alkuperäinen julkaisu: LinkedIn – marraskuu 9, 2020.
Keskustelin erään startup-yrittäjän kanssa ja hän esitti minulle seuraavan kysymyksen:
Millä osa-alueilla sinä loistat kaikkein kirkkaimmin?
Tässä on kolme 2010-luvun työelämän onnistumista ja vahvimpaa osa-aluettani avattuna esimerkein ja luvuilla kuorrutettuna.
1) Strategia ja kokonaisuuksien hahmottaminen
Case: markkinointitoimisto Parcero
Olen parhaimmillani, kun saan vapaat kädet toimia ja vaikuttaa työnkuvaani sekä ympäristööni.
Olen vuodesta 2016 lähtien toiminut aktiivisesti markkinointitoimisto Parcerossa ihan viime kuukausiin asti. Alun alkaen minut palkattiin vastaamaan sosiaalisen median maksetusta näkyvyydestä lähinnä ruokabrändeille.
Vuosien mittaan olen ollut mukana uudistamassa Parceron strategiaa ja nykyään Parcero toimii useilla toimialoilla sekä B2C- että B2B-asiakkaiden parissa niin Suomessa kuin auttaen suomalaisia yrityksiä kansainvälistymään.
Näin Parceron perustaja ja toimitusjohtaja Antti Jokela kertoo minun osaamisestani:
Tommi on toiminut haastajana meidän johtoryhmässä ja ollut keskeinen tekijä mainonta ja growth hacking -yksikön perustamisessa ja kehittämisessä. Hän on laajentanut tapaamme ajatella.
Toimiessani Parcerolla sen liikevaihto on kasvanut 500 000 €:sta 2 000 000 €:ksi.
2) Maksettu mainonta ja kohdentaminen
Case: verkkokauppa Elämyslahjat.fi
Vastaan Elämyslahjat.fi-verkkokaupan koko digitaalisesta markkinoinnista. Olen ollut vaikuttamassa yrityksen kasvuun vuodesta 2013 lähtien.
Merkittävimmät kanavat ovat orgaaninen ja maksettu Google sekä Facebook-mainonta. Vuonna 2019 Googlen ROAS oli 12,4 ja Facebookin ROAS oli 5,5.
ROAS eli mainonnan tuottoaste tarkoittaa, että kuinka monta euroa myyntiä yksi mainontaan sijoitettu euro tuo takaisin. Esimerkiksi ROAS 10 tarkoittaa, että 1000 €:n mediatila tuo 10 000 € myytiä.
Tykkään itse toimia kädet savessa mainonnan kanssa, koska alustat auttavat skaalaamaan toimintaa.
Toimiessani Elämyslahjoilla liikevaihto on kasvanut 200 000 €:sta 3 500 000 €:ksi.
3) Hakukoneoptimointi ja orgaaninen liikenne
Case: Elämyslahjat.fi:n hakukoneoptimointi
Vuonna 2013 lähdimme tekemään hakukoneoptimoinnin strategiaa Elämyslahjoille ja jalkauttamaan sitä.
Hakukoneoptimoinnissa on kolme osa-aluetta, joihin olemme alusta asti panostaneet:
sivuston tekninen toimivuus
Googlen päivittäessään algoritmiaan jatkuvasti, olemme noudattaneet lisäksi kahta ylätason ajatusta näiden vuosien ajan: 1) se, mikä kuluttajalle on hyväksi on myös Google-hakukoneelle hyväksi ja 2) toimenpiteiden tulee olla maalaisjärjellä perusteltuja.
Yllä olevasta kuvasta näkyy, kuinka elämyslahjat-hakutermi on ohittanut suosiossaan lahjat-hakutermin Googlessa. Elämyslahjat.fi on ollut mukana kasvattamassa diginäkyvyyttä tälle megatrendille ja löytyy Googlesta sijoituksella 1.
Tämä lisäksi lähes kaikilla relevanteilla lahjahauilla elämyslahjat.fi löytyy Googlen TOP 3 orgaanisista sijoituksista kuten “lahja miehelle”, “lahja naiselle” ja “joululahjat”.
