How to Use Google Data Studio for Facebook Ads Reporting
Keep an eye on ad spend, measure effectiveness, and optimize campaigns.
Google Data Studio (GDS) isn’t just for Google Ads performance data. You can pull your Facebook Ads reporting data into GDS and reap some awesome benefits. Using a free tool (like Joinr, maybe?), your data can automatically be exported from Facebook and cleaned, removing the bias from Facebook’s proprietary performance metrics. For example, Facebook defines a “ThruPlay” as “the number of times your video was played to completion, or for at least 15 seconds.” If your video is longer than 15 seconds, your viewer may not be getting to the good stuff or seeing your amazing CTA at the end. And if you didn’t take that into account, you might think your video is much more successful on Facebook than it really is.
Then you can use a Facebook Ads reporting template in GDS to view critical KPIs and drill down into performance by campaign, ad group, and individual ads.
Now that you’ve got the full, unbiased performance picture, you can tweak, test, and optimize your ads, setting your campaigns up to meet – and maybe even exceed – KPI expectations.
In this article:
Facebook Ads reporting in Google Data Studio?
Yes, you can still analyze your Facebook campaigns in GDS!
If you’re new to Google Data Studio (GDS) or if you just need a refresher, GDS is an online tool that converts data into insightful, interactive, and beautiful reports. Here’s what you can do with Google Data Studio:
- Pull in all kinds of data and fully leverage it with connectors from Google and its partners.
- Use your data to create visual stories by building dashboards and interactive reports.
- Share your data story with stakeholders and collaborate with your team in real time.
Not surprisingly, many digital marketers use GDS to analyze their paid advertising campaigns and then communicate key findings with marketing leadership and teammates.
But does Google Data Studio only work for your Google Ads data?
You can pull in Facebook Ads reporting data using a tool that includes a partner connector for GDS. And you’ll want to make sure the tool can also standardize your advertising data. Standardizing, otherwise known as cleaning or normalizing data, involves using a proven framework to strip out platform-specific biases that are often built into performance metrics in Facebook, Google, and other paid media platforms.
Where you view your Facebook Ads performance data matters:
|Facebook Ads Analytics||GDS via Joinr|
|Metrics are defined by Facebook to benefit the platform, not your ad campaign, so you don’t get a clear picture of performance.
|Metrics are normalized, so you see unbiased results, instead of metrics that represent successful performance based on the way Facebook defines it.|
|Data cannot be combined with other channel metrics accurately.||Performance data can be combined with data from other channels for reporting.|
Watch Facebook Ads KPIs like a hawk
It’s not unusual to find digital marketing professionals who are managing websites, paid media, email campaigns, ABM, SEO, and a huge variety of other marketing programs. And trying to juggle all those pixels makes it all too easy to launch a paid social campaign and not keep a close eye on performance. But launching a Facebook Ads campaign and letting it run until performance flattens out is a terrible waste of budget and the time spent strategizing, planning, and creating the ads.
It’s a trap that far too many digital marketers fall into.
In the space between the work done to launch the campaign and the need to report on performance, there’s a huge gap left by the biased metrics we mentioned above. Platform-specific metrics make your view into actual campaign performance cloudy at best. And if you can’t tell how much progress you’ve made towards hitting KPIs, you’re going to waste more time looking for answers and opportunities to optimize.
Sharpen your data focus: Wipe off the lens of your data goggles by using a free tool to automatically pull campaign performance data out of Facebook Ads, standardize it, and feed it into Google Data Studio. Then, use a constantly updated Facebook Ads reporting template to keep a hawk-like focus on the metrics that matter.
Become a data detective
When you have multiple campaigns running on Facebook Ads, it’s important to have access to a high-level overview of performance, including spend, conversions, and other key metrics, available at all times. But what if performance starts to wane? Your conversions are trending downward, but you’re still spending the same amount, leaving you wondering if there’s a broken link or if you’ve just exhausted your audience.
It’s time to become a data detective. You’ll need to take a look at each campaign separately, as well as each ad group and ad to determine what’s causing the dip in performance. If you’re using Facebook Ads reporting to find answers, remember: insights gained from looking at skewed, proprietary platform metrics may not lead to meaningful improvements in your campaign.
Use your metrics magnifying glass: A truly useful Facebook Ads reporting dashboard will not only let you see overall Facebook campaign performance, but also let you filter data by campaign and take a closer look at the performance of your ad groups and ads. And because the data used in your dashboard has been normalized, you can trust that any issues you uncover can be fixed and have a quick impact on campaign optimization.
Tweak, test, & optimize
So how do you fix those issues? It’s time to strengthen your A/B testing skill set and look forward to making major optimizations. According to SocialMedia Examiner, Facebook Ads expert Andrea Vahl lowered cost per acquisition from $100 to $25 by strategically testing her ads.
“Often when marketers say that Facebook ads don’t work for them, they simply haven’t tested enough variables or the right variables to accurately determine what’s working and what to improve.”
Ad variables that can be tested include headlines, graphics, and CTA copy, amongst others. But there’s one rule that comes before all others when testing: only test one variable at a time. This way you can clearly see the impact a change in one variable has or doesn’t have on your ad. Here are the basic steps to follow when testing your ads:
- Leave your original ad running and create a duplicate for testing.
- Make a plan indicating which variables will be tested and when.
- Test variables one at a time for a set amount of time.
- Use your top performing variables in your ad to optimize performance.
Now that you’re running tests, it’s important to keep going back to your data for insights.
One big variable to keep the same: Keep your clean data automatically flowing into a GDS Facebook ad performance dashboard so you can get fast actionable information on how the variable you’re testing is affecting your ad’s performance. Reporting isn’t just a thing you do after you’ve stopped running a campaign. Good reporting is a continuous process that makes campaigns better over time and yields useful information for future paid media strategies.
See Facebook Ads campaigns in a whole new light
Facebook Ads have a ton of built-in complexity. From biased performance metrics to audience targeting and tracking pixels, digital marketers have a lot to consider when building a paid ad campaign for Facebook. Combining a free tool that automatically pulls performance data out of Facebook and normalizes it can radically simplify and speed up the process of improving campaign variables to meet KPIs.
But that’s not all folks. Once you’ve got your Facebook Ads reporting data in GDS, it’s that much easier to plan cross-channel campaigns over both Facebook and Google. A tool like Joinr will pull in and transform all of your Facebook and Google ad data so you can evaluate your campaign as a whole.
Are you ready to free your data from Facebook Ads reporting and get better insights?