Conversion Tracking for Facebook Ads

One element that justifies any marketing budget towards digital media is measurement and being able to prove Return on Ad Spend (R.O.A.S). There are many ways to track and measure ad performance, but conversion tracking is easy for most people to understand. In simple terms, Conversion Tracking is when a piece of web code is placed on the confirmation page of your website, normally the “Thank you for purchasing/enquiring/subscribing” page. This code only renders after the desired action on the website has been completed, therefore a successful and accurate conversion is recorded. The conversion can then be attributed right down to a specific ad or keyword and in most cases is a powerful metric for determining campaign success.

Google AdWords conversion tracking has been available for a few years, but very recently Facebook woke up and gave all Facebook advertisers access to conversion tracking for ‘off-Facebook’ ads. These are ads that direct people away from Facebook and onto a different web address (i.e. your landing page/website). We have tested Facebook Conversion Tracking and it works much the same as Google AdWords:

To generate a Conversion Pixel, simply navigate to the Facebook Ads Manager and select “Conversion Tracking” on the left hand side.

Facebook-Conversion-Tracking

Then click “Create Conversion Pixel” in a green button on the far right, give it a name and select the conversion category.

Facebook-Conversion-Tracking-Pixel

A Java Script code will be generated after you create the conversion pixel, copy this code and place it on the confirmation page of your website (instructions for your developer), then join all the dots in your Facebook Ads Manager by linking your ads to the Conversion Pixel (edit your ad, tick the Conversion Tracking box and select the corresponding Conversion Pixel). Next you’re ready to check the tracking status of your Conversion Pixel. This can be done by visiting the conversion page where the code was placed, thereafter in your Facebook Ads Manager, the tracking status should be updated to, “Active” (people who have visited the conversion page within the last 24 hours). The Facebook Conversion Pixel will only report conversions that happened as a result from clicking on a Facebook ad.

Along with conversion tracking, Facebook offers Optimised CPM bidding for conversion driven campaigns, not only focusing on clicks. Optimised CPM bidding will dynamically adjust your bids in order to capture the highest-value impressions that are most likely to convert, in-line with your campaign goals and hence delivering the best possible ROI. It is said that Optimised CPM campaigns will deliver better returns than CPC or CPM campaigns, but standard CPC or CPM bidding is still available for the automated skeptics.

Our tests over the last four weeks have converted post click and at a reasonable cost. Conversions fall under “Actions” in your Facebook reports, so you can run an “Actions by Impression Time” report and filter down to ad level, you’ll find your Pixel name under the “Action Type” column (post impression/click). Conversion tracking allows you to determine which ad delivered the highest ROI, so you can make data driven decisions regarding campaign or website optimisation.

It can be argued that users who are on Facebook, want to stay on Facebook and that purchase intent is much lower on Facebook, so why send people to a website? I think it all depends on the objectives and strategy of the campaign. At least now there is an additional way to attribute return from ‘off-Facebook’ ads.

Compare Dates Comes to Google AdWords

As an online marketer it is essential to be able to easily compare your data between two date ranges. Knowing if your campaign experiment or test has improved results or not and having a clear understanding of account performance between two date ranges is often critical when making educated decisions with regards to campaign optimisation.

Google Analytics always had date range comparison options

Unlike Analytics, Google AdWords has previously only ever allowed advertisers to select a set group of possible dates (this month, last month, last 7 days etc) with only one customisable option. Today, we noticed that Google has finally added a “Compare Dates” feature to the date range options in AdWords. Now allowing advertisers to choose/compare two custom date ranges and data is also displayed in your AdWords performance graphs. Now you can see at a glance the stats between two date ranges, instead of switching back and forth or exporting and arranging the data. Custom date ranges seem to remain saved when switching between accounts in your MCC.

Now available in Google AdWords
Performance Graph illustrates data between date ranges

Well done Google AdWords, we take our hats off to you on this one. Been waiting ages for it.

YouTube TrueView Ads [Study]

YouTube TrueView video ads offer a pricing model that is based on user engagement, only paying for interested viewers. This creates a win-win scenario for both advertiser and YouTube user. Impressions are free, just the same as a Pay Per Click model, advertisers are only charged when a users selects to watch a video ad, or watches the pre roll ad for more than 30 seconds or to the end of the video, whichever comes first. Guarantee that your budget is spent on an interested audience.

