Today marks the one year anniversary of something that has changed the landscape of performance marketing forever.
The birth of the Facebook Pixel, a piece of code that has the ability to track specific events on your website, e.g. a purchase, altered Facebook advertising overnight. It went from being about driving ‘likes’ and ‘interactions’ to being a full on conversion channel, able to compete for ecommerce dollars head to head with the grand master of acquisition: Google Adwords.
Rewind another year to 2014, and you’d have found me telling anyone that would listen that Facebook had missed the boat; they had gathered all of this data about individuals but the targeting was poor, and ads were generic and meant little to the user. All it was useful for was click bait for gaming and dating, shamefully hidden away down the right-hand side of the desktop homepage.
How times have changed.
Now ads can take centre stage right down the middle of the News Feed, and sit alongside your friend’s posts quite comfortably. More often than not, the targeting and relevance is excellent, ecommerce that’s tailored to your profile. Even B2B ads that are relevant to your business. Tell me you haven’t seen a Facebook ad in the past couple of months and at least been tempted to click.
Before the new pixel, we had a much less sophisticated version called the Conversion Tracking Pixel, which would do just that, track whatever you set up as a conversion. With the new and improved version, you are not only able to track the end of the journey, but also everything in between, such as add to cart, leads, and searches. The best part is that you can optimize to a specific goal and Facebook will do everything its algorithm can in order to show the ad to people who are most likely to take action.
I’m not saying it’s perfect yet, but it has come on leaps and bounds. With increasing sophistication in targeting, utilised by advertisers and agencies, it’s only going to get better.
What’s interesting is the role Facebook plays in the user journey, operating further up the funnel than our old friend Adwords, in that space called ‘discovery’. No wonder TV is scared, not only does Facebook introduce us to products, it also makes us buy them and works to a CPA. We are getting a 4X plus ROI for ecommerce businesses we work with; tying audience, look-a-likes and re-marketing together to deliver.
As far as we’re concerned, the launch of the Facebook pixel was day zero, when everything changed. And it’s what we’ve learnt since then that is making the difference. We’re spending time as a team understanding more about the opportunities, techniques and ways to constantly improve performance.
It’s dominating new business conversations, especially in the US, where businesses are turning to us for the experience and insight of our growing team.
And it’s not just ecommerce, with the right targeting, techniques and messaging it can work for many verticals. We’re due to launch a significant campaign for one of our big B2B advertisers next week.
So, with much to play for, we’re excited where we can go with Facebook advertising. Croud’s advice – set clear KPIs, come up with a robust strategy around clear, specific audiences, targeting, messaging and creative and get trialing….