Jon Gibs, Vice President, Media Analytics, The Nielsen Company
Sean Bruich, Measurement Research, Facebook, Inc.
We’ve heard from countless brand marketers about the need for guidance when it comes to measuring the value of social media advertising. It’s why we’ve made a major investment towards helping advertisers understand how to achieve their brand goals in a social context. Our joint report: Advertising Effectiveness: Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression provides early insights from Nielsen’s BrandLift product which analyzed survey data from more than 800,000 Facebook users in response to more than 125 Facebook ad campaigns from 70 brand advertisers.
While the medium of social media advertising is still a wild frontier for some, the BrandLift framework solves a number of advertiser concerns by providing quantifiable data that can be mapped to trusted advertising effectiveness benchmarks already in place: Ad Recall, Brand Awareness, and Purchase Intent.
Study after study has shown that consumers trust their friends and peers more than anyone else when it comes to making a purchase decision. It’s critical that we understand advertising not just in terms of “paid” media, but also in terms of how “earned” media (advertising that is passed along or shared among to friends and beyond) and social advocacy contribute to campaigns. To that end, we took a closer look at 14 Facebook ad campaigns that incorporated the “Become A Fan” engagement unit and sliced the effectiveness results three different ways, by each of the types of ads available on Facebook: 1) Lift from a standard “Homepage Ad”; 2) Lift from an ad that featured social context or “Homepage ads with Social Context”; and 3) Lift from “Organic Ads,” newsfeed stories that are sent to friends of users who engage with advertising on a brand.
For those Homepage ads at the top of the marketing funnel, awareness increased on average by 4% between exposed and control audiences. Purchase intent also increased on average by 2% following ad exposure on Facebook.
Comparing the responses of those users who had seen ads with social context against users who saw ads with no social context from the same campaign, we saw a measurable lift in lift.
While exposure to the homepage ad itself increased ad recall, those users exposed to both the “paid ad” and the organic impression remembered the ad at three times the rate of those just exposed to the paid homepage ad. We saw a similar effect for the other two metrics evaluated. Homepage ads increased awareness of the product or brand by 4% on average, but exposure to both homepage ads and organic ads increased awareness by a delta of 13% versus the control group. Exposure to organic impressions also impacted purchase intent as well, increasing the impact of the ad from 2% to 8%.