Google recently announced that TrueView ads are now available on mobile devices, but why is this significant? Lets take a quick look at some mobile YouTube stats from last year: more than 20% of global YouTube views came from mobile devices, YouTube is available on over 350 million mobile devices and roughly 3 hours of video was uploaded to YouTube per minute from a mobile device. The basic notion is that mobile traffic on YouTube was never monetised before and now allows advertisers to further expand campaigns across multiple screens; increasing reach, recall and conversions. AdWords for Video means that advertising campaigns across Google networks can all be managed in one interface, bringing YouTube and Google AdWords advertising together.

Mobile In-Stream TrueView Ad – source

Study: How do people respond to TrueView Ads?

Some of you may know that there are four types of TrueView ads, but if I mention the pre roll ad that plays before your video, you probably know exactly what I am referring to and I’d probably be correct in assuming you hate those ads, yes? Interestingly, a study done by Google in the US with a sample size of 1600+ people shows different:

  • Only 10% of people will always skip these ads.
  • 8/10 viewers prefer TrueView ads to standard in-stream YouTube ads.
  • 8/10 thought the “Skip” button was clear, which means people don’t have to think too hard, they know they can skip.
  • 9/10 viewers thought TrueView ads create a better video viewing environment.
  • Curiosity is the main reason users choose to watch an ad, therefore sparking interest in the first 5 seconds (before they skip) is key to driving viewership.
  • Viewers are likely to skip ads they have seen before, which is good for not wasting ad budget.

Find the above study, here.

Based on these findings and the results we have experienced with TrueView ads, they are certainly NOT hated by all and can be very effective. The same targeting is available on YouTube as with the Google Display Network, remarketing lists can be created from YouTube ads and we’re able to set a frequency cap, which limits the amount of times the same person will see an ad per day. These ads lead to follow-on views which increases overall view counts and keeps people engaged with your brand, or as Google says, “buy one, get one free”. We can also direct interested viewers to a desired landing page from a ‘call to action’ banner that is overlayed within the advertised video, great for direct response campaigns and these clicks are at no extra cost to the video view. So, if you have video content that you’d like to promote, try YouTube TrueView Ads or give us a shout.

TrueView Video Ads Bring AdWords and YouTube Together

In the attempt to get more small and medium AdWords advertisers to try video and to simultaneously expand and improve the targeting options on YouTube and the Google Display Network (GDN), Google video ad formats and targeting options have received a significant update.

The first big change is that most of these video ads will no longer be charged for per click, but per view. A view counts as either a full watch of the video, or, in the case that it is longer than thirty seconds, a view of the first thirty seconds of the video. This will clearly make the video ad formats more lucrative for advertisers, as they will only be charged for potentially interested viewers. Users who skip their ads won’t leave a dent in the advertisers’ marketing budgets. Video ads will now also receive a sort of “quality score” similar to search ads that can, for instance, determine their position on the YouTube search results page along with the bid. This also adds a dimension of ‘engagement’ to the video ad model. Google thinks advertisers will aim for shorter, high quality clips more than ever to assure good scores, which would also be a definite win for the users.

The second big change is that you can manage all this from within AdWords now. You will also get additional metrics (such as view rate, thumb impressions and video impressions) and will be able to search for your YouTube videos from the AdWords interface to easily upload them. First and foremost, however, you will have access to AdWords’ highly sophisticated targeting methods. You can now target users by audiences consisting of interest categories, topics, content keywords or YouTube search keywords, for instance. This should make video advertising much more efficient.

The four ad formats promoted as “TrueView” video ads are as follows:

  • In-search (previously known as promoted videos, showing on the YouTube SERP and targeting YouTube search keywords)
  • In-stream (videos that show within a video – mostly up front, but can also be shown in the middle or at the end – and that can be skipped after five seconds)
  • In-slate (this is a new format where users will be shown a selection of three videos, and can choose the one they want to watch before proceeding to the actual video they came for – this will be more “opt-in” than in-stream ads, as the user is given a choice, however note that with this format the advertiser will already be charged for the click of the video)
  • In-display (these ads can show on YouTube or the GDN – for instance as a promotion on the right hand side of a YouTube video that is currently being watched)

Thinking about getting your advertising YouTube-ready? Remember that rich-media ads are becoming more important and effective than static banners in many cases and that YouTube is in fact the second largest search engine in the world. Two good reasons to give these new formats a try! Visit http://www.youtube.com/advertise/trueview.html for more!

