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Assessing the value of Facebook ads

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 22 Nov, 2012
Essential Essential topic

New techniques to assess the impact of Facebook ads on conversions

Value (larger businesses): [rating=4] (smaller companies): [rating=1]

Recommended link: Techcrunch summary

With recent research being used to assert by Forrester and Business Insider that Facebook and Twitter Do Almost Nothing for Sales, this is an interesting measurement initiative by Facebook that urgently needs to prove to advertisers and shareholders alike that Facebook does influence sales.

The measurement approaches applies to Facebook advertising rather than wider Facebook marketing using company pages. There is certainly a need to prove the value of Facebook advertising with high profile advertisers like GM terminating a $10 million investment in Facebook advertising earlier in the year.

The new ad tracking options in Facebook

  • 1. View tags give a method of placing cookies on users’ devices where they view a Facebook ad. View Tags are supported for Marketplace ads and Premium ads in Self Serve. I’ve marked this feature as mainly being of value to larger companies and agencies since this isn’t “plug and play” like AdWords advertising, instead they require the use of an additional field view_tags in Facebook Ad API which will mainly be used by companies with specialist Facebook ad management tools.As this diagram from TechCrunch shows, the technology enables “Viewthrough” sales where ad viewers don’t click, but purchase later to be assessed (against a control for a realistic assessment).

Facebook ViewTags tracking. Source: Techcrunch.

Techcrunch gives two individual examples of the insight this can give from two advertising platform owners using the technique:

  • SocialCode showed that 87% of conversions came from impressions, not clicks in one campaign.
  • Kenshoo used View Tags to show in another campaign that only 34.6% of conversions were coming from impressions where users didn’t click. Impression-only conversions generated over $31,00, or 29% of the campaign’s total revenue.

Of course the impression-only conversions can be influenced by advertising or interaction in other channels too, they’re not necessarily due to Facebook ads.

  • 2. New Facebook ad conversion tracking tools. Due to be rolled out on Friday 23/11, this will be an alternative for direct advertisers to use. More on this once it’s officially launched by Facebook. Of course, for clicks outside of Facebook, Google tracking codes can be used.
Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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