Category Advertising, Digital, Insights
You may have noticed the buzz this week around Facebook’s Head of Measurement and Insights, Brad Smallwood, announcing that impressions were more valuable than clicks in driving sales, as seen with a recent study they performed with Datalogix. Specifically, their conclusion from the study was:
99 percent of sales generated from online branding ad campaigns were from people that saw, but did not interact with, ads— proof that it is the delivery of the marketing message to the right consumer, not the click, that creates real value for brand advertisers…The study revealed that for online brand campaigns, if you reallocated high frequency impressions to people seeing too few impressions, you would see a 40 percent increase in ROI with the same budget. What this means is that for every online campaign there is a “sweetspot” of effective frequency that maximizes return on investment, and that the DataLogix tool can help marketers empirically isolate that sweetspot for each brand and campaign.
So what do we think about these findings?
Aaron Stevens, Director of Search and Analytics:
As far as impressions being the end-all Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for Facebook Ads, which this study implies, I’m very skeptical. Impressions are incredibly important, frequency too, but the study seems to imply that if an ad creates some engagement, it is no more helpful than just the impression alone. Bottomline is, if you are not focusing on clicks, CTR (Click Through Rate) and how your ad spend affects new fan acquisition, then I think you might be missing out. And, if you don’t get the Page Likes, then you don’t get any more potential for organic impression growth or lasting connection to the audience. To me, this sounds like an excuse for the low CTRs we see with Facebook Ads.
Also, the size of the ads aren’t very big. I would argue that the impression after a click might be a much more effective impression if the messaging/creative is strong.
Lisa Keller, Director of Social Media:
I’m a bit skeptical of this study, as it is coming from Facebook trying to sell more ads by saying that Click Through Rate (CTR) doesn’t matter, which conveniently excuses their notoriously low average CTR for Facebook ads. If marketers only focus on reach and impressions, we have to buy a lot more ads and just hope they are working. But more ads sold makes Facebook stockholders happy.
I would love to see more about the study details from Datalogix — specifically what types of ads were considered and how exactly they tied the impression to purchase. They say that the study was done based off of loyalty program data, which would mean that users were already customers, so I’m not really seeing how they are making the causation to ad impressions exactly.
That being said, Impressions and Reach are still important metrics to measure for generating brand awareness with social media advertising, but CTR is still a relevant and cost-effective ad solution.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!