Advertising Insights

June 18, 2014

How Facebook Makes Paid Search Stronger

See how businesses can significantly increase paid-search performance and decrease cost per acquisition.


    Marketers now have the opportunity to use precision to target audiences as well as mass scale to reach larger ones with digital and mobile platforms, like Facebook and Instagram. But if they limit reach, are marketers losing out on the opportunity to drive impact at scale?

    For the study, multi-channel digital marketing technology firm Kenshoo analyzed the effect of adding Facebook advertising to Experian’s paid-search campaigns. These campaigns were designed to generate online applications for the leading global information services provider’s credit reports. To determine what level of Facebook ads would lead to the strongest performance, Experian exposed different groups of people in the United States to different spending levels of Facebook ads in News Feed and the right hand column. The campaigns took place over a two-week test period in the first quarter of 2014.

    Adding Facebook Ads to paid search campaigns significantly improves performance

    Adding Facebook Ads to paid search campaigns significantly improves performance1

    19%increase in total conversion

    10%decrease in cost per acquisition
    Relating reach to impact

    Relating reach to impact

    Kenshoo’s study reinforces previous research showing that Facebook advertising makes search campaigns work harder. Key findings of the new Kenshoo study include the following:

    • There was a 19% average increase in total conversions among the people who saw Facebook advertising compared with those who saw just paid search advertising (no Facebook ads)
    • Among people who saw the Facebook ads in addition to the paid search ads, there was a 10% average decrease in cost per acquisition due to the increase in conversions
    • Conversions increased as spending on Facebook ads rose, but there was a “sweet spot,” or minimum and maximum spend level on Facebook, to get the strongest performance at the least cost

    At the end of the day, search inventory is finite.There are only so many people searching for things. Running Facebook ads can not only get more people to search but they can make the search ads work better by instilling brand preference in searchers and driving them to convert at higher rates. It means that marketers can get more bang for their search buck.

    Chris Costello

    Kenshoo’s director of marketing research

    Key strategic recommendations for marketers:

    Kenshoo’s report makes three key strategic recommendations for marketers:

    • Find the “sweet spot” yielding the highest conversion for the lowest cost by testing how different levels of Facebook spend affect paid-search performance.

    • Try varying Facebook targeting, bidding, ad formats and campaign creative to achieve small lifts in performance, as even small increases can lead to big gains over time

    • Use cross-channel measurement to determine which mix of advertising platforms generates the highest performance

    This is more great research that shows how Facebook and search work better together. It’s our hope that marketers who manage paid search see the potential to improve performance by adding Facebook to the mix. Search is a powerful medium for capturing intent and Facebook is a proven platform for driving more people to search and buy.

    Blake Chandlee

    VP Global Partnerships at Facebook

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