The Facebook Rabbit Hole.

In this blog, I will briefly touch on one of the biggest shifts in online advertising (I would try to go over it all, however, I will probably end up going down a huge rabbit hole and I might not be able to get back to work in time).

Let me begin with April the 26th 2021, the rise and fall (bumpy road) of Facebook advertising. I remember it very clearly, everyone went into a meltdown. Has your phone updated, have you got the prompt on your iPhone, has it automatically changed your apple device settings? This is what every paid media buyer asked themselves, colleagues or acquaintances. This was the day Apple released the iOS 14 update, and turned off IDFA by default. In short, everyone had to approve a prompt on their device which asked them if they wanted to be tracked by Facebook across companies, apps and websites.

Pre iOS 14.5 Facebook was able to track you for up to 28 days once you clicked an ad. This is an important consideration to take in going forward…  Facebook could report back a sale after multiple touchpoints and multiple days.. When was the last time you just instantly bought something?

At the time of writing this blog, I have spent nearly a week working out if I should try Huel. It started with seeing an Instagram ad, then I started researching it on Google and looking at reviews, then I went on my laptop and finally ended up purchasing it after seeing it on Youtube. Ohh… but wait, Facebook has not been able to track this as a sale! (That means we need to switch off all Facebook advertising!)

The lack of tracking has led to the most significant shift in mindset when allocating marketing budget in 2022. Just because it is not necessarily being reported does not mean that it is not having a big impact on your sales. When Facebook ads are running we see a lift in direct conversions, organic and google ppc across all our accounts. This is because Facebook and Instagram ads are a huge part of the discovery of products or services. Why do companies run radio, tv and billboards? To be seen and to build brand awareness! The difference is that Facebook and Instagram is measurable to some degree and you can also ensure it is served to people interested in what you offer.

I think it is important to remember that in-platform data is modelled due to tracking issues. Modelled conversions use aggregated and anonymized data to estimate conversions that ad platforms like Facebook or Google are unable to observe directly—providing a more complete report of your conversions while respecting user consent. We have ran reports and in some cases we can see underreporting of on-platform data by up to 50%.

We wouldn’t recommend this to any of our clients but in this case… “ring ring ring and its shutdown” was on the cards for one account. We switched off a client’s Facebook ad account for up to 2 weeks to see how big of an impact switching off Facebook would have on sales. It may shock you or it may not, but average daily sales went from $2,000 to $800 and then from $800 to $400.

We did of course end up switching the account back on in August and got back to pre-ad shut-off levels.

So… I suppose the moral of the story or blog in this case is to be mindful of your thought processes on advertising spend.  When I first started as a media buyer over 10 years ago, even mentioning the word data was like using the word Voldemort. It was never spoken about but jokes aside, it was mainly because it wasn’t as easily accessible as it has been over the last 4-5 years. Businesses, marketers and agencies have had it good lately and now everyone is going into a frenzy because they can’t get the data anymore that they once had. 

Having an Inclination on performance has been easily attainable but now we are entering the realms of a cookieless future first-party data and tracking software is going to become key. I will talk about this in another blog. We are a digital marketing agency from Newcastle, if you are looking for any support please reach out.

Thanks for reading, adios I’m out.