The Importance of A/B Testing In Advertising

Effective marketing is essential for any business, large or small. In the age of the Internet, there’s a lot of data available to tell you how your ads are doing. You can see exactly how many eyeballs are seeing your ad, how many clicks you’re getting and even the demographics of your audience. But how do you know if your ad is the best version of itself?

You’d be amazed by how one small change can made a huge difference in how your ad is received. This is why testing your advertising components is critical. Your audience has a short attention span. If your business isn’t putting out the best possible ad to catch their attention, you could be missing out on a large pool of potential customers.

What Is A/B Testing?

You may be asking yourself, what exactly is A/B testing? According to Optimizely, A/B testing is essentially an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.

To put it simply: A/B testing allows you to show your target market multiple versions of the same general ad concept. By only changing one variable between each test, you can determine which version your audience best responds to.

Description of A/B testing

By testing your ads, you’re able to find out which version:

  • Is more relevant to your target audience
  • Is more believable
  • Generates a stronger intent to buy

A/B testing can be used for many different things. You can experiment with how the headlines in your email marketing compare. You can gain insight into user experience by testing which color CTA (Call-To-Action) button best entices visitors. The opportunities really are endless, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on Facebook ads.

What To Test

So, you know you need to test your ads, but what exactly should you be testing?

Creative: This is a great way to see which images resonate the best with your audience. Advertising is a visual medium and as such this is a critical component of any Facebook ad you run.

Message: A simple change in wording for the body of your text or headline can have a drastic impact on your results. Try out different messaging and writing styles to see which provides your business with the highest quality results.

Audience: Create and test different audience profiles to determine which one helps you gain more customers and/or better-quality leads.

Facebook app graphic design

When To Test

The key stages of ad development where your business can benefit from A/B testing.

Campaign Ideation: If you’re having a tough time deciding between different ad concepts, early testing can help you weed out the more ineffective campaign ideas.

Copywriting: Figure out which wording better conveys your message to your audience.

Ad Design: Test your design mock-ups or storyboards before going live to ensure you’re putting your dollars in the right place.

Ad Effectiveness: Once your ads are live, you can continue testing to further optimize for improved performance. This is a great way to track your brand awareness.

How To Test

Testing your ads based on best practices by Facebook is key to getting accurate results that you can gain valuable information from.

Identify the Result You’re Looking For: Are you trying to increase your CTR (Click Through Rate)? Lower your CPC (Cost-Per-Click)? Identifying one actionable goal that you’ll use to measure success will make choosing a winner simple

Isolate One Variable: It’s essential that you keep every variable other than the one you’re testing identical for both ad versions. Otherwise, you won’t be able to identify which component of the ad influenced the differing results.

Give the Test Enough Time: Running an A/B test for a day or two isn’t likely to produce useful data for your business. Give your test enough time to obtain a substantial sample size. This will allow you to determine whether there’s a statistically significant difference between your two ad variations.

Looking For Advertising Help?

If all of this sounds like a lot of work that you don’t have time for, consider partnering with a marketing agency. They have the knowledge and expertise to use these techniques in an effective way that will provide your business with quantifiable results.

Duneland Media works with many local companies helping them to get their message out to potential customers. If you’re interested in working with us, you can call us at (219) 369-4676 or send an email to info@dunelandmedia.com. We look forward to hearing from you!