Facebook ad reports

Optimizing your Facebook ads can be a bitter-sweet experience. Here's our approach that took us from an underperforming ad campaign to a very successful one, in a day.

Analyzing Facebook ads: How one small change took us from zero to 11 high-quality leads at a minimal cost of $55 each

Anita Kirkovska
Anita Kirkovska
June 14, 2021

To maximize ad results, Facebook recommends that we let them optimize our campaigns. However, a few intentional maneuvers from your marketing team can define the effectiveness of your ads and turn simple facebook ads into direct leads.  

If Facebook is an important lead generation channel for your business, you should pay attention and act quickly because a poorly optimized ad can result in high costs or low return on investment (ROI).

In our case, many TOFU (top of the funnel) activities relied on Facebook ads.

Before taking matters into our own hands, we operated at the mercy of our campaigns’ natural performance fluctuations.

We had our highs and lows. Some campaigns did well, others did poorly.

And then, there were those campaigns that had a great start, but decreased in quality over time. If you analyse the performance of your Facebook ads, I’m sure you resonate with this variation.  

One particular campaign started very successfully.

We booked plenty of calls, our costs were exceptionally low, and prospects were top-notch.

Yet, several weeks later, this effective performance reached a halt. Costs were going up, and we did not get a single lead in three days.

I donned my analytical hat, and prepared for a full, funnel analysis.

With a couple simple steps I turned an ineffective Facebook ad into 11 conversions at a $55 cost per lead.

This is how I did it.

Contents

The technology stack we used

To analyze our marketing funnel we’ve used a simple technology stack:

First, isolate if it’s a website/app or channel issue

In light of the fact that we had a previously successful campaign, I started by checking for any technical issues or changes.
 
After confirming the ad’s technical functionality, I was ready to analyze the funnel.

Organizing the columns

To analyze our marketing funnel, I started by organizing our data.

In the Ad manager view, Facebook provides plenty of metrics with the added customization of rearranging them to correspond to specific marketing funnel stages.

For our analysis, I customized our columns to reflect the following column order:

  1. Budget
  2. Results
  3. Reach
  4. Impressions
  5. Cost per result
  6. Amount spent
  7. CPM
  8. Unique outbound clicks
  9. Unique outbound CTR
  10. Cost per unique outbound click

By clicking on the "Customize columns'' option in your Ad Account, you can easily change your columns to reflect the current order. Simply navigate to the end of your columns and click on the add button (blue circle with a cross).

This option enables you to select columns, order them, and save the combination into a preset to later apply across all your campaigns.

Analyze the funnel, top to bottom

With all my columns in order, I dove into our marketing funnel.

I was interested to learn if the issue was with our:

  • Creative
  • Audience
  • Landing page

To isolate the issue I took a particular interest in comparing the recent three-day dry spell to our last successful three days.

Check Facebook Ad reach and impressions

Initially, I checked if the underperforming days were getting fewer reach and impressions. The iOS 14 update affected a lot of Facebook accounts, so I wanted to make sure that this wasn't causing the issue.

Much to my surprise, we actually saw a higher reach and number of impressions when our Facebook ad was not working. So I scratched this approach, and moved on to analyze the remaining facebook ad metrics.

Check the CPM and cost per outbound click

Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) and cost per outbound click are always good indicators of the quality of the creative we use and the audience we target.

A high CPM can indicate a weak campaign and low relevance for the targeted audience. On the other hand, the cost per outbound click lets you know whether your advertising is maximizing your ROI.

Oddly enough, despite our large reach, our CPM and our cost per outbound click declined during the period when the campaign was underperforming.

When the campaign was generating leads, we were paying $27 for CPM, and $2.30 per outbound click. In contrast, when we did not get any leads, we were paying $21.26 for CPM, and $1.86 per outbound click.

While our creative and messaging seemed to target the right audience, something went wrong when they got to our landing page.

We instantly knew one thing - the issue lies within our landing page, not in the ad itself. And since it clearly wasn’t a technical issue, I assumed our messaging might be off.

To further confirm this speculation I needed to prove that we get a substantial number of outbound link clicks to our landing page.

Check your outbound link clicks and CTR

Link clicks will tell you how many times people have clicked on your ad. However, outbound link clicks are the total number of clicks that lead directly to your landing page -- this level of interaction represents the real value of your ad.

In our case, the underperforming period garnered more outbound link clicks than the previous period. In fact, we got 61 more clicks!

On top of that, the unique outbound CTR (click through rate) was lower (1.28%) or 0.05% lower than the previous period.

From this, we learned that even though people were clicking on our ad and engaging with our offer, they dropped off the funnel as soon as they arrived at our landing page.

Analyzing the landing page with Google Analytics

To analyze our landing page I turned towards the data in the Google analytics acquisition panel.

In the images below you can clearly see that although we brought more people to our landing page, the bounce rate increased and the average session duration dropped significantly.

