How Facebook Works for Direct Response Advertisers


Facebook has received a bad rap from direct response advertisers over the years.  Many clients think Facebook inventory is overvalued and is a place for branding and awareness dollars. They think it can’t possibly back out into their strict KPI goals.  General Motors famously pulled the plug on their Facebook budget earlier this year.  According to a recent CNBC poll, less than 50% of Facebook users say they click on sponsored ads.  Another study slams Facebook for its low click through rate compared to Google’s.

Well, I have news for these amateurs….they are measuring success all wrong.  In the display world, we measure a little thing called view through conversions.   Study after study has indicated that only 16 percent of people even click on display ads and actually clickers tend to be less educated and have lower household incomes.  Since post click conversions only account for a small portion of display conversions, it is extremely important to track view through conversions.  A view through conversion occurs after someone has seen your ad, does not click, but visits your site after viewing the ad and converts.  This allows advertisers to get a true read on how their display budgets are working to impact their bottom line.

Guess what? Facebook allows view through conversion tracking!  We have appended this tracking for some of our largest retail and lead gen clients and have seen huge incremental lift on conversion.

For direct response advertisers, it’s important to remember that Facebook offers extremely precise targeting methods.  Get an email list from your CRM team and match it to Facebook emails to create your own unique Facebook Custom Audience – then run customized ads to this group of people.  We’ve seen match rates from 65% – 80%!  You can also run ads to your fans, friends of your fans, top pages that your fans have in common, precise interests that your audience has mentioned in their profile or have talked about in their status updates, and so much more.  Now that Facebook has opened up their inventory on Facebook Exchange, advertisers can now expand their retargeting campaign to Facebook as well.

Since Facebook has gone public, their ad choices and targeting options continue to improve.

We are proud of the successful campaigns we’ve run on Facebook.  It has taken time, a few headaches, and multiple cocktails to crack, but we are glad we can confidently run these campaigns for our clients.


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