Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Collect Leads from a Facebook Canvas Contact Form (and Target Them)

Last week, I provided you with a step-by-step for how to create a Facebook Canvas contact form. But once you create these ads, how do you collect the leads? And how do you target those who engage with these forms?

If you’ve created Facebook lead ads before, you’re familiar with the process of collecting those leads. You have to manually download a file consisting of your leads, unless you use a third-party tool to sync them to your CRM. This will be similar, though not the exact same process.

Today, I’ll walk you through both the manual and automated processes of collecting your leads after creating a Facebook Canvas with a contact form. After that, we’ll cover how to create audiences of those who engaged with these Canvas contact forms so that you can target or exclude them later.

1. Manually Collect Leads Through Ads Manager

Once you launch your campaign and the ads are active, you will be able to view the number of leads that have resulted from it within Ads Manager. When viewing the “Ads” tab, there should be a column for “Leads (Form).”

Facebook Canvas Lead Form Contacts

If you can’t find this column within the “Ads” tab, click to customize columns…

Facebook Ads Manager Customize Columns

Then run a search for “leads (form)” to find that data and check the box.

Facebook Ads Manager Customize Columns

That column will then be added to your report.

When viewing this column in your reports, you’ll notice a link with a download icon next to it (see the first image above). Click that, and you’ll download an XLS file of your leads.

2. Manually Collect Leads Through Publishing Tools

Typically, you’ve accessed leads from lead ad forms by going to your Publishing Tools as a Facebook page admin…

Facebook Page Publishing Tools

And then you’d click on “Forms Library” under “Lead Ads Forms.”

Facebook Page Publishing Tools

However, you won’t see your contact forms from a Facebook Canvas here. Instead, you’ll see a message…

Facebook Page Publishing Tools

You can either click the “Canvas Section” link in that alert or click “Canvas” on the bottom of the left-hand menu.

Facebook Page Publishing Tools

Here, you’ll see a list of the Canvases you’ve created. If a Canvas includes a contact form, you’ll see a button next to it with the number of collected leads.

Facebook Page Publishing Tools

If you click that button, you’ll download those leads into an XLS file.

3. Automatically Sync Leads With Zapier

Of course, manually downloading these leads is a pretty major pain — especially if you collect a high volume of them. Luckily, you can implement the same automated processes that you use for Facebook lead ads to sync them to your CRM.

I personally use Zapier for this (not an affiliate link). While the process is mostly identical, there are some minor annoyances at the moment that I want to help you with.

Keep in mind that undoubtedly there are many different third-party tools that will help you sync your leads from Facebook Canvas contact forms (and lead ad forms). But I use Zapier, so we’ll start there.

When you create a Zap, you’ll first need to select Facebook Lead Ads as your trigger app…

Zapier Facebook Lead Ads Trigger App

Note that this is only available within the premium package. So if you don’t have that, you’ll need to upgrade (sorry).

For the most part, setting up this Zap is how you would sync lead ad contacts to your CRM. But there is one issue with these new contact forms associated with a Canvas: These aren’t unique forms that you name, but unique posts. And you don’t name these posts.

You’ll see what I mean when you go in to select the form to sync…

Zapier Facebook Lead Forms

Uhhhh… So, which one is it?? I honestly have no idea. And the weird thing is that I haven’t created four of these things in the first place.

As you can see, these names are auto-generated. You don’t name them, which would make selecting the form a whole lot easier.

To find which form is which, go into Ads Manager and edit your ad. You’ll see the auto-generated name of the Canvas there.

Facebook Canvas Post Name

Alert readers will notice that this name is not identical to anything that was in the drop-down within Zapier. But the key is that it is date/time stamped as 08/10/2018 at 9:27am. The first form in the Zapier drop-down was for that same date/time.

From here, you’d create an action in Zapier to sync these new leads to your CRM. We won’t cover that here, but again you can see my post on creating Zaps for lead ad contacts for more.

4. Target Leads with Engagement Custom Audiences

Another logical next question is this: Can you target those who have opened or submitted these forms, as we can with those who engage with lead ad forms?


It’s the same process. When creating a Custom Audience, select “Engagement”…

Engagement Custom Audience

Next, select “Lead form”…

Facebook Page Custom Audience

After selecting your page, you’ll have the option to create an audience of people who have opened a specific form, opened but didn’t submit a specific form, or opened and submitted a specific form.

