Repeat after me: The best ads don’t look like ads. The best ones are native, raw, shaky, timely, vertical and don't require sound.

How do we know this? Creative testing.

Using all of the knowledge we’ve built up on redistributing influencer content within hundreds of Facebook ad accounts, we’ve put together this crash course on creative testing to help you understand our creative testing methodology—so you can apply it to your own brand’s creative testing practices. 

We’ll cover:

  • How To Approach Creative Testing: 3 Fundamental Steps To Follow
  • How To Set Budgets For Creative Testing (Without Losing Money)
  • Creative Testing Quiz:: The WinnerWill Surprise You
  • Creative Testing Measurement Using AIDA Metrics

Read More: How To Set Up Your Ad Account in a Tactical Way To Launch Mass Amounts of Influencer Creative

How to Approach Creative Testing: 3 Fundamental Steps To Follow

You can't read and study your way to successful Facebook or Instagram ads. You need to test your way there. 

Launch a ton of creative, find what works, then double down. But how do you get that much creative to test?

Step One: Collect Consistent (Influencer-Generated) Creative Every Month With Influencer Seeding

The content your influencers will post organically is the best type of ad content you can have.  It’s authentic, it’s from someone who has authority in a certain niche, and it’s delivered to an engaged audience. 

So how do you get this type of content flowing in consistently? Through influencer seeding.

Read our full guide to product seeding (fair warning: it’s comprehensive!)

This strategy is exactly how we manage to get hundreds of new creatives per month for our clients. To capture each piece of content, we use a tool called MightyScout. MightyScout keeps track of all of the influencers we seed product to, and records all of the content the creators post about our clients.

After a few weeks, we’ll have a library of 60-90 pieces of content inside MightyScout from various influencers, and all it cost was the COGS. Once we’ve captured this content from the influencers, we reach out to them for usage rights

This keeps our relationship with the influencers as healthy as possible, and it protects us from any legal issues with using other people’s content.

Step Two: Launch Every Single Piece of Creative With Cost Caps

This is where the fun part starts. As an advertiser, you get to be creative and try every trick in the book to make these work. 

Here are some things you can do with all of the influencer content you have available:

  • Make a montage of social proof from multiple influencers
  • Attach new hooks to each video from another influencer
  • Test one 30s video vs two 15s videos of the same asset
  • Try different background music for each video

You’ll realize that each video out of 90 videos could turn into over 200 with all of the different variations you can make to it. 

Step Three: Scale By Leaning Into Facebook’s Machine Learning Algorithm

Now, let’s put the creative to work inside your Facebook ads dashboard because this is where the real money is. It’s about consistently identifying  top performing creative within DCTs and launching them into new campaigns. Then, being able to constantly supplement campaigns that aren’t optimizing with new creative.

Here’s how to put your creative to work

  1. Take 100 assets, and load them as groups of 10 into 10 different DCTs (Dynamic Creative Tests—as long as you set a cost cap at your CPA, you won’t lose money
  2. You may see only 3 out of 10 DCTs performing
  3. Take those 3 sets and create 3 new “best performing” DCTs
  4. Put in new creatives to replace from the bottom

Need the full guide on this? Check out How To Set Up Your Ad Account in a Tactical Way To Launch Mass Amounts of Influencer Creative

Before you add content to your ad account, remove personal bias. What do I mean by this? Don’t underestimate Facebook’s AI. Facebook will figure out which videos are good and which videos aren’t.

Think one of your videos sucks? Let Facebook be the judge. Think a video is going to crush it? Let Facebook be the judge.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but setting aside your pride for running paid advertising on Facebook or Instagram is more successful than you think. 

The Facebook Algorithm Is Too Smart (smarter than the best marketer)

Case in point: the video below had a 16X ROAS on one of our ad accounts. 

Unfortunately, the client wanted the ad taken down for a few reasons. It didn’t represent the brand well enough, it wasn’t clear the creator was using their product, and the brand wasn’t referenced in the video. Tricky. The least-desirable ad for this account was a top performer. 

