Facebook today took one more step in making its advertising more accountable for media buyers: it has now rolled out a conversion measurement system across its global footprint. Aimed at direct marketers, the optimization and conversion tool was first announced back in November; now it’s available globallyand can be used on all Facebook ads and sponsored stories, the company says, as well as in combination with any other targeting services.
And, in a sign of increasing cross-platform marketing, Facebook says that its conversion measurement tool can report when a user views an ad on one platform, like mobile, but then converts on another, like a PC. It’s the only tool so far that can do this — but as Facebook continues to expand its advertising business, it’s not likely to be the last.
That is a win-win for Facebook: if it can show that marketers can save money by using these tools as part of their campaigns, it will also mean that they will ultimately spend more money and effort advertising on the social network. It’s also one more sign of how Facebook is continuing to extend its influence outside of its own platform and walled garden — although it’s still stopping short of advertising on third-party sites.
The tool allows advertisers to put some code on their sites to track when actions like checkouts/payments or registrations have been driven by an advert seen on Facebook. This then feeds back into how marketers run their campaigns on optimized CPMs for more effective responses.
The conversion tool is largely aimed at direct marketing campaigns tied to specific actions, and it is most suitable for sites that have transactional elements to them, such as those for e-commerce, travel, retail, and financial services, says Facebook. It notes that hip home-goods site Fab was an early tester, and it reduced its cost per new customer acquisition by 39 percent.
Another early tester shows that the tool could be used for less commercial efforts, too: the Democratic Governors Association used it to track mailing list sign-ups, and using it reduced its cost-per-conversion rate by 85 percent.
Facebook says that the conversion tool is currently available for marketers using three of its different ad products: power editor, the ads manager and for its large-scale marketers that use Facebook’s advertising API. The service is now live.