Engagement Custom Audience

When you search for “Get New Customers,” you should see the forms you’ve created within Facebook Canvas.

Facebook Canvas Custom Audience

Keep in mind that you can also create an audience of those who opened or clicked a link within a specific Canvas (regardless of whether they opened a form). That’s the “Fullscreen Experience” option from above.

You’ll have the options of people who have opened a specific Canvas or people who have clicked links within a specific Canvas.

Facebook Canvas Custom Audience

You’ll need to select a specific Canvas. Once again, search for “Get New Customers” and you should find it.

For more information on either of these types of Custom Audiences, I’ve written tutorials on Lead Ad Form Custom Audiences and Canvas Custom Audiences.

Your Turn

It’s very possible that this process will change and improve during the coming weeks and months, but this is how it works for now. Have you started collecting leads this way yet? How is it working for you?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Collect Leads from a Facebook Canvas Contact Form (and Target Them) appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

New and Reinstated Professional Targeting Options on Facebook

Many recent announcements from Facebook concerning targeting are seemingly about the removal of features. Thankfully, this post is not about that! Facebook quietly mentioned some new (and some reinstated/returning) professional targeting options on the Facebook Developers blog.

Facebook’s Developers blog is normally a space for more technical announcements, so the updates mentioned here are sometimes easily missed by advertisers.

On August 9th,  the announcement was made that Facebook has new interest segments to reach professional audiences. It also let us know that some previously removed targeting features will be coming back, although the update implies that rollout will be gradual.

According to the update, we can find the new and reinstated professional targeting options pertaining to the following interest segments:

  • Page Admins: Behaviors targeting > Digital activities > Facebook page admins
  • Employer Targeting: Demographics > Work > Employers
  • Job Title Targeting: Demographics > Work > Job Titles
  • School Targeting: Demographics > Education > Schools
  • Field of Study Targeting: Demographics > Education > Field of Study

These classifications provide the navigation flow to find the updated targeting segments. To review any of these, you simply set up an audience, choose the Browse option under Detailed Targeting, and follow the outline provided.

The areas of Employer and Job title, in particular, seem to have had various targeting options removed in the past. I imagine that advertisers will be excited to see some of these options returning.

Let’s do a quick review of a few of these…

Page Admins

Within Behaviors -> Digital Activities -> Facebook page admins, we can now see a number of Page Admin targeting segments available.

Though Page Admin targeting was previously available, I do not recall seeing some of these options. If anyone out there in the interwebspace knows otherwise, please let me know in the comments below!

As of today, here are the options that populate:

Facebook Interest Targeting - Page Admin Options

The option Facebook Page Admins appears to encompass all the other segments.

This general target is very large! Over 350 million people.

Facebook Page Admins General Interest Segment

To dive deeper into how Facebook might be classifying admin segments, I created an audience made up of all the individual page admin segments.

Professional Targeting Options - Admins - Specific Interest Segments

120 million people is far fewer than the 350 million number we saw for Facebook Page Admins in general. We can compare Audience Overlap between these two audiences to verify that the broader group of “Facebook Page Admins” does in fact encompass the specific segments:

Professional Target Options - Facebook Audience Overlap - Page Admin Segments

This tells us that over 230 million page admins are not contained within one of the specific segments. I imagine Facebook might start adding more categories in the future.

Other Targeting Segments: Employer, Job Title, School, Field of Study

As far as I’m aware, all of these options were already available. I did a quick spot check of Field of Study below, using “Bio” as the input, to see if these options had become more robust:

Facebook Field of Study Interest Segment - Bio

The results seem quite limited for now. Similar to the Page Admins segments, I imagine Facebook may start adding more fields in the future.

Your Turn

What new targeting options are you seeing within these segments? Have any new doorways opened for you with this update?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post New and Reinstated Professional Targeting Options on Facebook appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

How to Add a Contact Form to a Facebook Canvas

Facebook Canvas provides advertisers the ability to create a fullscreen experience that keeps potential customers on Facebook (see examples here). They can then get creative by building an experience based on components of video, images, text, CTA buttons, product feeds, and more. And now they can also add a contact form.

