One of the most underappreciated aspects of social media marketing is our channel’s ability to make a difference in any part of the conversion funnel.
In general, social media is very much like a marketing tool.
think about it. We may not be the sharpest conversion “knife” in the drawer, especially compared to the brand’s search.
But what we may lack in superior performance, we more than make up for in our versatility.
We can offer different tools to get the marketing job done, no matter the goal.
Now, I’ve spent the better part of my career as a performance marketer on social media, and I’ll admit it’s still my default way of working.
But there is a whole world outside of lead generation and traditional CPC, a world that can greatly affect your bottom funnel and bottom line.
I’m talking about the top of the funnel.
Brand awareness campaigns, where the numbers of impressions are large, but the measurable referral can be small.
It is a world in which performance marketers may feel somewhat uncomfortable with the lack of tangible results.
But just because top funnel campaigns don’t always generate leads and sales efficiently or directly doesn’t mean they aren’t a vital part of any balanced digital marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll go “up-funnel” and talk about how Facebook brand awareness campaigns work, and how you can set them up for the best results.
The strategic role of brand awareness
Before getting into the specifics of the campaign, it is essential to understand the role of awareness in the overall marketing strategy.
For “full-funnel” marketers, this may be a bit of a review, but it’s crucial to understand how to get the most out of these types of campaigns.
First, let’s establish the label.
These campaigns have different names and terms that I may use interchangeably throughout this article.
Brand awareness, branding, awareness, top funnels, top funnel, and tofu are just a few of the ways marketers refer to these campaigns.
In the simplest of strategic terms, brand awareness campaigns aim to familiarize your target audience with your brand.
This is achieved through a memorable introductory creative run for a wide audience.
Think of the funnel stages the way you go back.
You can run conversion campaigns exclusively.
But it’s the marketing equivalent of walking up to someone and asking them to go out with you—no introduction, no discussion, just the sale.
Sure, this can work if you have “high intent” clients/individuals.
But your chances of successfully closing the deal are higher if you introduce yourself and break down some of those initial hurdles.
Where conversion or lead generation campaigns at the bottom of the funnel aim to get people to take action, brand awareness campaigns aim to introduce you, introduce you to you, and make you stay in the minds of your customers.
Seems pretty obvious, right?
It is, but the measurement is less specific than campaigns further down the funnel.
Measure brand awareness campaigns the right way
Measuring a sale or lead in digital marketing is very simple.
Brand awareness success lies in more “squishy” and less realistic KPIs.
Here are some things you should keep an eye on as you evaluate success:
Impressions and reach
That’s simple. We want to give as many impressions as possible and reach as many people as possible.
We can’t always expect our audience to see or understand our ad content on first impression.
Sometimes it takes two or three or 10.
Frequency refers to the average number of times someone in your audience has seen an ad over a certain period of time. The more the better.
However, higher frequencies can indicate over-delivery and potential wear.
CPM (cost per thousand impressions)
If the goal of brand awareness is to get in front of your audience and stay there, we want to do it as cheaply as possible.
A low CPM is vital to maintaining efficiency and increasing the “surviving power” of your ad.
If the creative you’re running in your top-funnel campaign is video, you’ll have access to a range of specialized metrics that will help you better understand how your message is being consumed.
We’ll cover these specifically for Facebook below.
Facebook and Upper Funnel Campaigns: Which Objective to Choose?
Facebook provides advertisers with several options when implementing awareness campaigns or top conversion campaigns on the platform. In fact, it can get a little confusing.
Not only are there a few campaign types that apply to what we’re trying to achieve, but they may appear in a different ‘consideration’ section.
Without getting into a marketing philosophical debate, there is often some gray between consciousness and thinking.
For our purposes, Video Views is included as a target in the top funnel.
In general, you can’t go wrong with choosing either brand awareness, reach, or video views as the goal for a top-funnel campaign.
However, there will be slight differences between the three regarding the priority KPIs.
As Facebook marketers know, the platform is very good at optimizing campaigns to get the desired results.
