How is Facebook advertising performing against search?

Here is some interesting research by Jonathan Beeston, he posted this on Econsultancy last week. He is Client Services Director at Efficient Frontier.

He tested  the performance of Facebook advertising on their Facebook optimisation platform, to see how it performed against search for a test sample of brand clients.

We did this by running two simultaneous campaigns across search and Facebook for each client (both campaigns are designed to work together, with a similar message and content). We’ve measured the impact of each on conversions (predominantly sales and registrations) on each brand’s website.

The first step was to build and optimise the brands’ search campaigns across Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Then, we built and optimised Facebook campaigns designed to achieve the same goals. This lets us look at how Facebook and search campaigns perform together, and against each other, and what the different benefits are of each.

Our goal for these test clients was to distribute spend across each channel in the most efficient way possible, to effect the most conversions at the lowest possible cost-per-conversion.

In the article, which you can read in full here, he goes through the methodology, which is worth checking out so you get some context to the results. But here are the results:

The test results so far have been interesting:

  • For brand advertisers spending around the £1,000 mark, the CPA for Facebook campaigns is marginally lower than it is for search.
  • For higher-spending brands (those spending more than around £2,000), Facebook starts to give a lower CPA rate, and so becomes the more effective channel to meet the CPA goals.
  • At this level, the optimum spend ratio between the two channels is between 60 and 75% Facebook, and 40-25% on search.

He does note that:

These are initial tests, and we need to do more to establish whether they will be reflected across all brands, but they do show that Facebook is, for the first time, starting to perform as an acquisition or sales channel, and is a real challenger in performance marketing.

(Source: Econsultancy)


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