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The Marketing Lab - Facebook Ad Management Tools

The Marketing Lab compares Ad Espresso and Qwaya with Facebook’s Power Editor (PE).

Advertising, Social Media, The Marketing Lab

Advertising on social media can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you need to scale fast and advertise across multiple channels.  So The Marketing Lab set out to test two third party social media ad manager tools to ascertain whether a paid account is worth it to manage social media ads. The platforms themselves offer their own ad management suites, but replicating this across multiple channels is prone to error, and extremely time-consuming. The aim of these tools is to effectively replicate a number of ads to A/B test and run large campaigns.

Ad Espresso

AdEspresso is an extremely powerful ad management tool for creating Facebook ads. It simplifies ad creation and management down to a few simple questions. It’s a user-friendly way to create more sophisticated ad campaigns with multiple ads, campaigns & targeting on Facebook. AdEspresso is an easier stepping stone to being more analytical about your ads, compared to Power Editor.

How do you use it?

By selecting from simple options you can easily get started on creating ads and start spending in an effective way. It has a clear user experience, so even someone who is not technical can use it fairly easy with the step-by-step guide. It is used to run multiple creatives, run split tests, understand performance and iterate.

Key Features – What’s great

  • A/B testing of headlines, sub copy and imagery.
  • Nice integration with Google UTM codes for individual tracking
  • Great integration with Canva for stronger imagery
  • Capacity to set clever campaign rules e.g. stop campaigns with CTR below a certain threshold
  • Step-by-step user interface is really intuitive
  • Auto-optimisation
  • You can advertise on Instagram only

The auto-optimising function turns the best performing posts on and off, which is effortless and means you end up saving more money. There is good support for the tool, with their own academy for mid-level advertisers on Facebook with videos and how-to guides. Another handy function within the reporting is you can see a breakdown of how each box performed inside your carousel ad.

What’s not great

  • It does take long to set up ads but once setup, Ad Espresso is a very powerful tool.
  • With the cheaper option it may take an hour for your changes to be made.
  • The reporting can be a little daunting but looks great.
  • You don’t get notifications if an ad hasn’t been approved which can disrupt your workflow and delay a campaign

What does it have that Power Editor doesn’t

  • Auto-optimisation
  • Better UI, great clear reporting
  • Doesn’t show frequency/relevance as easily

In summary, Ad Espresso doesn’t quite have everything PE has, it does have a few additional features and is certainly a step above Facebook’s Ads Manager.

Who is the platform for?

It is suitable for anyone who wishes to advertise on Facebook, especially those who are looking for easy ways to test multiple ads. The likes of Microsoft and Hubspot use it, so it suits big corporations. It is also generally for smarter beginners and agencies alike so it can be difficult to strike a balance. Based on the UI alone, if you are completely new to Facebook advertising, go for it. But if you are familiar with Power Editor you might find Power Editor will have the latest features from Facebook faster than Ad Espresso.


Qwaya is a self-service tool for businesses who seeking to save time and increase performance when working with Facebook ad campaigns

How do you use it?

Once you link your FB account with Qwaya you will find an easy workflow. The main steps are: create ads, set targeting and publish ads to FB. Once you select what type of FB ads (page like, clicks to website, etc.) you are going to run, enter different versions of ad copies for each ad element (title, description, image etc.)

Then the system generates all possible ad versions based on the copy variables you have entered. For example, if you put in 2 titles and 2 images it will generate 4 variations of that ad. Every variation can be previewed and deleted if needed. In the ad targeting step you can A/B split your targeting criteria. For example, you can separately target 2 interest groups such as “coffee lovers” and “fans of Starbucks”. So if you have 4 ad variations and target 2 interest groups the system will generate 2 advert sets with 4 ad variation in each. Now you are ready to publish your ads to Facebook.

Key Features – What’s great!

  • Audience A/B testing – split your audience in multiple segments based on any targeting criteria
  • Ad A/B testing – which combination of text and image make up the best performing ad
  • Automatic creation of campaign/ad set folder structure (which is handy to keep track of your ads).
  • Campaign scheduling
  • Automated rules for ad sets (e.g. if transaction value below 10 pause in in 14 days)
  • Automated ad rotation – make sure your audience sees fresh ads
  • Automated tracking for GA using UTM parameters
  • GA integration – see the number of goals or ecommerce transactions generated by each campaign, ad set or ad
  • Templates – save ads and target audiences in templates. You can edit and reuse templates anytime.
  • Graphical reporting and Excel report exports

Ad rules are a unique feature that gives you more control over your ad campaign. The rules can be applied to ad sets or individual ads e.g. automatically turn off ads if cost per like exceeds €1 in the last 2 days. Qwaya automatically appends unique UTM parameters to each ad so visitors from every ad can be tracked in Google Analytics.

What’s not great

  • There is no bulk edit feature for published ads but having ad templates takes no time to edit and republish ads again.
  • At times not all the ads generated are being published to FB but, again, using templates the ads can be republished again.
  • UTM parameter appending feature could be better. The system did not append UTM parameters for some of ads.
  • No option to check the ad relevance score on Qwaya reporting dashboard
  • TheFB Ad Guide is not up-to-date. For example, the image sizes for Page Likes campaigns are misleading

What does it have that PE does not

Slightly easier to use, but not dramatically. It’s not even close to compared to Ad Espresso UI. You can store a template of an ad, and duplicate if the ad works well. Ad Espresso doesn’t have this feature, and PE is tricky to use.

Who is the platform for? It is ideal for businesses spending a substantial amount on FB advertising or agencies

We’ve compared Ad Espresso and Qwaya to Power Editor, showing you what they have that PE doesn’t, but it wouldn’t be fair not to do the reverse, so what does PE have that each of the other tools doesn’t have?

Power Editor Vs Ad Espresso

  • PE tells you at the point of ad creation if your ads are breaking policy creation, saving time. Ad Espresso will only tell you after the fact, and you may not get a notification if the ad fails to publish.
  • It’s free, and is Facebook’s tool, so you will never lose access to it. Facebook could make algorithm changes at any time rendering all tools useless.
  • Any other algorithm changes that are made (e.g. how certain ads are served out) will be implemented immediately on PE, but not necessarily so on Ad Espresso.

Power Editor Vs Qwaya

  • Qwaya doesn’t currently have Instagram ads, which is a major limiting factor compared to the PE
  • The same as above – PE is free, and Qwaya won’t pick up on algorithm changes as fast

Who’s who

Felicity McCarthy, Founder of

Laurynas Binderis, E-commerce Manager at Online Office Supplies Retailer

Greg Fry, Social Media Strategist, Content Plan

Sasha Kinch, Digital Campaigns Executive, Independent News and Media, read her blog here.

Tristram Dyer, Head of Social Strategy at Leading Social

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