Experienced advertisers will recognize these contact forms as being a repurposing of lead ad forms, which allow marketers to collect contact information from potential customers without leaving Facebook. The beauty of these forms is that they auto-fill (when possible) information like name and email address from a user’s Facebook profile.

Facebook is essentially combining two very powerful tools — the fullscreen experience of Canvas and ease of data collection with lead forms — into one. Let’s take a closer look at how you can set this up for yourself…

1. Choose an Objective

As I write this, it appears that the option to add a lead form to a Facebook Canvas is only available when using the Traffic objective when creating your campaign.

Facebook Ads Objective - Traffic

That can change, of course. But for now, if you want this option you’ll need to use the Traffic objective.

2. Choose Optimization

If you stick with the optimization defaults associated with the Traffic objective, you’ll likely run into the following issue when attempting to create a Facebook Canvas…

Facebook Canvas Traffic Objective Error

The default optimization when using the Traffic objective is Landing Page Views. If you get this error, you’ll need to change it to something else (like Link Clicks)…

Facebook Ads Optimization Link Clicks

Once again, this is something that may very well change. In fact, I had a brief period of time recently when using Landing Page Views was actually allowed when creating a Facebook Canvas using the Traffic objective.

3. Add a Fullscreen Experience

Now, you’ll be allowed to check the box on the ad level to “Add a Fullscreen Experience.”

Facebook Ads Add a Fullscreen Experience

Check that!

4. Use the “Get New Customers” Template

After checking that box, you’ll be presented with three Facebook Canvas templates…

Facebook Canvas Templates

As you can see from the messaging in the blue notification, the “Get New Customers” template has “the option to include a mobile-friendly form that opens instantly when someone taps your ad.” That’s what we want!

Click “Use Template” under that template.

5. Turn On the Contact Form

Next, build your Facebook Canvas the way you normally would using the creation wizard. At the very bottom, you’ll see an option to add a contact form. Turn that on…

Facebook Canvas Lead Form

Since it’s buried at the bottom and it’s turned off by default, this is very easy to miss.

6. Build Your Contact Form

Next, we’ll want to build our contact form. This is done the exact same way that you build a typical lead ad form.

Provide a header and then indicate what information you want to request from the user. By default, it will be email address and full name.

Facebook Canvas Contact Form

But you’ll be able to request other information, including custom questions.

Next, you’ll want to provide a link to your privacy policy and customize the thank you screen. This is the screen someone will see after submitting their info to you.

Facebook Canvas Contact Form

Note that you’ll also want to provide a link for a button the user can push to go to your website — potentially to collect whatever it is they’ve requested, if that is what you prefer.


Here are a few things to consider when adding a contact form to your Facebook Canvas…

1. Forms within Canvas do not currently work on Instagram. This will likely change eventually, but something to remember for now.

Facebook Canvas Contact Form Instagram

2. The “Collect Contact Info” template is basically just a lead ad. You can select this template, too…

Facebook Canvas Contact Form

But there’s really nothing to customize except for the form itself. So, why not just create a lead ad?

3. The templates from the Canvas Builder don’t currently provide form options. If you click this link…

Facebook Canvas Contact Form

…and select the “Get New Customers” layout option…

Facebook Canvas Contact Form

…there is not currently a way to add a contact form. This is likely an oversight and will be fixed, but just a heads up.

4. A blank Canvas doesn’t provide a contact form component option.

If you want to create a Facebook Canvas from scratch, you won’t (currently) find an option for a contact form component.

Facebook Canvas Contact Form

5. You have to create a form from scratch. You’d think it would make a lot of sense to select a previously created lead ad form, but that’s not currently an option.

When Would You Use This?

Advertisers often use the fullscreen experience of Facebook Canvas to sell products. However, now there are two primary reasons why someone might want to add a contact form…

1. High-priced products. A potential customer may be interested in a high-priced product, but they’re unlikely to complete the purchase online — or at least without giving it significant thought. Including a contact form to get more information could be a great next step.

2. Feature lead-gen “free” products. Now an advertiser can use the Facebook Canvas fullscreen experience to feature things like webinars, ebooks, and more that require a name and email address. This opens up plenty of possibilities!

Your Turn

Have you started experimenting with contact forms within a Facebook Canvas yet? If not, how might you use this?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post How to Add a Contact Form to a Facebook Canvas appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

What is an Ideal Facebook Ad Frequency?