Vuonna 2019 Elämyslahjat.fi-verkkokaupan myynnistä tuli orgaanisesta Googlesta 1 000 000 € korkean kilpailun lahjahakujen kentässä.
Tulevaisuus ja kansainvälistyminen
Itseäni kiehtoo jatkuva oppiminen ja uudet haasteet. Hakukoneoptimoinnissa olen tänä vuonna auttamassa globaalia startup-yritystä valloittamaan Google-sijoituksia eri maantieteellisillä markkinoilla.
Lisäksi vuonna 2018 aloitin ensimmäisen advisor-roolin verkkokaupassa, joka toimii Baltian maissa sekä Puolessa (+10 M€ liikevaihto). Tämän myötä jatkuu myös strategisen ajattelun ja kokonaisuuksien hahmottamisen kehittäminen.
Facebook advertising is a powerful tool for many purposes ranging from direct response campaigns to brand visibility. However, the competition is increasing every year in Facebook advertising as companies are putting more money on Facebook. Figure 1 shows how Facebook’s revenue, comprising almost exclusively from advertising, has grown during the last nine years.
Figure 1. Facebook worldwide ad revenue statistics from Statista.com.
Last year, almost $40,000,000,000 were spend on Facebook ads. This means that in order to make profit in Facebook, you need stay ahead of your competitors. Here is an example from profitable Facebook account targeting direct online sales.
Figure 2. Example from Facebook account targeting direct online sales.
In this example, every invested euro in Facebook ads has generated direct online sales worth of €10. This means that with budget of €100,000 you can make sales worth of €1,000,000 if your target group is large enough and there is demand for your product.
The case of international Facebook advertising
Facebook is also one of the best choices to advertise globally, given its user base of more than 2 billion monthly active users. Using the Locations feature in Facebook Ads, several targeting criteria can be chosen:
worldwide (type “Worldwide”)
country group or geographic region (e.g., type “in Europe”)
free trade area (e.g., type in “GCC, the Gulf Cooperation Council”)
sub-regions within a country (e.g., type in “Washington”)
other features (e.g., type in “Emerging markets”).
The below figure illustrates, the targeting interface.
Figure 3. Targeting interface in Facebook Ads.
At the time of writing (October, 2018), the global targeting options include the following:
Free Trade Areas
AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area)
APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)
CISFTA (Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area)
EEA (European Economic Area)
GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council)
NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
Android app countries (paid)
Android app countries (all)
iTunes app store countries
Despite the tremendous potential of global advertising in Facebook Ads, companies often don’t exploit this potential to the fullest. Moreover, we have observed that large international accounts tend to be messy and not well optimized. Therefore, we provide a checklist that can be used to audit such international Facebook Ads accounts.
Checklist for auditing international Facebook advertising
Here is a checklist for auditing Facebook paid advertising for international companies. This checklist is a concrete tool that can be used to evaluate your Facebook ad account’s current performance and identifying development areas that can get you toward desired results.
Section 1: Account setup
1. Is Facebook Business Manager activated? Benefits: more control over user rights and possibility to operate with partners.
2. Is Facebook pixel is installed and configured? Are business related goals tracked, for example, sales, visitors, blog reading times etc.
3. Is additional software being used besides Facebook Ad Platform? (e.g. Smartly, Nosto)
4. Is international Facebook page feature acclaimed? Benefits: unified follower count for country pages but separated content on the country basis.
5. Is ‘business locations’ option used? Is this feature activated and used in advertising?
Section 2: Ad campaigns
6. Are Facebook campaign goals aligned with business goals? (e.g. reach, engagement, traffic, sales, leads)
7. What is Facebook strategy based on current campaigns?
– technology oriented, e.g. dynamic ads for advanced targeting
– content oriented, e.g. creative concepts to get noticed
– systematic advertising, e.g. customers need to be reminded regularly
– ad hoc campaigns, e.g. occasionally content is advertised without clear purpose
8. Is there something that works already? (e.g. some campaigns generate sales with low cost, data shows that specific creatives are working, different demographics are responding to ads)
9. Is there budget delivery problems? Potential reasons: low ad relevance scores, low budget or bids, not enough conversions (minimum 100 per month). Solutions: lower your optimization goal e.g. from purchases to link clicks, test new target groups and ads.
