Facebook recently rolled out a new feature called "conversion measurement," which allows anyone using Facebook ads to measure exactly which ads result in conversions, and marketers and advertisers to track the return on investment for individual ads in a much more sophisticated way.
So, if you use Facebook ads and run an e-commerce site, or rely on list-building and other online tools to gather and track leads, conversion measurement can help you spend your ad dollars more strategically.
To get started, you plug a little snippet of code called an "Offsite Pixel" onto pages of your website -- such as the page users see after registering for your list, or a product page. Facebook can then report on the behaviors users take after clicking on your ad.
Related: What You Need To Know About Facebook Mobile Ads
What's more, if you combine conversion measurement with another tool called optimized CPM (OCPM), you can get even more targeted with your advertising, ideally realizing some significant monetary savings. Based on early beta users, Facebook puts the estimated cost per conversion savings at around 40 percent.
Here are three ways this new feature can help you improve your Facebook ad strategy:
1. Track mobile-to-desktop and desktop-to-mobile.
Let's say you're running mobile-only ads for the first time and you want to know if anyone who is seeing those ads later comes to your website to sign up or register -- or vice-versa. The conversion measurement tool is the only way to track cross-platform conversion on Facebook. With 60 percent of Facebook users accessing the social network on their mobile devices, this can be a significant asset to your mobile marketing efforts.
2. Reduce your cost per conversion and create more targeted ad campaigns.
Before conversion measurement and OCPM, it was difficult to figure out which ads helped convert users into which kinds of customers: new leads, or new buyers. There's a big difference.
Conversion measurement allows you to track this with pinpoint accuracy and target your ads accordingly -- dramatically reducing your cost per customer or new lead. As one example, Facebook cites the Democratic Governors Association, which used the new tool with OCPM to track mailing list signups and gathered signups at a more affordable rate than with previous campaigns. Specifically, it paid 85 percent less per each sign up they collected.
Related: 10 Quick Steps to Creating a Facebook Ad Campaign
3. Cut ad spending that doesn't drive high-value user action.
Many business owners run multiple ads at a time and try to measure results with a split-test approach, which means they will run similar ads at the same time to see which one converts better. With conversion measurement, you can see which ads are driving the actions you most want your potential customers to take. So, when the data shows that a particular ad is collecting leads at a rate and price per lead you are satisfied with, you can more confidently continue to direct ad dollars to that specific ad campaign.
If you are already laser-focused about your Facebook ad targeting, conversion measurement can help you create campaigns -- and their calls to action and URLs -- specifically around the action you want your lead or customer to take, and track your results.
Will you try Facebook's conversion measurement feature? Let us know in the comments below.
Based in Carlsbad, Calif., Amy Porterfield is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies (For Dummies, 2011) as well as a speaker and trainer, teaching small businesses and entrepreneurs how to drive more traffic, leads and sales with Facebook marketing.