Facebook offers four primary placement options for advertisements – Audience Network, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. If small business owners need to split their advertising budget, they usually rely on Facebook’s automatic placement feature. Even though most businesses will have visible results from allowing Facebook to do this, the actual potential is hard to pin down. With Instagram mysteriously in the mix, knowing exactly where your money goes is close to impossible. Facebook is unlikely to guarantee that Instagram adverts, or any adverts for that matter, will increase your sales. Below are a handful of tips that we think will optimize your advertising budget on Facebook and Instagram.

1. Set up Split Test for your Instagram and Facebook Placement Performance

Setting up slit test is relatively easy and extremely helpful in understanding your ad budget on Facebook. To set-up, open “Ads Manager” or “Facebook Business Manager” and start a new campaign. The Facebook split test feature focuses on Traffic, Lead Generation, App Installs, Conversions, Lead Generation, Catalog Sales, Engagement, Reach, Brand Awareness and Messages. Once you select an objective, you should type in the name of your campaign and switch on the “Create Split Test” feature situated below that. Finally, click on “Continue” to proceed. When working your way through setting up the ad, you Variable sections. Click on “What Do You Want to Test” drop-down menu. After that, you will get four options – Delivery Optimization, Creative, Placement and Audience.

After selecting your option, Facebook will automatically build two ads that you can then modify to focus on specific platform placement. In your Advert ‘Set A’ section, click on the “Edit Placement” option button. This reveals the available placement options for your ad. Deselect Audience Network, Instagram, and Messenger. That will ensure that your advert will be served to the Facebook Feeds, Instream Videos, Instant Articles, Right Column, Marketplace, Suggested Videos and Stories. Scroll down and Click the “Edit Placements” option button situated on the “Ad Set B” section. Deselect Facebook, Messenger and Audience Network. That ensures that Facebook will serve the ad to Stories and Instagram Feed placements solely. Change of the settings on the “Mobile Devices & Operating Systems” section or use of specific exclusions will ensure extension of designations and exclusion across the two sets. Fill In the details needed in the Audience and the Delivery Optimization sections. On the Split Test Budget, choose one option – either “Lifetime Budget” or the “Daily Budget” option. Facebook will automatically suggest $200 for your daily budget. Do not spend massive amounts of money here. Start with $2-$5. Choose “Even Split” on the split drop-down menu. The setting will ensure that 50 percent of your daily budget goes to Facebook ads and the other to Instagram ads. The results are observable in 4-7 days.

2. Analyze the results

Sadly, the results are less than instant. Try to run your Facebook campaigns for one week before checking the effects. To view your results, you simply need to open the Facebook Ads Manager and click the “Campaigns” tab. Search for the small bottle icon situated near the campaign name. You will find the split test campaign. To start comparing results, click on the “Ad Set Level.”

3. Use the performance results to allocate your budget between Instagram and Facebook

After you look at your ad results, verify that the ad spend is nearly equal across the two platforms. Now, it is time to analyze frequency and reach. Look at the cost because it will help you split your budget between the placements. If the cost per result is lower on Facebook, you should allocate some more money to Facebook for the future campaign runs.