How To Implement A Testing Strategy For Your Facebook Campaigns

Scarlet Sieiro

Facebook has changed the game for advertisers of all kinds. 

It’s advertising tools allow businesses to compete with big brands, offering them multiple possibilities for out smarting their competitors and growing market share.

Automation features like auto bidding and auto placements have simplified the media buying process, allowing advertisers to spend less time inside ads manager.

As budgets and bids are optimized in real time, DTC owners can now focus on marketing their brand leaving the rest upto facebook.

But even after these improvements to the platform, owners are still losing money on Facebook ads. They can’t seem to create profitable ads. 

Many business owners running their own ads will

  •  Create new ad campaigns everyday hoping to finally strike gold and hit profitability
  • Throw stuff at the wall hoping it works 
  • And rely on discounts for some quick wins. 

If you're using an agency to run your ads, you'll be surprised to know that many of them have no processes in place to get you results too.

If you’re serious about using Facebook to drive revenue to your business, you need to embrace these challenges and come up with a plan to succeed. 

Otherwise, you run the risk of ‘shiny object’ syndrome. You know the one where you're bouncing from one platform to the next hoping for that silver bullet.

In this article, I’ll cover:

  • What is testing and why is it important for your business
  • Key mistakes businesses make when implementing a testing strategy 
  • How to develop a testing strategy for your business 

What Is Testing? 

To get a good return on your ad spend (ROAS), you need to create profitable ads. 

All the ads you create won’t be profitable from day one. In fact 95% of your new creatives might even fail to deliver on your goals. 

That's why it's important to test different versions of your ads. So you can understand what resonates with your audience and drives better results. 

This iteration of your ad is known as testing. 

Why Is It Important? 

Now that we’ve understood what testing really is, let's look at why you should develop an in-depth testing strategy for your campaigns.

1. Gain A Competitive Advantage:

One of the key benefits of ad testing is to get a leg up on your competitors. 

To research what creatives are working in a particular market, we use

It's a directory we developed of DTC brands and their ad libraries. 

Your business will have an array of competitors you can look up to, to determine what’s working for them. 

Identify the top competitors in your space and go through their ad libraries. 

Filter to a specific country or just select ‘All’ to view ads in all countries. 

Take a look at: 

  • The kind of language they're using
  • The customer desires they're addressing 
  • The kind of creatives they're running 
  • Creatives are responsible for 75% - 95% of your ads performance

Ads with social proof can give you a rough idea of what's working too. 

Dig into the comments to identify what customers are raving about. See if you can integrate these elements into your own creatives. 

Maybe you see your competitors run a ton of video ads. It's highly likely they're doing that because it's working for them. Use this information and integrate it into your ad ideation process. 

Apart from taking the pressure off of your creative team, you’re also reducing risks as you know this is working. 

As your ads start performing, create new concepts on the backbone of these creatives.

Develop ads that are unique and which will set you apart from your competitors and drive up your ROAS. 

2. Find Profitable Audiences & Ads 

Ads are not the only thing you should be testing. 

You should also be testing your audiences!

As you test, you will start to identify lucrative audiences within your target market. 

No two audiences are alike. Every audience will relate to different marketing messages. How you speak to them will ultimately decide whether they convert or not.

The testing process will help you develop creatives for these audiences and figure out what resonates with them.

As you find an audience and ad match, you can then scale up your spend to reach a wider portion of that audience. 

Without a testing process, it's possible to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on these audiences and not see a return on your investment.

3. Get The Return On Ad Spend You Need

As discussed earlier, a vast majority (95%) of your ad creatives will fail to resonate with your target market. This means only 5% - 1 out of 20 ads will deliver a profitable ROAS. 

Adding to this misery, users on average are exposed to 5000 ads a day. Your competition is spending a lot of money to compete for their attention.

Take a look at this example from Strategyzer. They launched a Facebook campaign to increase ticket sales for their event.

For their first campaign, they tested audiences with different images and the ad looked like this:


After investing $4,443.53 in Facebook ads, they happened to acquire just one sale. Their cost per acquisition (CPA) was $4,443.53. That's an insanely high CPA and their ROAS was in the negative!

To improve their results, their marketing expert used storytelling to give their audience an overview of what they’d learn by attending the event. Here is what the improved ad looked like:

Just by changing the tone and the ad copy, they were able to drive $212,000 in sales from an ad spend of only $11,357.26. That's a return of $18.66 for each $1 spent on Facebook ads.

To drive a high volume of sales into your business, you need creatives that will stand out from the crowd. When people see ads that speak to what they care about, they engage.

And finding this creative means you need to be constantly creating new ads and extensively testing them for performance. 

Ultimately those breakout ads are what make you unique and will drive revenue and increase ROAS for your business.

Key Mistakes People Make When Testing 

Many business owners who do run their own ads realize the need to test. 

But very often it's a case of not setting up a test correctly which leads to inconsistent results. 

