Creative Ad Testing for Facebook & Instagram

By Tinuiti Team

For advertisers, the competition on Facebook and Instagram is stiff. Demand is rising, costs are up, and the platforms aren’t gaining enough new users to cover the ground.
What results is a highly competitive marketplace in which creative is king — the one thing that can differentiate your brand from the pack and really deliver significant returns for your efforts.

But with so many placements, dwindling attention spans and a desire for hyper-relevance, falling on those picture-perfect creative elements can be difficult. The key to doing it right? That lies in your testing.

Creative Ad Testing Tip 1: Test the Subjective

The problem with creative is that it’s very subjective. Sometimes a piece of copy, an image or a headline will perform great for no real rhyme or reason, and homing in on the why behind your top creative elements is nearly impossible.

This is where having an established testing blueprint in place can shed some light, helping you identify the best-performing creative parts of your ads, as well as how they measure up to other ads and creative elements.

There are two methods you can take when testing: A/B testing or multivariate testing.

A/B testing involves a clean split test, measuring one single variable across two different ads. Multivariate involves testing elements across different audiences, ad units, concepts and more. If you’re new to testing, consider starting with A/B testing first.

Creative Ad Testing Tip 2: The Blueprint

Before beginning, you should create a testing blueprint first. It should include a column for all potential variables — audience, platform, ad type, bidding strategy, etc.

To start, consider testing these elements across two different ads:

Once your ads are running, commit to keeping them up and going for at least a week. After the first day, gauge which ad is performing best and review basic stats like impressions, reach, clicks and CTR.

On days two through four, check out your engagement levels and make any initial optimizations if something is very clearly working/not working. After the full week, optimize your ads toward the winning creative variation, and continue testing new elements.

When evaluating your results, Lauren Guerrieri, the Senior Manager of Paid Social at Tinuiti, says to ask yourself:



If there’s not a clear-cut winner once you’re done testing, Lauren recommends switching KPIs and re-testing the two against a different benchmark. Keep running the tests until you start to see a winner emerge.

Bonus: Pro-Tips for Testing Success

Overall, we recommend putting at least 5% to 10% of your monthly budget toward testing.

We also recommend:



You should also commit to running all new campaigns, creative elements, audiences and any other new effort through your testing blueprint. This helps you get the most of your remaining budget by devoting it to your highest-performing, most-proven tactics first.

Want to learn more about testing your ad creative? Check out our recent webinar now.

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