What should your Facebook ad frequency be? This is a common question among Facebook advertisers, and a source of discussion in the Power Hitters Club groups.

As with many aspects of Facebook, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. But, that does not mean you cannot consider the ideal frequencies for your own advertising. This article provides a general guide for approaching this important issue.

Facebook Ad Frequency Defined

Facebook defines frequency as the average number of times each person saw your ad. It’s important to note that this is an estimated metric. This means that it’s not always an exact number.

Remember that (Impressions divided by Reach) = Frequency. Said another way, (Reach multiplied by Frequency) = Impressions. This formula will come in handy later.

It’s also important to remember that Facebook ad frequency is an average. You may have some people in the audience who were reached a very large number of times, and others who were reached only once. The overall average is what Facebook reports. If you want to dive into deeper detail on frequency distribution, I’ve written about this topic in an article about Page-Level reporting.

Determining Frequency

Within Ads Manager, Facebook has a functionality that allows us to include Frequency metrics in any reporting view: Campaign, Ad Set, or Ad Level.

From the top right of Ads Manager, you should have a button called “Columns: Performance” listed below the date range.

If you select this button, you can select “Customize Columns” to add a variety of data points to the export:

Facebook Reporting Customize Columns

From here, you can select Frequency from the metrics available. On the right side of the selector, you can also “slide” the metrics up and down the list to change the order in which they appear:

Facebook Frequency - Customize Columns

I like to place Reach, Impressions, and Frequency adjacent to one another, as these three metrics are directly related.

Now that we have added Frequency to the reporting view, let’s look at an example to illustrate the math involved:

Campaign Selection - Facebook Ad Frequency Calculation

Using our formula, we can see that (119,045 / 76,551) = 1.56. That is, Reach divided by Impressions equals Frequency.

Daily Frequency Breakout

Using the Charts functionality of Ads Manager, we can also look at Daily Frequency for a specific campaign.

Here’s how we find this data point.

1) Select the Campaign from the list of campaigns.

Select Facebook Campaign - Example

2) Select the “View Chart” button from the top right of Ads Manager.

Facebook Ads Manager - View Chart Selection

3) Click on the “Custom” button (depending on your default view, you may not need to do this step, or step 4)

Facebook View Charts Ads Manager - Select Custom Metrics

4) Change “Impressions” to “Frequency” in the drop down in the center:

Facebook Frequency - Change Impressions to Frequency view in Charts

You will now see the overall Frequency for the selected reporting period, for the specific Campaign:

Facebook Ads Manager Frequency Chart

If you hover over a specific day, you will see the Frequency metric for that day. Here’s an example of what we would see if we hovered over April 18th from our sample data:

Facebook Frequency Daily Example

Notice that the frequency changed from 1.56 (our overall Campaign frequency for the reporting period) to 1.25 (our Campaign frequency for the specific date of April 18).

You can repeat the above process for an Ad or Ad Set. You can also do it for multiple Campaigns (or multiple Ad Sets, or multiple Ads), depending on your reporting needs.

If you are having trouble with navigating how to look at multiple Campaigns, Ad Sets, or Ads, check out my write-up on Paid Reach Reporting in Ads Manager where we covered this methodology.

Cumulative Frequency Breakout

We can also use the “View Charts” functionality to dive deeper into Cumulative Frequency.

Cumulative Frequency tells us how the frequency increased each day to accumulate for the campaign over time. This can be an indicator of how you began “saturating” the same audience over time. It can also show where you might have specific points of time in the history of a campaign when the same individuals were being shown ads.

Let’s look at our example again. We can change the Frequency indicator to Frequency (cumulative), as illustrated here:

Facebook Cumulative Frequency Selector

You may notice that overall cumulative frequency for the reporting period is the same as the overall frequency. This is as expected, as the final cumulative frequency is an overall aggregation of the entire period.

The more interesting detail comes from looking at specific dates. Let’s look at April 18th to compare what the daily cumulative frequency was telling us for the same period:

Facebook Cumulative Frequency

Notice here that the data is telling us our Cumulative Frequency is 1.21 for April 18, vs. 1.25 Daily Frequency for April 18th that we obtained previously.

At first glance, this seems impossible… How could we reach fewer people cumulatively, over time, than those whom we reach on a single day?

