A couple years ago, I tried Split Testing (A/B Testing) a Facebook Ad. There were two different pieces of creative served up to the same audience. The feature was in BETA, I believe, because it didn't work properly.

It served up both versions of the ad, but in order to get enough traffic to find a winner, it flooded the last two days of the month, which kind of ruined the results.

However, now it seems Facebook Ads' A/B Testing tool is much more advanced, and worth trying. If you're Facebook Ads / Facebook Marketing Company isn't split testing for you, they need to be.

But first, what is Split Testing? Well according to Facebook:

Split testing—also known as A/B testing—is when you show two or more versions of an ad to similar audiences to see which one performs better for your chosen variable. Use Facebook split testing to learn which creative, audience, delivery and placements are best for meeting your marketing goals.

Here's how Facebook A/B Testing Works:

1. A Facebook split test divides your audience into randomized, non-overlapping groups of people.

Learn more about Facebook split testing

2. Each group is shown ad sets that are identical in every way except for the audience, delivery, placement or creative variable you've chosen to test.

Get advice for selecting split testing variables

3. Each ad set's performance is measured against your campaign objective, and the best-performing ad set wins.

Learn how to analyze split test results

4. After the test is complete, you get notified of the winning strategy.

See the best practices for split testing

I'd recommend doing the following:

There are four main campaign variables when you run a regular Facebook Ad.

1. Audience
2. Creative
3. Placement
4. Delivery Optimization

The best way to try this is to create two different Facebook Ads and plan on running them to the same audience, in the same placement, with the same delivery option.

See which one is most effective with the lowest cost per result.

Then, once you have the winning creative, you can use it to test which delivery objective works best. Remember, your delivery objectives? The things that differentiate Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Posts as Facebook serves them up to users based on their algorithm.

From there, you have a double-optimized ad. You have the creative that works best, with the delivery method that works best. So next, you should split test audiences. Say women age 25-35 that live in Austin, TX vs. women age 25-35 that live in Nashville, TN.

Lastly, you should split test placement. Facebook news feed on desktop vs. mobile, or sidebar vs. newsfeed for example, just to ensure your money is being spent most wisely.

And once your ad is optimized, don't forget to keep testing it against future creative. Almost like a game of Jeopardy, the winner should keep playing until they get knocked off their pedestal.

Hit me up with any questions on digital marketing or digital strategy any time at

Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!


Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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