Here is why your Facebook testing process might not be delivering you the results you want:

Testing Everything At Once:

One of the most frequent mistakes I’ve seen business owners make is testing everything at once. 

Not only does this skew results, it also prevents you from knowing what is working.

As you start testing, you want to test only one element at a time. 

If you’re testing images, don’t use different headlines.

If you’re testing headlines, then don't use different images.

Concluding A Test Too Fast:

I cannot stress this enough - to validate your creatives you need to have enough impressions on your ads.

Each audience you’re testing needs your ad to be served for a period of time before you conclude your test. That's the only way you'll get statistically significant results. 

In our agency, we ensure our tests go beyond the 24-hour window to avoid discrepancies in results. 

Focusing On Spend Rather Than Impressions:

This too is a fairly common mistake I’ve been witnessing in the accounts I audit. 

Business owners will conclude a test after a certain amount of money has been spent. There’s a caveat to this is -  let's say you want to spend $20 to test two audiences: 

Audience #1 has an average CPM $50

And audience #2 has an average CPM of $10

We know that CPM is defined as the cost per 1000 impressions. 

If you run a test based on spend, audience #1 will get you about 400 impressions for $20. Audience #2 on the other hand will get you 2000 impressions for the same amount of money.

Can you see how this is not statistically significant?

At the agency, we use impressions to understand if our ads have resonated with any audiences.

Testing With Small Audiences: 

The point of testing is to spend the minimum amount of money to test audiences and ads.

Once you find these winning combinations, you can scale spend to get more conversions.

To accompany this scale in spend, Facebook recommends using bigger audiences so that they're able to find the conversions you’re after.

What I mean is - After some time it will be difficult to scale a 500,000 audience size compared to an audience of 4 million.

How To Develop A Testing Strategy For Your Business

The point of testing is to spend the minimum amount of money to test audiences and ads.

Once you find these winning combinations, you can scale spend to get more conversions.

To accompany this scale in spend, Facebook recommends using bigger audiences so that they're able to find the conversions you’re after.

What I mean is - After some time it will be difficult to scale a 500,000 audience size compared to an audience of 4 million.

How to develop a testing strategy for your business

Before you start testing, decide what budget you want to allocate towards it. 

This budget depends on factors such as 

  • your niche
  • the price of your product
  • the types of audiences you’re targeting and so forth

I’d start with a daily budget of atleast $20 per adset and increase it depending on how many ads you have per adset.

Now that you’ve got a handle on your budget, I’m going to outline the testing process we use in our agency.

1. Test Your Creative:

As discussed, your creatives are the most important part of your ad. That's because they catch the attention of your users first.

Remember, your ads will compete on the newsfeed against your customers' friends and family posts. They need to be highly engaging.

For the sake of this article, I’ve developed some ads with different images for the first round of testing. This campaign is targeting cold audiences and is optimized for website conversions. 

Let's say we ran these ads for 2000 impressions to multiple audiences. Because the ad is optimized for purchase, we are looking for those audiences who buy. Some of the metrics we look at are:

  • Number of purchases 
  • Cost per purchase 
  • Number of add to carts 
  • Cost per add to cart

To determine the winner, align the KPI’s of your business with your campaign stats. If you’ve mapped out your cost per acquisition (CPA) to be $25 and your ad gives you a CPA of $15, then this ad would be considered a winner. 

Now that you’ve determined your winning ad, let's move on to creating variations of this to see if we can improve performance.

2. Test Your Hook:

The hook on your ad is the second most important factor that will catch the eye of your customer. 

The hook is usually the first line in your copy. Make sure your hook isn't long enough that it's hidden from your customers. 

To convince your customers to click, you can test your value proposition in your hook. 

3. Test Your Headline:

Testing your headlines can lead to significant improvements as well. Use your headlines to appeal to the benefits of your products. 

If you sold a smoothie mix, a great call to action would be ‘Smoothies that promote great skin health’. 

Or if you are running a sale, promoting a ‘shop now for 20% off would be another great way to get customers to click.

4. Test Your Body Copy:

Images stop your customer from scrolling and your copy is what will get them to click to the website.

Without good copy, all you’ve got is someone to pay attention. If your copy doesn't communicate why customers should from you, you’ll lose them. 

Test different forms of copy to engage your audience. We usually test short form, mid form and involve storytelling to create a long form version of our ads. 

After you’ve tested this, you can start to test different formats and call to action buttons. 

As you scale, you’ll want to have more ads ready to go once the old ones fatigue. Rinse and repeat the testing process to find your next batch of winning audiences and ads. 


Having an ad testing strategy can benefit your business in many ways. Without one, it can be difficult to find high-performing ads.

Assuming an ad will do better without thoroughly testing it will cost you a lot of money down the line. Instead, rely on the data to give you insights into what's working and what can be tweaked to improve performance. 

By testing on an ongoing basis, you can develop creatives that allow you to stand out from your competitors, minimize wastage in ad spend and drive revenue to your business.