optimize your ads and show them to the most relevant audience possible. Now you're free to test even more creative formats, as your probability of success is significantly higher as compared to your competitors who've just started.
Of course, the above approach doesn't include the concept of a Conversion Funnel. To combat rising CPM in the Facebook Advertising space, building a conversion funnel will help your business, whether big or small, to grow your audience base and win in a long-term game.