This is the third and final part of a series that explores all the things social marketers should do when setting up their social ad campaigns. In our previous posts, we discussed account structure and creative, and targeting and bidding.
Without conversion measurement and continual improvement, your Facebook campaigns won’t realize their highest potential. Read these tips to make sure your Facebook ad campaigns are working their hardest for your bottom line.
The Facebook Pixel tracks conversions, automatically bids for conversions, and enables remarketing. Be sure to implement the pageview event of the Facebook Pixel on all the pages of your website so that you can populate your Custom Audiences and Custom Conversions. You’ll also need the Facebook Pixel to implement each standard event on a single page of your website.
To double-check that the pixel is firing properly, use the Facebook Pixel Helper.
Lastly, follow the user’s journey down the conversion funnel. This will help you identify exactly where your customers are dropping off in the journey.
For an extra layer of reporting in Google Analytics, apply dynamic tags at the Media Plan level.
As a Facebook best practice, you should optimize your campaigns daily, but no more than two times a day. For oCPM bidding, it’s even recommended to optimize only once a day, as the algorithm needs stability to learn from and to find conversions for you.
To understand the optimization that’s working best for your campaigns, do one at a time and assess the results.
Another rule of thumb—avoid making any drastic changes to bids, since reducing your bid by more than 5% could damage the delivery. If you change the bid type of your campaign due to bad performance, duplicate the campaign so that the algorithm refreshes.
Be sure to refresh your creative every few weeks to fight audience fatigue and ad blindness.
Use the Refresh button so that the campaign can start from scratch with the new bid type. Set up Rules to automate daily optimizations. For example, you could set a rule that if your CPA is greater than $10, or the frequency is greater than four, or the CTR is lower than 0.4%, then pause the ad.
Facebook wants to make sure the paid advertising campaigns that appear on its platform don’t damage the user experience. To that end, it has the Relevance Score.
The Relevance Score is an algorithmic calculation that takes into account your targeting’s relevancy and your ads’ engagement. The important metrics to look at here are CTR, engagements, feedback, and conversions.
When your audience begins showing less interest, your Relevance Score will decrease. As a result, Facebook lets your ad participate in fewer auctions. Moreover, if your Relevance Score is lower than the other advertisers competing on the exact same targeting, they’ll win the auction, no matter how high your bid is. Consequently, your reach and impressions will drop.
To fight against a bad Relevance Score:
Social advertising isn’t quite rocket science, but it’s indeed an art. But, with a strong foundation that takes advantage of all the great and evolving features Facebook has to offer, you can maximize positive user experiences and see positive results for the KPIs that matter most to your organization. As always, if you’d like to find out how Marin Software can help with all of the above, just reach out.
This is a three-part series that explores all the things social marketers should do when setting up their social ad campaigns. In our second post, we look at best practices to target effectively and bid for the greatest ROI. For the first three tips see our previous article on account structure and creative.
One of the main goals of the social marketer is to consistently target wider and more precise audience segments, while making smart bids based on a solid bidding model. Follow these best practices to ensure your social advertising campaigns are fine-tuned for the highest performance possible.
When it comes right down to it, Facebook is mass media, and its algorithm performs better with large audiences. A best practice is to keep the target size above 100,000, especially for your prospecting campaigns. A few other rules of thumb:
You may also want to use split targeting, depending on:
Thanks to Marin’s Lookalike feature, you can create high-intent lookalike audiences based on conversions from your best performing campaigns or ad sets.
The conversion window tells Facebook how far back in time to look at conversion data, so that it can optimize appropriately and find the right people to deliver your ad to.
You can use the conversion window for Website Conversions, App Installs, and App Events objectives. You can break them into 1-day, 7-day, and 28-day post-click windows.
In order for Facebook’s algorithm to have enough conversion data to learn from, set up your conversion window to get at least 15-25 conversions per ad set and per week. If you use the longest conversion window but don’t get enough conversions, change the promoted object to a step higher in the conversion funnel (for example, add-to-cart rather than purchase).