This can happen because frequency is an overall average, over time, for the period in question. Meaning – the average frequency on a single day could be higher than the average cumulative frequency for an extended period of time. You will likely see similar data points in your own campaigns, with specific dates having a higher average frequency than a multi-day period during the life of a campaign.

The above process can be followed for an Ad or Ad Set. You can compare it across multiple Campaigns (or multiple Ad Sets, or multiple Ads), depending on your reporting needs.

The Ideal Frequency

Now that we know how to look at our Frequency metrics, let’s discuss the big question: What’s an Ideal Facebook Ad Frequency?

Facebook has a very interesting analysis titled Effective Frequency: Reaching Full Campaign Potential. I definitely recommend you check this out, if the topic is of particular interest. If you’d like deeper detail of the analysis, they have a companion white paper where the methodology and implications are covered in more detail.

While the analysis from Facebook has a lot of content, my favorite component is their Frequency Factors Chart:

Facebook Frequency Factors Chart with Recommendations

I consider this to be a compact, concise, and clear framework for thinking about when you may benefit from differing frequencies.

But to go even further, I believe there are some additional contextual considerations, which are also important when thinking about Facebook ad frequency. Let’s walk through these:

1) Variation in the Ad Creative

When you have highly similar creatives across your campaign, multiple exposures of the same imagery/copy (high frequency) can be an issue for your audience.

When there is larger variation between creatives, the high frequency can be less of a problem.

We can use a hypothetical example to illustrate. Let’s say we have 10 ads about basketball.

In a campaign with high creative variation, each ad might be about a different basketball team. Therefore, people who see multiple ads from the campaign might be less annoyed by each, since the ads are about different topics, likely featuring a different team logo or visual layout, etc.

In a campaign with low creative variation, there might be 10 images of the same team. They may all show a slightly different angle of the image, or slight variations in the text used. A user with exposure to several of these ads may perceive repetition. This user may more likely be annoyed if they are being shown your ads over and over. While you may consider each ad to be different, the casual user may consider them to be the same, because they look so familiar.

An important reminder on this: Even if you have many creatives in a campaign, they may not all be receiving impressions. This is due to Facebook’s ad delivery system favoring high performing ads. Remember that you can check impressions for each specific ad in a campaign (as well as the Reach and Frequency for each ad).

If you have a large number of creatives that are clearly different and they’re all receiving impressions, high frequency is far less likely to cause issues.

2) Consideration of Placement

Facebook’s study of effective frequency did not discuss consideration of ad placement. The placement of an ad is how your audience encounters your post, and can affect your results wildly.

For example, placements in Right Column can be very high compared with other placements such as Facebook News Feed and Instagram News Feed, without resulting in the same level of annoyance or frustration from the exposed audience.

Placements in the Right Column tend to be seen as less intrusive. They live in the “traditional ad space” where users might be accustomed to seeing ads in other website experiences. Of course, this placement also tends to be the least likely to drive engagement from your audience, which is why these are often at the lower cost of all placements.

Why is this important? If you are looking through your own ad results and you see a specific unit that has a very high frequency, the very first thing to check should be the placement breakdown. You can do this by clicking “Breakdown: By Delivery,” then selecting “Placement” to see the breakout of results:

Ads Manager - Breakdown by Delivery

Facebook Ads Manager Select Placement Breakdown

Once you’ve selected the breakdown, it should display something like this:

Facebook Ads Manager Placement Breakout - Reach, Impressions, and Frequency

Notice in our example that average frequency for Desktop Right Column placement is much higher than other placements. This can sometimes skew the way a campaign appears to perform for overall frequency, because a higher volume of placements in Right Column may not be so problematic.

I often notice advertisers have high frequency for Right Column placements in cases where they have selected campaign goals that are more tied to eyeballs on ads – such as Reach, for example.

If your overall campaign objectives are more tied to specific action results, such as the Conversions or Video Views objectives, you’ll likely find that Facebook’s optimization system generally works to optimize the placement for the specific action you desire. Since Right Column placement tends to result in low ad interaction, you will normally see lower impression numbers for this placement (and therefore lower frequency), for such campaigns.

Is Your Frequency a Problem?

It can be tough to determine whether your frequency is the source of performance issues. Unfortunately, Facebook removed the Negative Feedback metric from Ads Manager reporting. This was once a great metric for considering the source of fatigue issues.

