How To Use Facebook Ads

Dynamic Creative

Testing Facebook Ad Creative can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive; images, videos, headlines, ad copy, descriptions, buttons - there are a lot of variables to test.

Fortunately, Facebook offers a fantastic solution to this testing problem…

...Dynamic Creative


What You'll Learn In This Guide

  • The traditional method for testing Facebook Ads
  • What Dynamic Creative is
  • How to setup a Dynamic Creative Facebook Ad
  • When to use Dynamic Creative
  • How to analyse the data of a Dynamic Creative Ad
  • What to do when you have found a winning ad using Dynamic Creative
  • The Pros and Cons of Dynamic Creative

The Traditional Approach To Testing Facebook Ads


Before Dynamic Creative became available, the only way of testing Facebook Ads was to test one variable at a time; for example, if we were testing ad images, our ads could look like this:


Ad #1:

  • Image 1
  • Ad Copy 1
  • Headline 1
  • Description 1
  • Button 1

Ad #2:

  • Image 2
  • Ad Copy 1
  • Headline 1
  • Description 1
  • Button 1

Ad #3:

  • Image 3
  • Ad Copy 1
  • Headline 1
  • Description 1
  • Button 1

As you can see, all the assets of the ad remain the same, apart from the image. Once you had found a winning image, you would then create another set of ads, each of them using this winning image and move onto testing the next variable, such as the Ad Copy, which could look like this:


Ad #1:

  • Image 2
  • Ad Copy 1
  • Headline 1
  • Description 1
  • Button 1

Ad #2:

  • Image 2
  • Ad Copy 2
  • Headline 1
  • Description 1
  • Button 1

Ad #3:

  • Image 2
  • Ad Copy 3
  • Headline 1
  • Description 1
  • Button 1

When you found your winning Ad Copy, you would then test the next variable, using the winning ad image and ad copy from your previous tests. 


As you can see, this is a pretty time-intensive method for testing ads! And if you only had a small budget (less than $10 per day), it could take several weeks to find a winning combination of image, ad copy, headline, description and button! The reason being, that you need to have statistically significant data (i.e. impressions, clicks, click-through-rate, etc.) in order to make a confident decision about what is and isn’t working. 


Introducing Dynamic Creative...

Facebook’s solution to this was to create Dynamic Creative, which allows you to test multiple variables at the same time, with one single ad:

  • Upto 10 images/videos
  • Upto 5 pieces of Ad Copy
  • Upto 5 Headlines
  • Upto 5 Descriptions
  • Upto 5 Buttons (e.g. Learn More, Shop Now, Download, etc.)

Facebook will mix and match all of these variables for you to find the best performing combination, so they do the heavy lifting instead!

My maths is horrible, but if you add all the possible combinations of these variables together, it comes to several hundred, if not, several thousand. 


Setting Up A Dynamic Creative Ad


Creating a Dynamic Creative Ad is relatively simple to do; much like setting up a Facebook Ad the traditional way; here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:


Step 0:

Create a new Campaign and Ad Set using Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO).


Step 1:

Turn on Dynamic Creative in the Ad Set Level, by switching the toggle from grey to blue. 

Step 2:

At the Ad Level, add upto 10 different pieces of media (you can mix and match images and videos)

Step 3:

Turn OFF Optimize Creative For Each Person’. Whilst this sounds great on the surface, when switched on, it can make the data from your ads difficult to read. It will also mess with the assets you upload to your Dynamic Creative Ad, such as cropping images and videos, swapping ad copy with headlines, turning images into videos, and lots of other changes we really don’t want Facebook to do. 

I recommend you turn this option OFF, but if you feel you want to leave it on and let Facebook optimize your ad that way, feel free to leave it on; it could help the performance of your ads. 

Step 4:

Add upto 5 pieces of Ad Copy (Facebook call this Primary Text) - this is the text that appears at the top of your ad, above the photo/video.

Step 5:

Add upto 5 Headlines - this is the BIG BOLD text directly underneath your ad image/video.

Step 6 (optional):

Add upto 5 descriptions - this is the small text underneath the headline. The description text isn’t vital and doesn’t make much of an impact on ad performance. It also doesn’t appear on mobile devices, which is where the majority of your Facebook Ads traffic is going to come from.

