Facebook’s Video Issues Proves the Importance of Metrics

10/07/2016

Many SMBs understand the value of advertising on Facebook, as it provides them access to a massive audience and targeting tools to ensure they reach desirable, qualified customers. But the recent revelation that Facebook was inaccurately measuring the average time users spent watching videos is sure to raise an eyebrow among advertisers. If Facebook failed to provide a clear measurement of this stat, what else were they doing incorrectly?
 
Facebook itself, along with many media outlets, agencies and advertisers, have weighed in. The consensus is that this slip-up is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Time spent on video is not a primary or even secondary metric for buying ads on Facebook. If it truly mattered to advertisers, they likely already had a method of measuring it accurately.
 
Facebook will surely move on from this gaffe but, from a broader perspective, it highlights the importance of metrics for advertisers. Perhaps even more so, it shows how crucial the right metrics are, especially for SMB advertisers. These ad buyers want to grow their businesses and reach new customers, so it’s essential that they understand how those ad dollars contribute to their goals. Whether that is with Facebook, mobile or programmatic advertising, SMBs appreciate easy-to-understand reporting that demonstrates results.
 
Today’s fractured media landscape and sophisticated targeting strategies mean that campaigns are more reliant on technology than ever. Interpreting campaign results and delivering them to SMB advertisers in a clear, easy-to-read format is paramount, regardless of the audience target. SMBs can’t execute these kinds of online campaigns themselves, so they’re much more likely to turn to partners to help them expand their audience. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance for these partners to provide an additional layer of service to help SMBs accurately measure and understand their results.

For example, SMBs may be interested in how many mobile ads were served during the length of their campaign. But if the campaign goal was to drive more people to a retail location, then the number of ads served isn’t the most relevant metric. What matters is how many people who saw the ad visited the store and what kind of information can we learn from that audience.
 
Highlighting which metrics matter and how those can be applied to future campaigns is a crucial piece in getting SMBs to increase their investment in advertising. By going beyond traditional media buying and taking the time to show SMBs how their advertising actually works, advertising and marketing services companies can increase the chances that their customers will buy additional campaigns in the future. After all, advertising is an important piece in growing a business. If the company selling the advertising can prove that its services actually work, they’ll be doing themselves, as well as the SMBs, a huge favor.