When the target size is above 100,000, bid oCPM. This’ll allow the algorithm to look for the users more likely to convert. Optimize for clicks and pay for impressions when your audience is between 80,000 and 100,000. For target sizes below 80,000, use the CPC bidding type.
On small and highly qualified audiences—for example, Website Custom Audiences of lower-funnel stages—you can even bid CPM (optimize and pay for impressions), since your aim here is to make sure that everyone in your audience sees your ads.
Bid as granular as possible at the ad level in order to push the best performing ads within an ad set. Change bids across ad sets and campaigns in two clicks by clicking the Selected or All buttons.
We all know the two most popular websites in the world right now—Google and Facebook. On any given day, people are performing close to 3 billion Google searches, and over a quarter of the world’s population use Facebook. Bing is also growing fast and is now a major SEM contender.
Advertisers have much to gain from an integrated search and social advertising approach. But exactly how much?
To answer this question, we conducted a study of more than 200 enterprise advertisers managing Google, Bing, and Facebook campaigns. With billions of dollars in annualized ad spend managed on the Marin platform, we work with many of the world’s largest and most sophisticated advertisers.
Here’s what we found:
For full research results and actionable tips for cross-channel success, download The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search and Social Advertising.
If you’re a social advertiser, you have your work cut out for you. Along with your industry peers, you likely face a few key audience-related problems on a daily basis:
This article aims to provide some relief, bringing these three issues together and offering a simple but broad solution. By using lookalike audiences and certain ad creative types, social marketers can tackle these daily frustrations and bring some peace to a challenging workday in the world of digital advertising.
Coffee break after reading this article optional.
Every audience has a life cycle. Depending on its size, budget, and campaign length, an audience will eventually grow tired of the campaign’s ads (i.e., fatigue). Naturally, a smaller audience (< 80,000) will naturally fatigue quicker than a larger one. The most efficient way to avoid audience fatigue is to keep things fresh and strategize for new audiences every seven to 14 days.
This begs the question: “Where the *&%! am I going to get a new audience every week??” Answer to follow shortly…
Audience overlap is an another issue that social marketers face on a regular basis. This is a result of ad sets from the same advertiser ending up in the same auction, bidding against each other, and inevitably damaging performance. Having overlapping audiences can lead to poor delivery of your ad sets.
Additionally, averaging a high Ad Relevance Score can often be difficult, especially if you’re constantly trying to avoid overlap and fatigue. Facebook calculates the Ad Relevance Score based on the positive and negative feedback an ad receives from its target audience. In short, if you’re Relevance Score is high, your audience wants to see it, and if not—well something’s wrong.
Facebook allows you to create Engagement Custom Audiences from four ad types:
An Engagement Custom Audience is a Custom Audience made up of people who’ve interacted with your content on Facebook. “Engagement” refers to actions like viewing your video or opening your lead form on Canvas.
These four variations of ad creative are also the most customer-friendly and engaging ad types. Where it’s relevant to your campaigns, use these ad types as much as possible.
Using Engagement Custom Audiences (ECAs), you can retarget ads to people who’ve shown intent by interacting with your video, canvas or lead gen form. You can also use Engagement Custom Audiences as a source for a Lookalike Audience, which will let you find people similar to those who’ve engaged with content on Facebook.
Marin Tip: Always try and track high-intent ECAs, capturing those who watched 95% of your video, or who opened and submitted a Lead Gen ad.
By thinking of Canvas, Video, Slideshow, & Lead Gen ad types not only as creative types, but also ‘audience making machines’, advertisers can very quickly begin to tackle fatigue, overlap, and relevance.
We all know who our target audience is. Still, we often struggle to reach them while we address the issues. The solution—combining Engagement Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences to consistently retarget while prospecting fresh audiences.
