Ahead of their expected IPO on 17th May, Facebook is upping things in the ad stakes even more. Over the next couple of weeks, the site will be rolling out updates to their ad reporting tool which will see brands able to track the performance of their ads even more closely.
The expected outcome is that improved analytics will lead to increased investment by brands, as Facebook is able to effectively compete with established online players such as Google Adwords. A boost in Facebook ad spend around the IPO will be well-timed, so what is Facebook planning on offering advertisers to incentivise increased spend?
Choose Ad Goals
Marketers who use Google Adwords or Adsense will be used to seeing reports of conversion goals, where you set a specific action such as those clicking on 'enquire' or purchasing a product. That's now being rolled out to Facebook ads, according to Facebook product manager David Baser. Instead of running a general Facebook campaign that points people to your page, app or post, you can now make this more strategic by being able to monitor particular actions that have been reached. This could be anything from someone checking in, tagging a photo or RSVPing.
Increased analytics data over time
As part of the rollout, Facebook will be increasing the analytics window for an ad. You will now be able to track individual actions, such as a comment left as a result of an ad click, back to 28 days previous. This is great news for brands as it offers even more data to work with and effectively optimise your activity.
Measure Facebook Offers
With Facebook rolling out its ad offering as standard across different markets, more brands will begin using this to market their products. With the new Facebook analytics update, you can now match this with your advertising campaign. Through the analytics, you'll be able to track how many people have redeemed a particular offer as a result of clicking on an ad, enabling you to track ROI effectively.
Track Facebook commerce
Brands are currently struggling with Facebook commerce, both in how to generate sales and how to measure the performance of commerce activity. However, one of the proposed changes will make this easier as Facebook will now allow you to track which buttons people are clicking on within an app or page, and which ads drove that particular traffic.
That means that companies can include a 'buy now' button within their page for example, and see how many people are actually clicking on that as a result. That means you can now measure ROI more effectively through ads and also see what appetite there is for commerce through your page.
Track app actions
As well as being able to see how many people have downloaded an app as a direct result of an ad, you can also see how those people are then interacting with the app. You can see actions that people take within the app, that you set within your ad goals. This is hugely valuable for brands as it will really allow you to track the effectiveness of paid vs organic traffic.
For example, if you find that running an ad campaign sees an increase in app downloads, but not necessarily an increase in in-app activity, you can determine that you're not generating quality traffic. Maybe not what Facebook would have intended with this ad update, but nonetheless something that brands need to understand more and more, with increased ad dollars flowing through Facebook.
Optimise your page or app
An outcome of the ability to track more actions within a page or app means that brands will now have more options to optimise their page as a result. As you can now see how traffic is performing within a page in terms of engagement rates and not just clicks, you can experiment with placement of calls to action and buttons to see which is performing better. This will mean you'll need to spend more time analysing the performance of ads and optimising as you go, but brands that make the most use of this increased data from Facebook will do best here.