The real value of internet marketing is in the ease of setting up analytics by communication channel, measuring performance of campaigns and thereby directing/redirecting valuable marketing budget toward campaigns that yield higher return. Therefore, setting clear marketing KPIs is crucial before implementing any online marketing activity.
It must be reiterated that executing marketing campaigns in any channel is a tactic, perhaps one of several tactics that a marketing manager or director might include. Other online and offline channel tactics might include SEO, Google Adwords, Microsoft adCenter, email marketing, newspaper and magazine ads, radio and television ads, brochure distribution and leaflet drops etc.. It is important to recognise that Facebook ads is a channel in which we undertake tactics to sell things. Hence, think of your KPIs as what you want to accomplish and the relevant tactics as how you undertake your marketing activities to achieve these KPIs.
Begin by stating what you want to achieve in plain language, committing to exact numbers, and defining a method of measuring. Here are a few examples:
- Sell 150 jewellery items in one month, at an average cost per action (CPA) of £25.50.
- Serve 40 million ad impressions within one month, at an average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of £0.10.
- Achieve 120 brochure downloads and 70 completed enquiry forms with a CPA of £17.75.
Notice that the above examples don’t talk about how we’re going to get things done, only what we want to get done and what metric indicates success. There’s nothing about what the ads will say or what the landing pages will be. It’s the account manager’s role to work with stakeholders to determine how to measure KPIs. Then, it’s the marketing tactician’s role to figure out how to best achieve the KPIs and what channels to use.
Branding is when the KPI is not about making an immediate sale, with the acknowledgement that sales does require multiple interactions with a customer in order to finally make the close. Here are a couple of examples and the correlating Facebook ads tactics to help achieve KPIs.
KPI – raise the level of awareness of our handmade designer jewellery among North Americans, as measured by Google’s Insights for Search Tool for our brand term keyword.
Facebook tactic – serve five hundred million impressions at £0.14 CPM throughout the year in a five-day rotation, displaying our positioning statement, logo, and attractive images of customers wearing our jewellery.
KPI – Increase e-commerce purchases via paid search to luxury hotels in Goa, India by 15% after making our brand a household name to users who love Goa and live in Europe.
Facebook tactic – seventy million impressions at £0.14 CPM, in rotation and at a 0.06% Facebook CTR, showing pictures of festivals in Goa four to six weeks prior. Also amplify AdWords campaigns for festival names, touting discounts for festival attendees who stay at our hotel.
The above are broad examples of branding KPIs. It is important to remember the mantra “today’s branding is tomorrow’s conversion” when undertaking branding campaigns. Branding is a classic KPI marketing goal and Facebook ads can be a valuable channel to achieve branding goals.
KPIs for conversion
This is when you want to call users to act now, to initiate a conversion action. While often used to describe an immediate sale, a conversion could mean any desired action, including lead generation, event sign-ups, free application downloads, and many more. By nature, these ads tend to be more aggressive, espousing benefits such as price, quality, service, and limited time offers.
Here is an example conversion KPI:
KPI – increase number of university undergraduate course enquiries coming from India by 20% compared to last year.
Facebook tactic – in a two per day ad rotation test affirmative call-to-action ads rotating offers of discounted accommodation, discounts on fees for early applicants, targeting users living in India, aged between 19-25 and who like “studying abroad”, “studying in the UK”, “Studying in America” etc.
So, even though some will tell you that Facebook ads is a terribly weak channel for conversions, with a little creativity, smart ad copy and great Facebook user targeting, you can make those tight marketing budgets work for you.
Since Facebook is a place that’s all about people connecting with other people, setting KPIs that are about making new connections is natural. Today, social media marketers generate reports showing cost-per-fan and cost per click Facebook ads and the corresponding “fan rate”. This practice has become super competitive, with marketers pursuing each other’s fans.
KPI – Get 2,000 of our competitors’ engaged Facebook community members to like our Facebook page.
Facebook tactic – target Facebook users interested in the top six of our closest competitors’ brand terms, including specific products. Rotate two million impressions with 0.02% CTR, establish costs, evaluate and maintain performance. Drive traffic directly to our Facebook page. Test ads that reveal our brand in the ads versus ads that are “blind” – meaning ads where users discover our brands after landing on our fan page.
Facebook is a community of friends and future friends. It only makes sense to use Facebook ads to get to know like minded users. Measure the approach and tread lightly. Make sure you offer sincere value so that friendship will last as long as possible and be mutually beneficial for both users and your business.
It’s also worth noting that Facebook users are the same people searching on Google and Bing. There are so many Facebook users that it is reasonable to assume that they overlap. It is also reasonable to assume that users who search can be influenced prior to searching. Facebook is clearly a place to do just that. Setting clear and definitive KPIs at the beginning of the project will help set the foundations of a successful social media campaign. Facebook ads certainly play a role early in the multi-touch conversion process, which ultimately is crucial to the final conversion.
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