Of Course Facebook Ads Work
Attribution is simultaneously the best and worst thing to happen to digital media. The ability to point to a sale and correlate it back to the ad that drove it is what make the digital media landscape so powerful. It’s not the spray and pray approach of print, radio or tv. You can narrow down your audience, target your communication and identify all of the sales that result from the campaign. In some cases you can even look at the specific image or line of copy that produced the sale. It’s a beautiful thing.
However, much like Disney cartoons and the moon, there is a dark side to attribution, in that it makes marketers and clients alike short sighted in the way they view results. If a campaign does not immediately deliver a positive ROAS, it’s considered a bust, and quickly discarded in favor of the next campaign, which is held to the same standards. The issue with this approach is that the sales cycle can take longer than the 7-day click attribution window offered by most platforms. People need time to check out your product, talk to their friends, and decide if that cable knit sweater or collagen powder is right for them. This may take longer than 7 days, and yet, that doesn’t mean the campaign that made them aware of the brand or the site is a failure.
Things only got worse with the release of IOS14 and their privacy changes, which obscured even more sales from being tracked in platform. CPA’s went through the roof and ROAS’s went into the toilet, and all of a sudden people started asking if Facebook ads actually work. Of course they work, ya moron. The fact is that Facebook (and by that we mean Facebook and Instagram) remains the most efficient effective media channel for digital sales. There.. we said. Whether you can directly see the sale or not, no other advertising channel provides the targeting capabilities, creative freedom, machine learnings, reach or effectiveness of Facebook. It is engaging, but not so engaging that users are unwilling to abandon the platform to go check out your site or app.
Quite simply, Facebook and instagram need to be the back bone of any digital customer acquisition strategy and other channels are simply top of funnel complements until proven otherwise.