Facebook Advertising -Are clicks, views, impressions or conversions more important?

So, your new video is uploaded, you’re happy with the multiple versions of your Facebook advertising copy and you’ve pressed the publish button…what now? 

In an ideal world you would put your feet up, relax and watch the sales or the leads roll on in.

What may in fact happen is nothing at all. Actually, it’s worse than that, because you will still be losing ad spend as Facebook will take your money regardless of your campaign’s success.

And so time is ticking, your ad spend is flying out the window and you’re achieving little to nothing in the way of conversions (generally measured in sales or generated leads).

So what now? What is the measurable data that your Facebook Advertising campaign is producing and how can you get your campaign back on track?

Facebook logo from Video Outcomes Melbourne based Facebook marketing specialists

What kinds of metrics are measurable when using Facebook Advertising?

There are a variety of useful metrics that each Facebook advertising campaign will produce over time.

These data points will allow you to know how well your campaign is performing and perhaps more importantly, where certain choke points in your campaign may be.

Depending of the kind of Facebook campaign you are running (for the sake of this article lets say it is a video marketing campaign) certain metrics will be available to view and analyse these are:

  1. Impressions
  2. Clicks
  3. Video Views
  4. Conversions
  5. Time spent on website (taken from Google Analytics)

What are Facebook’s Advertising Impressions?

Facebook Ad impressions are a measure of audience reach and are defined by Facebook as the total number times your ad was visible to a user. 

So, every time facebook places your content in front of a user by way of computer screen or mobile screen via Facebook, Instagram or Facebook’s Audience Network it will register an impression. This is an basic metric to help define the reach of your Facebook Advertising campaign.

Impression as a metric of your ad campaign’s reach can be somewhat useful as it can outline the potential number of people that could interact with your ad. Impressions are however, in no way, a genuine measurement of user engagement but should be considered as the total volume of potential user engagement.

If you spent $100 and got 5000 impressions it means that your ad content was flashed in front of users a total amount of 5000 times. When we say flash, we mean flash. An impression will be measured for every time your content simply appears on users screen.

Impressions do not measure user engagement, just potential user engagement. It is useful to measure the total volume of people your ad was shown to and know what it costs to reach that many people.ve

What are Facebook Ad Clicks?

Below are examples of the kinds of link clicks that you could potentially come from your Facebook Ads content to your website:

  • Clicks on an image or a call-to-action button such as “Learn More” or “Shop Now”
  • Lead form clicks (only exist in particular ad formats).
  • Clicks on URLs that are within text description of an advertisement.
  • Clicks to directly to websites that are from links within the ad.

Facebook’s advertising platform registers a link click when:

  • A person clicks a link on your Facebook ad
  • A person posts, likes, comments or shares your ad
  • Clicks to you Facebook Page or Instagram profile via your ad
  • Clicks to expand a photo or video to full screen

As there are a variety of link click types, your final Facebook Ads reports may show more clicks (Clicks All) than link clicks through to your website as measured via Google Analytics.

Facebook Ad clicks are a very important metric to understanding the effectiveness of your Facebook Ads campaign

Your Facebook Ad campaign objective may be set up to obtain “traffic”. In this scenario what Facebook is trying to do is get as many people as possible within a specifically targeted group of your choosing to click your advertisement.

If you campaign objective is set to “traffic” then Facebook’s algorithm has little regard for what people do on your website after that click.

A click can be an unintended press of a finger while trying to swipe up or down or even an accidental mouse click as much as it can be an interested person looking for more information on your product or serviceL

What are Facebook Ads Conversions?

A conversion is an event such as a purchase or an add-to-cart or a specific page view  that has been recorded Facebook’s “Pixel” (these conversion events should be manually selected when setting up your Facebook Ads Campaign).

For the most part, these conversion events are triggered on your actual website and not on the Facebook app itself.

In the majority of scenarios conversion events will be the most important tracking metric of your Facebook Ads campaign as they signify a sale, an acquired lead or a direct phone call has been attributed directly from your ads.

If you campaign objective has been set to “conversions” it means that you are asking the Facebook algorithym to find people that are similar to those that have triggered conversion events.

Simply put, you are asking Facebook to go and find people that are extremely similar to the people that have aready completed a conversion on your website (such as a purchase) and to go and show your ads to them.

How Does Facebook Measure Video Views?

A Facebook video view is registered when a video is watched for 3 seconds. Not very long at all!

So the next time you see a social media video production on Facebook with 500,000 views you may not be as impressed as you once could have been.

