How To Split Test Audience & Creative On Facebook Ads

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 β€œWhich Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?” in Facebook language.


There are a number of digital marketing agencies love to serve established clients, advising them how to scale up their campaigns using new methods. One of the reasons is because, they already have a purchasing audience in place - they know who their customer are.

What they need is either an expansion plan, or more creative approaches; while you as a Facebook media buyer is more likely to succeed in whatever you suggest.

Likewise, if you own a business which has been operating more than a year, 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 out 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 test on Facebook Ads:

  1. Start With 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-user, your core audience would be Coffee Enthusiast who love to brew coffee themselves (but not the cafe hoppers who would visit different cafes every weekend). Now you can tailor multiple ads variations talking about different types of coffee, daily coffee fix, hand brewed coffee, and etc.
  2. 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 interest would react similarly towards what interact with, and so does their purchasing behaviour. Sound familiar? Because this is exactly how Lookalike Audience (LLA/LAL/LAA) works. Use your winning ad creative, and combine it with Lookalike Audience and the other Detailed Interests available on Facebook Ad Manager would definitely give you a great boost on scaling your campaigns.
  3. Use Broad Audience To Test New Ad Creatives
    After repeating Step 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 starting out.

Of course, the above approach doesn't include the concept of Conversion Funnel. To combat rising CPM in Facebook Advertising space, building a conversion funnel will definitely help your business, whether big or small, to grow your audience base and win in a long term game.