We’ve been running ads [and teaching others how to run ‘em] for quite some time now, and what we’ve learned is that everyone’s situation is different. What the ads landscape looks like for one business might be completely different to how it looks for another, and that’s why we always encourage workshop attendees to really take some time to gain an understanding of the assets and limitations they’re working with.
A common one that pops up is how to optimise your advertising spend without a Facebook pixel on your website [many businesses don’t allow pixels for various reasons], and how to take advantage of the assets that you *do* have in order to run successful campaigns. So, we thought we’d cover it for you by way of ye olde blog.
Understand that there will be limitations. Our recommendation [obviously] is to have a working pixel on your website, if company policy allows it. It makes data interpretation and audience creation a whole lot simpler, and gives you real-time, at-a-glance insights into your campaign performance. If that’s not possible, it’s important [and possible] to find some other ways to measure success, but bear in mind that they will have limitations and differ in they way they measure and attribute success. It’s a bit like golf – you play the course you’re on to the best of your ability and work within the scope of the data that you have.
Keep early-phase interactions within social platforms. If you don’t have a pixel to accurately measure user response and behaviour, it makes sense to keep awareness and consideration-based platforms in your platform of choice, so that you’re able to gather data on what your audiences are most responsive to. The more time you can spend qualifying and improving the integrity of your audience data, [and building the volume of those audiences using the data you do have] the better position you’ll be in once you start directing that traffic externally.
Optimise with the desired action in mind. Just because you can’t track a desired action, doesn’t mean you can be careless with the experience you’re delivering to your customers. Your objective will be the same whether you can track outcomes at a granular level or not, so always make sure you’re a] delivering the best possible ad experience on your chosen platform to drive that desired outcome, and b] make sure your website experience matches the messaging in your ads and makes it easy for users to take that action. Take it from Aunty Bobbo – not having directly attributable outcomes is no excuse for sloppy work [agency cowboys, we’re looking squarely at YOU.]
Attribute manually. if your website is set up for conversions but you don’t have the facilities to track them effectively via a pixel, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and spend some time manually attributing those conversions so you’ve got at least a ball-park measure of how your ads are converting. There are a couple of ways that you can do this – the first is by matching trends – have a look at your ad spend, and see if you can match it to an upward trend in your desired results. If you want [or need] to assess ad performance with greater specificity, you can use UTM codes in your ad campaigns for more accurate tracking through your website’s Google analytics.
Tweak your metrics a little. When we’re reporting on campaigns, we have a standardised set of metrics that we report on for each objective, based on the easiest ways to attribute success to our campaigns. If you don’t have a pixel, have a look at some other metrics that give insight into how a campaign performs. For example? If you’re running a traffic campaign with no pixel, pay a little more attention to the cost per link click, rather than focusing on landing page views, which you’ll be unable to measure. Keep an eye on things like the CTR and average video view length to better assess how your customers are responding to your content.