For example, suppose a 1% Lookalike of your website performs very well. However, if we use it too often, it may fatigue. If we make it any larger, it may be irrelevant. And, if we attempt to try different website pages, we’ll more than likely spend too much time analyzing potential overlapping instead of gaining new customers.
If your target your performing audience with a Video, Canvas, or Lead Gen ad, you enable two things:
Marin Tip: Remember Marin Social’s exclusive ability to create a Campaign Lookalike. Build a prospecting audience from those who’ve converted from an older, successful campaign.
It’s that simple—Video, Canvas, and Lead Generation. With a little planning and a lot of determination, you can use this 1-2-3 strategy to easily create Lookalikes to retarget and prospect.
Facebook Dynamic Product Ads, if we must say so, are pretty badass. In the not-so-distant future, dynamic product ads are the way all digital advertising on social and display will be delivered, regardless of industry or vertical.
Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) allows advertisers in the travel industry to automatically deliver personalized ads based on the interest people have shown on their travel site or app. Part of the Marin Social platform, DAT lets you seamlessly create dynamic audience and product sets across each phase of the buyer journey—from retargeting to cross-sell and up-sell.
Meliá Hotels International used DAT to lower its CPA and increase ROI by 6.7 times.
Watch the video to learn how DAT can help you target the right travel audiences, deliver thousands of relevant ads in seconds, and increase your conversions.
Are you looking for a career in social? Or perhaps you’re already in the crazy world of social media marketing and want to upskill, but aren’t too sure where to start?
In this ever-changing world of social, it’s imperative that you keep up with the latest trends. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have firmly established a foothold in the digital world, with Snapchat and Pinterest starting to gain ground and innovation happening quickly. And, we’re sure to see some newer platforms emerging in 2017.
Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide over the past two years—going from $16 billion in the U.S. in 2014 to
$31 billion in 2016. Along with this, hundreds of roles are popping up in social media. How do you get your foot in the door?
Create a thriving social media presence of your own, and familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of each. Build up your own personal brand—if you can’t market yourself, how will you do this for others?
Familiarize yourself with different industries, attend conferences and industry events, and contribute where possible. You never know—it could be your awesome skills that get you noticed by a potential employer. Your professional relationships may be your most important asset, so engage with key influencers in the industry that you want to get into.
To really stand out, you’ll need more advanced skills, since your customers will more than likely manage search, social, and display. Take a 360-degree approach to your learning—to succeed and excel, keep your training up to date, and subscribe to and read as many social and digital marketing blogs as you can manage. (Be sure you’ve subscribed to this one!)
You’ll be required to have a more rounded skill set, as social teams are now being integrated across departments, companies, and agencies alike. In job description parlance, a successful candidate will possess technical, analytical, communication, and digital skills.
If you pursue a role in social media, be sure to put in great time and effort from the beginning. Become proficient in all social channels and prove your knowledge of each one. Know the full particulars of every existing and new channel, and be expected to wax eloquent about all of them when the opportunity arises.
Know that once you dig into the details, you’ll find a whole new world of advanced features to learn and master (such as creating paid ads, upselling, cross-selling, and much more).
Keep your social channels clean and professional. Remember that potential employers always check! There’s nothing as disappointing as a dormant Twitter account.
A good rule of thumb is to not post anything on your social media channels that you wouldn’t want to see published on the front page of a newspaper. This shows that you’re professional and can write well. (It never hurts to do a spell-check, either.)
If you’re thinking a quick course in social media will be enough, think again. The world of social is changing constantly, and it’s up to you to keep yourself in the loop.
If you’re just starting out, it’s all about getting that initial experience. Be prepared to help a business free of charge—look specifically for opportunities to help businesses build and grow their social presence. Whether it’s paid or unpaid, take on an internship, as this is by far the best hands-on experience you’ll get. If you decide to pursue a digital course, make sure it’s fully accredited.
Stick with it—social media marketing is a profession where you never stop learning. Be persistent and believe in your abilities. It requires a lot of effort but you’ll get there. To summarize:
Wondering what’s happening to the Facebook conversion pixel? How will advertisers track conversions after February 2017?
