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This week, the 3Q blog takes on the topic of testing – one near and dear to all digital marketers.
To date, creative testing on Facebook has been limited to two methods: 1) Place two or more ads in an ad set and allow Facebook to define a winner based on CTR, ad relevance, engagement etc.; or 2) Create two or more ad sets targeting the same audience with one ad in each and manually determine a winner based on client goals.
Both of these options are relatively painless if you’re only testing 2-3 variables. However, if you have multiple creative aspects to test, building out individual ads and ad sets can become tedious and time-consuming. Facebook’s solution to this problem is Dynamic Creative ads.
Dynamic Creative Ads allow an advertiser to create one ad with up to 10 images/videos, and 5 of each ad’s copy components (post text, headline, description, and CTA). This creative tool can be used for conversion, app install, and traffic campaigns. Setting up a Dynamic Creative ad is is very similar to the process for a regular Facebook ad.
- Create a new ad set. The dynamic creative switch is done at the ad level and cannot be done on an ad set that has already been running non-dynamic ads.
- Once the dynamic creative switch is flipped on, you will create one ad for all of the creative variants that you hope to test at the same time. Images and text are entered into Facebook in the same manner as a static image ad. However, plus signs next to each section allow you to add your additional variants for testing.
Once all creative variants are entered, you are ready to launch in just two quick steps! Facebook then serves the best variations of the variables you added for each specific user.
Drawbacks of Dynamic Creative
For all of the positive sentiments that can be said about creating multiple ads in two steps, there are some cons to weigh when deciding when to use Dynamic Creative.
Dynamic Creative leaves much to be desired with its reporting. Currently, Facebook provides a “Dynamic Creative” breakout in the preset performance columns section. This section allows you to see how your dynamic creative variants have performed against each other, but only within the same category. For example, if you’re testing images, headline, and CTA in the same dynamic creative ad, you will only be able to see how images performed against each other and not which combination of image + headline + CTA was the most successful. This allows you to see what images or text variants are standout performers on their own, but it would require additional testing to determine how one combination performs against another.
Early Results of Dynamic Creative Testing
We tested Dynamic Creative for an eCommerce client that was focused on acquiring new purchases through various lifestyle images and copy variations. The Dynamic Creative Ad sets were extremely strong at driving front-end metrics (saw 24% higher CTRs and 32% lower CPCs) then the ad set running non-dynamic creative. However, these ads were not as efficient at driving new purchases, leading to 40% higher CPAs and 51% lower CVRs. Furthermore, only 3 out of the 5 creative variations produced significant results.
I would recommend Dynamic Creative as a quick first step for eliminating copy variations and images that are poor performers. However, I don’t see this as a be-all, end-all for creative testing in Facebook, but instead, a way to acquire data on what aspects are standouts and which should be tested as combinations of the winners in a truer A/B test.