Testing Your Facebook Advertising Creative

by | Dec 14, 2016 | Social Media | 0 comments

In a previous post, we discussed best practices for creating Facebook Ads. As part of that article, I mentioned testing different Facebook advertising creative. Today, I’m going to walk you through five tips when testing ad creative in your effort to get the best performing ad on Facebook.

1. We’re All Snowflakes

We’re all special and so are our businesses, our customers, and even our Facebook ads. Each of our businesses appeals to a different audience. Each audience responds to content in different ways. What works for one business, may not work for another.

Keep that in mind as you go through this process. My results with my business and my customers may be entirely different than yours. Adding a methodical approach to testing advertising creative on Facebook allows you to introduce some logic into a seemingly arbitrary process.

2. Never Use Text… Unless…

As a rule, we never use text in the photos and video that we use in our Facebook advertising. But, if you believe my point above, you know that never giving it a shot may be a mistake.

Facebook used to have a twenty percent limit on text in ads. They have lifted the limit but now warn that, with text in your creative, your ad may not perform well. A lot of advertisers have since stopped using text altogether to ensure the best ad performance.

Give it a shot. If you believe that your visual creative is something special, test it with text in the creative and without. You may find that the text adds enough quality to the content that it does, in fact, perform well.

Go forth snowflake! Prove Facebook wrong!

3. Wear Out that Camera Card

Go out and take a lot of photos. We have been surprised by what photos have performed well for our customers. Not so surprising is the type of photo that does well. Photos that seem less professional get a better response.

It probably has something to do with the nature of Facebook. Users scroll through photo after photo from their friends and family. When presented with a photo that looks professional and heavily Photoshopped, it pops from their newsfeed. In the wrong way. It screams “Advertisement!” and we’re conditioned to skip ads. The more organic and natural, or amateur photos seems to perform better.

With that in mind, take multiple photos. Play with backgrounds, lighting, angles. Focus tight on fine details or zoom out to show an item in use as part of a bigger scene. You never know what is going to resonate with your Facebook audience. You will quickly find out.

4. Let the Best One Win

Quickly getting feedback is one of the great advantages of Facebook advertising. You’ll know in days which advertisement works and which don’t. The results will surprise you.

To accomplish this, decide on the best copy that you can come up with and use it for all of the initial versions of your ad. Don’t vary it at all, yet. Then use three to five different photos or video to compete against each other as part of the same ad set. After about three to five days, one should clearly be the winner.

Three to five days is the amount of time that Facebook takes to optimize your ads to perform best. Facebook couldn’t explain to us exactly what that meant but, in short, Facebook tries to serve the best ad that will provide the best user experience. In turn, the advertiser gets the best bang for their buck with the top performing ad.

After that period, turn off all of the ads except the top performing ad. The top ad will have the most impressions and the most clicks. Most likely it will also have the lowest cost per click or impression, depending on the metric you are using for the ad.

5. Say What!?!

Now that you have the best creative for your Facebook ad, it’s time to optimize that copy. This is more important than you may think. An attention-grabbing post can mean the difference between success and failure.

We have done this in many ways. Although sometimes we have too many options to test, we try to decide on one headline and description up front. We then play with the post itself.

Again, our recommendation is to try three to five post variations. We try short link bait posts like…

“This is an amazing deal!”


“You won’t believe this…”

We hate them but they work.

As an alternative, hopefully, you can come up with a few posts that provide value to your audience. Tell them what they will see or get when they click your ad. Let them know what to expect. Try short, one sentence posts. Try long paragraphs. Try posts with, and without, emojis. You never know what may work.

Run your ad copy tests for another day or three. The same thing will happen as in the previous step. The best one will win. Stop all other ads and roll with that one for the remainder of your advertising campaign.

One Last Tip

This process should have taken about a week. At the end, your ad should be refined to the best performing ad possible.

This tip comes directly from Facebook’s advertising team… Remember to always set an end date for your ad. Facebook does not optimize ads well if they do not have an end date. Also, do not let your ad run for more than thirty days. If you want to run the same ad, create a new ad set.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, we are happy to hear them. Happy advertising.


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