Facebook IQ detailed an eight-day study conducted last November by Facebook and one of its advertisers, in which three sequencing strategies were tested over two four-day phases, in both desktop and mobile News Feed. It detailed the test as follows:
Over an eight-day period in November 2014, Facebook helped an advertiser run a test that compared three sequencing strategies held over two four-day phases across both desktop and mobile News Feed in the U.S. Each group was targeted with a single ad, either video or photo (link ad), during each phase:
- Video ad followed by photo ad (photo is the same as the thumbnail of the video).
- Photo ad followed by video ad (same ads as previous group but different order).
- Sequenced series of two photo ads (first photo ad is the same as other groups).
We also had a separate control group that didn’t see any ads from this advertiser. To determine the impact, Facebook measured differences in consumer conversions by each sequencing strategy.
Facebook IQ described its findings:
The effectiveness of each strategy was measured by comparing to the control group the additional people who visited their website and the additional people who spent with the advertiser online. All three techniques performed by driving more visitors to the advertiser’s website than the control, but the sequenced series of two photo ads was the most effective. The photo-only sequence outperformed the other strategies on driving unique traffic with a 75 percent higher likelihood than the control.
Beyond attracting visitors to its website, the advertiser’s main metric of success was driving online transactions. In this study, the combination of a video ad followed by a photo ad drove the most impact on unique conversions. In fact, this group was 31 percent more likely to make an online transaction than the control group.
Finally, Facebook IQ offered the following takeaways for marketers:
- Prioritize overall campaign objectives for creative impact: Before creating a campaign, marketers should identify the metrics that matter most to their business objectives; in this case, the advertiser’s objectives were increasing sales and growing brand equity. To create the strongest campaigns, all of a campaign’s components — including creative, target audience and bid type — must align to the same objective.
- Measure, learn and evolve your marketing: As media evolves, identifying what the best strategy is to fulfill a brand’s objectives is not always a clear process. For example, video was becoming more prominent in this advertiser’s online campaigns. How could its marketing team use an expanding creative palette online while adopting and adapting the traditional marketing concepts of priming and reminding? These questions led this advertiser to conduct this study and test the effectiveness of each strategy. Through testing, the advertiser learned how to most effectively drive transactions, gained an evolved understanding of marketing and is now informed about planning future campaigns.
- Combine creative for impact: Video has a role in telling your brand story, but the strongest campaigns use a combination of relevant ad formats, such as static and moving imagery, to drive key business objectives. Creatively telling a story with photo and video ads in a variation of sequences resonated differently with consumers, and each sequence resulted in attracting more visitors to its site or driving purchase consideration.
Readers: What did you think of Facebook IQ’s findings?