But the lesson is valid. It’s best to lean into Facebook’s machine learning system to make creative decisions for you. We never would have learned this if we didn’t run this ad through our cost-cap bid strategy. 

The way we run ads, we only spend money if we make money. We create Dynamic Creative Testing campaigns with cost caps set below our CPA target. It only allocates spend to the ads that are well received. It makes it impossible to lose.

Even though we decided to take down the ad for this account, it showed us to always run EVERY piece of content, even if you don’t think it’s a winner.

Because you might end up making $16 for every $1 you spend on the platform that everyone thinks is dead.

How To Set Budgets For Creative Testing (Without Losing Money)

With every generated Influencer asset we're testing, the top performing creative will be allocated ALL of the budget due to our cost cap bid strategy set in place. This protects us from wasting any ad dollars. 

The only way we miss an opportunity is by NOT launching every single influencer asset we have at our disposal.

We use a profit analysis to set Cost Caps and CPA targets which in turn sets budget. Here is what it may look like: 

  • 50 purchases per week per ad set - recommended budget to optimize
  • $10 CPA x 50 purchases weekly =. $500 Weekly Budget / Ad Set
  • $500 x 4 weeks = $2,000 Monthly Budget/Ad Set
  • Number of campaigns launched based on the amount of creative
  • If we have 100 pieces of creative we would launch 10 DCTs
  • $500 Weekly Budget x 10 campaigns = $5000
  • $5000 x 4 weeks = $20,000 Total Monthly

Creative Testing Quiz: The Winner Will Surprise You

Let’s play a quick guessing game, brought to you by Kynship’s Paid Media Specialist Nicholas Bauer. Take a close look at each of the three videos below. 

One of the creatives below has decreased CAC by 52% on Facebook and Tik Tok. The others have yet to receive a single purchase. Can you tell the difference? Let's find out...

Almost 80% of respondents chose option number two. And they were wrong.

Creative Testing Measurement Using AIDA Metrics

An integral part in putting spend behind Creative is understanding AIDA—Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action— Metrics. They are the most reliable metrics we can lean into, as they are the most correlated to Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). 

How Kynship measures paid media performance

Your AIDA Metrics Crash Course 

ATTENTION: Impressions

  • This measure’s the creative's ability to stop the prospect in their scroll
  • Divide your 3 Second Video Viewer by Impressions to get your result
  • +25-30% is a solid benchmark

INTEREST: Average Watch Time

  • Creative's ability to hold the prospect's attention
  • Check out the videos Average Watch Time
  • Aiming for more than 3 seconds on Facebook or Instragram
  • Above 30 seconds on Youtube

DESIRE: Click-Through Rate

  • Creative's ability to make the prospect explore more
  • Average Outbound Click-Through Rates (CTRs) above 1% means the Ad-Content plus CTA was compelling

ACTION: ROAS

  • Creative's ability to effectively set up the final result— making a purchase
  • Cost per purchase and the amount of purchases can give you a ROAS

Final Thoughts

Creative was important in 2018, but it’s imperative in 2022. To be successful with Facebook or Instagram Ads, you need to be testing as many creatives as you can. 

After the iOS 14 update, Facebook attribution tanked by 30-50%—even though the overall effectiveness of the app improved. The update caused an attribution issue, not an efficiency issue. That’s why we launch every single piece of influencer content and trust Facebook’s machine learning to tell us what’s working and what’s not. 

To measure the success of creative, we use AIDA metrics to analyze the data—this is the best way to find out what creative is more likely to convert.

Here at Kynship, we aren’t an advertising agency, but our combo of great influencer content, Dynamic Creative Tests (DCTs) and cost caps has made some of our clients more money than their main Ad agency. If more brands did this, they’d think that Facbooke was in its prime again. 

We’ve executed this exact strategy for some of your favorite brands. DTC Darlings, if you will. We’d love to do this for you, too. Let’s chat!