Has Facebook Removed the Option To Bid For 3 second views?

Just noticed this in Power Editor but previously, the default bid method was for 3 sec views while a 10 sec view bid option was also provided.


The benefits of bidding for a 10 sec view are obviously related to higher retention rates. In a previous post, I have also written about whether you should promote a video post for views or engagement. If you were to bid by engagement, your 3 second costs are again likely to be higher than a views campaign with 3 sec bids. 

This is a welcome change from Facebook as it would now try to auto-optimize and show ads to users likely to watch 10 secs. However, the cost increases might be significant once Facebook starts moving most of brand/pages content to the Explore tab [as announced last week].



How to Solve Facebook Link Clicks VS Google Analytics Sessions Discrepancy

If you've ever worked with a nobjective: Traffic campaigns in Facebook, then you must have noticed the wide discrepancy between Facebook Link Clicks and your sessions in Google Analytics. Here's the search result for this topic: https://www.google.ae/search?q=facebook+link+clicks+vs+google+analytics+sessions&dcr=0&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiO7b6X9_rWAhVIuBoKHS7XDs8Q_AUICSgA&biw=1517&bih=681&dpr=0.9

Clicks and sessions metrics are different in the sense that Facebook would count a link click when the link is clicked on while GA would count it as a session when the GA tag loads. Even after factoring the difference in definition, multiple clicks from one person, closing site before page loads or failure of JS load on the website , the difference was usually very high with clicks being 2-3X number of sessions.

There are two solutions to address this:

A. Run conversion based campaign where the conversion event is a PageView. This will optimize the ads for this PageView from Facebook pixel. This cool idea was detailed in a post [at least when I stumbled upon it] by Vernon Johnson on 3Q Digital's blog. I really liked this approach as it added a layer of accountability for the ad [show ad to users who are likely to view the page]. 


B. Run objective: traffic campaigns and optimize ad sets for landing page views. This is a relatively new feature in Facebook ads. 

The default option is link clicks [we'll deliver your ads to the right people to help you get the most link clicks from your ad to a destination]. Right under it, we have landing page views [we'll deliver your ads to people who are more likely to click on your ad's link AND load the landing page]. The second part is crucial. click and load the page. I think Facebook brought this bidding option to help address Facebook link clicks vs (Google) Analytics discrepancy. I'm currently running a traffic based campaign with this setting and the variance between these two metrics is very narrow - at least from early results. 

If you haven't tested this feature yet, give it a try and then compare the data from both platforms. Hopefully, this will help in your campaigns as well. 

Do you think there's a better option to reduce this discrepancy? Let me know via comments. 


Should you promote a Facebook video post for views or engagement?

There's a pretty good chance that you landed on this blog post via search. I hope this post helps you think through your options.

Let's get down to business - you have a video post and are considering whether to promote it by bidding for Cost Per View [CPV] or Cost Per Engagement [CPE]? Which one would be more beneficial?

TL;DR - It's contextual and depends on what's the full picture.

Full answer - Read on.

Before we (...I) talk about these bidding models, let's quickly recap on what these bid types will do:

A CPV bidding will show your content to users who are more likely to watch the content. By watching the content, it means 3 second views [or higher]. The default bid is for 3 second views. This can be changed to 10 second views [likely to get higher video retention rate metrics]. 

A CPE bidding will show your content to users who are more likely to like, comment or share your content. 

Facebook engagement bidding.JPG

So far, so good. So, if you were to promote a video post for engagement, would the Cost Per Engagement data include likes, comments and shares only? Nope! It includes 3 second views. I've answered this in more detail in another blog post, titled difference in engagement rate between Facebook ads and Facebook Insights. In Facebook Ads, for a video post, the vast majority of engagements will be made up of 3 second views. 

Ok, now that we know what's the data behind the numbers, we'll also need to rethink of the objective behind the content? If the purpose is to drive engagement, then an engagement bidding is a better solution while a CPV bidding might be a better solution if the content doesn't share too much info for users to engage [e.g. teaser content].

The full value of content: Here's where you'll need to pull up your Ad Manager data , switch the columns to video engagement to see the quartile distribution of views, add columns [post engagements, objective] and download the data.