10. Does campaign structure follow best practices? Different campaigns for all goals: prospecting and retargeting, upselling and cross-selling, reach and sales etc.
11. What auction type is used? Auction vs. fixed price: with auction you get better results if you beat competition.
12. What placements are used? Facebook ad platform offers all this: Facebook, Instagram, Audience network, and Facebook Messenger.
13.What content types have been tested? (carousel, link ad, instagram story, video, image, canvas)
14. What retargeting types are used? (www retargeting, email retargeting, content retargeting)
15. What levels of retargeting are utilized? (main page, category pages, products pages, blog articles, cart, upselling, cross-selling)
16. What lookalike types are used? (www, email, page likes, purchased)
17. Is AB-testing performed systematically? (both ad set and ad level)
18. Is statistical AB-testing used? (this campaign type can be used e.g. for testing different creatives, target groups or technical settings)
19. How well data is structured? (are campaigns, ad sets, and ads named systematically)
20. Is UTM tagging used? (no, manual, automatic)
21. What attribution model is used? (view conversion vs. click conversions)
22. Is dynamic advertising used?
– can be used both in retargeting and in new customer acquisition
– offers wide range of option if technical setup is made correctly e.g. automated price promotions
23. Is advanced configuration of dynamic advertising used? (e.g. prefer products with high gross margin, geographically show right products for right areas)
24. Are rules used for optimization? (notification from data anomalies, adjusting budget based on results etc.)
25. Is budget spend effectively? (can the budget be increased, potential reach of target groups, frequency)
26. What bid strategy is used? Lowest cost (standard), lowest cost with bid cap (risk of delivery issues), or target cost (can be used for scaling up the budget).
Section 3: Organic content
27. Is there published enough quality content to be believable on the eyes of customers if they visit on Facebook page?
28. How active are Facebook followers? Is there possibility to get insight from followers or turn their enthusiasm into business?
29. Is organic content reaching the target group? If not, maybe it should be advertised.
30. Is there point of focusing organic content or paid advertising? What is the role of organic content? What is the role of paid advertising? Notice: multiple ads can be advertised and AB tested without publishing these on the news feed.
Section 4: International aspect
31. Are the ads translated? When doing advertising to e.g. 10 countries with different languages, the ads should also be communicated in 10 different languages. Note that one country can contain multiple language groups, requiring localization even within a single country.
32. Is campaign structure supporting multiple languages? Each language should have been placed in separate target groups. For example, campaign could be name after the country, and it should contain different ad groups for each languages.
33. Is there enough budget to advertise internationally to all target groups? If you are targeting several countries, cities, and languages, these all need different budgets. In order to make impact, it is not usually wise to divide budget into too small pieces.
34. Is there other localization besides translation? Often, an error is made to assume localization is only about language. However, it is also about culture, customs, and ethnicity. For example, value propositions of communicated benefits may be entirely different when the same product is promoted to culturally different target groups (e.g., collectivity-individuality aspect might differ). Another example is that imagery matters for ethnic match between the target audience and people shown in the ads.
35. Have the country-basis legal restrictions been taken into consideration? E.g. different countries have different restrictions for promoting alcohol products, and European countries have strict orders for handling the data according to GDPR protocol.
36. How do normalized metrics vary by countries? Compare performance by normalized metrics (e.g., ROI), because that adjusts for variation between the markets. For example, Facebook Ads bids can be ten times more expensive in the US than in Vietnam. Similarly, purchase power differs so avg. conversion value can be one tenth in Vietnam, meaning that advertising would be equally profitable. To account for this, use normalized metrics, such as ROI or ROAS.
