How to Set Goals and Measure Results Using Facebook Ads Manager

Lucas Killcoyne


Social media has given small businesses an unprecedented ability to reach new audiences. Through the use of Facebook Ads Manager in particular, smaller brands can ensure that their marketing is seen by the exact people they want to see it, right alongside the big brands.

On our final day of Brand Camp, our Director of Acquisition, Jake, joined Jason for an in-depth conversation about setting goals and measuring the results of the videos you create, and getting the most out of Facebook Ads Manager.

Catch up on the entire session here and keep reading for our breakdown of Jake’s talk.

Jake opened with a Peter Drucker quote, “What gets measured gets managed.” The more intentional you are about what you’re measuring, the more accurate the picture you’ll be able to form about how your content is performing. In other words, effective measurement allows you to make more informed decisions in the future. It’s a valuable point to return to as you consider the “why” behind your efforts.

The Customer Journey

To really understand whether your test succeeded and connected you with your audience, you’ll need to take three steps. First, you’ll set an objective. You’ll then determine how you’ll measure success against that objective. Once your test is complete, you’ll examine your results and figure out what you want to do differently, or the same, in the future.

It also bears mentioning that in the event that your test isn’t a “success,” you shouldn’t lose heart. Sometimes learning what doesn’t work can be just as vital as learning what does.

Understanding Objectives

Within that first “Objective” phase, you’ll be choosing from three categories, defined below : awareness, consideration, and conversion. While it’s tempting to jump straight to conversion, it’s helpful to think of these categories as steps on a customer journey. The better you lay the groundwork with ads targeted toward awareness and then consideration, the more likely your audience will be to convert when you make your pitch.

To put it in real-world context, Jake used the example of a customer’s path toward making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar location for Animoto customer High Street Soap.

  • Awareness: The customer passes the store on the street and makes a mental note that there’s a soap shop there. They aren’t engaging with the brand at all, but its presence is known.
  • Consideration: The customer visits the store, looks around, smells some soap, even talks to a salesperson, but they’re not ready to make a purchase.
  • Conversion: The customer enters the store and makes a purchase.

Our Test

Now what does that look like in a social media context? Well, we actually ran a test for High Street Soap, using the video that Sally created during our Wednesday Brand Camp session, prior to Jake’s presentation.

In keeping with the storytelling theme for the week, we wanted to engage customers with the brand by getting them to watch our video and involve them with the story. We selected consideration, focusing specifically on Video Views. We set a goal of 10 cents per video view.

We then conducted an A/B test. For background there, check out our series on A/B testing. For this test, we used the exact same video, but advertised to two different audiences. We spent $100 per variation, for $200 total. The two audiences were as follows:

  • Women aged 18-40
  • Women aged 41-64

Because we considered spending 10 cents per view to be a worthy expenditure of our ad budget, the test was a success, with the second audience outperforming our goal with 9 cents per view view. So, to return to our three phases, our test looked like this:

  • Objective: Video views
  • Measure: We’d consider ourselves successful if the cost came in at less than 10 cents per view, which we measured with Ads Manager. For more on measurement, check out our blog.
  • Analyze: The audience including women between41-64 outperformed the goal.

Next Steps

So what do we do with that information?

Remember, you don’t test just for its own sake. You test to identify audiences and develop creative that get the results you’re looking for, so you can make a more substantial push into that area going forward. In this case, we saw that the older audience performed better, so it would make sense to start spending more with that audience as long as the positive outcomes hold.

And that’s not all we can do, either. If we feel confident that women aged 41-64 are our audience, we can tweak the creative or try new approaches and see if they improve our metrics or hurt them.

We could also try splitting that age bracket in half and testing to see if we can narrow down the audience again. As an ecommerce brand, we could even try marketing ourselves to a new geographic location.

Final takeaways

Not every test has to lead to a grand learning. If the results are murky, then they’re murky, and that’s okay. It happens. But every bit of gray area is an opportunity to test again and narrow your focus. Using Facebook Ads Manager, you can develop ads that move customers through your sales funnel and get the business results you’re looking to achieve. For more information on getting the most out of Facebook Ads Manager, check out this blog post.

If you have any questions for us, let us know in the comments! For access to a community of fellow video creators, join our Facebook group, the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community, by clicking the button below!