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| 4 min read

The Impact of Facebook Ads on Brand Search

Written by Tom Lambert

A big part of our work here at Bark is ensuring that all of our clients’ digital channels work together as much as possible.

Facebook and Google aren’t competing, they are simply capturing people at different stages of the marketing funnel. If you use them the right way and understand where each adds the most value, you can increase the value of your marketing budget as a whole.

It is well known amongst digital marketers that Facebook advertising has a “halo effect”, where there is a big lift in your direct, organic and brand search traffic as you scale.

I realised this early on, seeing correlations across the vast majority of businesses that I’ve worked with over the years, even discussed the impact with other marketers and simply assumed it to be true without ever feeling the need to see hard evidence of it beyond what I’d seen and heard anecdotally.

This all changed the other day when we did some analysis of this halo effect for one of our clients and the results, while not unexpected, were surprisingly definitive.

We looked at the correlation between spend on Facebook (which had increased over time) and brand search impressions and revenue (a great indicator of how many people have heard of your brand).

The first step was to simply put it on a chart, this is how it looked:

The Impact of Facebook Ads on Brand Search

Again, nothing surprising here, but pretty conclusive.

When you do the maths to find the correlation, the R is 0.99*. About as close to a dead cert as you can get.

If you’re wondering about the value that Facebook advertising is adding to your wider marketing mix, I highly recommend you do the same piece of analysis. 

To take this a step further, you can also look at the correlation between Facebook spend and your lift in organic and direct traffic and revenue, giving you an even clearer picture of the halo effect. 

Back to step one, let’s put it on a chart:

The Impact of Facebook Ads on Brand Search

Again, a pretty clear correlation. The correlation coefficients are:

FB spend vs Organic – R 0.92

FB Spend vs Direct – R 0.95

Combining this with the impact on brand search, you can clearly see the value that Facebook is adding to your business even if you just report on the basis of last click in Google Analytics.

If you’re doing the majority of your marketing reporting on the basis of last click or other click based attribution models, there’s a chance you might be misattributing the value of your marketing on Facebook to other sources such as Brand Search, Organic and Direct in Google Analytics in particular.

The “halo effect” is real, at least for this business, but don’t take my word for it. Do the analysis yourself and see what the correlation is. Do you get similar results? Do you see a stronger correlation for another channel, i.e. Non Brand Search, Youtube, Snapchat, OOH, TV?

I’d love to know. Send me an email on tom@bark.london

Pro tip: =correl is the formula in sheets 😉

 

*Info on what the R means below:

The correlation coefficient is a measure of the strength and direction of the linear relationship between two variables.

R ranges from −1 to 1.

When r = 1, it indicates the two variables are in a perfect linear relationship. And when r = 0, it implies that there is no correlation between the variables.

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