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If you’re not familiar with the concept of A/B testing yet, you should be. It’s a smart and highly effective way to help marketers evaluate which of two or more Facebook video ads are likely to be more successful. A/B testing can save you a lot of time, maximize your social media advertising dollars and get you closer to achieving your video marketing (and company) goals.Just like any marketing campaign, the Facebook video ads created to promote your custom videos should be A/B tested, or as Facebook likes to call it, Split Testing, to see which ones win the best response rates.

With the video medium, it can sometimes be more of a challenge than with other types of ads because of the time, energy and money that is required to re-shoot, re-edit, or adjust a video ad, but you can stay one step ahead by planning your video production to be easily updated, and playing with the variables to get it just right. Not to mention, each platform has different factors of success. Facebook relies heavily on silent videos as opposed to YouTube, where the audio is usually playing. Its why Facebook highly recommends the use of captions.

Once your A/B testing is complete, you should have a good idea of what will work and can tweak your final video according to what you learned about people’s preferences.

Here are a few video ad characteristics that should be tested with your Facebook video ads:

  • The title (often the title or description of your video can drive views)
  • Graphics (test all new graphics if you have the resources)
  • Colors of the titles and graphics
  • Opening clips (this can have a huge effect on whether a viewer keeps watching
  • Ad length (a single ad can usually be cut into 15, 30 and 60 second versions)
  • Calls-to-action
  • Ad thumbnails

  • Target demographic locations

  • Target age ranges and interests

Before messing around with too many variables, keep these strategies into mind:

  • Be patient and wait a few days before making changes.

It’s best to wait 10-15 days to gather enough data. Often people are in a rush to find the best video ad or demographic, but a short test can give back a false sense of which is the best combination.

  • Change one variable at a time.

After testing a single video, you may have a lot of ideas on how to improve or update your video for testing — but then you won’t know what caused the increase or decrease in effectiveness. Try just changing one aspect at a time so that you can pinpoint with confidence which is working better.

  • Know what to look for.

Determining what works is not as simple as checking to see which video gets more views. More often than not, a higher view count does not translate to more sales or website visits. Make sure to set your specific goals and test for that outcome.

  • Keep an eye out for holistic success.

I’ve had clients who hired us for some corporate videos that they would use for Facebook video ads. The ads performed moderately when it came to views and click-throughs, but saw a huge spike on Amazon sales and searches because users were watching videos on Facebook and then heading to Amazon to purchase!