Attribution is one of the toughest parts of the marketing cycle to measure (we’ve even proposed ways to help solve the problem). According to attribution software company Bizible, 74.6% of marketers use some attribution model, but only 27.6% say they chose their attribution model specifically to measure ROI by channel. Those stats go to show you that marketers are still trying to figure out the best way to connect what’s effective.
When it comes to offline conversions, the puzzle gets even more complicated. Facebook’s Lead Ads were created to help marketers acquire leads on mobile easily. But until now, it was hard to track if the lead acquired through Facebook ever resulted in greater business impact – such as becoming a customer.
Facebook Launches CRM Sync and Offline Tracking for Lead Ads
This week, Facebook announced Offline Conversion, which allows you to connect your CRM, Marketing Automation, POS, or call center system to your Facebook ad campaigns, essentially closing the loop between a digitally-captured lead and a non-digital conversion such as a sales conversation. With this information, marketers can finally give attribution to the ads that are driving business results.
Offline Conversion works for all advertising objectives, so you can implement it across the board immediately. No slow roll outs for this one! The most obvious application includes uncovering the actual performance of lead-focused ads and adjusting your strategy based on results, but marketers should also consider the ability to target high-value customers by creating Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences based on who converted previously. Finally, marketers should test running retargeting campaigns to existing customers and present them with additional products or services that complement their past purchase.
How to Set Up Facebook Offline Conversions
As we mentioned before, Offline Conversion capabilities are available to everyone now. There are three ways to connect your data to Offline Conversion:
- Use Facebook’s native offline event manager and upload the outcome of your leads, as tracked and recorded by another applicable platform. This process is also how you’ll upload information from your POS or call center systems.
- If you use Salesforce, Marketo, or Zapier you’re in luck – these Facebook partners participated in the beta test and have built a direct integrations with Offline Conversion offering. These links will get you started: Marketo, Leadsbridge, Zapier.
- Though more complicated, you can also use the Offline Conversion API to connect your CRM.
Setting Up Offline Event Manager
Step 1) In the Business Manager menu, select Offline Events to go to Offline Event Manager
Step 2) Click Create Offline Event Set to create a new offline event set (see top right hand corner)
Step 3) Enter a Name and Description for your event set, and then click Create
Step 4) Upload Offline Events
Step 5) Select your Data Source
Step 6) Edit your data mapping. Make sure you have columns for the Event Name and Event Time or else it won’t work. See here on how to properly set up your file.
Step 7) Facebook Hashed Upload and Creation
Step 8) Use Offline Events. Once you’ve completed the upload process, Facebook will show you the results of your manual uploads. In this example, we uploaded our Q1 blog subscribers as an offline event. As you can see, we had a 46% match rate. It’s actually a little higher, because of the 13,800 emails only 10,535 of them are mailable. So the match rate is closer to 60%.
Step 9) Use Offline Events to evaluate performance. Head back over to Ads Manager and select the preset columns called Offline Conversions.
Step 10) Analyze your performance! It will take a few minutes to populate the data, but if there are any leads that can be attributed back to your Facebook campaigns this is where they will show up. You can also add in custom columns if you have a particular way you want to see the metrics.
Results and Expert Opinions
Here’s how Offline Conversion has already proven its worth – Marketo, which builds marketing automation software, used Offline Conversion to adjust campaigns in real-time according to downstream results and saw a 15% cut in their cost per qualified lead.
Soso Sazesh, Founder and CEO of Growth Pilots had this to say about Facebook Offline Conversions,
“We’re excited about this feature as we’ve already been leveraging offline conversion tracking for a number of our clients and have seen promising results. The single largest challenge for B2B companies that we’ve worked with when it comes to Facebook advertising is attribution. Facebook is such a different type of advertising channel that many B2B companies don’t know how to interpret or even assess results. These new integrations will simplify an advertiser’s ability to make sense of how Facebook is impacting their entire sales funnel and I expect more B2B companies will get comfortable leveraging Facebook and making it a scalable customer acquisition channel.”
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The concept of sequential advertising first started buzzing in 2013 but failed to gain momentum. That could be changing as platforms finally begin to build ways for marketers to more effectively deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
What Is Sequential Advertising
But first, let’s take a small step back and look at what sequential advertising is. Essentially, it’s a way to show your targeted audience a group of ads by step, with the goal of one day following consumers’ eyes as they jump between devices. It’s different (and more advanced) than rotating ads in that it uses technology to determine which ads someone has already seen and automatically serves up the next one in the series.
So instead of running the risk of someone seeing the 4th ad in your campaign multiple times (hello, ad fatigue), sequential advertising guarantees a person will see Ad 1, then Ad 2, then Ad 3, and so on, even if they’re switching between many devices.
It’s a complicated process, which is why advertising platforms have been slow to implement it. But progress is being made, like Snapchat now allowing marketers to run sequential video ads in its Discover hub. And consumers like what they see.
Facebook, Refinery29, and Adaptly held a study that found campaigns that tell a brand story before presenting a CTA were more effective than ads that only focused on a CTA. In fact, according to the study, view-through rates for sequenced ads were 87 percent higher than standard ads.
Now we’ll go over when’s the best time to use sequential messaging, how to get a campaign going on Facebook, and how to tailor your ads to this new medium.
When To Use Sequential Advertising on Facebook
The best time to start testing a new ad unit is before the rest of the digital marketers catch on, right? But seriously, sequential advertising is proving itself to be a means to forge deeper relationships with customers thanks to the storytelling structure it provides. Even if you’re just running some light tests, early adoption could give you a huge leg up.