Having said that, Facebook video ads will also report how many times people watched 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of your video or video advertisement.

As a metric of engagement we can start to see that there is a lot to be learned from how many people watched your video in its entirety.

Even better is that we can create custom audiences by isolating highly engaged viewers (those that watched 50% to 100% of your video – depending on the length of the video).

The ability to capture highly engaged users by way of video view length is only available to those using videos in their advertisements.

Example of Video Outcomes Digital Marketing campaign, Video Outcomes, a Melbourne based Digital Marketing Consultancy and advertising company specialising in Digital Marketing Services such as video production, social media advertising, Google Ads and SEO.

So Which Facebook Advertising Metric is the Most Important?

Let’s put this all together…

Impressions let us know the total number of times a Facebook Ad is shown to a group of people we are targeting. But impressions don’t let us know anything about user engagement.

Clicks let us know how many people clicked an ad but don’t tell us anything about the events that take place after that click. Not all clicks are equal. Some are accidental and others will bring genuinely interested users.

Conversions let us know when a purchase or another event such as an add-to-cart has taken place. The more conversions that take place the more we know that the ads are working. Additionally if Facebook has enough data regarding your conversions it can then optimise your campaigns further to locate other people that are likely to complete the same conversion such as a sale or purchase.

Video ad views are a great measure of user engagement with your advertising content. Highly engaged users that perhaps have not made a purchase (known to us because they have watched 50% or more of a Facebook video advertisement) can be remarketed to immediately with the same or new content.

We need impressions to understand total reach. Clicks to know if we are targeting the right people. Conversions to further confirm our ads and landing pages effectiveness and to provide enough data to feed Facebook’s pixel to target new people that are likely to create more conversions. Video views will confirm advertising engagement and will enable us to build and grow a highly engaged audience to continue to sell to into the future.

Impressions without clicks may mean:

  • Weak ad copy or content
  • Poor ads targeting

Clicks without conversions, clicks with high bounce rate or low user time spent on landing page may mean:

  • Poor ads targeting
  • Website user experience may be poor.
  • People may need more information or time to think about purchase.
  • Product may be too expensive for Facebook audiences.
  • Facebook may be the wrong platform for your product or service offering.

Conversions that cost too much may mean:

  • Campaign goal not set to “conversions”
  • There is not enough conversion data for Facebook to get more conversion
  • Product too expensive for Facebook audiences.
  • Product may be too expensive for Facebook audiences.
  • Facebook may be the wrong platform for your product or service offering.

Low rate of completed video view may mean mean:

  • Weak ad copy or content
  • Poor ads targeting
  • Facebook isn’t a great platform for your video advertisement or product offering.

We should use all of the metrics available to us from Facebook’s Business Manager to better understand and improve the kinds of Facebook advertisements we create in particular the types of videos we use as ads. The data is being provided to us in real time to help us get a definitive answer on where issues may be in our the sales funnel.

Many of these metrics will apply to advertising campaigns that managed through other social media platforms such as:

If you would ever like to discuss how to start or improve a Facebook Ads campaign, SEO campaign or would like to create amazing video content through video production or videography, please don’t hesitate to make contact with us at Video Outcomes here.
Christopher Lichti

Christopher Lichti

Christopher Lichti is the founder and lead content strategist at Video Outcomes, a video marketing, corporate video production and corporate videography company based in Melbourne, Australia founded in 2017.

Christopher's background in developing video content for ppc campaigns on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn started in 2014. On the days he is not making videos he is making music and playing with his kids.

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  1. Alan Edwards
    December 12, 2021 at 7:04 am

    If you argue that some metrics are a pathway towards improving your overall ad set spend, you’re most likely giving them too much importance.

    1. Christopher Lichti
      January 4, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for the comment,

      To me it’s more a walk before you run exercise for beginners. If there is no sales data yet, how does one know which metrics are important for your Facebook ads campaigns? Clicks, views, impressions are in the long term useless without sales, conversions or sales data but each metric has its own value on the way to improving sales and understanding the reach of a persons ads. Understanding what Facebook ads are actually doing with your money.

      To me, these are metrics that beginners of Facebook ads will inevitably encounter and have to learn to understand at some point. I hope there’s some value for beginners in having them understand that each metric can be analysed to improve their campaigns performance on the pathway to conversions.

      Once conversions are established it’s another ballgame of reducing costs.

      Always interested in discussing this further.

  2. Christin Rainford
    March 4, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you for this great post! Great Value! I will bookmark it looking forward to receiving the next coming updates!

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