Ambiguity is the Enemy of Attribution: Facebook to Roll Out Store Visits Tracking

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We’re getting closer to closing the loop on digital marketing. Ambiguity is the enemy of attribution. Facebook just announced it will soon begin rolling out its own Store Visits tracking functionality for ad campaigns.

Google started the trend when it launched a very similar program nearly two years ago to track Store Visits after a user saw or clicked a business’ ad. However, this is still something that requires a very large threshold of clicks and quite frankly geographical footprint. It’s not accurate enough yet for small business owners to take advantage of. It looks like Facebook may be identifying an opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.

Ask any digital marketer working with a brick-and-mortar business what the biggest challenge is and they will tell you attribution. I hear it all the time from clients that understand they need to run digital and social campaigns and may even acknowledge they are performing well, but what does that really mean to them? Without any real data on how much foot traffic these campaigns are driving there will always be that question mark. Unless of course you have a client where you can tie in with their in-house Point-Of-Sales (POS) system to track purchases, but that’s not always available.

So over the next few months Facebook will begin rolling out its own Store Visits tracking, which makes a ton of sense considering that its Local Awareness Ads are designed to drive this exact action. I think we saw the early glimpses of this with Local Insights, which can be found in your Facebook business page’s Insights and then under Local. An incredibly effective tool that can tell you loads of information about which kind of people your ads are reaching nearby your location, what their demographics are, what times are most popular etc. to help optimize your local ads. You can actually narrow the radius down to as tight as 165 feet around the location!

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The No. 1 biggest regret for Google in my opinion was the failure to launch of Google+. For any Store Visits tracking to work Google requires people to have their Location Tracking on their phone enabled, as does Facebook but so many more people allow it because as a social platform it provides that additional value (check-ins, local reviews etc.). If Google could have gotten G+ to take off like it hoped, combined with its treasure trove of data on user intent, they would have ran the world. So utilizing that location tracking information along with wi-fi signals, Facebook will be able to coordinate when a user sees or clicks and ad and goes within that business’ geo-fenced area.

If you tell a client that his Local Awareness ad got 850 Clicks and drove 100 Calls he may say that’s great, but if you’re able to tell a client this campaign specifically drove 250 people directly into their store? Now that is valuable data.

Facebook will also be rolling out the ability to connect Ads Reporting with a location’s POS system to track sales via the Offline Conversions API.

“Advertisers now have a way to connect transactions that take place in store or over the phone to their ads. The Offline Conversions API allows businesses to match transaction data from their customer database or point-of-sale system to Ads Reporting, helping them better understand the effectiveness of their ads in real-time. Businesses can work with partners such as IBM, Index, Invoca, Lightspeed, LiveRamp, Marketo and Square or with Facebook directly.”

Facebook says these functionalities will be rolling out to all advertisers globally in the coming months so start getting your clients prepared now.

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Facebook Video Updates Include Split Screen; Could Be a Boon for Advertisers

A new update to Video Ads on Facebook could be a boon for advertisers. The more and more content, ads, options that get pushed out there the less and less time and attention your stuff will get. Opportunity is constantly shrinking so it’s up to the advertiser to find new and different ways to engage the customer. We’re day trading in attention here so the key is to find out what will grab a user and what will keep them the longest because that’s going to give you the best opportunity to drive a conversion and make a sale.

This new update to Facebook Video will essentially allow users to watch a video and click through to view your website without waiting until the video ends or having to leave Facebook at all. It opens up a split screen option so users can view your website while still watching the video in their browser, uninterrupted.

I’m predicting this will have a huge positive effect on the percentage of videos viewed. People don’t have to interrupt what their doing or wait any extra time to learn more, they can watch the entire video all while multi-tasking on the brand’s website to find what they need quickly. Keep in mind this is only for clicking on a video link ad on iOS. Facebook is also saying that “In early testing, advertisers have seen a significant decrease in cost per click and cost per conversion.” So initial results are looking good at least.

The same experience goes for Mobile App Install Ads, rather than waiting for the video to end and/or sending a user to a separate experience, they will be able to watch the video in split screen while (on iPhone only) opening up the App Store to download the app, all while still watching the video simultaneously. Efficiency at its finest.

Full release from Facebook below:

Updates to Video Link Ads and Mobile App Install Ads

We recently launched a new experience for video link ads in the website click and website conversion objectives that creates a more engaging experience for people when completing lower-funnel objectives. When people click on a video link ad on iOS, they can now browse your business’ website while watching the video from the ad, uninterrupted. People no longer have to stop a video mid-way or wait for the video to end to visit your website. In early testing, advertisers have seen a significant decrease in cost per click and cost per conversion.

Additionally, we have made improvements to the video experience for mobile app ads. In the past, when people tapped on your video mobile app install ad, the video would play in full screen. To improve the experience both for people and our advertisers, we have updated this design. Now on iPhone only, when people tap on your mobile app ad with video creative, they will be taken to the Apple App Store with your video creative still playing in a split screen.