Fortunately, there are certain cases where you can still get an idea of negative feedback. Specifically, for published page posts that you are promoting, you can export Post-Level data and check two data points in particular: Lifetime Negative Feedback from Users and Lifetime Negative Feedback.

At the time of this writing, these are columns R and S in the Post-Level export. Negative Feedback from Users is a count of people who have given negative feedback. Negative Feedback is a measure of the times that negative feedback has been given.

These metrics can be a potential indicator that your frequency may be too high, though sometimes it can just be that the audience dislikes your ad. That said, it’s always important to look at this number in context as a proportion of your overall reach. As your reach increases, so will negative feedback. If the proportion of Negative Feedback from Users vs. Post Total Reach seems particularly high vs. your average, you may have a problem.

How to Control Facebook Ad Frequency

If you are concerned about your Frequency and would like to control it a bit more directly, there are options available.

1) Reach and Frequency Buying: You can use this option to define goals in advance. Specifically, the amount of people you want to reach, and how often you want to reach them.

There are some limitations to this tool. First, this option is not available to all advertisers. It’s a feature that Facebook seems to make available to advertisers with higher spend levels. Second, it “locks in” your results to the agreed upon amount. If you have content that has the potential to perform extremely well in the ad auction, you could have outperformed what the guaranteed results may have been, had you utilized this option.

2) Use the Reach Objective: This option allows you to set a maximum frequency on your campaign. However, there are many, many cases when I would not recommend using the Reach objective, such as when another goal is more likely to optimize to your specific results (as with Brand Awareness or Conversions, for example). I tend to use this objective only in very specific cases. Jon’s write-up on his structure of 15 Facebook Ad Campaigns included a few examples of where he uses Reach.

3) Using Automated Rules: You can set automated rules to take action on your behalf. You’ll find automated rules in Ads Manager, useful for when certain parameters (such as Frequency!) are met. Jon wrote about this feature in detail here.

4) Manual Monitoring: You can closely monitor your campaigns and simply make changes manually when frequency exceeds your comfort level. For example, you might lower budgets, expand the target, add new creatives, or simply pause Ads, Ad Sets, or Campaigns if it seems your audiences may be getting fatigued based on high frequency. However, keep in mind that certain actions reset the learning phase for your ads.

The Low-Down on Facebook Ad Frequency

You may notice there is no hard rule for frequency listed in this post.

As with many aspects of Facebook advertising, the ideal depends on your specific situation! The outlined approaches are intended to provide a guide for consideration. This will likely be far more effective than a single rule that does not consider the context or needs of your activities.

  1. You can monitor Frequency at the Campaign, Ad Set, or Ad Level
  2. High frequency is tied to audience fatigue and may impact your results.
  3. High frequency can be less of a concern when you have high creative variety, or for particularly high volume placements in your Campaign (such as Right Column).
  4. If you believe high frequency may be a problem for your campaigns, you have some options to control Frequency.

Your Turn

Do you consider Frequency in your performance analysis?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post What is an Ideal Facebook Ad Frequency? appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Facebook Paid Reach: Why Your Reporting May Miss the Complete Picture

I’ve written previously about reporting on reach using Facebook Insights, both at the Page Level and the Post Level. Now we’ll dive into reporting on Facebook Paid Reach using Facebook Ads Manager.

We’ll address some of the pitfalls in reporting inaccurate data, and how to identify Reach Overlap at the Ad, Ad Set, and Campaign levels.

Remember that reach is a measure of unique users. One of the most common mistakes is to simply add numbers together (for different ads, ad sets, or campaigns), and presume that you have total counts of the people reached.

However, since reach should be a measure of unique people, there are safeguards to ensure that your overall counts are accurate (or at least as accurate as possible for a measure that is estimated).

Luckily for us, Ads Manager has some built-in tools to help us better understand reach. We can use these to avoid common reporting mistakes and identify interesting insights.

Understanding Overlap – Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads

One metric that has been available for some time via the Delivery Insights tool is auction overlap. This handy resource is useful for understanding if your ad sets are “competing with themselves” within an ad account.

However, there are other ways to get similar information by using some built-in reporting process from Facebook, along with some simple math. We can also compile information in ways that represent all levels: Campaign, Ad Set, and Ad.

