Emphasis Shifts to Conversions Over Clicks for Facebook Advertisers in Q4 2015 (Report)

Bucking the usual trends, social marketing data and technology company Kinetic Social found that click-through rates fell among its Facebook ad clients in the fourth quarter of 2015, while enhanced cost per click rose sharply.

Bucking the usual trends, social marketing data and technology company Kinetic Social found that click-through rates fell among its Facebook ad clients in the fourth quarter of 2015, while enhanced cost per click rose sharply.

Kinetic Social — a Facebook Marketing Partner, Twitter Official Partner and Pinterest Ads API Partner — said in its fourth-quarter-2015 social trends report:

Facebook CTR dropped and eCPC increased significantly, which, on the surface, looks like an aberration. Some of that was due to increased demand typical of the fourth quarter. An even bigger factor was the shift of much of our clients’ business objectives to direct response. Today, best practices on Facebook involve optimizing campaigns to users who are converting or buying. Doing so de-emphasizes clicks and focuses instead on those users who buy even if they don’t click. As a result, CTR will drop and eCPC will increase, but, more important, return on ad spend will improve as non-clickers purchase at a greater rate.

Other fourth-quarter-2015 Facebook findings from Kinetic Social included:

  • Video ads continued to perform well, with the lowest eCPC among all ad types and high CTRs.
  • The opposite was true for link ads, however, due to advertisers’ emphasis on conversions over clicks.
  • There was a 40 percent drop-off for video ads that lasted longer than 30 seconds.
  • Carousel ads continued to outperform non-carousel ad units in terms of CTR.
  • Mobile ad inventory continued to dramatically outperform desktop ad inventory.
  • 35 percent of Kinetic Social’s active Facebook advertisers are also spending on Instagram.

KineticSocialFacebookCTRQ42015 KineticSocialFacebookCTRByAdTypeQ42015

As for other social networks, Kinetic Social found that video ads fared well on Twitter, with the lowest cost per view the company has seen, and nearly 35 percent of users completing videos. The company added:

Twitter shifted drastically in November and December from primarily being a branding platform to becoming more of a direct-response or performance-marketing platform, with website clicks being the objective for nearly 55 percent of all media running in December. This is to be expected during the holiday period. The cost of those clicks, however, increased significantly over prior quarters. This is likely due to increased competition among advertisers during this period of heavy media investment.

Finally, Kinetic Social saw an 80 percent jump in the number of advertisers on Pinterest, with ad spend on that platform skyrocketing by 200 percent.

Readers: What did you think of Kinetic Social’s findings for the fourth quarter of 2015?