Facebook Ad Testing Strategies in 2023: A Guide for DTC Brands

As a DTC brand, you may have experienced strong initial traction from Facebook advertising, only to see your growth plateau at a certain revenue mark. Audience targeting and creative testing may provide temporary boosts, but without a strong enough return on ad spend (ROAS), it's challenging to justify scaling your account. This is where Flighted comes in, offering four strategies to break through revenue ceilings and take your Facebook advertising to the next level.


Influencer whitelisting involves adding creators, influencers, or publishers as approved sources of content for your ads. When a potential customer sees the ad, it displays from the handle of the creator in the video, not your brands handle. Influencer whitelisting is extremely compelling because the ad initially reads as an organic post, increasing its "thumb-stop" rate and driving up its average CTR. Advertisers who whitelist an ad from a creator's handle typically see an average CPC decrease of 20-50%, making it an incredibly efficient source of paid traffic.

One effective way to negotiate whitelisting partnerships is to reach out to the top 20% of your ad creators and ask to whitelist directly from their handle. Remind them that you will be sending thousands of impressions to their organic profile. While some may ask for payment, try negotiating a lower rate in exchange for a short 1-2 month license. By then, you'll know if the ad is valuable enough to pay more for. Run these ads in a dedicated whitelisting campaign, which can ultimately make up at least 25% of your overall campaign.


Facebook has introduced two new campaign types that have proven successful for our clients at scale: Advantage+ Shopping and Shop Ads. Advantage+ Shopping is Meta's "black box" campaign - you have no control over WHO they're targeting, but by surrendering this control to their delivery algorithm, you often will see better performance than a standard Conversions campaign. Advantage+ Shopping campaigns can handle a higher volume of creatives than standard campaigns, another advantage that makes them great for scaling an ad account.

Shop Ads allow users to check out directly on your Instagram or Facebook shop page rather than Shopify and often have lower cost-per-click (CPC) than traditional campaigns. Meta handles all of the heavy lifting for you - they will send users who abandon cart on your Shop ad campaign notifications reminding them to check out. They even collect customer reviews on your behalf and post them to your Shop listings! It's clear that Meta is really pushing Shop ads as a strategy in 2023, and their positive results speak for themselves.


Many business owners struggle with spending more on creative when their ad account is struggling. However, a struggling account is a sign to spend MORE on ad creative. Flighted recommends allocating 10% of your ad spend towards creators and agencies to produce new ads. If you're already spending this amount, look at the creative formats you're investing in. You may be over-investing in a certain ad type, so try testing different formats to unlock different customer cohorts on Facebook. Think of your brand as a media company that happens to sell a product, not an e-commerce company. Every unorthodox creative test you run has the potential to unlock an entirely new cohort of potential customers. Always Be Testing!


What is your event match rate across your Facebook events? Do you have aggregated event measurement set up, the Conversions API enabled with maximum data sharing, and server side events firing properly? It might be worth investing in an attribution tool like Triple Whale, which allows you to make more informed media buying decisions at higher spend levels, or a data enrichment tool like Popsixle, which feeds missed server-side conversions back to Facebook to enrich the strength of its delivery algorithm.

Breaking through revenue ceilings with Facebook advertising is challenging for DTC brands, but these four strategies can help you overcome this hurdle. By whitelisting at scale, investing in newer ad formats, increasing your creative testing rate, and checking your data quality, you can achieve greater ROAS and scale your account successfully. Don't let a plateau in growth discourage you - with a little time and effort, you can take your Facebook advertising to new heights.

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