Facebook Ads: New Tools for Offline Attribution

Attributing store visits and offline purchases to digital advertising efforts is a big challenge for the modern marketer. While tracking website activity, ecommerce transactions, and measuring brand lift is easily tied to return on investment, some businesses rely on an in-store visit to finalize a conversion. Facebook’s introduction of in-store traffic and sales attribution measurement finally offers social marketers the tools needed to demonstrate offline ROI.

Updates to FACEBOOK Ads and Reporting

Available now to all advertisers, the store locator allows users to receive directions within mobile local awareness ads. A map appears alongside an ad within the Facebook app experience providing users with the business’ address, phone number, hours, website, and estimated travel time.

Coming soon to all advertisers, a new reporting metric, called store visits, will help measure the impact of local awareness ads on in-store traffic. Store visits is an estimated metric based on information from users with location services enabled on their mobile device. The store visits measurement will help optimize creative, delivery, and targeting based on visitors.

The third feature rolling out for advertisers will help quantify transactions in real-time and attribute them to ads. The Offline Conversions API connects point-of-sale or customer database data to Facebook for additional sales attribution. Businesses that rely on sales at brick-and-mortar locations may find the Offline Conversions API essential to successful Facebook marketing.

The Value of Offline Attribution AND FACEBOOK

While ecommerce and digital transactions are growing at an ever-increasing rate, ultimately many companies rely on final offline sales or visits and cannot accurately tie digital campaigns to in-store activity. According to Facebook’s own research, 45% of shoppers use a mobile device to research before ultimately converting and 90% of retail sales take place in-store.

Anonymization of data is also key for many advertisers with strict privacy policies. Facebook says that no personal user information can be tied to purchases made or stores visited.

Use Cases for Marketers

Brands that rely on in-store traffic for revenue or to achieve business goals will likely be able to show significantly better ROI when including store visit data and/or by using the Offline Conversion API. Examples might include a restaurant promoting a lunch special and tracking real-time visits, or a clothing company promoting a product line and tracking sales back to individual ads.

Products or services that have a longer consideration window would also benefit from the ability to track in-store visits and transactions, rather than solely relying on website impact measures. Tracking clicks to store pages or class signups, while recommended, doesn’t go as far as reporting that proves a Facebook user, who saw an ad, ended up at a physical location.

Running local awareness ads with maps to store locations can also increase the efficiency of ad performance by simplifying the process of finding a retail location. Running ads with a mobile-first experience is also significantly less expensive than the development of an advanced, mobile-optimized store locator on a brand’s website.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Facebook Business post, Facebook Insights post

IN-CONTENT PHOTO SOURCE INFORMATION: Screenshot from video source

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