Sequential also works exceedingly well for less well-known brands who need to build awareness before serving a CTA, and companies that are selling a complicated product or service that’s difficult to sum up in one ad. Instead of having to jam everything into one ad for fear it may be your only chance to catch someone’s attention, sequential ensures your messaging is guiding consumers down a natural funnel.
Advertising often is too focused on acquisition and ignores lead nurturing. Sequencing helps here by providing a way to better pair blog posts and email campaigns with advertising to offer more helpful, relevant ad messaging based on where a prospect is within the buying cycle.
One example is taking low friction content such as a blog post, which often doesn’t introduce your product or service, and moving on to items like a gated whitepaper, case study, then a webinar or demo.
How To Get Started Using Facebook Sequential Advertising
Facebook is slowly rolling out access to sequential within reach and frequency campaigns, but there’s no word on when it might be more widely available. To check if you have access to sequencing, see Facebook’s step-by-step instructions and note “sequencing isn’t available until after you’ve reserved and uploaded your reach and frequency ad set.”
Because Facebook and Instagram share data, sequencing is available on both platforms, and your ads will show up on both, but you cannot control which ads are delivered to which platform.
If you don’t yet have access to sequencing directly through Facebook, AdStage recently introduced a new Flighting Feature that gives all customers access to sequencing! It includes funnel-based storytelling and prime-and-remind storytelling, discussed in more detail below, as well as progressive promotions, which allows you to run a promotion with different percentages off per week. For example, 10% off the first week, 20% the second week, and so on.
Facebook digs in deeper on funnel-based and prime-and-remind storytelling in this great overview and data booklet on tests they conducted for sequential:
Funnel-based storytelling = messages guide consumers down the purchase funnel:
Priming-and-reminding storytelling = multiple ad formats “prime” people with the brand’s story via video ads and “remind” people of the info in the video with display ads:
In the funnel-based test, Facebook used Refinery29’s conversion rates for email sign-ups. One set of ads used direct-response messages, while the other set used sequential storytelling. There was a 49% greater conversion rate using a funnel-based marketing approach. And for the priming-and-reminding test, Facebook looked at a nonprofit advertiser that used a video ad with a display ad to return a 5.97% better rate of donations. Approaches and ad combos will work differently for every brand, so test small and tweak.
Tips to Tailor Ads to Sequential
Sequential offers many more options for creative than standard ads. Because it effectively guides consumers along the funnel, test different ad formats at each point – brand awareness, consideration, conversion.
Video can help deliver more info upfront, and carousels can showcase multiple products before you serve up a simple CTA. Also, test the pacing of your ads. You don’t want to move too quickly for larger purchasing decisions, or too slowly for low price points that don’t need much consideration. Always print and lay out your creative to ensure it tells a cohesive story.
For years, marketers have talked about the possibilities and implications of sequential advertising but had no way to execute. If advertising platforms continue with the progress they’ve already made, 2017 could be the year we finally have a way to form deeper and richer relationships with customers.
If there’s one thing any PPC marketer should know in 2017, it’s this: video marketing works.
Since people spend one third of their online time watching videos, it’s understandable it influences their behavior. Videos influence viewers into taking action, whether that is visiting a page, giving their email address to a company, or buying a product.
Companies understand this. According to a study carried out by Ascend2, 69% of companies report their video marketing budget is increasing.
Still, video marketing isn’t enough. If you don’t have a large enough social media following or email list, you may not get enough views to bring the desired results.
Build Trust with Video Ads
That’s why you need to use ads. Ads can help you increase the distribution of your videos.
What’s surprising is people like video ads more than they like regular ads. A Nielsen report from 2012, showed that 36% of people trust video ads. Not only that, but the people who enjoy watching video ads increase their purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%.
Considering that few people trust advertising these days, video ads become a highly effective way to reach new audiences and influence their behavior.
If you still want to know more about video ads and how they impact consumers, read the rest of this article.
People Prefer Video over Text
The power of video marketing starts with the fact people like video over text. It’s human nature: it’s easier to watch something that’s both entertaining and easier to understand than to read something.
According to Animoto, there are 4 times more consumers who would rather watch a video about a product than reading about it. At the same time, if a consumer has the option to choose between text and video on the same page, 69% of them would prefer to watch a video to learn about a product or service.
This is especially true if the video content is an ad. Who has the time to read an advertisement when they could simply watch it?
Video also affects the way people use a website. Wistia, a video hosting company, found people who watch a video, on average, spend 260% more time on pages with video than those without them.
You don’t need to fully discard your text for your advertising campaigns, however. Since video has a long-lasting effect in how people consume content, you should combine your videos with full-page ads, as it has been shown that boosts engagement by 22%.
Key Takeaway: Add videos to your ad campaigns and to your landing page as that increases time on page and boosts engagement.
People Remember Video Ads
The key to an effective ad isn’t just to get lots of impressions at a low cost. You create an ad so people take action on it, whether that is to remember your brand, go to your website, or buy a product. What matters, therefore, is to make people remember your ads so they can then take the needed action.
A study done by Lab42, a research firm, found that 71% of consumers like funny ads, as they make them more likely to remember a product. Below funny ads came educational ads (12%), sexy (8%), serious (4%), and finally patriotic (3%).
One of the best recent examples of a fun video ad is “This is Virgin Fibre” by Virgin. I’m not a potential customer of Virgin, but I can still remember the main idea of that ad weeks after I’ve watched it. That’s the power of a video ad.
There’s a second and more powerful reason why video ads are so powerful: viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to a mere 10% when reading it in text. Also, 80% of consumers recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.
Key Takeaway: People remember video content better. Funny ads also help a lot to achieve this result.
