Using Ad Rotation for Facebook Ad Success

Ad rotation using A/B Testing is a key component to social network advertising success. This article will discuss what Ad rotation is and how it impacts advertisers.

What is Ad Rotation?

Ad rotation is the just-in-time manual or automated rotation of Ads based on conversion metrics for various sets of creative with multiple calls to action or incentives. Typically A/B testing is used to determine which sets create the highest conversions.

Ad rotation is a technique that is used by ad buyers to ensure that every dollar spent on a campaign is optimized. These tests and rotations should take place during your entire buy.

Many buyers will rotate tests multiple times a day to determine which test will see optimum results.

The experts at Marin Software, an index of over 100 Top Facebook Advertisers, found that “direct response campaigns set with ad rotation yielded 35 percent higher CTR and 34 percent lower cost per conversion than those not using automated rotation. Even more striking were the results from fan acquisition campaigns. Those with automated ad rotation saw 60 percent higher CTRs and 75 percent lower costs per fan than those without ad rotation.” Marvin, The 4 Top Facebook Advertising Trends and the Stats Behind Them

How can you execute a rotation strategy with A/B Testing?

Build a few versions of your Ad with different types of creative. Creative changes can include: moving the button, subtle changes to the call to action language, a different share image or inclusion of video vs. a static image.

Run a series of small buys using each test set of creative.  Watch the performance of each test and launch larger buys using the sets that perform the best.  Continue to rotate in the best performing sets and leverage steadily larger amounts of your planned budget to support them.

Link your Ads to a conversion pixel to track offsite events that occur.  This makes it simple to see exactly which sets are driving conversions.

The top ad rotation strategy among advertisers in Marin’s index “uses changes in CTR as a trigger for rotating creative, with 41 percent of advertisers using that technique.” Marin Software, The Definitive 2014 Facebook Advertising Playbook


Facebook Audiences Explained

Every visitor to a website or Ad is an opportunity for your brand or business to re-target that visitor on Facebook.

These visitors can now have one or more Facebook (FB) Off-site pixels applied to their visit, making them available to you within Facebook for immediate retargeting. Retargeting means that the consumer sees your offer during a visit to your website and then sees another offer from you in their Facebook Newsfeed.
If you implement the Facebook Off-site pixel on your Ad or webpage every visitor will be added to the audience on FB that you have allocated this Off-site Pixel to.  You are able to form many audiences for various purposes.

The top purpose for an audience is to sell more to those that bought an offer and try to re-engage those that saw but didn't buy. To form these audiences you should apply different pixels to consumers who bought on your website vs. those who abandoned their cart on your website. When you retarget both groups are shown different Ads in their FB Newsfeed encouraging the appropriate next action.

Extending the Use of Audiences

The Off-site Pixel Audience can be used for other offers that require a demographic audience similar to the profile of your current Off-site Pixel audience. For example, an Off-site Pixel audience is formed from consumers who saw an ad campaign about grilling and summer BBQ, they also downloaded a coupon for grilling equipment.
The same audience could be leveraged to sell a sunblock product, grilling charcoal or grocery deals.
Ads for those cross-marketed products would show up in the audiences’ Facebook Newsfeed.

Grow Your Audiences

Growing an Off-site pixel audience by 10x or more is possible once you determine that the individuals in the audience have a strong uptake.
Forming a Look-a-like Audience takes the demos and traits of your Off-site pixel audience and copies those into a new audience for you to use. 
The new audience ‘looks like’ your original Off-site Pixel audience but can be much larger.

Uptake Rates in Off-site Audiences

Uptake rates in Off-site pixel audiences are significantly better than other audience-types available.  Consumers in the Off-site pixel audience have proven that they have a level of interest in a product either through viewing it on your website, downloading a coupon, adding it to their basket or making a purchase.
This interest or purchase translates into a much higher rate of uptake when similar offers are shown to that audience in their Newsfeed on Facebook.

Evergreen Retargeting

Evergreen re-targeting creates super-audiences containing only the consumers most likely to take offers based on past behavior. This audience becomes increasing refined with every campaign by excluding any consumers who didn't take the last offer shown to them.
This audience should be leveraged throughout the year as way to boost any new offer.