As I suspected, something was definitely off with our messaging.

Here's the data in Google analytics when the campaign was working:

The data in Google analytics when the campaign was not working:

Compare the messaging on and off Facebook

After some digging, I identified an inconsistency in our messaging across the funnel.

On Facebook we were saying things like:
“Automate repetitive data tasks” and “Build data workflows in minutes.”

Whereas on our landing page, we boasted features such as::

  • Collaborative data workspace for business people
  • Import from any data source
  • Schedule and automate data notebooks

While both of these messages accurately describe features that exist on our platform, the attributes that originally drew people in were not properly represented on our landing page.  

From this, we assumed that the targeted audience was more interested in what we said in our ad creatives than in what we wrote on our landing page.

This lack of consistency made it complicated for people to understand the benefits of the platform.

So with this new found problem area, we quickly updated our landing page content to reflect the messaging from our facebook campaign.

And sure enough, with this small content change, we exceeded our best-performing results in a single day, generating 11 high-quality leads for $55 each.

What can we do next?

Typically to perform this kind of analysis, marketers perform a series of repetitive, manual, data analysis steps.

This can be done through comparing the results of our campaigns by switching between time periods in the Ad Manager. Or you can download the numbers and import them into a document of your choice (such as Google Sheets or Excel) to analyse the data on an external platform.

Our ad analysis process was fairly manual, but we wanted to take it to the next level.

We hoped to keep a close eye on our ad performance by automating our Facebook ad reporting.

Get the data we need without lifting a finger? Easier said than done, right? Wrong!

Automate Facebook ads reporting with Intersect Labs

Facebook ad performance data can be easily integrated with Intersect's collaborative data workspace, allowing you to create custom dashboards to compare your most important Facebook ad metrics.

You can effortlessly draw meaningful conclusions from your ad performance using the Facebook daily ad set report. This notebook compares two days' worth of data, with the metrics that you care about.

After setting up the notebook once, the dashboard will run automatically every day.

More automated Facebook ad reports

We built Intersect Labs, so that marketers like you can automate their analysis tasks. We went one step ahead, and we created ready to use templates to pave your way into automated data analytics.

To analyze your Facebook ad metrics, you can also use these templates:

  1. Analyze Close sales data and Facebook marketing spent
  2. Import Facebook ad data, calculate cost per conversion and export to Google Sheets

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Facebook ad reports

Analyzing Facebook ads: How one small change took us from zero to 11 high-quality leads at a minimal cost of $55 each

Optimizing your Facebook ads can be a bitter-sweet experience. Here's our approach that took us from an underperforming ad campaign to a very successful one, in a day.
Anita Kirkovska
Anita Kirkovska
June 14, 2021
June 14, 2021
Updated on:
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How we integrate data into our work is just as core as the data itself.

To maximize ad results, Facebook recommends that we let them optimize our campaigns. However, a few intentional maneuvers from your marketing team can define the effectiveness of your ads and turn simple facebook ads into direct leads.  

If Facebook is an important lead generation channel for your business, you should pay attention and act quickly because a poorly optimized ad can result in high costs or low return on investment (ROI).

In our case, many TOFU (top of the funnel) activities relied on Facebook ads.

Before taking matters into our own hands, we operated at the mercy of our campaigns’ natural performance fluctuations.

We had our highs and lows. Some campaigns did well, others did poorly.

And then, there were those campaigns that had a great start, but decreased in quality over time. If you analyse the performance of your Facebook ads, I’m sure you resonate with this variation.  

One particular campaign started very successfully.

We booked plenty of calls, our costs were exceptionally low, and prospects were top-notch.

Yet, several weeks later, this effective performance reached a halt. Costs were going up, and we did not get a single lead in three days.

I donned my analytical hat, and prepared for a full, funnel analysis.

With a couple simple steps I turned an ineffective Facebook ad into 11 conversions at a $55 cost per lead.

This is how I did it.

Contents

The technology stack we used

To analyze our marketing funnel we’ve used a simple technology stack:

First, isolate if it’s a website/app or channel issue

In light of the fact that we had a previously successful campaign, I started by checking for any technical issues or changes.
 
After confirming the ad’s technical functionality, I was ready to analyze the funnel.

Organizing the columns

To analyze our marketing funnel, I started by organizing our data.

In the Ad manager view, Facebook provides plenty of metrics with the added customization of rearranging them to correspond to specific marketing funnel stages.

For our analysis, I customized our columns to reflect the following column order:

  1. Budget
  2. Results
  3. Reach
  4. Impressions
  5. Cost per result
  6. Amount spent
  7. CPM
  8. Unique outbound clicks
  9. Unique outbound CTR
  10. Cost per unique outbound click

By clicking on the "Customize columns'' option in your Ad Account, you can easily change your columns to reflect the current order. Simply navigate to the end of your columns and click on the add button (blue circle with a cross).

