In this blog series, we’re talking about the essentials of social media advertising, and the most essential part of any advertising system is the ability to track its effectiveness.
The be all and end all of any successful sales system that leverages a digital platform like Facebook or adwords is the pixel. Proper Facebook Pixel implementation is THE pillar to successful advertising campaigns.
The three main benefits of using the pixel:
- Reach the right people
- Drive more sales
- Measure the results of your ads
Now, if you’re not familiar with a pixel I bet you’re reading this and thinking “What type of black magic wizardry is contained in this script that will let me reach more people, drive more sales and measure results?!” Do we just place it on my site and let the sales and insights sweep me away in a tidal wave of cash and data?
Well, wouldn’t that be nice? But in reality, the “getting going” is pretty easy once you understand how the pixel works.
Ok, cool. So how does a pixel work?
An advertising platform like Facebook, for example, will provide you with a small code to add on to your website, which basically holds an invisible 1×1 pixel image file (get it, Pixel?). This file is automatically downloaded on a visitor’s browser when they visit your site. When that happens, it sends data back to the platform signaling the pixel has triggered the appropriate event, or “fired.” Your ad platform, like Facebook Ads Manager, can then see what page was opened, the user’s physical location, browser info, IP addresses, and devices used.
Sounds creepy, right? Well, although you can’t target specific individuals with a pixel and the kind of data you collect, you can use the data to create more relevant ads, optimize your campaigns and construct some pretty badass retargeting strategies.
On the contrary, if the Pixel is not setup correctly, it will either fire too many times or not at all. In each case your data will be skewed with misinformation that will either lead to poor marketing decisions or tons of frustration.
There are several more in depth and technical aspects of a properly installed pixel, and those really depend on how you are measuring success. For the most part, if you’re measuring leads, conversions, registrations or checkouts, the pixel using a standard event should be placed on the page that a person lands on after the page where a ‘conversion’ happens. Most of the time, this is a thank you page after a sale or opt-in.
Um, so what is a pixel event?
“Pixel Events” are the actions that a visitor has taken on your site that you can track in your reporting. This data allows you the business owner to understand how people interact with your ecommerce site. With a platform like Facebook, there are several events you can track like page views, add to cart, initiate checkout, add payment info, and completing a purchase. The cool thing is that you’re able to set a value to each of these events and show your return on ad spend all within your reporting.
If we are going to do a project together, we can perform a technical audit to make sure the pixels are setup correctly on your ecommerce website.