If you’re an ecommerce business who has been advertising this year on Facebook you’ve probably seen some changes to your reported return on ad spend [AKA ROAS] that don’t look so glowing. 

Trust us when we tell you we’re right there with you for almost every single client in our portfolio! While we’re not going to talk too much about why this has happened [looking at you iOS 14.5] we do want to talk about the adjustments you should be making in terms of understanding the effectiveness of your Facebook ads. 

We’re still reporting on our ROAS and using it as one measure to track our ad performance but it’s no longer the be all and end all of ecommerce ad reporting because it’s just not giving us the visibility it used to. 

Rather than mourning the loss of what once was in terms of Facebook attribution we’d like to help you move forward and get on the right foot to get an understanding of how your ads are playing an important role in your broader digital strategy. 

 

Keep things in perspective for your spend

 

The amazing potential for success through Facebook advertising can sometimes mean that it’s tempting to go in with some pretty epic hopes and dreams. 

This is especially true if you’re used to see happy-dance levels of ROAS success in the past and expecting that to continue. 

We also had a hard time letting go of the expectation to see performance mirror what it used to be in terms of attributed purchases, value and thus ROAS. I can’t tell you how transformative it has been for us a team to let those notions go and recognise all of the other ways our campaigns provide value and success to our clients. 

When you think about it, Facebook is still an INCREDIBLY cheap option for connecting with your target audience digitally. 

You might not be seeing those returns as clearly right now but even looking at the traffic you’re generating from your activity or how many people you’re reaching with your key messaging is a great reminder that it doesn’t have many options as affordable and effective. 

Way back when, before Facebook advertising had capabilities of tracking conversions we were certainly still advertising and seeing the value in such activity. We can still track some ROI on our ads so all is not lost but it’s good to remember that the other activity your ads are generating is also worthwhile for your brand and hard to replicate as affordably on other channels. 

 

Think long term in your results

 

A big shift we’ve made this year is looking more holistically at not only campaign performance but account performance. 

We love a quick win as much as the next guy but it’s just not always realistic through Facebook advertising, especially with a loss of data tracking to understand the short-term impacts of your activity. 

Patience is well and truly key in the new state of play. 

Not something that comes naturally to me personally but I truly believe I can learn so can you! 😛

Invest for the sustainability of your brand long term and the opportunity to scale over time so you can reach those all-important biz goals. We say this from experience that the brands that have the staying power to look beyond a low ROAS for a week or a month are the ones that tend to be the best performers long term. 

This means seeing value in your investment beyond just the ROAS. All of the investment you make on growing your business through Facebook advertising is in our minds money well spent! 

 

Look farther than just your FB metrics

 

With opt-outs and the switch from 28-day to 7-day default attribution we’ve lost a lot of visibility on off-platform events on Facebook this year. 

I hate to break it to you but with the broader context of privacy regulations looking likely to increase and third-party cookies set to be deprecated [we’ll break this down more for you in a blog soon!] we’re likely to see even less attributable events coming through from Facebook Ads. 

You’ll still want to report on your ads and benchmark against the results you’re seeing month on month but again if you’re an ecommerce brand we’d highly recommend looking beyond what you can see on Facebook. 

Here’s a little example to demonstrate exactly why this is so important… 

One of our clients just had a 7% increase in revenue year-on-year. What a win, right? 👏

If we look at their ads activity though this is what we see: 

First of all let’s check out August 2020

Yep check out those key stats 🤩

  • ROAS avg. 41.11
  • Conversions Value $500k+

Now let’s see what August 2021 looked like

 

Urp, things don’t look nearly so good 

  • ROAS avg. 12.96 
  • Conversions Value $149k

If we were just looking at ads manager this looks like a bit of a catastrophe. Thankfully though, we can see in Google Analytics that this was a comparatively great month for this wonderful brand. 

Point is, if you’re just looking at your Facebook ROAS and feeling a bit discouraged, well that’s no wonder. 

Keep your eyes on the prize of your overall results, tracking through whichever means you have available and set up and if those numbers are going up… your ads are doing their job.

 💪

If you don’t have Google Analytics set up and tracking yet, consider this your reminder to make sure you tick that one off your to-do list. 

While this is goodbye for now to ROAS as the guiding metric light for your Facebook ads it’s also a new beginning for understanding the myriad of incredible ways Facebook Ads can help you grow your brand and we for one feel very optimistic about that! 

Oh, and if you did want to catch up on all that fun iOS14 stuff we’ve got some blogs you can check out here and here