Facebook ads custom columns video engagement.JPG

Now all you need to do is load up a pivot the data in Excel, create calculated metrics for:

  • 25% retention rate [25% completed views / 3 sec views]
  • 50% retention rate [50% completed views / 3 sec views]
  • 75% retention rate [75% completed views / 3 sec views]
  • 100% retention rate [100% completed views / 3 sec views]
  • Cost Per 25% completed views
  • Cost per 50% completed views
  • Cost per 75% completed views
  • Cost per 100% completed views as columns
  • Cost Per Engagement 

with your objective [engagement vs views] in rows.

What you will you most probably find? 

Putting all the above calculated metrics as columns should show you a clearer picture on what's the full value of your promotion. You'll most definitely see lower CPV and CPEs for view based bidding [even CPEs as engagements includes 3 sec views]. The CPE method should bring up higher retention rates [across the 25%-100% quartiles] because with this bidding, it is being shown to users more likely to engage and by that definition, spend more time with the content.

So, if a video post promoted by engagement bidding has a:

  • 2X higher CPV [3 sec] compared to video posts promoted by CPV bidding
  • 3X higher 75% retention rate [and you'd want users to stay as long as possible]
  • And generating a sizable chunk of likes, comments and shares and the true Cost Per Like, Comment and Share [not CPE, which is inclusive of 3 sec views] comes to only 1.5X

You're getting better value out of the CPE bidding. In the end, it comes down to what you want to achieve. As long as you understand the data behind the high level numbers and what's driving it [CPV, CPE], you'll be in a better position to choose between these two bid types. 

Did you find this post helpful? Did you try this exercise on your ad manager data and found some interesting results? Please share via comments. 

P.S. You can apply the same method to Instagram as well. Just breakdown your data by platform and you now both, Facebook and Instagram data.

How to find out if fans of a facebook page also like another page of the brand

Here's a situation that might happen to a bid brand where Facebook pages overlap and fans might join one or more pages, thinking that they're on the right page OR

They might be interested in two completely different product pages provided by the same brand.

Finding out audience insights about these pages can show details about either of these pages , but not together. Facebook Ad Manager allows one to check the overlap between two audiences. Knowing this can help you decide on ad set targeting, remarketing or exclusions. What you'll need for this:

1. Access to the pages you want to check. 

2. Access to a Facebook Ad Manager account that is connected to these pages [allowing you to create ads for these pages if you wanted to].

Sign in to Facebook Ad Manager and head to the 'Audiences' tab.

Go to create audience > Saved audience.

To create your audience, in terms of demographics, you need to enter at least one location. If you want to show overlap for all countries, just paste a list of all countries and Facebook will match the country names. You can then decide on the age/gender/language and interest targeting options to decide depending on your requirements. 

The last bit is about connections targeting. Scroll to the bottom and choose connections targeting> Fans of > Name of the page 1. Similarly, create the saved audience for other pages [you can choose up to 5 audiences to check on overlap].

Head back to the main Audiences tab and select the audiences you want to compare > Click Actions > Show audience overlap.

Once you select the pages, you can now see in the above screenshot that 4.5 K users [5% of page 1 fans] are also fans of page 2. 

Knowing the overlap can help multi-page brands in a few ways:

  • Understand if they want to move fans from one regional page to another.
  • Show specific content to users who might meet more specific requirements.
  • Help with co-branding campaigns.

That's it for this blog post. Till next time.


Facebook Ads Is Now Flagging Videos That Contain Too Much Text

Back in April, WeRSM reported on Facbeook relaxing the 20% text in image rule to give more flexibility to designers. The new rule gave much needed freedom to creative folks by bucketing the image into either of these four categories:

  • Image text: OK: You ad's image contains little or no text. This is the preferred image style. 
  • Image text: Low: Your ad may reach fewer people because there's too much text.
  • Image text: Medium: You ad's reach may be much lower
  • Image text: High: Your ad may not run


Coming back to videos, I just noticed this notification for a video ad.

Clicking on 'Heavy Text in Image' opens up this notification with the guidance link taking users back to the Facebook help link posted in this article.

