How Ad Testing Can Help Your Brand Reach Upstream Buyers

Last Updated May 23, 2021

In this episode of TribeTalk, growth specialist, Molly, shares how she used testing to reach audiences that buy and spend more. 

Digital marketing is all about targeting, right?

eCommerce brands are constantly looking for audiences that are ready to buy. They find these audiences through ad testing.

When a brand strategically tests ads, they are essentially charting a map for their marketing efforts to reach new audiences. They learn what audiences to avoid, what audiences are frequent purchasers but low spenders, and lay the trail to find the ultimate treasure: repeat buyers with high average order values. 

Maya Rudolph hand to heart gif

Anyone can spend money running ads. Growth marketing, in contrast, is the intrepid search for a sustainable and profitable marketing strategy. Ad testing lights the way. 

“Okay, I’m convinced,” you’re thinking to yourself, “but what should I be testing?”. 

5 factors you should be testing in your paid ads

There are (nearly) countless components you could be testing to improve your ad performance. These components can be divided into 5 different categories:

  1. Ads
  2. Audience
  3. Settings
  4. Landing page
  5. Offer

Within these 5 categories are many more factors that marketers can test—from including links within ad copy to changing ad images, or even offering limited-time discounts. 

Keep in mind: there’s no hard-and-fast rule about when a test is concluded. Always determine the baseline metric that you care most about. This will be your “true north” metric that guides your analysis.

If all of this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! It doesn’t have to be. We use a simple system for testing and refining Facebook ad campaigns that anyone can follow. 

Let’s focus on testing audiences for a few minutes. 


Facebook Ads Test Tracker [Template]

FEATURED RESOURCE: Use this template to plan and track your Facebook ads as you test winning campaigns and optimizations!

Testing upstream audiences for an AOV boost

Let’s dig into the example from this episode of TribeTalk. 

EmberTribe growth specialist, Molly, has been working with a long-time client that sells pain management accessories for infants and toddlers. For the most part, her research led her to target typical “mommy brands” like Graco or Johnson & Johnson. 

To expand her reach and optimize performance, Molly decided to A/B test her audiences within the same vertical based on the hypothesis that she could reach audiences who typically shop on the higher of the baby niche. This meant testing usual targeting with the typical “mommy brands” and more expensive, niche baby-centric brands. 

She found that shoppers who gravitated towards luxury baby brands not only had high purchase intent, but they also spent more than other audiences. 

Results for A/B testing luxury baby brand interests

More items purchased = higher AOV = improved ROAS. That’s a win, baby!

The takeaway from this example is to always 👏 keep 👏 testing 👏. 

You might think you know your target audience better than the back of your hand—in fact, there’s always something new to learn, new angles to try, and new profit to be made.

If you're ready to start testing and optimizing your ads for better conversions, schedule a discovery call with one of our growth experts.  

Jump on a call with one of our growth experts. We'll talk about your goals and create a strategy to get results. 


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