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A/B testing for Highly Effective Facebook Ads

A/B testing for Highly Effective Facebook Ads

One of our recent assignments was to take the lead on a Facebook advertising campaign for a client who wanted to drive brand awareness, boost website traffic, and increase email sign-ups.

Using A/B testing, we did just that. Take a look at the month’s reports through Hubspot that prove it:

Website visits jumped 58%.

Lead generation (email contacts collected) went up by 162%.

So what’s A/B testing?

A/B testing is the testing of different versions of a piece of content to see which one is most effective with the target audience.

With this Facebook advertising campaign, a clear winner was the version that got the highest engagement levels and the most website clicks, as these were our objectives for the campaign.

To find our winner, we created 4 different versions of the same ad, but with slight variations. It looked like this:

Version 1: Standard copy/standard image

Version 2: Standard copy/different image

Version 3: Different copy/standard image

Version 4: Different copy/different image

Testing different combinations of copy and images allowed us to see which one was most effective with the target audience and helps up learn how to create better ads in the future (based on those findings.)


The different image and different copy we used offered something distinctive in comparison to the standard versions.

For the test copy, we took a different angle and spoke to a different motivator than we did in the standard version.

The test image was more zoomed in and had warmer tones than the standard image.


Through our testing, we found that one version in particular was far outperforming the others (Version 4) at the end of one week.  It had 3x the amount of engagement and website clicks than all other versions.


Because our testing pointed to a solid winner, we then turned off all three other versions and let the rest of the ad budget run through on just the ad that was most effective.

This ensures that the best possible version of the ad is the one that gets to use up the remaining ad dollars.


Thanks to this successful campaign, the client was able to see a dramatic increase in website traffic and in their list of email subscribers just in the first 10 days of the campaign.

With these new email addresses collected, they can continue the conversation in email communications and move their new contacts down the sales funnel.

Therefore, these people who initially discovered them through a Facebook ad and filled out a form can become sales (and even repeat customers!)

Want help with your next Facebook ad campaign, too? Let's talk.

Instagram: Open for Advertising

Instagram: Open for Advertising

On Tuesday, Instagram announced that it opened the gates of advertising to all businesses on their platform.

Though ads have been tested by a few large companies and organizations over the last several months, it's now possible for businesses of any size to hop on board and advertise to the platform's 300M+ users (which is roughly the same audience size as Twitter.)

So how does one go about advertising on this platform? The site offers a few tips for those considering taking the leap:

1. Start with Clear Goals

Think about how Instagram fits into your overall marketing strategy. Is your objective to increase awareness, shift perception, or reach a new audience? Pick an objective that can be reached by connecting with Instagram's highly visual and creative community.

2. Tell a cohesive story

Choose images that tell a story about your brand and are include captivating imagery. Create posts that follow these themes for a diversity of content that also remains consistent over time.

3. Take the time to create high-quality content

Work with your brand or creative team to produce images and videos that are well-crafted and feel at home on the platform. Or, if you're a smaller team, study your competitors and favorite brands to study their strategy for images that catch your eye.

They also recommend utilizing features such as hashtags and filters to enhance photos even more.

Instagrammers Who Understand Curation

Advertising is only one facet of a larger Instagram story, which is to communicate a visual representation of what your brand stands for.

Think of it like this: Instagram is a place where you create a general story, look, and feel behind your brand. Image what your ideal customer's life looks like when complimented by your product or service, and then emulate it visually through your business account.

A few of our personal favorites who do this well are:


Their focus is always around the product--but not the hard sell. Instead, they curate a series of lookbook and lifestyle images that have a uniform appearance.

The Peach Truck

The Peach Truck knows how to make its product (peaches) look mouth wateringly good on Instagram. Bonus: They make great use of the 16 second video clip there, too.

Enjoy Illinois

This tourism organization leverages fantastic photographs to inspire the wanderlust in all of their followers. They focus on color, crisp images, and locations that have a story to tell.

Instagram Advertising: The Next Social Media Advertising Frontier

Will ads on this platform be successful? It's too soon to tell. But being under Facebook's wing sure helps (as their advertising numbers are up year over year.)

