Beyond Clicks: Facebook Develops Conversion Lift Measurement For Ads
Internet advertising is often filled with guesses and assumptions. It can be incredibly difficult to determine whether or not your ads are actually convincing people to buy your product. Some services, like Google AdWords, have conversion-tracking features that can at least shed a bit of light on a customer's path from seeing an ad to making a purchase.
Anybody who's launched a Facebook ad campaign, however, knows how hard it can be to truly determine whether or not those ads are having any real impact. Luckily, Facebook is working on a way to take out some of the guessing.
Conversion Lift Measurement Changing Internet Ad Landscape
One of the biggest problems with services like Facebook Ads and Google Adwords is that the action of a user clicking on an ad almost always gets all the credit. In other words, using clicks and click-through rates as a metric seriously ignores the many other factors that could be at play when a user finally decides to click your ad. This is why marketers and advertisers have such a hard time determining the impact of their campaigns. If nobody clicked your ad, did you still get anything out of it? Did one of your customers visit your site without actually clicking your ad? How useful are the clicks you are getting?
In the words of one Facebook representative, attributing too much weight to the "last click" is like thinking that the sign outside of a store is responsible for 100 percent of its foot traffic. Instead of throwing more money at your "sign," Facebook suggests, advertisers should try to develop strategies by analyzing data that clarifies the role of social media throughout the entire conversion funnel. This means less focus on clicks, impressions and cookie-based tracking, and more focus on conversion lift.
How It Works
According to the Facebook newsroom, advertisers who use conversion lift will be allowing Facebook to compare ad data with conversion data for analysis. First, two groups of Facebook users will be selected: a randomized test group that sees your ads and a control group that does not. Then, you'll securely share your conversion data with Facebook. This will typically be done using Facebook's Custom Audiences pixel or your point-of-sale data. The Facebook team will then analyze the study results to determine if you're getting any benefit from your ads apart from just clicks.
Right now, conversion lift measurement is only available to those who have a dedicated Facebook sales representative. This pretty much means that only larger accounts will have access to this service in the near future. Nevertheless, this system could be the beginning of an online marketing trend that allows advertisers to spend their money more effectively.
No Help For the Little Guy?
With all this said, it's still debatable whether or not small businesses can benefit from Facebook ads even if conversion lift becomes available to them. The organic reach that brands can attain on the network has plummeted to nothing, meaning that brands are basically forced to pay for ads if they want any exposure. At the same time, the cost of Facebook ads has climbed by 335 percent. Not to mention, there's a lot of doubt as to whether Facebook ads can have any positive impact at all. So while conversion lift has the potential to be hugely beneficial and paradigm-changing for businesses that have the money to spend on Facebook ads, only time will tell if small companies will see the benefit.
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