Travel advertisers are constantly honing allocation of their digital advertising budget among several marketing channels to maximize ROI. In a world where mobile is taking over and people are consuming content on different devices, one of the growing challenges is to measure how these different devices, platforms and channels drive the bottom line. Even though Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has been around for a while now and is still commanding a big chunk of the online marketing budget for travel advertisers, Facebook is getting more attention every day with its ever growing reach and travel-specific solutions.

Why advertise on Facebook?

There are several reasons behind the ever increasing love for Facebook. Facebook is the leading social media platform with 1.71 billion monthly active users (about a billion of which are mobile-only). It is a powerhouse with extensive and detailed data on each of these users. Thanks to its large user base and cross-device capabilities, Facebook allows you to target users you can’t reach via any other marketing channel. Facebook is growing rapidly year over year, and it has become one of the must-go channels for advertisers.

Knowing that Facebook has this tremendous potential and power, what, then, is the next step to unleash its potential for your business? You need to get familiar with advertising on Facebook – fast! Facebook is constantly improving its advertising solutions and launching new products. As an advertiser, you need to start testing every aspect of the campaign setup (i.e. target audiences, creative types, campaign objectives, bid amounts) in order to discover Facebook’s maximum value for your business.

Where does Facebook fit into my marketing channel mix?

You are convinced that Facebook is an advertising platform you want to investigate more, so you can determine its place within your marketing channel mix – meaning what percentage of your marketing budget you will allocate to Facebook. At this point, we can almost hear the two questions you have:

  1. What is Facebook’s maximum potential for my business?
  2. How do I get the maximum value out of every advertising dollar I spend on Facebook?

Advertisers often try to answer both questions at the same time, which is frankly unfeasible and time consuming. In order to answer the second question and get the maximum value out of Facebook, you have to find the right message, creative type, and targeting, along with the optimal setup for your campaigns – bid amounts, objectives, optimization goals, etc. Another common fallacy is the attempt to answer the second question based on one’s experience on other channels. The results of this approach will be misleading, since Facebook is a unique channel with different dynamics.

However first question is much more straight forward and Facebook has a specific product called ‘Conversion Lift Test’ to reveal the maximum potential of the platform in an easy and quick way. Especially in a world where people are using multiple devices and mobile is taking over, conversion lift test offers a reliable measurement method.

What Is a Conversion Lift Test?

A conversion lift test is a unique Facebook feature that allows advertisers – especially ones who are new to this platform or questioning its place in their marketing strategy – to discover Facebook’s maximum potential for their business. Interested? Here is how it’s done.

Facebook Lift Test

Facebook randomly divides its user base into 2 groups: Test Group and Control Group. The Test Group is exposed to all your advertising efforts through various channels, including your Facebook ad. The Control Group, on the other hand, is exposed to all kinds of advertising, but not to your ad on Facebook. Through a pixel implemented on the advertiser’s website, Facebook tracks the actions taken by each user in both of these groups. A lift test usually lasts about 4-6 weeks, depending on the amount of data collected.

Why Measure the Conversion Lift?

Advertisers allocate their budget to multiple marketing channels. However, there are several challenges when it comes to measuring the performance of each channel. Conversion Lift reveals the real value of the advertising channel in question by resolving the challenges below.

  • Click-Based Attribution Model Adoption: Clicks are often granted as the action that signal the interest of the user and last-click attribution is a widely used model among advertisers. However, relying solely on clicks underestimates the effect of seeing an ad. Conversion lift measurement takes into account views as well, which offers a more comprehensive approach to evaluate ad performance.
  • Cross-Device & Cross-Channel Measurement: People use multiple electronic devices every day for internet access. There is also a big shift to using mobile devices. Apart from these digital channels, offline channels such as call centers and physical stores are commonly used to make a purchase or booking. However, this trend is often overlooked by the existing measurement systems. Conversion lift measurement allows cross-device and cross-channel tracking which is crucial now more than ever.
  • Ineffective Testing Methods: Even though digital advertising is an ever-growing channel mix for marketers, there hasn’t been a standard testing method to measure its effect. Lift measurement is a scientific approach to calculate performance and conversion lift testing is based on the principles of this measurement system.

Potential Lift Test Subjects:

  1. New Customer Acquisition – Learn how much additional traffic you will get from Facebook.
  2. Remarketing – Discover the effect of Facebook advertising on customer retention.
  3. Mobile App – Find out how many additional app installs you will get by advertising on Facebook.

Best practices to derive the most accurate results for a conversion lift test

  1. Don’t run any other Facebook campaigns targeting the audience used in the lift test.
  2. Have an audience size of at least 100K in each group. The bigger the audience size the better.
  3. Have enough daily budget and bid to reach every online user in your test group at least once for the duration of the test. Extend the test time if necessary. Note that the main concern at this point is to find the maximum uplift. Hitting your targets in terms of costs or revenue needs more time and continuous optimization.
  4. Have at least 1000 conversions (App Installs, Bookings, Redirects, etc.) in total from your test group.
  5. Test each subject listed above individually. They can be tested at the same time if there is no overlap in targeting.

Bonus: If you don’t want to test all of the subjects, choose the first one and see if there are people you can reach on Facebook, whom you can’t reach anywhere else, even if your budget in other advertising channels were unlimited.

What’s next?

After the test period, you have the results and you will see the impact of Facebook on your business goal(s). Next, you need to make a decision about whether or not to advertise on Facebook. Hopefully, you will conclude that Facebook will be one of your marketing channels. Now comes the difficult part, which is the second question on your mind: “How do you get the maximum value out of every advertising dollar you spend on Facebook?”

In order to get the maximum value from Facebook, you first need to calculate the lifetime value (LTV) of your customers. Let’s say you tested all three subjects listed above, you then need to calculate the LTV of new customers, remarketing audience, and mobile app installers. Keep in mind that KPIs determined according to this calculation should be different for each of these goals and, most importantly, they are KPIs specifically for Facebook.

Now that you know your Facebook targets, you need to find the right content, targeting, objective, bid, budget, etc. to hit those targets. This will take time, and it requires a lot of effort. But don’t worry, we are here to help! With our expertise in Facebook marketing and endless support, we can work with you to find the best campaign setup for your business. You will also make sure to get the maximum performance out of Facebook advertising utilizing our proprietary data science products including Marvin and Dynamic Ads Optimizer. Get in touch with us today and learn more about Adphorus.

Did you read our latest e-book?

Dynamic Ads for Travel Handbook

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