A while back my colleague Justin Kistner shared several important statistics from the industry’s first ever Benchmark Survey of Facebook native advertising.
I’d like to expand on some of those findings and share with you a bit more detail on our analysis of post-click landing pages and the best practices that these insights imply marketers should implement.
This benchmark report analyzed over 2,000 Facebook news feed posts from Q1 and Q2 2013, their over 2 billion impressions and their post-click performance.
The posts were taken from a broad mix of campaigns and brands across objectives and industries.
The posts and the rich interactive experiences behind the posts were analyzed both individually and as an integrated social ad unit.
In analyzing rich interactive experiences behind the post, we looked at conversion and consideration rates as well as mobile engagement. Here is what we found:
1. Breaking Down The Conversion Results
Conversions were defined as the desired action a given brand wanted a person to take, for example watching a video through to the end, or submitting a lead gen form. We calculated the conversion rate from the number of people who viewed the landing page.
At a 4.4% average conversion rate, Facebook performed as well as – if not better – than traditional digital marketing channels.
It should be noted that in some cases, Facebook performed much better than other digital marketing channels with peak conversion rates as high as 65% for select mobile-optimized landing experiences.
Facebook Is A Cost-Effective Conversion Channel
More importantly, the research showed that Facebook was the most cost-effective channel for driving real business outcomes, making it one of the first times data has proven that Facebook is good for business, not just brand and loyalty.
To reach these conversion rates for your campaigns, you must plan to iterate and optimize at each step in the customer journey. Devise segment/ad/landing experience combinations to test and choose winners as you go.
Think about your landing content in terms of how it aligns to your broader campaigns and strategies to drive reach, frequency and engagement. And focus on “content that converts” to drive consumers deeper in to the product consideration and purchase cycle – engage and convert, every time.
In addition, your plans must include paid media.
As you may recall, the survey found that paid media not only vastly improved reach but also increased organic and viral impressions by 200%.
Start with your own fans and work out from there, leveraging fans to drive the most sharing and boosting impressions with paid media. Facebook enables deep targeting, however, Facebook needs reach to drive conversion, so make sure you use unpublished posts to segment, but not at the expense of reach.
2. Consideration Rates
Second, we looked at consideration rates.
Considerations were defined as the engagement actions a brand wanted a person to complete that were not key conversion goals.
Consideration actions included brand awareness objectives like watching a video, selecting a product option to configure it, or viewing a product detail page. Again, we calculated this rate from the number of people who viewed the landing page.
Brands experienced a whopping 193% average consideration rate, meaning that the average visitor took just shy of two consideration actions. That means that the engage and convert formula for post-click experiences not only improves conversion rates but also provides additional brand and purchase consideration value.
While Likes, comments and shares can be important, driving high-value audiences deeper in to rich brand and product experiences that have easy and clear next step conversion opportunities.
Best practices garnered from the research include:
- Think about your post strategy in terms of what drives the most native engagement and clicks. Research showed that Photo and Link posts do just this, maximizing reach and consideration. In this vein, make sure that your imagery and copy aligns to each key segment and through the post, ad and landing pages.
- When employing rich landing experiences behind your posts/ads, use direct calls to action such as “expand” and “tap to open” in post copy. These ‘flag words’ helped drive greater click through and consideration and attract high-value visitors.
3. Mobile Engagement
We calculated share of mobile engagement as the percent of total engagement actions that took place on a mobile device.
With 51.4% engagement on mobile, it is clear how important it is to use social mobile-appropriate content and conversion actions. Video, photo galleries, very small forms, voting, simple sharing and app installs are all perfect for social mobile consumers.
Anyone tracking overall social mobile engagement numbers knows that this figure will only continue to grow as an overall share of user engagement. As a result, refining mobile strategies should be front and center of any Facebook strategy.
Additionally, it turns out that in most cases “mobile-enabled” isn’t enough to drive impactful performance in social. Understanding and building for mobile, specifically smartphone users, is key.
The difference between these three types of destinations is huge and a growing chorus of influencers is suggesting that responsive design tends to start on desktop and work toward smaller contexts whereas a “mobile-first” starts small and believes that smartphones require their own mobile-first approach. In social, you’re mobile-first or you’re in trouble.
As marketers continue to develop Facebook post strategies, knowing what post types perform best, when to use paid media and how to drive deeper engagement and conversion is of the utmost importance to successfully driving brand and business outcomes.
We look forward to following up this research with additional data in the first half of 2014.
Are there certain issues you’re looking to address with quantified data? If so, please let us know.