Everything You Need to Know About Lift Studies
— September 4, 2018
For a long time, lift studies were considered a Facebook feature only available to large advertisers with high ad campaign budgets. Just recently, Facebook released a ‘test and learn’ feature that enables all advertisers—large and small alike—to help answer the big question: How do I know if my ads are driving incremental sales or conversions?
The self-serve solution allows you to run as many studies as you need to determine Facebook’s value to your campaigns. Now, Facebook advertisers have another way to not only understand, but also act on their lift study results and continuously test for optimal performance.
Here’s a rundown of how the test works, and best practices for achieving the most statistically significant results.
Lift Study Methodology and How It Works
Unless your Facebook account manager sets up a specific test and learn study, the study runs on the whole ad account. Facebook splits the study into two random groups: One will be served Facebook ads, and the other one won’t. The size of these groups is determined by various factors such as ad account reach, ad study schedule, and budget.
Using a random number generator and linking it to each Facebook user ID allows Facebook to create random groups, and ensures that people are staying in the dedicated group regardless of which platform and device they’re using.
When you run the test and learn study, you can select from a couple of options:
- Incremental sales or conversions caused by ads run on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network
- Which campaigns caused the lowest cost conversions
Once you select the objective and optimization event, the data gets passed to Facebook via the Facebook pixel. Facebook then compares the conversions in the test and control group to measure the lift.
Once Facebook analyzes the results and measures lift, you’ll see the outcomes on your Ads Manager.
Best Practices for Running Test and Learn Studies
To get the most out of your lift studies, be sure to implement these creative and optimization tactics.
On the Creative Side
- Have a clear message and main point: Make sure people don’t have to guess what you’re offering or the action they should take.
- Static images and video work better together: According to Facebook, including static images and video assets within the same campaign leads to better performance for direct response objectives, and results in more conversions than video or static images alone.
- Optimize video ads for mobile: With major publishers like Google, Facebook, and Amazon all offering and/or enhancing their mobile advertising options, mobile ad optimization has become a prerequisite to effective ad campaigns.
On the Campaign Optimization Side
- Match your optimization goal as closely as possible to your business goal.
- Limit manual optimization—most importantly, avoid making drastic changes to your ad campaigns.
- Optimize on all placements across the Facebook family of apps to maximize ad inventory and keep CPMs down.
Even if you’re confident about incremental conversions that Facebook is driving for your ads, the test and learn solution is now widely available. Jump in and try it out! Feel free to run it in the background to give you additional visibility on how your campaigns are performing.