This option enables you to select columns, order them, and save the combination into a preset to later apply across all your campaigns.

Analyze the funnel, top to bottom

With all my columns in order, I dove into our marketing funnel.

I was interested to learn if the issue was with our:

  • Creative
  • Audience
  • Landing page

To isolate the issue I took a particular interest in comparing the recent three-day dry spell to our last successful three days.

Check Facebook Ad reach and impressions

Initially, I checked if the underperforming days were getting fewer reach and impressions. The iOS 14 update affected a lot of Facebook accounts, so I wanted to make sure that this wasn't causing the issue.

Much to my surprise, we actually saw a higher reach and number of impressions when our Facebook ad was not working. So I scratched this approach, and moved on to analyze the remaining facebook ad metrics.

Check the CPM and cost per outbound click

Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) and cost per outbound click are always good indicators of the quality of the creative we use and the audience we target.

A high CPM can indicate a weak campaign and low relevance for the targeted audience. On the other hand, the cost per outbound click lets you know whether your advertising is maximizing your ROI.

Oddly enough, despite our large reach, our CPM and our cost per outbound click declined during the period when the campaign was underperforming.

When the campaign was generating leads, we were paying $27 for CPM, and $2.30 per outbound click. In contrast, when we did not get any leads, we were paying $21.26 for CPM, and $1.86 per outbound click.

While our creative and messaging seemed to target the right audience, something went wrong when they got to our landing page.

We instantly knew one thing - the issue lies within our landing page, not in the ad itself. And since it clearly wasn’t a technical issue, I assumed our messaging might be off.

To further confirm this speculation I needed to prove that we get a substantial number of outbound link clicks to our landing page.

Check your outbound link clicks and CTR

Link clicks will tell you how many times people have clicked on your ad. However, outbound link clicks are the total number of clicks that lead directly to your landing page -- this level of interaction represents the real value of your ad.

In our case, the underperforming period garnered more outbound link clicks than the previous period. In fact, we got 61 more clicks!

On top of that, the unique outbound CTR (click through rate) was lower (1.28%) or 0.05% lower than the previous period.

From this, we learned that even though people were clicking on our ad and engaging with our offer, they dropped off the funnel as soon as they arrived at our landing page.

Analyzing the landing page with Google Analytics

To analyze our landing page I turned towards the data in the Google analytics acquisition panel.

In the images below you can clearly see that although we brought more people to our landing page, the bounce rate increased and the average session duration dropped significantly.

As I suspected, something was definitely off with our messaging.

Here's the data in Google analytics when the campaign was working:

The data in Google analytics when the campaign was not working:

Compare the messaging on and off Facebook

After some digging, I identified an inconsistency in our messaging across the funnel.

On Facebook we were saying things like:
“Automate repetitive data tasks” and “Build data workflows in minutes.”

Whereas on our landing page, we boasted features such as::

  • Collaborative data workspace for business people
  • Import from any data source
  • Schedule and automate data notebooks

While both of these messages accurately describe features that exist on our platform, the attributes that originally drew people in were not properly represented on our landing page.  

From this, we assumed that the targeted audience was more interested in what we said in our ad creatives than in what we wrote on our landing page.

This lack of consistency made it complicated for people to understand the benefits of the platform.

So with this new found problem area, we quickly updated our landing page content to reflect the messaging from our facebook campaign.

And sure enough, with this small content change, we exceeded our best-performing results in a single day, generating 11 high-quality leads for $55 each.

What can we do next?

Typically to perform this kind of analysis, marketers perform a series of repetitive, manual, data analysis steps.

This can be done through comparing the results of our campaigns by switching between time periods in the Ad Manager. Or you can download the numbers and import them into a document of your choice (such as Google Sheets or Excel) to analyse the data on an external platform.

Our ad analysis process was fairly manual, but we wanted to take it to the next level.

We hoped to keep a close eye on our ad performance by automating our Facebook ad reporting.

Get the data we need without lifting a finger? Easier said than done, right? Wrong!

Automate Facebook ads reporting with Intersect Labs

Facebook ad performance data can be easily integrated with Intersect's collaborative data workspace, allowing you to create custom dashboards to compare your most important Facebook ad metrics.

You can effortlessly draw meaningful conclusions from your ad performance using the Facebook daily ad set report. This notebook compares two days' worth of data, with the metrics that you care about.

After setting up the notebook once, the dashboard will run automatically every day.

More automated Facebook ad reports

We built Intersect Labs, so that marketers like you can automate their analysis tasks. We went one step ahead, and we created ready to use templates to pave your way into automated data analytics.

To analyze your Facebook ad metrics, you can also use these templates:

  1. Analyze Close sales data and Facebook marketing spent
  2. Import Facebook ad data, calculate cost per conversion and export to Google Sheets

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