Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Sky is Falling....

And in breaking news:
“ComScore Study finds 31% of Display Ads Never Seen”
“UH, OH! Facebook Pages Only Reach 17% Of Fans”
Crikey, I thought over my morning cuppa. We are all doomed. Or are we? Let’s break it down:
The only real new news here is the ‘31%’ in the headline. We all know that a percentage of ads are never seen and that’s ok because there are lots of perfectly relevant reasons for this. We all know CPC media buys deliver squillions of impressions and no-one really expects that every single one of them will be seen. Because the buy is based on clicks, wastage isn’t an issue.
As for ad impressions being delivered outside of geographic areas – well duh. We all know that ad serving isn’t an exact science and that some networks aren’t that rigorous with their targeting.
At the end of the day, if you want a guarantee that your ads will be seen (as much as there is a guarantee) then you need to pay for premium placements in contextually relevant environments. Media Planning 101 is to ensure you have the right mix of high reach/low cost placements which deliver cost effectiveness and premium, contextually relevant placements that deliver awareness and give the campaign a presence. The split is different for each brand/campaign, but a good starting point is 60/40 (and which way round that goes will depend on whether your objectives are awareness or response).
Anyhoo – its all a bit of a moot point as the real story behind this is ComScore’s announcement that they have launched a new “Validated Campaign Essentials” report which in a nutshell reports back on campaign wastage.
So on to the headline that Facebook pages only reach 17% of fans. If some of the brand pages I ‘like’ are anything to go by, this is also no surprise. For a start, some of the “content” they offer is so offputting I have ended up in the -5% propensity to buy category more than once. Secondly – the sheer volume of content appearing on my wall in any 24 hour period is overwhelming. And I don’t even have that many friends.
If you are managing a brand page on Facebook it’s essential to have an always on media budget set aside to support the page outside of wider campaign activity. Your campaign budgets should be used primarily to grow connections so that your always on budget can be used to build engagement through judicious and clever use of the sponsored stories product.
What I loved about the blog was the insight into a reporting metric we could all do with keeping an eye on – “average post visibility”. I’ll be adding this to our reporting metrics from here on in. And we could all do with keeping the “Tips for Solving Facebook Post Visibility Problems” close at hand.
So, I can get on with my work today in the safe knowledge that the sky is in fact not falling. Not today at least.

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