Step 7 (optional):

Choose upto 5 different Call-To-Actions for your button. This isn’t essential and in fact, I recommend you just stick to picking one Call-To-Action button. As with the Description Text, the Call-To-Action you choose for your button won’t make a big impact on ad performance.

I recommend choosing one of the following for your button:

  • Shop Now
  • Learn More
  • Download

Important: The more variables you add into your Dynamic Creative, the more budget is going to be required for testing. If you have a small budget (less than $10 per day), I recommend adding the following variables:

  • 5-7 images/videos
  • 3-5 Primary Text options
  • 3-5 Headline Options
  • 1 x Description Option
  • 1 x Button Option

If you have more than $10 per day to spend, then by all means test more variables.

Step 8:

Review all your variables! Check that there are no spelling mistakes or other silly errors that you’ve missed (easily done!) and once you’re happy, you can view the different combinations of all the variables using the ‘View More Variations’ button above the Ad Preview on the right-hand side of your screen.

Select the different assets you want to use together from the drop-down options on the right-hand side of the screen to see how they will look to someone on Facebook. 


Step 9:

Don’t forget to add your link! Add the website URL you want to send people to once they click on your ad. This will link will remain the same for all variations of your ad. 

Step 10:

Publish! Your ad will be submitted to Facebook for review and should be approved within 24 hours.

I find that Dynamic Creative Ads take a little longer to be approved than traditional ads; this is most likely due to there being so many assets and combinations within a single ad and it takes the algorithm a while to review everything. 

When To Use Dynamic Creative

Whilst Dynamic Creative does sound fabulous (and it is!), it isn’t right for everyone and it isn’t right for every scenario you find yourself in.

Here are the 3 main situations that I recommend using Dynamic Creative:

  • When just starting out with Facebook Ads for the very first time
  • During a launch or promo, when you have a short time window to find winning ads
  • When your previous ads have fatigued and you want to test some new options

Despite a lot of thought online about Dynamic Creative not being intended to use on an on-going basis, I have Dynamic Creative Ads running for 5-6 months in the past! It was performing well, so I saw no reason to turn it off!

As we’ll cover shortly when we look at analysing the data from Dynamic Creative, in this long-running Dynamic Creative Ad I ran, I could see that there was one particular combination of Ad Copy, Image and Headline that was performing head and shoulders above the other combinations.

However, there were other combinations that were still performing exceptionally well. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
 

Don’t forget to add your link! Add the website URL you want to send people to once they click on your ad. This will link will remain the same for all variations of your ad. 

Analysing The Performance of Your Dynamic Creative Ads


When it comes to looking at the data of Dynamic Creative Ads, it is a little more complicated than when analysing a standard Facebook Ad, purely due to the number of variables in a Dynamic Creative Ad.

Important: As there are a lot of elements for Facebook to test with a Dynamic Creative Ad, I recommend letting the ad run for at least 3-5 days before you review the data. If you have a small budget (less than $10 per day), then I would let the ad run for at least 7 days before looking at your data in detail.

Here’s the step-by-step to analyse your Dynamic Creative Ads:


Step 1: 

Select the Campaign and Ad Set that your Dynamic Creative Ad is in where you’ll see aggregate stats for the ad as a whole (i.e. all possible combinations of the assets - images, headlines, ad copy, etc.)

Step 2: 

In the top right of your dashboard, click the BREAKDOWN menu and then hover over BY DYNAMIC CREATIVE ELEMENT

Step 3: 

Select one element to review first. Let’s choose IMAGE, VIDEO AND SLIDESHOW to begin with. 

Step 4: 

Select the PERFORMANCE AND CLICKS column set from the COLUMNS dropdown menu.

Step 5: 

Click on the LINK CLICKS column to arrange data with highest number of link clicks at the top of your dashboard.

Step 6: 

Look at the top 2 images/videos that has generated the most amount of LINK CLICKS by clicking on the image name in the AD NAME column on the left hand side of your dashboard; it will open the image/video up for you in a new tab. 

Important: Make sure that these particular images/videos have received at least 50 LINK CLICKS. Any number less than 50 doesn’t count as statistically significant data; it could just be noise. If none of your images/videos have at least 50 clicks, you’ll need to let your ads run a little longer until they reach that 50 LINK CLICKS threshold. 

Step 7: 

Click on the CTR (LINK CLICK-THROUGH-RATE) column to now arrange the data based on the click through rate of each image/video. 

