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Facebook Attribution: the game changer of your social and cross channel strategies

news and insights

Article first published on the french media Journal du Net

Launched in beta version in March 2017, Facebook’s Attribution solution allows advertisers to analyze the impact of their Facebook campaigns on their overall digital performance. Since October 22nd, Facebook has opened its use to all advertisers in France. Artefact’s Social Ads team had the chance to be one of the 3 Facebook Attribution beta test agencies in France. Here is their analysis:

Which interest for advertisers?

Free and easy to use, this tool is optimized by the Facebook pixel and allows you to generate reports on Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger campaigns. Reports are designed to show how Facebook advertising campaigns influence target actions throughout the customer journey and which channels directly or indirectly generate traffic and conversions.

As with Google, the attribution model based on Facebook data uses machine learning to account for incremental conversions generated by ads delivered on its platforms.

By using a new data-based attribution model, you can see how your ads on Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger contribute to incremental business results compared to a context where you wouldn’t run ads,” Facebook writes on its blog.

The reports offer cross-device conversion views, purchase information from paid, organic and direct sources, as well as conversion and visit measurements divided by source.

So it’s an interesting new feature, but advertisers already have options to understand the value of their campaigns to their advertising partners and analytical tools.

It is absolutely necessary to avoid having to refer to a multitude of attribution systems (Facebook, Google, and soon Amazon…), as this would not provide a concrete answer because of the inconsistency and non-complementarity of the models.

What is the contribution compared to the analytical solutions already in place?

Facebook Attribution is not intended to replace the tools already installed among advertisers because, while it offers measurement and Attribution solutions, it does not offer central site data such as time spent, number of pages viewed and/or page loading time.

People Based Measurement

The real interest lies in Facebook’s ability to accurately track the targets of digital activations through its People Based model (marketing focused on people and not cookies). Based on Facebook’s id, the solution provides a more accurate cross-channel and cross-device view. In other words, with this new tool Facebook solves the growing constraints of mobile measurement.

Cross-device measurement

Third party tools are not able to properly evaluate cross-device conversions due to cookie-based measures. As a result, these third-party platforms tend to under-report mobile conversions.

As a consequence, all digital levers are impacted, especially Facebook networks, whose mobile share varies from 80% to 100% (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network). The inaccurate measurement of mobile conversions in campaign reporting distorts team vision and the resulting strategic decisions.

Post-impression measurement

In addition to post-click feedback already available to third-party tools, Facebook Attribution now allows you to measure post-impression performance. This is an important step in measuring the impact of advertisers’ investments in Facebook, as the attribution models used so far could not include 100% of the post-impression data from Facebook networks.

Since Facebook is often considered as a display/programmatic lever by advertisers, its campaign results are generally compared with the space purchases made in programmatic display. This comparison showed a devalued impact of Facebook on performance, as third-party tools did not have access to full post-impression conversion tracking. With the availability of Facebook Attribution, this is now possible.

Using Facebook Attribution, our team observed that Facebook had a 4 times greater impact on the overall performance of cross-channel campaigns than the results reported on third-party measurement tools. For nearly 3 out of 4 conversions, Facebook’s participation in sales, following impressions or clicks, was not identified. These results are directly related to the improvement of mobile tracking and the complete follow-up of post-printing actions.

The launch of Facebook Attribution is therefore good news for advertisers who consider Facebook to be an essential lever in their digital mix. With more than $7 billion in advertising revenue per quarter, it is likely that the use of Facebook Attribution will quickly be used extensively and become a fundamental tool for multi-leveraging.

In summary:

  • Facebook Attribution is free and does not replace your analytical solution. It functions as an overlay.
  • The tool is not based on cookies but on people, so the measurement is more accurate.
  • Cross-device measurement is more reliable, the impact of mobile is more easily measurable.
  • Facebook Assignment allows you to access 100% of post-print events
  • The solution is on roll-out since October 22nd on Business Manager in France.