Stats to Watch in the Overload of Meta Ad Reports
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Stats to Watch in the Overload of Meta Ad Reports
Kate Gingold
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Stats to Watch in the Overload of Meta Ad Reports

Thirteenth in a series

The only way to tell if your ad is working is to measure. Fortunately, Meta (or Facebook, if you prefer) measures your ad a zillion ways. Now, you just have to read all the reports.

As we shared earlier, it’s a bit of a process to create an ad in the first place, with many options to debate and choose. Then you need to let it run often enough and long enough that sufficient data is generated to draw useful conclusions. Here’s a brief introduction to all the information that will then be available to you:

Performance Overview

As the name implies, this is a condensed version of your ad campaign. It may be enough to fulfill your needs as it gives you the highlights of your ad’s performance.

  • There are two buttons in the top right-hand corner. The first one lets you choose the time frame for the results you wish to see. The drop-down has a list of preset dates, but you can also customize the date using the calendar.
  • The second button is labeled “Customize Metrics.” You have thirteen options, but you can check only three at a time. Once you choose which three you want to review, the results will show up across the page. Clicking on one of those results will update the graph just below.
  • If you ran an A/B test, you’ll see those results next. Once the test is complete, Meta will let you know the winning ad version within your key metric. If they were unable to determine a winner based on the key metric, they will share a top performer using a different metric.
  • The drop-down menu on the right side lets you view your test results based on different metrics such as Cost, Impressions, and Clicks. If your objective was brand awareness, Impressions might be the most useful metric, but if your objective was to drive traffic, then Click-Through Rate would be more important.
  • The next graph is Demographics and Platform. Demographics shows the distribution of people who interacted with your ad by age and gender. Use the drop-down menu on the right to choose the kind of interaction, such as Reach or Link Clicks to drill down even more.
  • Switching to the Platform graph gives you an idea of where your ad was placed. Facebook and Instagram are options, as are Mobile and Desktop. If your ads were delivered to certain places such as the Audience Network or Instagram, you may have additional reports available to download with CSV records of where your ad appeared. If you were wondering, the Audience Network can be very useful for certain kinds of ads, but not for everything.

Ads Reporting

For an even deeper dive into your ad performance, there is the Ads Reporting button on the far left-hand side. From there, you can choose from Pivot Table, Trend, and Bar results.

The Pivot Table offers a zillion customizable checkboxes in the right-hand corner. Display results such as Age and Region in addition to Reach and Results.

Hovering your mouse over each column header pops up an explanation, so let’s just hit a couple of highlights. For instance, in the explanation of Reach, you’ll see the phrase “Accounts Center accounts.” While this sounds odd, it refers to the fact that in a person’s Meta Account Center, they may have two accounts, their Facebook account and their Instagram account. Also, you may find that your Reach number is higher than the Impressions number. This is because some viewers will have seen your ad more than once. The Frequency column gives you an estimated average of how often that happens.

If you’d rather see or share graphs than tables, you can switch from Pivot Table to Trend or Bar. You will still get a number of options in the Customize column on the far right, although not quite the same as the options in the Pivot Table.

All these charts and graphs are great, but you should always know going in what your objective is for advertising. For some types of businesses, the Return On Investment can be easily measured by comparing sales to ad costs. Not all advertising ROI is the same, however. Brand awareness or lead generation will need a different way to measure a successful return. Take time to identify your goal and determine how you will measure it before your ad even runs so that you get the most from the analytics afterward.

It's a lot to handle, but fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. The Sprocket team can be your Meta Ads partner. Give us a call today to learn more.

Photo by Denise Rodrigues dos Leal

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

Other posts by Kate Gingold
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Full biography

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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