As of February 15th, 2017, Facebook is disabling the conversion tracking pixel, at which point it’ll be removed from all advertising tools. So what should Facebook advertisers do next? In a word, you’ll need to upgrade to the new Facebook pixel.
There is a whole host of features the new Facebook pixel will give you. Here’s the list in comparison to the old features.
The new Facebook pixel will allow you to track conversions in two ways—custom conversions and standard events. Let’s take a look at how to migrate over.
Navigate to the Pixels section in your business manager account:
You’ll see the option to create a new pixel.
Install the pixel code on every page of your website. Validate your pixel implementation using the Facebook Pixel Helper,
Next, identify the standard events that are relevant to you, and then create them. There are nine options:
Navigate to the Pixels section in your business manager, and select the Facebook Pixel tab next to the old conversion tracking pixel.
This opens the following pop-up. Select Track Conversions With Standard Events. You can then choose from the nine standard events mentioned above. (Note: Choose this option for now; we’ll explain Custom Conversions in the next section.)
Choose the ones relevant to your business, and then have your web developer ad the code to your site on the pages you’d like to track.
Once the events are installed, use the pixel helper to confirm your tracking’s working correctly. If you see a green checkmark, then everything’s working as it should be.
If you’re using the same standard event to track multiple pages, you may want to consider using custom conversions to report separately on each event.
Navigate to the pixel dashboard, and this time, choose to track custom conversions.
Select Event from the rule drop-down, and then choose the event you want to track, along with the category.
Once this is done and you refresh your dashboard, each event should have a green active status. You’ll now be able to add these individual events to your reporting dashboard and have individual metrics for each one.
At this point, you’ll have the old and new pixels on your website. Once the new one’s working correctly, you’re ready to migrate over. Navigate to the campaigns you need to update, edit your ads to choose Track all conversions from my Facebook pixel, and save.
As Edgar Allan Poe once said, “There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of [blog]-writing is, I think, one of the few.”
Okay, so he said “song-writing” instead of “blog-writing.”
It still fits, right?
Well, after tens of thousands of reader visits to Marketing Insights in 2016, the 10 articles below passed the merit test and rose to the top of our “most popular” list. Some are indicators that digital advertising continues to rapidly evolve, others point toward the importance of continual learning, and all of them contributed to a fun, fast-paced year of content creation and curation. Thanks for being part of it.
You’re beaming, proud, and ready to rake in a massive amount of leads. Why? Because—you’ve got two brilliantly designed sets of ad creative and you’re ready to set ‘em loose to the hungry, scrolling consumer masses.
How do you know if your campaign will be a boom or bust? Can you even test such a thing in an easy and straightforward way?
Time for some split testing….
For those who haven’t yet implemented split testing to increase conversions, an explanation is in order. Simply put, split testing (also known as A/B testing) allows you to test different advertising strategies on commonly divided audiences to see what works and what doesn’t.
Want to see which bidding option, creative, or ad placements perform best? Split testing is the answer.
The Facebook split testing API does several great things:
First, let’s start with a simple example. Let’s go back to those two stellar ad creatives. At this point, of course, you don’t know which one’s going to perform better. The first thing you should do is set up your two ad sets, with each one of your creatives in each ad set (in other words, one ad in each set for a total of two ads). Keep the copy the same for each ad.
For the purposes of this example, then, our plan is straightforward:
To run the split test, you’ll need to set it up in Facebook. (If you’re a Marin customer, contact your account manager for help with this.) The test can be 50/50 or 33/33/33, etc., depending on the testing variables, but note that 50/50 is the most commonly used model. So, if an audience has 10 million people, the ad sets will have 5 million people in each audience.
From here, we select the image as the variable to test. Our main KPI is conversions (downloads), and we’re allocating $5,000 per ad set. As we mentioned above, our audience is 5 million per ad set. We’ll run the campaign for two weeks to ensure we have a broad reach, high budget, and long duration.