Let’s illustrate this with an example from campaign reporting.

Campaign Reporting

You may be familiar with pulling topline information from your Campaigns tab in Ads Manager.

While Delivery Insights gives some information about audience overlap, it can be somewhat limited. If we are interested in understanding a specific group of campaigns, there is a more powerful method.

When you initially navigate to the Campaigns tab of Ads Manager, you will see all campaigns listed, for the time range that you select.

Protip: Always be sure to double-check the time range, listed on the top right of Ads Manager. This can default to certain values based on what your recent history. I often make the mistake of forgetting to verify this. Therefore, a good habit is to always select “Lifetime” view to start, and then narrow down the data to your specific date ranges needed.

From this initial Campaign Overview, you should see all of your campaigns that ran during the time range listed. For the purposes of this example, I’ve selected to see specific campaigns for the first 6 months of 2017 in this ad account.

6 Month Filtered View - Facebook Paid Reach

Using Filters for a Cleaner View

You may encounter a situation where you have campaigns listed that did not have spend during the time frame. These should not affect your analysis, but if you want to remove them, you can easily apply a filter.

You can apply a filter by clicking the Filters drop down, or by clicking the Plus (+) sign beside the drop down. I’ve called out the Plus sign with a blue arrow in the above image.

My personal preference is to use the Plus sign method, which is most similar to other analytics tools.

I normally use a simple filter. For example, “Impressions ‘is greater than’ 0” populates only those campaigns that delivered impressions during the time range.

Facebook Paid Reach - Filtered Ads Manager Impressions View

Click Add to apply the filter.

We now see only the filtered results matching our conditions:

Facebook Paid Reach - Filtered Only to Show Impressions
*I’ve given these generic names for purposes of our example.

We can use these data to understand overall metrics among multiple Campaigns that match our parameters.

Overall data is reported along the bottom of the page, where we can see aggregated results from these four campaigns.

Important: Note that these results are showing paid data only, and do not include organic results. General organic, post-level results are available elsewhere. If you’re interested in diving into that topic, check out this article.

Mistakes with Filters and Important Items to Keep In Mind

Using the Filter feature easily warrants an entire article of its own, but here are some helpful reminders for filtering data to ensure you are not missing any results in your reporting.

1. Deleted Campaigns

If you have deleted campaign(s), you may see a message at the bottom that says “Excludes deleted items.” It’s small and easy to miss:

Facebook Ads Manager - Deleted Items Notification Message

If you wish to capture these results, change the delivery filter as the message indicates. Select the available options from the drop down (Active, Inactive, Scheduled, Deleted… etc).’

Campaign Delivery Selection Example

Facebook will update the filter to say “Campaign Delivery: Any” once you select all of the available values and Apply:

Ads Manager - Any Delivery Filter Example

If you want to save this filter, you can click the “Save Filter” button on the far right:

Ads Manager - Save Filter

2. Large Volume of Campaigns/Data

If you have a high number of campaigns, Facebook’s system may sometimes present an error message about trouble loading the overall aggregate information. You can usually address this by applying some filters to decrease data and add specificity. I’ve found that when this error message appears, I can just let the system continue loading, and it eventually resolves without issue:

Facebook Paid Reach Loading Error - Too Many Campaigns

3. Historical Metrics

You may also see other notifications called out, depending on the metrics you are viewing. These are usually warnings to keep in mind if you’re trying to compare data over long periods of time, as some metrics are only available as of a certain date. Here’s an example regarding video metrics:

Historical Metrics Loading Warning - Facebook Ads Manager

Using Campaign Data to De-Duplicate Facebook Paid Reach

Along the bottom of the reporting view, the summary data will show de-duplicated reach across the campaigns in view. Keep this mind, as we’ll come back to this in a moment.

If we look at the reported Paid Reach for the campaigns in the examples above, we see that we had four campaigns with the following results:

  • 10,308 People Reached in Campaign 1
  • 3,875 People Reached in Campaign 2
  • 2,286 People Reached in Campaign 3
  • 1,419 People Reached in Campaign 4

Notice I’ve said “People Reached” instead of just “Reach”. This is a healthy and helpful habit to ensure that I understand which metrics are “People” metrics, as these are the measures of unique users. This is important, as it impacts how we correctly understand overlap using de-duplicated data.