Videos Influence the B2C Purchase Cycle
One of the biggest questions most B2C marketers ask is “How do I make people buy my products?“. They try many different tactics to achieve that: enticing copy, high-quality images, optimized product pages, and many more things.
Videos, as it turns out to be, are one of the most powerful tactics they could use to persuade their visitors to convert.
Wyzowl, a video marketing company, found that 77% of consumers say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a video. Another study made by Animoto, found something similar: 73% of people are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.
Video doesn’t just make people want to buy a product, it also influences them throughout the whole decision process: 90% of users say product videos are helpful in the decision process.
This doesn’t just affect consumers in a product or service page, this also includes video ads. According to Online Publishers Association, 46% of users take some sort of action after viewing a video ad.
Finally, a study done by the Aberdeen Group found that companies which use videos in their marketing strategy enjoy 27% higher CTR and 34% higher web conversion rates than those which don’t. This can help reduce the cost per acquisition in social media sites such as Facebook, in which the CTR affects the relevance score, which affects the bid and, therefore, the cost.
Key Takeaway: Videos influence people take some kind of action, including a visit to a page or buying a product. Also, it influences the whole purchasing cycle, from awareness to the final sale. This works both for videos in product pages as well as in ads.
Video Ads Work for B2B As Well
So far you’ve seen how videos ads affect consumers and B2C companies. This doesn’t mean video ads don’t work for B2B companies. Most, if not all, of the previously mentioned facts apply for B2B marketing funnels. That’s why 96% of B2B organizations use video in some capacity in their marketing campaigns, while 73% of them report a positive ROI.
Most B2B organizations find video effective mainly to the fact 50% of executives look for more information after seeing a product/service in a video, while 65% visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor. What’s more, executives behavior regarding video is similar to the ones of regular consumers: 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.
In contrast with B2C sales, where the videos are mostly about a specific product or service, there are many types of videos B2B marketers can use. A study done by Ascend2, discovered that B2B marketers the following video marketing types have a positive result to their bottom line:
- 51% customer testimonials
- 50% tutorial videos
- 49% demonstration videos
Just like with B2C sales, videos positively affect the whole buyer’s journey. 70% of B2B marketers claim that videos are more effective than other content when it comes to converting users to qualified leads. That explains why Tubular Insights found 73% of B2B marketers find video positively impacts their marketing ROI.
Key Takeaway: Executives like watching videos and are influenced by them as most consumers. B2B marketers find video and video ads powerful and effective.
Video Works in Every Marketing Channel
Video influences the behavior of consumers not only in landing pages, ads, or articles. It works in every marketing channel, including email and social media.
For some reason, 53% of businesses who use video say they struggle to promote the video content they produce. That’s because they tend not to promote it through their other marketing channels. If they did, not only it would increase the channel’s effectiveness, it will also help them promote their video.
Those companies who do use video in other marketing channels:
- 47% do so in their email campaigns with an 80% effectiveness rate
- 87% do so on social media, with a 78% effectiveness rate
Using video marketing for your social paid ads is where you can harness the power of the former.
To start, Facebook is rated as the most social channel with the highest impact for video. That’s 840% higher impact than any other social channel. In contrast with a photo, a Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach.
That’s why 39% of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their content strategy and 44% of small business owners plan to invest in video content on Facebook in 2017.
Facebook video ads may be powerful, but Twitter has nothing to envy them. Video views on Twitter grew 220x from December 2014 to December 2015. This explains why 82% of Twitter users watch video content, 93% of which are in mobile.
What’s more, video ads are nearly 2x as memorable on Twitter than skippable pre-roll ads on premium sites. Also, Twitter videos drive high engagement, with 250% more replies, 280% more retweets, and 190% more favorites than third party players.
Twitter users think video ads are 10% more relevant, 8% more favorable, and 8% less intrusive, compared to similar ones on publisher sites.
Key Takeaway: There’s no reason why you shouldn’t reutilize the videos you create in your other marketing channels, including email and social media.
Today you have learned the power of video ads for your marketing strategy. You have seen how much people like consuming video and how it makes them remember an ad’s message. You’ve also seen both B2C and B2B business alike can foster its power.
Now it’s your turn. Do you use video for your advertising campaigns? If not, did you learn something that changed your mind about video ads? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Influencer marketing is hot right now. It should be because it works. It’s not just hot because people are talking about it – it’s because it’s a way to reach audiences who are traditionally tricky, and in markets where competition is strong.
Millennials (those allegedly elusive and ad-blocking folks reaching young adulthood in the early part of this century) being a prime example. Nearly a quarter of them view well-known vloggers (video bloggers) and content publishers as unbiased role models, and 44 per cent of internet users (53 per cent) of 16-24 year olds) watch vlogs each month.
Social influencers are creators of content on their own terms, and because of this they add ‘intimacy’ to a brand. Video platforms like YouTube allow viewers to feel closer to the personalities with whom they engage from the safety of their own mobile device or bedroom – making these platforms the largest, most trusted, easy to access, searchable resources for information around any given topic.
Potential Influencer Investment
Some of the upper echelons of internet celebrities can command six digit figures for showcasing brand products to their millions of followers. The ‘going rate’ depends on the number of committed viewers, and the following can act as a basic guide of what a company might conservatively expect to pay for endorsement.
For a single post on the likes of Instagram or Snapchat, for example, the digital pr agency I work for arranges deals with social influencers around the following:
3-20K followers: $65-$250
20-100K followers: $250-$500
100-250K followers: $500-$650
200-500K followers: $650-$850
500K+ followers: $1,000+
Find the Next Wave
The key to not paying a fortune here is to do the research and to hunt out the next wave of social influencers that are growing online followers relevant to the brand in the right territories (US, UK, etc.), and to recruit them from emerging social sites still in their infancy.