Do the same images/vidoes that generated the highest number of LINK CLICKS have the highest CTR (LINK CLICK THROUGH RATE) too? 


Again, make sure the winning images/videos here has at least 50 LINK CLICKS


Make a note of the winning images/videos for both the LINK CLICKS and CTR (LINK CLICK-THROUGH-RATE) as you may be needing this data later on. 


Important: When looking at all this data for each element of your Dynamic Creative Ad, it’s also worth looking at the AMOUNT SPENT (highlighted above) column to see how much of your budget Facebook is pushing towards each variable of your ad.

If you see that 1 or more of a particular variable (e.g. image) is only receiving a few cents/pence and other variables are receiving a huge amount more of your budget, this tells you that Facebook is finding more success with the variables that it has put more money behind because they are helping you to achieve your campaign objective.

Looking at your winning combinations then, are these the results you expected? Our expectations of which particular elements of our ads will perform the best can be quickly banished when we look at the data in black and white!

Step 8: 

Now we’re going to find the winning Ad copy and winning Headlines from your Dynamic Creative Ad, using the same process we’ve just been through for the ad image/video. 


To do this, click on the BREAKDOWN menu again and this time, click TEXT from the BY DYNAMIC CREATIVE ELEMENT option.


Text refers to the Ad Copy, or as Facebook calls it during the ad setup process, Primary Text.  

Step 9: 

Arrange the data by LINK CLICKS as you did with for the images and make a note of the top 2 winning Text options.

Step 10: 

Arrange the data by CTR (LINK CLICK-THROUGH-RATE) as before and make a note of the top 2 winning Text options. 

Step 11: 

Head on back to the BREAKDOWN menu, and select HEADLINE (AD SETTINGS) from the BY DYNAMIC CREATIVE ELEMENT option. 

Step 12: 

Arrange the data by LINK CLICKS and make a note of the top 2 winning Headline options.

Step 13: 

Arrange the data by CTR (LINK CLICK-THROUGH-RATE) and make a note of the top 2 winning Headlines option. 

Next Steps...

Now you’ve found a winning combination of image, headline and ad copy, what next, you may be asking?

You have 2 options here:


Option #1: If you’re happy with the performance and your CPC (Cost Per Click) is reasonable (I like to keep my CPC’s below $0.20-$0.25), then you can just leave your Dynamic Ad running for as long as you see fit. To scale things up, just increase the budget of the Campaign (using Campaign Budget Optimization - CBO) by around 20% every 3 days until you see performance start to drop.
 

Option #2: If you have the time and really want to take your Facebook Ads to another level, take your top performing images/videos, headlines and ad copy, and create 2-3 standard Facebook Ads using these combinations in a new Campaign and Ad Set. Then duplicate the ad set and test these new ads with multiple audiences. Let these winning combinations fight it out against each other and see which one comes out on top, then optimize and scale from there.
 

The Pros and Cons of Dynamic Creative


Pros

  • Fantastic for testing lots of variables in a relatively short time period
  • Great for authors just getting started with Facebook Ads
  • Perfect for launches and promos when you have a limited time window for testing ads
  • Quick to set up
  • Doesn’t require huge amounts of time to optimize the ads - Facebook is doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you
  • With so many combinations of variables, you can have Dynamic Creative ads that don’t suffer from Ad Fatigue for 5-6 months or more; standard Facebook Ads can suffer from Ad Fatigue within 3-4 weeks


Cons

  • You can’t add standard ads into an Ad Set that has a Dynamic Creative Ad
  • If you make any changes to your Dynamic Creative ads, you will lose all the social proof on any of the combinations Facebook has created and tested with the variables you provided
  • You don’t have control over which variables Facebook sends the most budget to
  • If any of the elements in your Dynamic Creative Ad are disapproved by the Facebook algorithm, the whole ad is rejected

Wrapping Up...


Dynamic Creative Facebook Ads are an amazing way to test many different variables of an ad at the same time, without having to setup tens, even hundreds of ads. They are quick to build and a perfect entry point if you’re brand new to Facebook Ads.

 
If you’re short on time and enjoy writing books more than you do marketing and advertising, then Dynamic Creative is a superb way to dip your toe into Facebook Ads without having to spend hours and hours in the Facebook Ads dashboard.

Until next time
Matt

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