Improve Performance of Facebook Ads With Multi-Variate Testing

Melody Park
November 2, 2011

As the Facebook Ads platform is still relatively new, a standard method of performing Multi-Variate Testing is virtually non-existent. This in turn, can make it a daunting task for the advertiser to develop and theorize the best way to conduct a fair test between different ad variations. The method outlined below helps advertisers set up this type of testing.


Frequency Capping will always be an issue when advertising on Facebook. Facebook Frequency Capping ensures that the same creative does not get overexposed to a user. However, this is a pain point for the advertiser that wants to try multi-variate testing. Facebook stops showing an ad after it means a certain threshold, in turn the advertiser loses the crucial volume needed for the test. The best way to work around Facebook’s Frequency Capping is to properly set up the testing. This will ensure an easy and clean test where you will receive the maximum data possible before your ads fall victim to “staleness.”

Set Up

Create a separate campaign for each ad variation. For example, you want to test creatives A, B, and C with a standard set of demographics. You would create three separate campaigns for creatives A, B, and C. All three campaigns should have the same demographic targeting to ensure a fair test. Building your testing this way will prevent any segment overlap between the different ad variations. Facebook will always deliver the intended volume as long as there are no overlapping segments. You will also be able to report on the results with a campaign level report.

Also set your new ads with a high initial CPC. It is recommended to use the maximum suggested bid given by the Facebook UI. Since all your campaigns will have the same target demographic, you can have the same bid for all ad variations. This will ensure that all you receive a good baseline CTR, leading to towards more volume before the ad becomes stale.

More Options

With the challenges of Facebook, it is best to utilize the different tools that are available. You can also leverage different Facebook capabilities for your test:

  • Facebook Page: Track leads by directing users to a fan or event page instead of an outbound site. You will be able to track the number of “Connections” received. Connections include “Likes” and “RSVPs”.
  • Friend of Connections: Expand the relevancy of your ads by delivering to the friends of users that have already connected to your page.
  • Sponsored Stories: You can increase visibility with “word-of-mouth” recommendations.
  • Lead Capture Form: Create a tab within your Facebook page with a custom lead capture form. You will be able to not only receive Facebook Connections data but true leads as well.

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