Within Instagram, Snapchat, Musical.ly and Periscope there is still a healthy supply of budding social influencers with large and growing followings. Contacting these people directly through their chosen platforms (especially if they’re at the stage where such offers from brands aren’t common and they haven’t yet secured the services of an agent) can be an easy way to get their rate card, discuss an offer and make first contact.
The Channels are Wising Up
Social networks are wising up to this. Snapchat now plans to pay content creators a guaranteed amount in advance for a licence for the content they produce, giving it exclusive rights to sell advertising against the content and retain any revenue generated.
Last year a Snapchat patent also hinted at a “revenue-sharing” model, where a brand could pay Snapchat content creators for their content. It specified: “A user image may be added to a gallery sponsored by Coca Cola and in return for contributing to Coca Cola’s gallery, a user may receive compensation on a flat-fee, per view or revenue share basis.”
While not part of the platform yet, this could well be the future. Let’s not forget that Instagram belongs to Facebook, which is proactive and passionate about a revenue-generating ad model to keep Mr. Zuckerberg in grey t-shirts and vegetarian ready meals.
It Pays To Be Quick
The message we can take from this is to strike while the iron is hot – looking at those that have the audience you are looking for and have a growing and dedicated crop of followers early on. Ask your target audience who is hot and who is not.
Klout for Business now provides functionality to segment, explore and deal with influencer lists. Influencer management tools like Trackr and performance monitoring tools like Buzzsumo are emerging that offer a strong first port of call, but there’s no substitute for water cooler discussions with the more web-savvy members of our team.
What You Can Do
Asking customers who they follow in focus groups and in polls can produce enlightening results, as well as offering insight into the topics of genuine interest to them. Reaching out to up-and-coming content creators can be surprisingly cost effective with genuine measurable ROI.
After all, those posts have longevity and will be part of their stream when their following grows further, and the very act of sponsoring them can be a boost to their presence. Listen to the millennials (or other target groups) in your company and invite them to brainstorming meetings – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what they have to contribute.
Oh boy, have Facebook reports have come a long way. If you can remember back to 2013 (when “poking” was still the rage), you’ll probably recall the hours you spent pulling reports for data that, today, feels incredibly simple. Just four years ago marketers were relying on demographics information that only went as deep as age and gender.
Today, Facebook can tell us a lot more about current and prospective customers, what and how competitors are doing, and provide real-time updates on content performance. Part of Facebook’s goal to bring value to advertisers through data is a more robust reporting hub called Facebook Insights.
Any business page with 30+ fans will automatically populate an Insights tab. Find yours by navigating to your Page, then look for the Insights tab at the top. There, you’ll find interactive charts and graphs under five main topics:
Let’s look at the information you’ll find in each category and how you can use it to your advantage.
Facebook Organic Performance Overview
This section is the quickest way to get an overall look at your Page’s performance. Here, you’ll see data over the past seven days for three main points:
- Page Likes: Total and new likes
- Post Reach: Total number of unique people who looked at your Page and posts
- Engagement: Total number of unique people who engaged with your Page, and a breakdown of the types of engagement
When you’re in Overview, you’ll also see your five most recent posts, and a snapshot of how each performed, including type of post, targeting, reach, clicks, engagement, and spend. You can click on individual posts for detailed information, or navigate to the other category tabs to get a look at Likes, Reach, and Engagement across all posts for the timeline you specify.
From Overview, you can access another helpful tool called Pages to Watch, which shows you what similar businesses are posting, and how their posts are doing. Getting a look at what the other guys are posting can be a powerful springboard for your own creative.
This report is exactly what it sounds like, but goes beyond simply recording total Likes. It offers handy information on what’s effective in getting people to Like your page. As you move your cursor around on the Likes graph, you’ll discover you can drill down into daily activity to see the number of Likes you got on a specific day.
Use the data selector to pull Likes for a longer span of time, and scroll down to get a look at unlikes, organic likes, paid likes, and net likes (likes minus unlikes). It’s from this graph you can determine where your Likes are coming from – directly from your Page, from Page suggestions, or paid ads. This helps you determine what’s working so you can do more of it.
Pull a report from this section to learn everything these is to know about what happens to a post or ad once it’s published. That includes users who looked at your Page through organic or paid efforts, post engagement through Likes, Comments and Shares, and negative actions through Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes.
Outside of your own efforts, you can also see any activity related to your page, like posts from others referencing your page, mentions, and check-ins.
Anytime you’re trying something new with your content strategy, like posting at a different time of day or increasing the frequency of posts, you’ll want to keep a close eye on activity under Reach. Use the date slider to compare before and after to see if your changes are effective.
This tab will look similar to Overview, but you can get a more in-depth look at individual Post performance here, including the ability to sort by engagement for a clearer look at your strongest posts. The coolest part of the Posts tab is “When Your Fans Are Online,” which shows you when your audience is logged into Facebook.
The best time to serve up posts is when your audience is most likely to see them! Keep this data close the next time you’re scheduling posts.
Next to “When Your Fans Are Online” is “Post Types,” where you can get a snapshot of how your different post types perform, based on reach and engagement. Make a note of what’s doing the best, then scroll down to individual post data where you can use the drop down arrows at the top right of the table to look at reach between fans and non-fans and positive and negative engagement. Dissect the top-performing creative according to this criteria to come up with new ads that are likely to do well.
The information you get in the People tab is one of the major reasons Facebook continues to give advertisers the most bang for their buck in comparison to other social platforms. A detailed profile of engaged customers is one of the most valuable pieces of information a marketer can get, and that’s exactly what shows up in the People report.
