Facebook Attribution: A Timely Tool for Online Advertisers

Doug Cameron Social Media Strategist Author

The Situation

Every year, businesses of all types invest billions of dollars into digital marketing. Marketing Charts estimates that the online advertising market is already $30 billion larger than TV advertising. We have data that forecasts these digital marketing dollars are only on pace to increase from 44% of total marketing budgets to 54% by 2024.

Not only has this market’s spend grown exponentially in the last 10 years; its number of channels has, as well. Companies are now afforded numerous sources to advertise their goods and services online.

With options ranging from paid search to affiliate marketing to marketplace advertising, it can be difficult for CMOs to decide where to invest. What makes this decision even more challenging is determining how to measure each channel specifically and measure overall investment holistically.

There are many tools and software solutions available. How can businesses decide which ones to use?

The Solution

At ROI Revolution, we take measurement seriously. At our inception, we understood that businesses aren’t just in need of digital marketing strategies but also insights into how their ad dollars drive sales.

For many beginning and experienced digital marketers, Google Analytics (GA) has been a consistent source of truth to measure contribution across channels. The platform offers standard last touch models as well as top conversion path and assisted conversion reports that provide valuable insights into what sources are contributing to sessions and bottom-line revenue.

For years, ROI used GA as a barometer for our clients’ success in paid channels. However, the platform has one major pitfall: its cookie-based tracking, meaning it sees the mobile and desktop visitor as two separate users.

In a world where mobile browsing is increasing exponentially, this can be a crippling feature.

According to PixelUnion, roughly four out of five Americans are now online shoppers, with more than half having made purchases using a mobile device. The source also states that 90% of consumers claim they use multiple devices to complete everyday tasks, while 40% say they use their mobile device to conduct research prior to making a purchase.

These cross-device shopping trends have led us to look at alternative tools to measure performance for our clients.

Insert: Facebook. The social media giant’s latest measurement tool – aptly named ‘Attribution’ – is making waves across the digital marketing industry. Similar to GA, it offers standard last touch models (amongst others) along with robust conversion path reports.

However, it paints a new picture with people-based tracking.

Using its Pixel, it can track people across devices and browsers as long as they are logged into Facebook. If you haven’t heard yet, Facebook now boasts 2.4 billion monthly users, encompassing over 25% of the world’s population.

Facebook can also track users who aren’t logged in through its back-end ‘Advanced Matching’ feature.

All said, Facebook Attribution is a timely tool for our agency and all online advertisers.

The Results

At this point, you may be left wanting a taste of this alternative measurement tool. You’re in luck, because ROI Revolution has been leveraging this tool since late 2018 – so we have had plenty of time to learn its functionality and best use cases.

Screenshot showing website purchases in last 90 days

Bar charts showing conversions and visits
As mentioned earlier, Attribution offers a simplified dashboard for holistic account performance. It also provides unique flexibility in valuing sources throughout the funnel through seven distinct attribution models ranging from last click to even credit.

We use this data to monetize upper-funnel campaigns for our clients. Historically, it was challenging to understand how these efforts were driving sales. However, with this tool, we can measure the value generated from a brand awareness campaign that launched three months ago.
Chart showing device traffic

Thinking back to cross-device shopping trends, Facebook Attribution provides curated insights on up to 90 days of customer conversion paths. We use the learnings from these reports to inform our optimizations, targeting, and ad content across all paid sources.

Summary

We have seen Facebook Attribution become an increasingly reliable and powerful source for measurement for our clients. Analyzing all sources at once and understanding what touchpoints provide the most value has proven extremely useful. It has allowed us to credit platforms for driving the first, middle, and last interactions with users.

Knowing which levers to pull when trying to boost a segment of the conversion funnel has informed our budget allocation strategies and ultimately generated increases in our clients’ bottom lines. We strongly encourage our clients and all digital marketers to leverage this tool (amongst others) as they decide where and how their digital ad spend is driving performance.

Our team can provide you with a free social media advertising opportunity review to help drive your ecommerce brand growth. We also have plenty of free resources to help you on your social media advertising journey:

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