Why Should You Advertise on Facebook?

Many marketers view Facebook ads in the same light as the Google Display Network. These advertising messages are not as accurate as people actively searching for your product or service, but they both target relevant users. Last month Facebook’s online population exceeded a staggering 677 million users. 50% of these Facebook users log on to Facebook daily, have an average of 130 friends and spend around 55 minutes on Facebook per day. An active audience this size is reason enough to consider advertising on Facebook, but let’s go a little further.

Facebook is unique in that it does not target users based on relevant website content or keywords, but user generated profile information. Facebook allows people to “Like” website content, Facebook pages or groups, links and just about anything where there is a “Like” button present. Accompanied to this Facebook knows your location, marital status, education, birth date and demographic details. All this information can be used to target ads to a relevant target audience. In short, Facebook targets people and not website content or keywords. Yes, some people don’t fill in all their profile details, but an IP address can still be used to target based on location and you ultimately want to serve ads to a user who is likely to engage with your message.

Why Should You Advertise on Facebook

You can advertise your website, but lower bounce rates and community development can be achieved when advertising something on Facebook (directing users to a Facebook page, customised app, event or group). Keeping users on Facbeook after they click an ad and getting them to like your brand, means you can remarket to them in the form of status updates, pictures, links and conversation. Facebook serves ads in a social environment and they really have made the most of this by adding social context to ads. If your friend likes what an ad is advertising, this is then displayed on their profile page, the home page and under the ad when you see it. Research has proven that we are more likely to act based on peer recommendation rather than advertisement. Think about it; are you more likely to try a new restaurant based on a friend’s suggestion or an ad you saw on a website? Google has started moving in this direction with the recent release of the +1 button, but Facebook is way ahead of the pack in this regard. With so much time spent on the site, the social influence on ads can result in many people engaging with your brand from just one person clicking through and “Liking”. This is known as social amplification and increases your reach virally.

Ad real estate on Facebook is available on profile pages, in apps, photo albums and a few other areas within the platform. Impressions are free, just like search, with a Pay Per Click pricing model. This means great exposure for your brand from a manageable budget. So where is the ROI or considered conversion? A questionable topic, but Facebook is improving its reporting centre and targeting parameters as the ad platform develops. Recent studies prove that Facebook increases overall conversions, but they are not attributed to a last click conversion. Many people who click a Facebook ad first, eventually end up searching for your brand and convert at a later stage. Business dependant of course, but the above is reason why we believe you should be advertising on Facebook. If you have a question or would like more information, please leave us a comment below or contact us.

Does Google's +1 Button Affect Advertisers?

Google is finally making a social move in the right direction. Past experiments (Wave and Buzz) left a sour taste in many people’s mouths as the value was questionable. It is no secret that users are more influenced by other humans rather than an algorithm, so adding social signals to search results makes complete sense. The plus one button will be added to organic and paid search results. The +1 buttons will not change the way Google calculate quality score, however users may be more inclinded to click on ads due to personalised annotations that increase user interaction with the ad (similar to ad extensions), therefore increasing click through rates, which will directly influence quality scores.

Does Google's +1 Button Affect Advertisers_1
Ad with+1 button
Does Google's +1 Button Affect Advertisers_2
Ad that has been +1'ed

[divider]

Google mentions that it plans to make the +1 button available for publishers too. This means people can reccommend your web pages for Google search results without leaving your website. Sign up to add the +1 button to your website.

The new and socially attractive +1 buttons will be rolling out on Google.com and only in English to start with. The +1 buttons will not be visible on Internet Explorer 7 or earlier versions of IE. The button will also not be visible to people that are not signed into a Google account, although there is talk that Google will consider allowing access via a Twitter log-in. Google say there is no need to make any changes to campaign strategy for the +1 button and that advertisers should, “Think of +1 buttons as an enhancement that can help already successful search campaigns perform even better.”

We look forward to seeing the +1 buttons in South Africa. Learn More.

Image source.

Joke: Apparently you will not be able to +1 chucknorris.com, because he can’t get any more awesome!