Case Study: What You Actually Get with Facebook Ads


With all the media coverage around mobile and online advertising, especially as it pertains to Facebook ads, it’s pretty obvious that mobile is where the volume is. But exactly how much of a lift do you really get?

For the last 4 months, I’ve been tinkering around with Facebook ads for a social gaming company in which I’m an investor. During that time, I’ve managed to run mobile-only and desktop-only campaigns that have the exact same creative, copy, targeting, and even max bids. Both campaigns were set up according to 3Q Digital’s Social Pyramid structure, which tiers bidding from highest to lowest for customers, fans, website visitors, and customer-based lookalike audiences.

The results:


Interestingly, even though the overall reach on mobile is 31 percent greater, Facebook’s algorithm ups the frequency quite a bit and ends up serving more than double the impressions. You would expect CTR (click-through-rate) to suffer because of this, but it is in fact 71 percent better, probably due more to the effectiveness of the mobile ad unit more than anything else.

There are too many variables (mobile UX, user’s circumstance, etc.) that can affect rate of conversion, which in this case is an account registration, so I’m not going to go too deep into that here.

As the saying goes, “Your results may vary,” and depending on what the value proposition is and how the campaigns are set up, you could see more or less lift from mobile campaigns. At least in this case, where the only campaign variable was mobile vs. desktop placement, launching mobile campaigns almost tripled conversions in the same time period as desktop campaigns.

Is this case study breaking new ground? Hardly. But hopefully it helped you replace tired buzzwords with real data from a hyper-controlled comparison. If words don’t motivate you to invest more in your mobile ads – and your mobile experience – maybe these numbers will.

Image courtesy of dolphfyn /

Dave Yoo joined 3Q Digital as COO in January of 2013 and leads the Client Services, Social, Display, and Analytics teams in addition to corporate strategy. He brings over a decade of experience in performance marketing and building successful companies.

SocialTimes Feed