For example, with our sample data from these four campaigns, you may assume that we should simply add these numbers to understand our Total Paid Reach.

This would give us: 10,308 + 3,875 + 2,286 + 1,419 = 17,888 Total People Reached. However, we can look at our summary row at the bottom of this data set and see that Facebook reports our Total Reach as: 16,696 People.

What does this mean? Some people were reached multiple times in these campaigns. In this specific example, we had 1,192 people who were reached at least twice (17,888 – 16,696).

Reporting on Impressions is a simpler process, as this is not a unique user metric. We discussed this previous articles on Post-Level Reach and Page-Level Reach. We can validate this in our sample data. Facebook reported that our Total Impressions were 23,077. This is the same number we would find if we simply added the four rows of impressions together (12,577 + 6,532 + 2,399 + 1,569).

The Power of This Approach

In our example above, we are using data to understand overlap across our entire mix of  campaigns. The super cool thing about the summary row? We can use this to compare campaign vs. campaign.

Let’s re-visit our example: We can determine what sort of overlap existed for Campaign 1 and Campaign 2, specifically.

While we could do this by applying various filters, a super quick way to do this is to simply select both campaigns using the check boxes to the left, and then click to “Filter By Selection”. This will show us just the data for those selected Campaigns.

Selecting the Campaigns:

Facebook Paid Reach - Campaign Selection Example

Filtering by Selection:

Facebook Ads Manager Filter by Selection Example

Now we have narrowed our view to only these two campaigns:

Facebook Ads Manager - 2 Campaigns Narrowed View

Similar to the calculation we used above, we can figure out how many people were reached by both campaigns.

In this example, by adding our numbers together, we would incorrectly assume we reached a total of (10,308 + 3,875) = 14,183 People. However, this is not a reflection of the complete picture.

Since Facebook reports that our de-duplicated Total Reach was 13,853, we can calculate how many people were reached by both campaigns by finding the difference between these numbers.

In our case, we had (14,183 – 13,853) = 330 people reached by BOTH campaigns. How cool!

But wait… there’s more!

We can use this same methodology to understand overlap between specific Ad Sets, and between specific Ads. We can even do this for Ad Sets from separate campaigns, and Ads from separate Ad Sets.

Essentially, we can determine overlap across any component of the Campaign->Ad Set-> Ad structure across all activities within a single ad account.

A final example to illustrate this:

Say you had a random assortment of Ads, sorted by Reach, and you wanted to see determine reach overlap for three specific ads from a large group of ads.

We would first select the ads:

Facebook Paid Reach - Selecting Multiple Ads Example

Then we would choose the “Filter by Selection” option:

Facebook Ads Manager - Filter by Selection

We now have our filtered view showing only our desired ads:

Facebook Paid Reach Calculation - Multi-Ad Selection Example

Again using our same calculation methodology, we apply our formula: (1,989 + 1,459 + 710) = 4,158.

Facebook’s de-duplicated Total Reach is 3,997. Therefore we can find that (4,158 – 3,997) = 161 people who were reached at least twice by this group of ads.

The (Facebook Paid Reach Overlap) Formula

We’ve gone through applying the calculations to our data. To boil it down to a single formula, this is what we do:

  • Facebook provides us Total Reach from the Summary Row at the bottom of Ads Manager. We’ll call this the Facebook De-Duplicated Reach.
  • We identify the specific data rows we would like to compare. We add these together to get a Total Summed Reach.

Using this approach:

  1. Reach Row 1 + Reach Row 2 = Total Summed Reach
  2. Facebook De-Duplicated Reach – Total Summed Reach = Reach Overlap.

It’s that simple!

What Did We Learn?

  1. Applying filters to data in Ads Manager can be a powerful way to segment information.
  2. Facebook Paid Reach Overlap can be calculated. We do not need to rely only on Delivery Insights for this information.
  3. We can use a straightforward formula for these calculations across Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads. These insights can help us determine if particular ad creatives or targets may be more heavily saturated.

This method can be a powerful tool to understanding ad, ad set, or campaign overlap. Have fun!

Your Turn

How do you use Ads Manager to report reach? What particular challenges do you experience with comparing performance data across Ads, Ad Sets, or Campaigns?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook Paid Reach: Why Your Reporting May Miss the Complete Picture appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.