5 Best Practices to Drive Value From Facebook Advertising

December 12, 2019 Anne Curtin

Digital advertising is changing the way consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies market their products. Packaged-goods marketers now spend more on digital than all forms of traditional advertising combined, with many turning to social media platforms such as Facebook to increase reach, build brand loyalty and drive sales.

Facebook has risen to the top of many advertisers’ lists because of the size and engagement of its user base. 80% of all Internet users use Facebook. Most of its 2+ billion users check their Facebook page multiple times per day. Brands also appreciate the network’s ability to reach an exact audience defined by age, interests, behavior, and location.

At the same time, CPG marketers need to prove that their Facebook advertising investments are effective. Under pressure to deliver top-line growth, advertisers need to be able to quickly understand what’s working, and spend efficiently for the best outcomes.

While online sales of consumer packaged goods are rising, the greatest share of purchases still occur in-store. Facebook offers a number of measurement tools to help CPG advertisers evaluate and optimize the impact of their campaigns ads based on the business outcomes that matter most.

But understanding the impact of advertising on in-store sales can be more challenging. Accurately measuring the incremental sales lift driven by a campaign requires rigorous analytic techniques and access to comprehensive, store-level sales data.

Determined to help CPG companies make the most out of their investments in the platform, Facebook turned to Nielsen to help it understand the average in-store sales lift its campaigns are driving and which campaign elements have the greatest impact on performance.

>> Read the complete case study: Nielsen Helps CPG Advertisers Drive More Value from Their Facebook Campaigns

Facebook’s goal was to help CPG companies understand how to best execute their Facebook advertising campaigns to maximize sales lift.

“At Facebook, we’re committed to enabling advertisers to accurately assess the performance of their campaigns. Independent, third-party measurement is critical to this effort,” said Luke Stringer, Marketing Science Manager, Facebook. “Our partnership with Nielsen, with its proven Campaign Lift solution and robust, store-level data assets, has helped expand quality sales lift measurement to the Canadian CPG industry.”

Analyzing Performance for CPG Brands

To uncover these insights, Nielsen conducted an assessment of the impact of Facebook advertising for 10 Canadian CPG brands in the snack, over-the-counter, personal care and household product categories using a Campaign Lift analysis (formerly known as Matched Panel Analysis).

Leveraging Nielsen’s unmatched data assets, Campaign Lift compares the sales metrics for two groups of buyers – those who saw an ad and those who did not – to quantify the incremental impact of a campaign and uncover the drivers of campaign performance. To ensure the most accurate results, the analysis controlled for product-relevant factors that can impact sales, including price, promotions, distribution, presence at shelf and more.

A meta-analysis was then conducted across the 10 brands to tease out the Facebook campaign elements that drive the strongest lift and which product-relevant factors can impact measurement.

Driving Sales Lift: 5 Best Practices

Eight out of the 10 studies showed that Facebook advertising drove a significant sales lift, and five of the eight studies were above the 3.45% Canadian average, indicating that Facebook is more effective than both traditional and other forms of media.

The meta-analysis also revealed how differences in execution can drive higher results. By following these five best practices, CPG companies can drive greater lifts and get the most value from their investments in Facebook.


Finding #1: Higher weekly frequencies yield higher results. 

Best Practice #1: By optimizing weekly Facebook ad frequency, CPG companies can reduce waste, improve lift and drive a greater return on overall ad spend.


Finding #2: Broad targeting outperforms narrow targeting.

Best Practice #2: When investing in Facebook, CPG brands should consider targeting both men and women in order to capture a greater percentage of category buyers.


Finding #3: Some creative elements are more important than others.

Best Practice #3: To generate higher sales lifts, CPG advertisers should use product-focused creatives that include upfront branding and messaging.


Finding #4: Campaigns that covered more of the purchase cycle generated stronger sales lifts. 

Best Practice #4: Ensure campaign executions cover at least one purchase cycle.


Finding #5: Price, promotion and distribution can significantly impact performance.

Best Practice #5: Ensure consistency in price, promotion and product availability throughout the duration of a campaign.

Using Lift to Prove Your Value

For CPG marketing research analysts, brand managers and channel managers, measuring lift provides powerful insights into the consumer segments and campaign elements that are driving the greatest response, so you can make smarter decisions going forward.

Once you can quantify the incremental sales impact driven by your advertising, you’ll be able to optimize your future media buys in the most impactful way possible. Most importantly, you’ll get the proof you need to end the debate over marketing value and return on advertising spend (ROAS).

Nielsen’s Campaign Lift meta analysis revealed that Facebook advertising can be an extremely effective and efficient way to advertise for CPG brands, but campaigns must be executed wisely.

With insights from the analysis, Facebook is now able to provide its CPG advertisers with data-driven execution recommendations, so they can optimize sales lifts and get the most value from their advertising on the platform.

Learn More

To see detailed findings, read the complete case study: Nielsen Helps CPG Advertisers Drive More Value from Their Facebook Campaigns

Download a copy of our ebook: Quantifying the Value of Snap Advertising

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