Most advertisers have lofty goals in mind when it comes to releasing new ad campaigns into the wild. When real dollars are at stake every hour of every day, measuring performance becomes crucial for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, platform data isn’t always the most reliable, accurate, or well-organized.
How can you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to measuring on key platforms like Facebook? As a smart marketer, you need the tools and strategies that will give you the best insights into your business, day in and out.
That’s where first party measurement for digital brands comes into play. At Rockerbox, measuring better on Facebook (and many other platforms) is our goal. Let’s take a look at how this plays out for actual DTC brands and businesses.
Why Do Advertisers Choose Facebook?
Facebook (a social media platform that now falls under its parent company, Meta) is home to 2 billion monthly active users. It’s tough to beat that level of exposure when finding the best audience for your ads, products, and new digital offers.
Advertisers choose Facebook not only for its popularity, but also because it’s a leading digital ad platform for the modern economy. As a result of its powerful presence, Facebook has spent time (and millions of dollars) ensuring that its ad systems are simplified and easy to use. Advertisers also benefit from features such as:
- Simplified ad solutions – When businesses run ads through an existing Facebook page, the options are nearly endless. Promos, boosted posts, website ads, and CTAs are all part of what make Facebook ads effective.
- Strong conversion rate – The estimated conversion rate on Facebook is between 9-10%, giving it a higher return than other popular ad choices, like Google Ads.
- Niche targeting potential – With such rich data about users, many advertisers also choose Facebook because it’s possible to get incredibly granular when designing new ad campaigns. This promotes effective audience targeting.
Why Are Advertisers Diversifying?
Despite Facebook’s popularity and relatively broad reach, savvy marketers and advertisers know that it’s not wise to put everything into one basket. Many brands want to diversify away from Facebook, whether that means scaling to other social channels or by leveraging advertising methods that have traditionally been harder to track and monitor.
In a post-iOS 14 world, marketing visibility is significantly less than it used to be on Facebook. This is a direct result of Apple’s consumer privacy protections and decreased data and engagement sharing on social networks for the purpose of driving business.
When brands understand the true source of their marketing attribution, it’s easier (and less stressful) to leap to other tactics without losing significant business.
This has been the case for MakeSpace, a leading DTC storage company, that turned to Rockerbox for help and visibility. With Rockerbox data, MakeSpace was able to justify reducing ad spend on Facebook and Instagram by up to 85% and shifting away from social media ads, all while scaling their business model.
How Rockerbox Measures Facebook
Rockerbox measures Facebook ad performance through defined parameters in a process known as manual append. This means that when you design and publish ads on Facebook, you must ensure that those specific tracking parameters (like campaign and ad set) are in place. There are two options for doing so:
- Bulk upload – Append the set of parameters to any existing values in the URL Tags column within your Facebook Ads Manager.
- Individual ads – In the Website URL field within Ads Manager, add the Rockerbox URL parameter below to the end of your individual URL.
Specific instructions and details for measuring on Facebook can be found in the Rockerbox help docs. One important thing to remember is that these setup steps must be completed for any new Facebook campaign you create in the future. Additionally, removing previous historical campaigns is strongly recommended in order to reduce errors and capture new parameter data more effectively.
One benefit to a platform like Rockerbox is that you can go beyond the actual number of clicks to gain a clear picture on channel measurement. Unfortunately, some of Facebook’s true advertising impact isn’t visible with click data alone.
Rockerbox’s answer to this common problem for advertisers is synthetic events. By analyzing and modeling against the aggregate data that Facebook does release to its advertising partners, Rockerbox then ensures that view through contribution of Facebook doesn’t go unmeasured.
Facebook Attribution Challenges to Consider
Real, raw attribution data is one of the reasons why so many DTC brands turn to Rockerbox. When working within Facebook alone, this information is fuzzy and difficult to process. Additionally, outside factors (such as iOS changes) make it even harder to maintain an accurate, objective source of truth that endures even in the midst of regular platform changes and adaptations.
If you’re familiar with advertising on Facebook, it’s likely that you’ve encountered one or more of these typical struggles.
Limited Attribution Windows
Facebook’s changes to attribution windows (the specific timeframes for tracking ad and conversion data) have greatly reduced visibility to modern advertisers. What used to be longer-term data for different ad sets has become limited to 7-day or 1-day click views.
While these platform changes are often carried out in response to broader policies, like Apple’s data privacy rules, they can create further burden for advertisers who must pivot and work harder to achieve the same data.
Apple’s iOS 14 changes introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), which brought the focus of consumer data privacy to the forefront. For a platform like Facebook, revenue depends on the visibility and exposure of shared consumer data.
Although Facebook can choose to create new policies or adapt old ones, advertisers are often at the mercy of these scenarios, and impacts can be costly. Rather than trying to navigate in-platform nuances and attempting to figure out what is really true, Rockerbox users benefit from enhanced visibility and more reliable attribution measurements.
Another issue for Facebook advertisers (or any social media advertisers) is de-duplicating conversion data. When reporting on performance, you want to avoid reporting or using the same conversion data twice across platforms. This is a common issue that can contribute to inflated (or deflated) conversion numbers, and inaccurate spending decisions.
Rockerbox de-duplicates those conversions across all marketing channels, instead of allowing Facebook to take all of the credit for any conversion in which there was a touchpoint. This means that advertisers can attribute success more accurately outside of Facebook, if that’s the reality.
Rockerbox Synthetic Events
Despite an advertiser’s best efforts, it’s possible that some clicks, actions, and conversions are a little more difficult to see. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to make important decisions without any help. This is where Rockerbox’s synthetic events come in.
By definition, synthetic events are the solution we’ve chosen to model and report against information that we believe happened. For an event in which we cannot directly measure or track whether the user has been exposed to an advertisement, we attempt to tag a user (based on probability) as having been exposed to that piece of advertising.
A similar approach is used with offline media advertising, where we only have access to high-level information about when and where a user encountered an existing ad. In this scenario, Rockerbox users can better understand the interaction between online and offline advertising by injecting events back into the customer's path to purchase.
In terms of Facebook usage, this means that advertisers are better able to understand the influence on other marketing performance. A comprehensive and collective view makes it easier to change high-level strategies when those decisions are critical for success.
Measure Smarter with Rockerbox
At Rockerbox, we don’t believe that you should ever be pinned down to just one channel. The beauty of diversification is that it allows you to explore other ways to grow and scale a successful DTC brand, through Facebook and beyond. At the same time, we’re also realists and know that you need reliable, clear data to justify your advertising decisions.
By having an objective source of truth like Rockerbox, you can spend, test, and advertise with more confidence.