Traction and Scale - Creative

Learn How to Test in Facebook's Ads Manager

1. Formats

  • Video
  • Link Image
  • Carousel
  • Cinemagraph
  • GIF
  • Canvas
  • Lead Ad

2. Style

  • Graphic
  • Illustration Photo (Lo-Fi vs Stock)
  • Colors (Bright vs Accent)
  • Copy on image

3. What works best at different stages (cold, warm, hot)?

4. What works best for different platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network)?

5. What works best for different audiences?

6. What works best for different offers (webinar, downloadable, purchase)?



Active Management

After your account has been running for a while, you're going to have to approach the concept of what you do on an ongoing basis for management. Have you ever seen a pond that has that layer of gross, disgusting scum on top. You've driven by it, or you've seen it in a park. The problem with that as compared to something like a vibrant, rushing river or stream is that you're dealing with an issue of stagnation. It just sits there. Water doesn't flow in. Water doesn't flow out, so it gets scummy. It's very different than the active nature of something like a babbling brook.

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This is a great picture of your Facebook account. If you let things sit, don't put new in, don't take stuff out, you're going to end up feeling scummy and gross. It's not going to have that same feel to it as if you're in there actively testing.

Always, Be, Testing

Let's talk a little bit about testing. To borrow from Alec Baldwin in this case, your ABT, always be testing. 

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What we want to be doing here is thinking about how we can be actively involved in your account, how we can be making things change and move to see constant progress and growth, so we don't become like that stagnant, scummy pond.

What Can You Test?

What do you test? The list is almost endless, but let's talk about a few things that you should be testing. First up, ad formats. There's a variety of options out there, and there's more all the time. There's everything from whether you're serving a single image or multiple images in a carousel to the type of ad that you're running. Are you collecting leads? Are you driving people to a website? Are you pushing people into a mobile canvas experience? Are you trying to get people to watch a video? There's a variety of options out there, and you need to be testing to see what your audience reacts best to.

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Plus, there's placement. Are your ads going to show up on Instagram, Facebook? Are they going to show up on the audience network offsite? Are they going to be in the feed? Are they going to be in the right column? Are they going to be in stories, or instant articles? There's so many options. You have to test to find out what performs best.

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As an example, lots of people write off instant articles, or the audience network because they're not in the core of what they think of as Facebook or Instagram advertising, but these are great placements and can be had for much cheaper from a CPM and CPP standpoint because of the inventory being so much lower, which can result in cheaper conversions and cheaper traffic.

Design and Style

What about the design and style of your ads? Are you going to use illustrations, or maybe product photos? Are you going to do designed collages or more natural shots, stock photos, or custom photography only?

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These are all things that you need to consider, and they're heavily driven by your brand. You may have the option of testing things to find out what people will respond best to and then incorporating that into other marketing.

Slice Your Data Down Further

Finally, when you're developing your test plan, think about segmentation. How do you slice your data down further? It's not just as simple as, does video work, or should I run on Instagram? It's what stage is the audience? Are they cold, warm, or hot? Have they been to my site before? Are they top, middle, or bottom of funnel? What type of audience is this? Is it a lookalike, a cold audience? Is it an audience of moms in their 30s, or single teenagers, or senior citizens? What about the ad created as matched with the platform? For example, we found that the same carousel might work very well on Facebook and not as well on Instagram.

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What about different offers? You might have better success driving to a webinar with a single image, but see better response on direct engagement from a video. Consider what you're asking people to do, and what you're trying to get them to execute on, and how that might impact what type of creative, placement, or style you're using. Ultimately, the testing is an ongoing, never-ending process that's never complete. You're always looking to push the conversion rate higher, the click through rate higher, the cost per click lower, find more reach, more impressions, and more opportunities. Just remember our Glengarry, Glen Zuckerberg, and always be testing. 

About the Instructor

JP Vanderlinden, Director of Digital