Facebook Ads And Search: An Unlikely Marriage Finds Bliss In Analytics

Connecting search and social campaigns to provide advertisers with the supporting data has become the next challenge that marketing platform and analytics companies have begun to tackle. It gives advertisers the insight and support to drive return on investments (ROIs).

Facebook recently released the Ads API, which allows platform companies to integrate Facebook Ads with third-party tools. On Thursday, its analytic platform partners -- Clickable, Kenshoo and Marin Software -- came out of hiding.

Clickable, Kenshoo and Marin Software will respectively deliver Web-based platforms that let companies compare the performance of search and social ad campaigns side by side. The trio follows Omniture, which released news last month to build a platform that integrates the social data.

Kenshoo, Marin Software and Omniture have made their respective platforms available to a handful of partners, with plans to release full-working products at various times throughout the year. Clickable becomes the first to make available a full-working product April 12

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About 40% of Clickable's customers advertise on Facebook. On average, they spend between "thousands of dollars" and "tens of thousands of dollars" monthly. "It's similar to the Google marketplace, where 1% of Google's customers are half their revenue," says Clickable Founder David Kidder. "Facebook's marketplace, especially the way it's maturing, is probably not that much different right now as it continues to scale."

Kidder says this launch remains important, but the real story will come during the next six months when platforms start rolling out and data rolling in. Advertisers need data to support Facebook campaigns. And Clickable, Kenshoo, Marin, and Omniture aim to provide it.

The Facebook Ads API applies to Facebook Ads, a type of display ad that advertisers can purchase through the site. Search terms and keywords in member profiles help to trigger and target the ads. [UPDATE: A Facebook rep, however, says search results do not affect Facebook Ads.--Ed.]

Companies that provide these tools allow advertisers to see paid search data from engines and Facebook Ads side by side, pulling together data from these two important performance-based online advertising tools.

Some might suggest that mixing keyword intent with consumer demographics makes Facebook members an easy ad target. Women ages 18 to 50 who search on the keywords "New York Giants," for example, are placed in audience segments that identify the most profitable or relevant.

Marin, which will integrate the feature into Marin Search Marketer, will enable support for audience targeting on Facebook, and reporting and management by audience segment. The platform will roll out in beta, testing it with four customers initially, with a wide-scale rollout by summer, says Matt Lawson, director at Marin. "We want to make sure it can support large-scale advertisers who spend hundreds of thousands per month in Facebook advertising," he says.

Lawson says some clients spend as little as $150,000 per month on Facebook Ads, while others spend millions monthly. "Advertisers can measure the benefits today, but they're doing it today with the Facebook Ads interface, analytics tools and Excel. Rather than having to go back to a spreadsheet to make a change, the platform will allow them to make a change in the Marin software and have it pushed to the publisher within seconds."

Kenshoo has begun work with up to 10 clients in what Ari Rosenstein, the company's director of product marketing, calls "Phase 1." Services in the first pilot include campaign creation, bid management, and targeting. In Phase 2, companies gain automated segmentation and other algorithms-based services.

Kenshoo Search has managed more than 300 million ads in more than 100 countries, generating about $10 billion in revenue for agencies and advertisers last year. While Rosenstein knows that the company's clients spend on average $1 million on paid search ads per month, he could not pinpoint what these companies spend specifically on Facebook.

3 comments about "Facebook Ads And Search: An Unlikely Marriage Finds Bliss In Analytics".
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  1. Rich Reader from WOMbuzz, April 2, 2010 at 12:02 p.m.

    Do you suppose that Google Analytics will also step up to the challenge in this space?

  2. Jonny Chan from BlitzLocal LLC, April 3, 2010 at 1:26 a.m.

    I believe Facebook ads will be a different ballgame because the metrics will be measured differently. Instead of CTR, you would have engagement rate (ETR), and instead of of ad quality score, you would have post quality score, which is essentially driven by social interactions among the users.

  3. Jonny Chan from BlitzLocal LLC, April 3, 2010 at 1:26 a.m.

    @Rich Reader,

    I believe so. Check out this tag
    <fb:google-analytics>.

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