37. What are the city-level performance differences? Another common mistake is to assume that country is detailed enough segmentation criteria for performance differences. However, performance can vary greatly by city, e.g. in big countries like China or US. Moreover, rural areas can differ compared to city areas because people’s tastes, values, and behavior is different. To accommodate for this, Facebook advertisers should segment by city in addition to country (e.g., compare TOP 5 cities of each country).
38. What are the segment similarities across countries? Each impression has a cost. And each impression also adds information about customer responses. However, in the Facebook Ads account the performance values are siloed across different campaigns and ad sets. Therefore, to optimize such accounts, data needs to be combined. For example, if targeting 12 countries, the performance by demographic groups can be aggregated to give more statistical power (higher reliability for found similarities and differences).
This list of 38 items is a good background for analysing any Facebook Ads account running international campaigns. Besides these steps, Facebook account level data can be used for analysis purposes e.g. finding patterns on data. For example, making country level breakdowns is made easy in the user interface of the ad platform.
About the authors:
Tommi Salenius is a Digital Marketing Manager at Elämyslahjat.fi, a Finnish e-commerce company that sells experience gifts. Tommi also works at Parcero Marketing Partners as a Lead Digital Marketing Strategist.
Joni Salminen is a Digital Marketing Manager at Elämyslahjat.fi, a Finnish e-commerce company selling experience gifts. Joni is also a board member at Konvertigo Digital Agency that runs digital marketing campaigns to over 100 countries.
Display channels, such as Google Display Network, are using view-attribution. This means that sales are attributed for display ads even though customers have not clicked ads but only seen them before making a purchase. By default Google AdWords uses click-attribution, which means that sales are attributed for search ads only when people have clicked on these ads before making a purchase. Facebook’s default attribution model includes both of these. It attributes sales for ads when users have clicked on ad or seen an ad (see below image).
Are view-conversions justified? If somebody is browsing on Facebook and then an ad is visible on the screen for three seconds, is it justified to say that this have affected for a purchase decision. This goes deep in human psychology, which is not my area of expertise. However, one thing that I can say is that clicking an ad indicates more interest towards a brand than only seeing an ad. A click is an action whereas a seeing an ad is not concrete action, and we cannot even be sure if a potential customer even noticed that specific ad.
Can more budget be allocated for Facebook ads in a case where majority of conversions are view-conversions? I have been facing this question, and that is truly a interesting topic. Now lets dig into that question.
Facebook beats display ads, but then comes Google search ads…
Display ads were using view-attribution long before Facebook paid ads game in. Display ads are generating a lot of visibility, few clicks, and almost not sales at all – even though view-attribution is used. Display ad campaigns rarely generate direct ROI, at least from my own experience. There are place for display ads, and that is for campaigns building brand awareness, of which goals are increasing sales in a long-term.
I am not saying that when Facebook uses same view-attribution elements than display, it means that Facebook is not up for direct ROI campaigns. In fact, Facebook is effective for generating sales both view-conversions and click-conversions. Ratio between these variates. From my experience it is clear that Facebook ads beat display ads in direct ROI.
With Google AdWords, this comparison is more complicated because both Facebook and Google search ads are good for generating direct sales. The problem is that these channels are using different attribution models. Is it justified to increase Facebook’s budget over Google AdWords’ budget if Facebook is using different attribution model than Google?
One argument is that this comparison need to be made equal by using same attribution window between these channels. This would mean that view-conversions should be excluded on Facebook’s results. That is not the best way because attribution model need to be decided based on channel’s role in the purchasing funnel. Facebook and display networks are visuals channels, and visual ads are affecting people’s minds and leading them towards purchasing decisions. In comparison to that, Google search ads are not visual but they are only text ads. Text ads are not that visual and for that reason only click-attribution is used for Google search ads.
One possibility is to adjust Facebook view-conversions’ weight, for example, only 50 % of view-conversions are allocated as sales for Facebook ads.