Here are the differences:
|Reach||Show as many people in the audience as possible||CPM/Access Volume|
|Brand awareness||Shown to people in the audience who are most likely to remember the ad||Raise ad call|
|video views||Shown to people who are most likely to watch/complement your video||cost of viewing|
- run this To display your ads to the widest audience, as cheaply as possible, and as often as possible.
- measure this By CPM and impression, reach volume.
- superpower: Unlike the other two goals in the top funnel, you can set an average frequency goal for your reach campaigns
- be careful of Double engagement and click-through metrics. These campaigns are designed to be cheap and large scale, and you won’t see the same amount of clicks or video views/views as if you chose another goal.
- run this To show your ads efficiently to people who are more likely to remember them.
- measure this Through CPM and raise call ads.
- superpower: Brand awareness is the only campaign objective that gives advertisers access to a unique metric called the Estimated Impact of Ad Reminders (People). Shows how many people Facebook estimates will remember your ad if asked to do so within a couple of days.
- be careful of An estimated ad recall improvement metric and the ability to translate it to other brand awareness metrics across different channels. This is a Facebook-specific metric and may not mean much outside of the platform.
In addition to the specialized “Estimated Impact of Ad Reminders (People)” metric, any Facebook campaign that spends at least $30,000 or more during its duration is eligible for Brand survey test.
This branding survey test is available in the “Experiments” section of your ad account’s Ads Manager and allows you to ask up to two pre-selected questions to help determine the branding impact of your ad campaign.
- Standard declaration call (required) – Do you remember seeing an ad for [page] Online or on a mobile device in the past two days?
- Secondly, optional questions
- run this To maximize video engagement and achieve the lowest cost per 3 second video view.
- measure this By CPM and CPM.
- superpower: Video viewership campaigns will improve your video performance metrics, showing ads to people who are more likely to watch them for longer and more frequently.
- be careful of CPM. Video views tend to be more expensive to run (relatively) than reach or brand awareness. And if video completion or views aren’t as important to you as impressions or reach, you may want to choose another option.
Facebook video performance metrics
Regardless of whether you choose to optimize your video exposure, all campaigns with video have access to the private video metrics. Facebook has a lot of themBut here are some things to focus on.
The number of times the video plays until it is complete, or for at least 15 seconds.
This is also the closest comparable metric to that used by other advertising platforms such as Google.
Cost per view
Average cost per ThruPlay.
This metric is calculated as the total amount spent divided by the number of ThruPlays.
Video playback at 100% (completion times)
The video plays counts at 100% of its length, including skipped plays up to this point.
Average video playback time
The average amount of time a video was played, including any time spent replaying the video for a single impression.
Retargeting: adding value to brand awareness campaigns
By increasing your target audience’s awareness of your brand, you should improve their likelihood of converting further down the funnel.
This is why it is so important to identify the people affected by your brand awareness campaign within your audience.
These potential show of hands campaigns can be redirected further down the conversion path.
Fortunately, Facebook’s wealth of behavioral retargeting options gives you plenty of ways to segment your leads.
You can learn more about these retargeting options in this article by Tim Jensen, but here are a few to focus on.
Create an audience of people who watched a percentage of your campaign video. The longer they watch, the higher their intentions.
Ad Engagement / Post Engagers
Create an audience of people who interacted with your ads or posts over a certain period of time. This share can indicate that they are interested in learning more and moving down the conversion path.
Website visitors (with a touch)
Create an audience of people who visited your website over a certain period of time.
More specifically, use the exact landing page URL with UTMs to ensure that you match 1:1 with the audience you targeted with your brand awareness campaign.
Brand awareness campaigns are crucial to getting your brand known to your target audience.
Facebook offers many options for implementing top funnel goals and providing value for full funnel marketing campaigns.
Reach, brand awareness, and video views are the main campaign goals you want to use, but they optimize for different things.
- If you want cheap impressions and the ability to control frequency, go for it Reach.
- If you want to deliver your content to audiences that Facebook thinks are most likely to remember you, choose Brand awareness.
- If you want to increase the amount and quality of your video engagement, choose video views.
- 5 creative ways to use the Facebook ad library to your advantage
- Facebook Ads: Who’s Best to Earn Clicks and How It’s Done
- Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide
Featured image: kenary820 / Shutterstock