Within the tab, you’ll see three breakdowns for “Your Fans,” “People Reached” and “People Engaged.” Your Fans shows you gender, age, and location of the people who’ve liked your Page. People Reached gives you an overview of who’s seen your posts in the past 28 days. People Engaged is the real goldmine.
This report lets you see who has Liked, Commented on, Shared your posts or Engaged with your Page in a 28 day period. This information gives you an idea of who you’re already resonating with so you can tailor future posts to speak to this audience profile.
Facebook’s Insights hub gives you reports for two other elements – Page Visits and Video – which aren’t as statistically important as the other reports but can be beneficial, depending on your goals.
Visits shows you the number of times each tab on your Page was viewed, and the number of times people visited from a website off of Facebook. It’s always a good idea to have your Page updated with accurate details to help customers quickly navigate to the info they need.
The Videos section gives you an idea of how engaging your videos are, including how many times your Page’s videos were viewed for 3 seconds or more, and and the number of times your videos were viewed for 30 seconds or more. You can also sort by most viewed videos.
Clearly, Facebook reports have changed drastically in just the past few years and will continue to seek deeper information and offer actionable insights. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we discuss Facebook Reports: Paid Results!
Since its launch, Facebook Ads have become one of the most powerful customer acquisition channels.
Most marketers agree: 78% of them are satisfied with their Facebook ads.
Given 71% of all Internet users are on Facebook, you can’t deny its power.
If you have more experience with other paid channels, most likely Google Adwords, you may find it hard to grasp at first.
You may even find some of the more advanced advertising strategies counterintuitive.
Facebook Ads and How to Make Them Work for You
To make your life easier, we brought in someone who knows all the ins and outs of Facebook Ads: Jay Stampfl. Jay went from being an intern at adBrite and an anthropologist running around the jungles of Costa Rica, to become the CEO of BlackBird PPC, the digital advertising agency he founded in 2016.
Throughout this PPC Show episode, Jay, an expert in paid search, paid social, and programmatic display, gave us many interesting ideas on how to make Facebook Ads work for you.
The effectiveness of Facebook Ads and its impact on the final result (whether that’s a lead or a sale) differs mainly based on which kind of company uses it. The way Facebook Ads work for a B2C company is much different than for a B2B one.
If you have an e-commerce store and you sell products directly to consumers, like fashion or home decor, it will be easy for you to track how much each click is worth to you. Given the shorter sales cycle, which in many cases happens within one session, the impact of the final sale can be easily analyzed. If you use Google Analytics’ attribution reports, you will see how much your Facebook Ads’ influenced the final sale.
In other words, for B2C companies, the attribution modeling works.
The situation changes drastically if you use Facebook Ads for B2B sales cycles. In stark contrast with B2C sales, the problem with Facebook Ads lies in its impact on the final result and its correct attribution.
With B2B sales, the value of a click dilutes through the funnel, as it’s longer and more complex. It’s hard to add the right attribution to it. If a prospect finds your company after she clicks on one of your ads, and the company ends up purchasing a contract worth thousands of dollars six months down the line, that ad was worth thousands of dollars. The problem is, you will never be able to know that given the long time-frame and the complexity of the sale process.
Not everything is lost, however. Even if you run Facebook Ads campaigns and these ads don’t make your visitors convert directly, you can get a lot of awareness as well as it can help you get referral traffic and word-of-mouth.
Bidding optimization can be one of the hardest things any marketer can do to improve their paid campaigns. On the one hand, bidding can help you maximize your spending while giving you the best results. On the other, if you bid incorrectly, you can lose a lot of money fast.
Compared to Google Adwords, the Facebook Ads bidding system is much more difficult to grasp. Google Adwords’ bidding system is logic-based, that is, you bid based on the user’s queries and the value of the click is worth to you. Facebook, on the other hand, is much more dynamic, which makes it more difficult to bid on.
To start, Facebook’s algorithm throws marketing logic out the window. For example, if you raise the bid of an ad on Facebook, you will get higher quality users, which means the relevance score will increase, helping you get more clicks and lowering the CPA. With Adwords, if you bid up, your clicks go up just as your CPA goes up. That change in the logic behind the bidding system can make Facebook Ads much harder to manage.
Just because the Facebook bidding system is harder to understand compared to Google Adwords, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. On the contrary, you only need to select the correct bidding system for your goal. Once that’s done, Facebook will do a good job of assessing how to put your ad in the auction based on the bidding method you are using.
Even though there are no “best bid types”, you should choose one over the other one depending on the goal of your campaign.
- CPM: For some, highly unreliable and ineffective. But it can work if your goal is awareness (i.e. you want a lot of views to your ad so people get to remember your company)
- oCPM: This is the standard bid type for all Facebook ads. In a way, it works like a mix of CPM and CPC, so you can use it for build awareness, bring traffic to your site, or even get conversions.
- CPC: The one you must be most familiar with. Works best for traffic-related goals and, in some cases, to action-related goals (e.g. app installs).
- CPA: As the name suggest, you pay per action, whether that’s a sale, a lead, or whatever you have defined as one. Works best when your Facebook has a lot of data to optimize for (see next for more information).
The Facebook algorithm (and its bidding system) likes optimizing with lots of data. As a consequence, you need to spend money before you get any results. That way, the Facebook algorithm can get all the data it needs to optimize your campaigns.
This is why when you create a Facebook Ads campaign, you need to target large audiences. Jay likes targeting with an audience of at least 1 million. He likes optimizing with oCPM and Conversion goals to hit 20 conversions a day, so Facebook can get all the data it needs. If he doesn’t get those conversions, he moves the conversion up the funnel. This means, instead of focusing on conversions you would focus on a click or even on impressions.
