Facebook Branded Video Metrics
Facebook ads have over 100 metrics advertisers can measure. The metrics advertisers track depend on their brand goals, however there are some key metrics that should be taken into account, particularly when gauging the performance of branded videos. Ultimately, metric analysis in conjunction with marketing strategy are keys to successful Facebook ad campaigns.
Video engagement is one of the most important Facebook metrics advertisers can track. It measures the number of times a video spurred someone to click an associated link on the video post, like it, share it with a friend, make a comment on it, or “click to play” as opposed to letting the video autoplay. High levels of engagement is a sign that people like the post and it may achieve a wider audience. Posts/videos with high engagement are more likely to meet Facebook criteria that determines whether it will show up on members’ News Feeds.
Facebook "reactions" provides further information regarding the emotional impact an ad has on viewers. Facebook users can respond to videos with Haha, Love, Wow, Angry or Sad emoticons. These can show whether an ad, particularly those with emotional content, is making the right impact.
The reach metric measures the number of people who see an ad. This can be further divided into paid versus organic views. Facebook's organic reach has decreased with the advent of the company’s News Feed algorithm. Tracking reach can help advertisers learn and understand what an audience likes and why certain posts do better than others.
Unlike reach, which gives the number of people who see a post at least once, impressions measures the number of times it was viewed, including multiple views by the same person. Impressions can give advertisers a sense of the virality of a post. For example, a single user may see a post multiple times due to friends sharing it and appearances in their News Feed. This metric is particularly important since the more a prospect views advertisement, the more likely he or she is to take action on it.
Click through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who see the ad and then click on it to go to the brand’s landing page. The average across all industries is 0.9%. Facebook considers ads that are getting impressions but have a low CTR to be irreverent to the intended audience. This can impact the charge advertisers pay per click and result in an overall poor performance.
Video retention is one of the most important Facebook video metrics. It allows advertisers to see the views at each moment during the video, displayed as a percentage of all views. For example, the percentage of viewers will likely drop steeply within the first several seconds of a video, say from 100% to 50%. This metric can inform advertisers on whether to shorten or alter videos to make them more eye-catching. While looking at the retention metric, the viewers can be broken down into the percent of views due to autoplay vs clicked-to-play, which ties baking into video engagement.
Perhaps a sub-metric of video retention is average percentage completion, which shows the percent of the video watched in any given viewing session. In addition to informing brands on how to structure their videos, video retention and average percentage completion are key metrics for determining how videos are prioritized within a platform. Videos with higher watch times are more likely to be featured or suggested to users by Facebook and YouTube.
Top audience and top location metrics can help brands develop ads that focus on these groups. For example, if the top audience is men ages 18-30 and the top location is Miami, videos can be tailored to appeal to these demographics or altered to target a different audience.
Ad frequency, the number of times people see a specific ad, is often overlooked. However, it is important to note that when viewers see the same ad from a brand over and over, the message becomes stale and loses impact. A study by AdEspresso found that as ad frequency increased, click through rate (CTR) decreased, and cost per click (CPC) rose.
Of particular note, media seems to be leading the charge for using Facebook Live. According to social media analyst Marta Buryan, “Live videos attract higher reach and engagement while providing plenty of room for creativity.” Some suggest that brands follow media’s lead to use this format.
COST SPECIFIC METRICS
In addition to the primary metrics, advertising cost metrics can help marketers measure ad performance. The cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand impressions (CPM) metrics are good indicators of whether advertising dollars are being spent efficiently.
CPM pricing charges for every thousand impressions an ad gets regardless whether a user takes action on the ad. CPC pricing, the most commonly used, charges advertisers every time someone clicks on their ads. The average CPC across all industries to be $1.72.
The cost per action (CPA) is the metric most closely associated with return on investment. Marketing specialist Dominique Jackson at Sprout Social writes, “Instead of just paying for a click or impressions, CPA measures your costs based on a specific action. For instance, an app download, email subscribe or even purchase.” The average cost per action across all industries is $18.68.
METRIC USE AND ANALYSIS
Overall, determining ad performance depends on the brand's goals. For example, an ad may appear successful based on engagement and CTR but fail to reach the brand's target audience. Metrics in and of themselves are not as important as how they are used by a brand. Sophorn Chhay from Inboundo stresses the importance of timing when it comes to analyzing Facebook video metrics. “We always start a video campaign with a $5 budget using our A/B testing strategy. We scale the campaign vertically by increasing the budget by 150% every 3-5 days. If you scale too fast, you will lose ROI because you didn’t give Facebook’s algorithm enough time to adjust to your new budget.”
Jordan Julian, social media analyst at Socialbakers, agrees marketers need to develop, “an effective Facebook video strategy based on data to assess their progress over time.” The Socialbaker network additionally provides advice on how to use and improve video metrics and brand performance.
There are many online tools, both paid and free, that help advertisers track Facebook metrics. The first place to start however, is on Facebook itself with Facebook Insights.
While there are many Facebook metrics advertisers may use to assess their branded videos, the metrics above provide key measures of video performance and should not be overlooked. In order to best gauge and enhance branded video performance, metrics are best used as part of a dynamic advertising strategy and should be selected and analyzed with brand objectives in mind.