This is really important to advertisers for a couple of reasons:

  • 85% of Facebook video plays are on mute. Videos need to be created for the 'silent generation'. Content should be short, easy to consume and understandable even on mute. 
  • Knowing the above figure, this opens to a discussion around how much text/captioning should be included in the video to facilitate consumption of key message(s) while balancing Facebook's guidance around including text.

Have you noticed this notification for any of your videos? How has this impacted the Cost Per Objective for such ads compared to non-flagged ads?





Measuring Audibility In Video Ads.

As video content increases its presence in our feeds, it's become more important to look beyond the aggregate metrics and focus on whether the message is actually conveyed or not. Came across a nice article from AdExchanger about audibility being the new viewability

It's quite true and is a serious topic. hmmm...let's take a look at the two biggest platforms: YouTube (Google AdWords) and Facebook. As surprising as it sounds, both platforms don't offer metrics on audibility yet to know what % of ads were watched with sound on.

YouTube/AdWords: As of today, you can't measure what percentage of your In-Stream or Disoveryads had sound on.

Facebook Ad Manager: Sound related metrics aren't available. You need to get this from Facebook Insights (will be combined for both, paid and organic).

How can you find out audibility related metrics from Facebook Insights?

Not exactly easy to spot.

Go to your page > Insights > Posts > Click on the video post. You should see something like this:

Click on 10 Second Views. You should now see this:

ok, you should definitely see more than that :)

Look at the last bit of info, gem right there. Sound On/ Sound Off. This shows the absolute number and %. Start comparing your recent videos and see what the % is like for sound on. If you're producing rather long-ish form content with the main message being conveyed via sound, the sound on metric becomes even more important.

How far can you go back in your timeline to check on this sound: on metric?

Facebook started providing this metric from Feb, 2016 only...hmmm, gotta live with it.

As Facebook tries to take a bigger piece of the video market, video measurement becomes critical. The standard definition for a view is when a user watches for more than 3 sec. That's not quite long and definitely not enough to know if brand messages are being consumed.

In order to tackle this, Facebook introduced the cost-per-10 sec-view bid besides the default option (impressions). Go to Facebook Ad Manager / Power Editor > Ad Set that has the video targeting > Scroll to the bottom > you'll see the option to bid by 10 sec.

This is a good option to test videos ads with. Although you won't be able to separate the sound:on metric for paid vs organic, if your total views are completely dominated by paid metrics, there's a strong possibility that bidding by 10 sec helped get an audience that heard your brand's message. These are the users who started the video on mute (default) and then cared enough to unmute. 

It's also possible that the effective CPV would be much higher in this test but here's where the education aspect comes in getting everyone on-board in understanding video metrics in details. 5M views may not necessarily be better than 2M views if the latter has more views with sound:on, better retention rate and completion rate.

What do you think about testing this approach for Facebook video ads? Any ideas for AdWords?

Update: Found this article in my Feedly. Facebook now testing ads with auto sound-on. Here's the link: http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-tests-auto-volume-autoplay-video-ads/305571/


Changes To Facebook's 20% Text Rule

Just saw this tweet 24 hr ago from @mattjuniper and it immediately got my attention. The 20% text rule has often resulted in ads getting disapproved even when the actual text (not grids) is less than 20% of the image.


Following the tweet, it took me to WeRSocial's blog Following the tweet, it took to WeRSocial's blog http://wersm.com/has-facebook-finally-removed-the-20-rule/ 

Without rehashing the linked blog content, what's really interesting is that Facebook will not prevent ads with more 20% text from going live. Instead, content would be categorized into:

  • Image text: OK – you ad image contains little or no text
  • Image text: Low – your ad’s reach may be slightly limited
  • Image text: Medium – your ad’s reach may be limited
  • Image text: High – you may not reach your audience

So, much text should go into the ad and is the first quadrant [Image text: OK] = 20%? Probably, but Facebook would not want to explicitly mention the percentage as it would mean all content creators rushing towards 20% (or higher/lower) when there's so much context that will determine a photo post's final reach.

From an media perspective, this would definitely impact the Cost Per Reach / Cost Per Engagement metrics as brands would have to choose visual content that has just enough text to retain user attention. 

This change seems to have been applied to UK/Ireland only [for now] http://adigitalboom.com/update-facebook-removes-20-text-overlay-rule-for-ads-uk-ireland/