That way, Facebook can optimize their whole algorithm better.
Before you start optimizing your bidding, you need to have a good account structure. If you have thousands of ads per ad group, Facebook’s algorithm won’t be able to optimize their bidding for them. This means you need to add some level of granularity and segmentation to your campaigns.
Each structure differs considerably based on the campaign goal and business.
For example, if you have an e-commerce store and you want to increase your sales, you could segment each ad campaign based on your products. One campaign would focus on shoes, while another one in bags, and so on.
On the other hand, if you have an agency and you want to increase your lead acquisition, you could segment your campaigns based on the kind of client you are trying to target. You would have one campaign focused on large businesses with more complex sales cycles, and you would have another one focused on smaller businesses with shorter cycles.
Once you select the goal that works best for you, you would repeat the same process with ad groups and individual ads.
With the former, you would create specific ad groups that target one segment from your campaigns. You can use custom and lookalike audiences to help you out.
With the latter, you would create ads that talk to specific individuals. You can use different ad texts and images to see which one rings best your audience.
The key of a good account structure, then, lies in being ultra specific with your targeting. The lower you get with your campaigns, the more specific you should be.
This account structure will allow Facebook to optimize your campaigns better for each of your goals.
If there’s one thing you are likely to take from this article is Facebook Ads can be tricky. Testing on their platform isn’t any different.
Just like with any test, if you develop a test within an ad group with three ads, one is going to perform great, and the other two won’t. That’s how A/B testing works.
In a normal situation, you would then pause the ad group, take the ad that’s performing and create a separate ad group to test it even further. Unfortunately, this is doomed to fail.
As you already know, Facebook’s algorithm needs lots of data in it to optimize bids. Once you take the winning ad to a new ad group, you will be resetting the data in the algorithm. This means, the “winning” ad will likely perform worse than before.
Remember, Facebook loves historical data. That makes the A/B testing environment for Facebook Ads so tricky. That’s why Jay recommends sometimes the best you can do is kill the good ads and start fresh.
The good news is, losing a Facebook ad test doesn’t mean that ad is bad. Sometimes it’s just a matter of bad historical data, not a bad ad or targeting.
Hire for Quality, not Fame
Even if you follow all the tips laid out in this article, it’s easy to get confused or lost with all the complexities of Facebook Ads. That’s why in many cases the best thing to do is hire an agency that takes care of your whole Facebook Ads account.
The problem is, many times companies hire the wrong agency.
If you want to hire a great PPC agency, hire one that has the most experience and that is willing to work directly with you. Most businesses that run paid ads need help with the management campaigns. Given the amount of agencies and consultants out there, businesses have many options to pick from. Unfortunately, many businesses have a small budget. This in itself isn’t a big deal. The problem is many times they end up making one of the following mistakes:
- They hire someone cheap and has little experience;
- They try to hire a large famous agency that will put an inexperienced account manager.
The problem with the former mistake is they then get little to no results since the agency or consultant doesn’t know what they’re doing.
The problem with the latter, according to Jay Stampfl, is that these agencies end up assigning them a 23-year old who has little experience in the industry. That results in mediocre results, similar to the company that hires a cheaper but still inefficient consultant.
Jay recommends going for smaller agencies, like BlackBird PPC, that are going to put their best people upfront without charging top dollar. Still, you need to invest to get high-quality PPC management. Even if your budget is low, the saying “you get what you pay for” holds true for PPC.
Want to more from Jay Stampfl? Follow him on twitter or listen to the whole episode below:
Here at AdStage we’re really excited to experiment with Facebook Messenger ads. Chatbots have taken off big time and 2017 has been tipped to be the year they move into mass adoption. There are now over 100,00 of them on Facebook Messenger. This growth is reflected in the increasing popularity of messaging apps, which are growing faster than social networks and fueling the rise of chatbots in the process.
Marketing is all about (a) finding your target audience and (b) communicating how your product or service can solve their problem. Which is why companies need to market through these messaging apps.
Why? People LOVE using Messaging apps and they prefer to use it to communicate with people we love. We iMessage our significant other. Facebook Messenger with our friends. Slack with our team. So let’s market to people where they currently are.
We’ve put together this guide to walk you through the ins and outs of how to set up them up and get the best performance.
How to Navigate This Facebook Messenger Ads Guide
This guide to messenger ads is broken down into four main parts. Feel free to skip to the section that is most relevant to your needs.
- Messenger Stats & Growth
- Facebook Messenger Ads
- How to Create Facebook Messenger Ads
- Messenger Ads Campaign Ideas
Part 4 – AdStage Case Study & Results (coming in June)
Want to get an alert when Part 4 comes out? Give us your address and we’ll shoot you an email as soon as it’s ready!
Let’s face it most people use their smartphones as their primary PC. This reliance on mobile phones grows in lockstep with our desire for constant and instant communication with family members, friends, and even work colleagues.
Enter messaging apps. Mobile messaging apps are exploding and are one of the hottest marketing trends in 2017. According to Business Insider, “the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks.”
Their exponential growth is largely due to their rich services and features, from free text messaging, to voice and video calling, group chats, stickers to convey moods, and even photo and file sharing. Now add falling data package prices and cheaper smartphones and it’s easy to track the boom from traditional calling to SMS to social messaging apps.
The Popularity of Messaging Apps
There are several networks in the messaging app ecosystem. As for the most popular network, it really depends on what you’re measuring and geographic location.
