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The 2014 Facebook News Feed Ad Testing Plan for Brands

Posted by Katelyn Watson on January 20th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

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When the Facebook News Feed ad appeared in mass last year and Facebook ads started to have promise for advertisers, the world started to look a little better in the advancement of continuing to invest on Facebook. But with so many targeting options, image ideas, copy tests and more, where do you even start?

Here are many tests that I have seen interesting results for in multiple companies, things that seem to resonate. These are ideas that you should put on your list for 2014 testing.

1. Access rules
Within your ad, try to give something of value to the user. Such as “Use this code, or Special access” Adding the code has shown significant CTR and sign up improvements.

2. Blondes do have more fun
In multiple tests with various ethnicity's and hair colors. No matter the segment, blondes seem to come out first. So try your hand at blonde vs. brunette as a variable and see what you find.

3. Special characters
Using special characters before the CTA call attention to it. Whether it is >, }, or ---> it calls attention to the CTA where you don’t have a traditional button.

4. Generic vs brand imagery
Try some beautiful stock photos to communicate a concept and a custom brand photo. The custom brand photo shoots seem to be worth investing in.

5. Niche target acronyms
SAHM, Belieber, DINKs – target ads using the descriptive acronyms or nicknames with customized copy and image seems to get pretty enormous CTRs over 2% in some cases.

6. Short vs long vs vanity URL
Bitly, vanity URL, Google shortener – whichever it is, there is definitely a performance variance. Depending on your audience, you may want to try a few variations to see which is more appealing to them. For a tech audience a bitly may be more appealing. For non tech, maybe a www.XYZ/sale may be a better more trusted angle.

7. Competition
Try some always on ads that target your competitor’s fans, using messaging that they do but spinning it as your own. If people like your competitors, they will probably like you. You can A/B test using their name vs not, and testing various competitor names.

8. Long posts
Generally we all tend to think short posts work best, but they also look like advertising. Try long, more editorial posts vs short posts.

9. Custom segmentation
When you load your custom segments into Facebook, you should think about this as another form of CRM. If you have multiple segments internally that you target, you should have the same segments on Facebook. For example, sports lovers – you would not want to show them a gourmet food & wine ad. Test different segments with different product ads.

10. Format
We all love the news feed ad and its ability to be so prominent to our potential customers, but the right rail ad has its place too. Be sure to test impact of news feed + right rail vs just news feed. It has a major impact on CPCs and other factors.

With so many options, you could test millions of variables, but with so many options sometimes it is overwhelming to know where to start. These are some I have seen major differences in, so they are definitely worth testing for your brands.

Happy Testing!

@katelynwatson

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