Why all Clicks are not equal in Facebook?

Let us start with a question.

How many of you have run a campaign with the same audience targeting with one Ad Set optimized for Link Clicks while the another for conversions?
Did you notice that, the Link clicks campaign got a lot of impressions while the conversion campaign was getting a lot less?

As Facebook charges based on Impression, technically as the audience definition is the same, shouldn’t the CPM also be the same?

The answer to this question is what will save billions of dollars in advertising money that is possibly being wasted with the wrong objectives.

Facebook is very unlike Google. Google reads signals based on your online foot print and interprets it and packages it to its advertisers, whereas Facebook has a ton of information about you.

Would you be surprised if I tell you that Facebook has almost 5200 datapoints about each one of us on an average? Mind you that is an average. Which means for a section of the people the data points are twice or possibly thrice that number.

Facebook knows what you did seven years ago, whose profile you clandestinely visited, what you read, what you liked, comments, who said what about you, your posts and what not.

And remember Facebook does not forget anything. This data will survive you.

This where the answer to the questions starts kicking in. While demographically two people can be the same, both need not have the same value to Facebook at any given point in time.

For e.g. Let us say you and your BFF went to the same school, same college, graduated together, started working together. But one of you bought a new car while the other one didn’t. So, who do you think will get a car ad when they fire up the FB app on their phone?

Oh, did you say the one who didn’t? Wrong.

The answer lies in what the campaign was optimized for? If it is just awareness or Link clicks, then the one who bought the car might also get to see the ad. But if the objective was conversion, then the one who hasn’t bought a car yet will be the only one who will get to see the ad.

Why is this so?

Digital Platforms like Facebook & Google and for that matter even Amazon are streets ahead in terms of using AI in their targeting. Based on the signals, (what you do online is considered a signal. For e.g. If you are reading this blog, it is a signal that you are interested in Marketing, specifically Digital Marketing and precisely on improving targeting and Return on Advertising Spend from Digital Marketing) you send these platforms automatically start slotting you.

Did you stop scrolling when you saw a car ad? Was that ad for a BMW or a Hyundai i10? You may not have clicked on it, it doesn’t matter. Just the fact that the ad was on your screen for a few seconds is good enough signal for Facebook.

After a day or two, did you read a car review? How many of your friends have cars? Of the same class? Higher? Lower? When did they buy and so on? Each of these are signals.

So, the question is, should an impression delivered to a prime ready to buy customer’s more valuable than someone who may not be in the market?

That brings us back to the first question. Why are all clicks not equal?

While the audience demographics be the same, Facebook understands and models the audience based on the optimization objective we set when setting up the campaign.
The optimization objective also follows the time-tested AIDA model.

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

In each of these instances, the action we expect from the audience is different. And Facebook quickly learns this and starts modelling the targeting based on the actions expected.

That’s why the cost of an awareness campaign will always be cheaper than a conversion campaign. That is, the CPM for an awareness campaign will be lower than the CPM for a conversion campaign.

The reason being the audience size for the awareness campaign will always be larger and start narrowing as we for down the funnel. Much like the AIDA funnel.

While Creative, Headline, Landing Page etc. are important components of the campaign it all starts with choosing the right objective for campaign optimization.

Remember as a rookie executive, one of the first things you were asked to write is ‘Purpose of this advertising’. That purpose determines everything else you write after that.

These gentlemen and ladies are the secret sauce for running successful Facebook campaigns.

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