In the battle of the messaging services, Facebook Messenger (65%) has a lead over WhatsApp (56%) for membership, but WhatsApp is virtually level for visitors/users. WeChat is absolutely dominant in China; over 90% have an account.
According to a study of global internet users from GlobalWebIndex in 2015, Facebook Messenger was the most used messaging app with 37% of those surveyed using it, followed by WhatsApp (33%), Skype (21%), Line (10%), and Google Hangouts (9%). Nearly half (49.3%) of mobile users in North America and 43.4% of those in Western Europe will use messaging apps this year.
The MEF Mobile Messaging Survey 2016 indexes the messaging habits of nearly 6000 respondents across nine countries worldwide as shown below.
eMarketer’s latest report predicted Messenger will reach 105.2 million active daily users in the U.S by the end of 2016. That figure represents 40% of mobile users, making Facebook Messenger the leading over-the-top (OTT) mobile messaging app in the U.S. OTT messaging apps work over an Internet connection and not the SMS network like iMessage, which has boosted their popularity with international users.
SimilarWeb conducted a study using Android data from 187 countries and were able to determine the most popular messaging app all over the world (minus iPhone users).
While they’re consolidating under a few key players, in almost every country in the world, a messaging app is the most used app overall.
Messaging App Demographics
In general, messaging apps are especially popular among younger smartphone owners. In the US, 42% of smartphone users between the ages of 18-29 use messaging apps. And three in ten online smartphone users utilize general messaging apps, like Whatsapp, Viber, or Kik.
As the customer journey evolves and becomes more fragmented across networks and devices, there’s a real opportunity for marketers to reach younger audiences on the device of their choice, and on the network of their choice.
Which is exactly what Facebook is banking on with Messenger ads.
What is Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a free mobile messaging and chat app for smartphones that lets people send text messages, hold group chats, send and receive money, share photos or videos, and even make voice calls to their Facebook friends. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in February that WhatsApp serves as a replacement for SMS services, whereas Messenger aims to be a more “expressive and rich environment” with a broad range of content.
For businesses, Messenger is roughly two years old. At the 2015 F8 conference, Facebook unveiled a new Messenger feature to bring businesses on the platform with the goal of enhancing how people and businesses communicate. Since then there are now more than 1 billion messages sent each month between customers and businesses.
Plus, Messenger gives Facebook another way to own users’ time. The average user spends over 50 minutes a day scrolling and interacting on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot of time. However, there are only 24 hours in a day, and the average person sleeps for 8.8 of them. That means more than 1/16 of the average user’s waking time is spent on a Facebook owned platform.
What was once just a feature within Facebook is now one of the world’s most popular mobile messaging app services.
Messenger Stats & Growth
The undeterred rise in usage of Facebook Messenger continues from over 1.2 billion active users that’s ⅙ of the global population. 88% of online adults are a member of at least one of Facebook’s four main services: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram.
Image Credit: Facebook
And according to Facebook’s 2016 Q4 report, there are 400 million Facebook Messenger users using voice and video chat on the app each month.
Here are a few more staggering stats Facebook hasn’t been shy about sharing.
- 10% of all Voice over IP (VoIP) calls made globally take place within Messenger
- 17 billion photos are distributed by Messenger each month
- 22 million GIFs shared every day, the equivalent of 254 GIFs per second
Image Credit: Facebook
This graph from Statista presents the number of Facebook Messenger users in the United States from 2014 to 2020. In 2015, 90.4 million U.S. mobile phone users accessed the messaging app to communicate. This figure is projected to grow to 139.2 million users in 2020.
Over the last year, we’ve seen Facebook look for ways to keep customers and shareholders happy and engaged. They continuously roll out new features, many copied from Snapchat, keeping the platform fresh and users actively engaged. They introduced Messenger Ads in Q4 2016 hinting at their ambition to carve out another revenue stream similar to Instagram.
Facebook Messenger Ads
Messenger ads provide marketers another avenue to start a conversation. And there’s a real business case to be made here as customers become more interested in using Facebook Messenger to make online purchases. Statista reports 84 percent of millennial respondents are willing to connect their PayPal account to Facebook Messenger in order to use conversational commerce.
2 Types of Messenger Ads + 1 Closed Beta
Currently, there are two types of Messenger ads available to advertisers with another one in closed beta.
- Send People to Messenger (Direction) – use Messenger ads to have your leads initiate the conversation with your business.
- Send Ads to People on Messenger (Placement)
- BETA: Testing Home Screen Ads (see example below)
How to Create Facebook Messenger Ads
There are currently two types of Messenger Ads available. Let’s walk through how to set up each type of ad.
Send People to Messenger (Direction)
Send People to Messenger ads appear in the News Feed with a call-to-action button that opens a Messenger conversation. It’s a a unique way to start a conversation and provide a personalized experience for your customers or potential customers.
Here’s how to get started.
1) Choose the Traffic objective (Note: This may appear as “Send people to your website” for some advertisers).
2) Choose your campaign name and click Continue.
3) Choose your audience, budget and News Feed placements (Note: You cannot use Instagram as a placement option when selecting Messenger as a destination).
4) At the ad level, choose your format. You can choose Carousel, Single Image, Single Video or Slideshow format.
5) Choose the Page you want to connect.
6) Choose Messenger as your destination.
7) Type a welcome message. When people click on your ad, they will automatically be directed to Messenger and receive a copy of your ad and the welcome message.
8) Select your call to action. I’d recommend Send Message so the user understands.
9) After you’ve reviewed your ad, click Place Order.
Keep in mind: Your Send People to Messenger ad won’t appear to people who don’t have the Messenger app.
Send Sponsored Messages to People on Messenger (Placement)
Now let’s set up the other type of Message Ad available to advertisers.