We'll be testing ads to see how users respond to different types of ads on this platform. Stay tuned for results.



Secret Sauce: Creating Facebook Ads that Work

Secret Sauce: Creating Facebook Ads that Work

Lots of people are still on the fence about Facebook ads.

"Do they actually work?" "Will all of my interaction come from spam accounts?"

These are the questions we hear most often in relation to advertising on this platform.

But managing the social media outlets for several clients in various industries, we've seen Facebook ads produce powerful results (on a relatively small budget.) In fact, one client saw a 66% increase in monthly website visits from one Facebook ad campaign.

There is, however, a "secret sauce" to creating effective Facebook ads. You really need to have a game plan going in so yo don't waste your precious time or financial resources.

Lucky for you, we're sharing the strategies we've learned from trial and error today so that you can feel more confident about testing out this advertising medium.

Part One: Choose a Strong Image

Sure, it's easy to grab a stock image or snap a quick smartphone picture on the go. But when you're creating an ad, pretend you're a magazine photography editor. Find (or create) an image that's well composed, colorful, and makes the scrolling reader pause. In general, you should:

  • Feature a product or person from your business (It's proven that people like pretty things and human faces in images on social media)
  • Use high-quality images (Good lighting, solid composure)
  • Relate to the copy you'll include (More on that below)
  • Evoke an emotional response (Do puppy photos make you smile?)
  • Align with your other images (Stick to one filter to create a sense of cohesiveness)
  • Don't get stale (Don't be afraid to change your ad image if you see interaction begin to drop off)

Think of it like this: The image is the attention grabber, and the copy is what seals the deal. So, let's talk copy...

Part Two: Craft Great Copy

The words that you'll include in your Facebook ad are limited, so you need to make them count. Here's the process l typically follow when building Facebook ad copy:

  1. Define your objective. Pick one objective that you want your ad to accomplish. That might be website clicks, app downloads, etc. Facebook will have you select your goal as step one in the process. Your copy should cleverly convince the reader to do just what you want them to.
  2. Decide who you're writing for. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Think about your ideal customer and the pain points he or she faces. Write copy that speaks directly to that person.
  3. Remove the hard sell. Typically, the flashy sales strategy employed by car dealerships won't fly on Facebook. Instead, keep a conversational tone. Make your reader laugh, or cry, or stop and think.
  4. Be direct. Include a price when you can! It eliminates uncertainty and gives the reader a reason to act.
  5. Put a time frame on it. Urgency is a powerful motivator...and so is exclusivity. Encourage your reader to act right now rather than thinking it over (and maybe talking him or herself out if it.)

Part Three: Define, Target, and Place Ads

This last part relates to the ins and outs of how you'll target your ad and where it will display to Facebook users.

First, you need to define a few important things: One being your budget. I suggest starting small with a budget of $100-$500. Then, as you get the hang of things and find out what works well for your audience, you can increase the amount slowly.

You also need to put a time frame on your campaign. Will it run for a week? A day? Shorter campaigns (less than two weeks) help keep your ads fresh.

When targeting, you can customize your audience based on location, gender, behaviors, interests, and more. Your main objective here is to define that ideal customer and then fill out those sections based on that persona.

Ask yourself, "What age range does my ideal customer fall in? What are his/her interests and hobbies? What's important to him/her?" These questions will help dictate how you target.

Then, think about placement. In my experience, Facebook ads placed only on the Desktop feed and in the mobile feed are most effective. Right-side bar placement and placement within Facebook's extended network (outside sites) have not produced great results, so I always stick with desktop/mobile display.

Bombs away!

Now it's go time. Launch your campaign, and carefully monitor the results each day. If you're into testing your ads, try running three ads at the same time, but with a different take on each one. This will help you more quickly understand what resonates with your audience.

The bottom line

Are you still going to get some junk interactions? Most likely. But that happens with any kind of ad. If you've done your targeting correctly, that shouldn't be as much of a concern.

Before writing Facebook ads off completely, do some research of your own. Test them. Tweak them. You might be pleasantly surprised at how effective they can be.