It is giving a wrong picture about Facebook’s potential if all view-conversions are excluded. One possibility is to adjust Facebook view-conversions’ weight. This means that only certain percentage of view-conversions are allocated for Facebook ads. This percentage need to be decided based on the value you give to these view-conversions, for example, how often Facebook is part of the purchasing process. Sadly, Facebook is not supporting this features, and this analysis means more manually work when comparing results of Google and Facebook.
I put my trust in Facebook’s view-conversions
When creating Facebook campaigns, different technical choices are affecting how much you can trust in view-conversion.
news feed vs. right column placement
Right column ads are much smaller and they are not located directly in the news feed if compared to news feed ads. For this reason, right column ads are much likely to be affected by banner blindness. This means that potential customer do not notice an ad because too many things are demanding ones attention on the screen. For example, when browsing Facebook’s news feed, you may not remember those small ads on the upper right corner if compared to the larger ads on the news feed. For this reason, I put more value for view-conversions in a case of news feed ads.
retargeting current customers vs. acquiring new customers
Secondly, view-conversion are more biased in the case of retargeting ads. People who have visited your site are more likely to buy without any advertising compare to those who are not your current customers yet. When people see an retargeting ad on Facebook, they might have made this purchase without seeing that Facebook ad.
Still, I strongly recommended for using Facebook retargeting even though it would generate majority of view-through conversions. Here is one way to look at this. Facebook retargeting view-conversions are similar compared to the advertising with Google brand keywords. It is mostly recommended for advertising with brand keywords in Google even though people might have ended up to your site through organic results. Reason for this is that there are so many distractions on the internet. Even though potential customers would Google your brand, they might end up for competitor’s site.
Same logic goes for Facebook retargeting in a case of view-through conversions. When people are browsing on Facebook, they might have already decided to buy your brand’s product. Still, they mind end up for buying competitor’s product because competitor is advertising to your potential customers on Facebook with a nice discount. Facebook retargeting is like closing a hot deal whether it generates click-through conversions or view-through conversions.
If you encounter a situations where your Facebook retargeting campaign only generates view-conversions, then what?
In situations like mentioned in above quote, it is wise to question the value of these view-conversions. You can try to exclude right column and advertise only on news feed, and see is there any difference on results. If excluding right column does not affect the results, you can examine the total revenue numbers of your eCommerce store. You can compare how total revenue has developed compared to your Facebook sales. You can also try to changes your ads’ message to be more clickable. If you end up transferring your Facebook budget to other channels by excluding view-conversions, how does that affect your total sales?
It depends on many variables on which percentage of your Facebook sales are click-conversions or view-conversions. Your product, your target groups, and your creative are affecting how people are reacted for your Facebook ads whether they click on it or go to Google after seeing your Facebook ad to look for more informations before a purchasing decision.
Facebook advertising is effective tool for generating direct sales as well as for brand visibility. With Google search ads you are not building brand with visual elements but making direct sales for your eCommerce. When optimising your budget, it all starts with goals. Are you optimising solely on short-term ROI, building a brand, or leaving room for early stage experiments for figuring out your customers segment.
If optimising only for direct ROI, then it comes down for attribution modelling. Both channels, Google and Facebook, have their place in customers’ purchasing path. If transferring all Facebook budget to Google, because Google is better with absolute click-attribution, it might end-up lowering your overall sales. This is because customers’ need multiple touch points with your brand before making a purchase. For example, Google Analytics offers free tool for analysing customers paths (see image below).
When deciding whether to trust on Facebook’s view-attribution or not, these four points are wise to consider.
right column view-conversions are less valuable compared to news feed ones
view-through conversions are more valuable in a case of new customers compared to retargeting
Facebook’s view-conversions’ weighting can be adjusted, for example, only 50 % of the view-through conversions can be allocated for Facebook ads
due to Facebook’s visual nature, it is justified to use Facebook’s view-attribution along with click-attribution
I would like to know, how do you use Facebook’s view-through conversions when doing digital marketing? Do you agree with my points or do you have different angle to this discussion?
Thank you Joni Salminen for inspiring to write this article. We have had a nice discussions about different attributions models and how to allocate budget between different marketing channels. #viewattributiongate