1) Choose the Traffic objective (Note: This may appear as Send people to your website for some advertisers).
2) Type in your campaign name and click Continue.
3) Choose your budget.
4) Choose your audience. Keep in mind that you can reach people who’ve messaged your page.
5) For placement choose Messenger. Note: selecting Messenger will turn off all the other placements.
6) At the ad level, choose your format. The option currently available is the Single Image format
7) Choose a website destination URL.
8) Write your headline, text and link description.
9) Once you’re happy with the ad, click Place Order.
Messenger Ads Campaign Ideas
There are some really interesting use cases from companies that have experimented with Messenger ads and chatbots. For example, Digital Marketer ran a highly successful campaign that generated 500% ROI in 3 days.
Or Nordstrom’s Messenger chatbot that asked a series of questions about user preferences, which users could answer right in the app. Depending on the input, the chatbot would then offer them some gift ideas, specifically picked for them. Rather than relying on customers to interact with your website, these examples show innovative ways to stay engaged with customers on a preferred platform and device.
Another way you could employ Messenger ads is to send out coupons or discounts. Below ranks the types of advertising and promotions that consumers in the United States are willing to receive via Facebook Messenger as of 2016, sorted by age group.
A total of 52 percent of Generation X survey respondents stated they were open to receive notifications of store sales upon entering a store via Facebook Messenger.
There are very impressive stats and ad placements. Right now, there’s a huge opportunity for early adopters to take advantage of Messenger before it gets ruined by spammy advertisers or before your audience gets completely turned off Messenger ads. Now’s the time to experiment!
Messenger Ads + Chat Bots = Automated Gold
Chatbots have taken off big time and 2017 has been tipped to be the year they move into mass adoption. There are now more than 100k of them on Facebook Messenger. This growth is reflected in the increasing popularity of messaging apps, which are growing faster than social networks and fueling the rise of chatbots in the process.
According to Chatbots Magazine, there are several global trends working together to make 2017 the year of chatbots.
- Mobile messenger domination
- App fatigue
- Support for chatbots by Facebook, Microsoft and other leaders
- Dramatic reduction in chatbot development costs
A chatbot (short for chat robot) is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with a human user in natural language, understands the intent of the user, and sends a response based on business rules and data of the organization.
I’m not talking about AI or Machine Learning. Think of chat bots like email marketing, but through messaging apps. People’s behaviors are changing and marketers will need to adapt to stay relevant. It’s like starting an email list when email became a thing. Or starting a podcast ten years ago. Those that are first to the game
Beerud Sheth, founder and CEO of cloud messaging platform Gupshup, wrote an article on VentureBeat and said,
“We’re in the midst of a once-in-a-decade paradigm shift. Messaging is the new platform, and bots are the new apps. The shift radically changes end-user experiences and developer frameworks and inevitably will change business models, how we monetize, and how we advertise.”
Small businesses without budgets for developers can experiment with codeless chat bot builders. These tools turn a company’s frequently asked questions, like hours and location, into automatic replies on Messenger.
Here is a List of a Few Free Chat Bots to Get You Started
- ManyChat – Visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger with broadcasts, analytics, scheduled posting and many other features
- Chatfuel – A bot platform for creating an AI chatbot on Facebook. Learn how to create a Facebook message bot quickly and easily, no coding required.
- Botsify – Create an AI chatbot without code
- OnSequel – Create media and entertainment bots without writing code to engage the 3B+ users on messaging apps.
We personally love ManyChat because it is (a) free (b) doesn’t require any coding, and (c) super user friendly.
You might be wondering how you could employ a bot for your business. Below are a few ways businesses are currently implementing to engage with their audiences.
Examples of when you could use them
- Customer Support
- Product Search
- Personalize yet automated responses
You might also be thinking that this would never work for my company. You may be right! Below are a few industries that will benefit the most from chatbots.
Sync Messenger Ads with Your Chatbot
Once you get your chatbot created it’s time to integrate it with your Messenger Ads campaign. We suggest taking some time to map out the messaging flow from our audience all the way to the desired outcome.
The key here to figure out what action you want the user to take once they click Send Message. Within the ad set up, Facebook provides the option to include an automated welcome which is perfect for kick starting a conversation and controlling where you want to take your audience.
We’re testing a few options with our integration into Manychat. First one is getting access to CRO eBook. Once someone clicks through from the ad they’ll see a welcome message that says, “Hi there! Looking to get your free CRO eBook? Just type “ebook” below and we’ll send it right over!”
If they type in “ebook” after the welcome message then will see this message.
Pretty awesome! The user was able to get an eBook without leaving a platform they’re comfortable with.
How to Set Up Keyword Sequences
Keyword sequences work off of a “if this then that” type of logic. Example, if this “keyword” then “perform this action.”
For our eBook Messenger Ads, we input if the user types “ebook” then message them the eBook.
When someone typed in this keyword is automatically kicked off the eBook delivery sequence as seen in the example above. All of this was done using Facebook Messenger Ads plus a chatbot keyword sequence to deliver our CRO eBook.
This is only scratching the surface of what you can accomplish with chatbots. You can create advanced customer journeys by varying the action and reward. Here all the options Manychat offers based on a specific keyword. From here you can automate the journey with “if this then that” logic into the desired response.
You can see that you could send an image, file, video, or a list with more options. The possibilities of this powerful automation are a lot like email nurture campaigns. It’s like a choose your own adventure for the user as they follow the map you created.
PART 4 AdStage Case Study (coming soon)
We’re diving into Messenger Ads and chatbots over the next 6 weeks. We’ll share our learnings and results at some point in June.
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