Since we want to see positive results before we extend our campaign to other markets, we’ll start only in the UK first.
Ready, set, test, measure.
When scoping your own split test, make sure that the test will have value for you, and that you’ll see clear results that you can use to refine and improve your campaigns.
The first questions you should answer include:
Back to that riddle—is it a boom or a bust? To determine which test worked best, choose the variable that has the highest efficiency level based on your objective.
In our example, our objective is conversions and the main KPI is downloads. So, we can consider the ad set that has the lower CPA as the best performing.
And there you have it. Easy, right?
Best Practices and Recommendations for Maximum Success
If you’d like to dig deeper (and we recommend that you do), here are a few best practices.
Define an acceptable confidence level
Before you create a test, determine an acceptable confidence level. Test with larger reach, longer schedules, or higher budgets.
Choose one variable to test
This allows you to define the exact difference in ad creative that drove better performance.
Define main KPIs before the test
This will allow you to determine the best performing variable.
Ensure both test sizes are comparable
When testing for volume metrics such as number of conversions, scale to ensure both test sizes are comparable.
Start testing on one specific market or campaign
This will allow you to monitor and analyze the test results more efficiently, which will in turn allow you to draw better conclusions. If you find this useful, you can conduct further tests on different variables and expand to other markets.
Test based on one large audience
The audience should be big enough to be split and to allow you to gain sufficient insights.
Allocate the same budget to the test groups
If you’re running your splits at the campaign level, make sure both campaigns have the same lifetime budget. If you’re testing on the ad set level, both ad sets should have the same lifetime budget.
No changes to the test groups
Any changes could compromise the split testing and prevent you from seeing clear results.
This is a guest post from Suzie Kronberger, VP of Marketing and Revenue Operations at Boost Media.
By the end of this year, digital will overtake TV ad spending in the U.S. for the first time—digital ad spend will reach $72B and TV will grow to $71B. Strategies that worked one year aren’t guaranteed to yield the same results the next, which means marketers must be on the lookout for change and innovation.
So, how far did we come in 2016, and what does 2017 have in store for digital marketers?
Video is the future of advertising: Mark Zuckerberg said it during the spring ‘16 Facebook earnings call. We’re seeing it in the data. Customers are ordering loads of video ad creative.
Vertical video is much more engaging than 16:9 landscape videos: Snapchat’s insight that watching landscape videos on our phones is awkward was a game-changer. They have 10-12B vertical video views per day. Facebook has vertical video ads now. Watch for this format to proliferate.
Mobile is where it’s at, but remember: 60% of Americans watched traditional TV programming on their mobile devices. If you’re in a vertical where there are certain aspects of the funnel where mobile isn’t the preferred device, then target accordingly. For U.S. retail, many purchases are still completed on desktop. Add-to-cart is significantly lower on smartphone (6.2%) compared to desktop (10.4%).
Major innovation in ad formats: 50% of clicks on mobile ads are accidental. With delivery platforms innovating rapidly, so will ad formats. Expect there to be new mobile ad formats that will help you drive much stronger engagement than you’ve achieved in the past.
Ad formats that provide user value: Ads that are highly engaging offer users something of value. Value can come in literal forms like offers and promos, but also in the form of humor or entertainment. An ad that people thoroughly enjoy can create deeper connections between the brand and the user.
Be ready to take creative to the next level: With the innovation in ad formats, there’ll be more opportunity to tell stories in compelling, interactive ways that you never could do before. Think big on the possibilities here, and get the help you need on developing new, cutting-edge concepts, mediums, and designs.
Creative makes a difference in capturing and maintaining user and consumer attention. But high-quality, cutting-edge creative doesn’t have to be expensive. Prioritize creative in next year’s budget so you’re prepared to take advantage of opportunities quickly.
Happy holidays and here’s to a successful 2017!