The Best Facebook Attribution Models for 2022

on Marketing Analytics • March 17th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Analysis of marketing strategies and campaigns is important to any organization because you can make changes when you find that a strategy is not producing the desired results. You also need to take a deep dive into the campaigns to find the minute features that contribute to increasing your reach and conversion. You can either do that manually or use Attribution Models. Attribution models are being used widely to find out the amount of contribution of all elements in marketing efforts.

In this post, we’re diving into Facebook Attribution Models for advertising and how it works. You’ll understand what Attribution Modeling is and how it happens on Facebook.

Table of Contents

Understanding Facebook Attribution Models

Facebook Attribution Models
Image Source: Facebook Manager

Customers can have hundreds of interactions with your brand before ever making a purchase decision. An Attribution Model is a rule, or set of rules, that help determine how to credit a touchpoint (e.g. impressions or clicks) for conversion (e.g. purchases) in conversion paths.

Facebook Attribution Modeling is an advertising effectiveness measurement tool. It enables you to assess the whole conversion path, both on and off Facebook so that you can know which ads are influencing your customers’ decision to make a purchase or convert.

Marketers use it to measure and understand the true impact and value of their ads across multiple publishers, channels, and devices so that they can determine which campaigns are the most effective and make smarter business decisions.

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Understanding Reporting on Facebook Attribution Models

Reporting on Facebook Attribution Models can be divided into three sections:

1. Performance

Facebook Attribution Models: Performance
Image Source: Facebook Manager

Here, you can compare the effect of your organic, and direct touchpoints on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.

2. Custom Reports

Facebook Attribution Models: Custom-reports
Image Source: Facebook Manager

Here, you can create custom reports using custom breakdowns so that you can analyze specific groupings of your data in greater detail.

3. Cross-device

Facebook Attribution Models: Cross device
Image Source: Facebook Manager

Understand how people engage and interact with your content and paid media across various devices.

Once you measure the impact of your Facebook Ad campaigns on conversion, you can then go ahead and:

  • Understand how much value (such as sales or actions) your ads are producing for your business.
  • Maximize your return on investment by allocating more funds to the campaigns that drive the most conversions.
  • Identify the right channels for the right audience.
  • Pursue the advertising strategies that are working for your business.

Understanding the Types of Facebook Attribution Models

There are a variety of Facebook Attribution Models. The Facebook Attribution Model that you choose can affect your ability to accurately measure the value of your ads and strategic decisions. Here are the four types of Facebook Attribution Models categories available:

  • Rules-based models are predefined formulas that evaluate the touchpoints that lead to conversions regardless of the conversion type or user behavior.
  • Single-touch models assign 100% of conversion credit to only one touchpoint.
  • Multi-touch models assign fractional credit to multiple touchpoints in the consumer’s conversion path so that you can see what influence each channel has on a sale.
  • Data-driven Attribution Models use machine learning algorithms to evaluate historical data to determine which touchpoints are most likely to drive conversions.

You are going to learn about 8 different Facebook Attribution Models that come under the above-given categories:

1. Data-driven Attribution Model

The data-driven attribution is a statistical model that uses Machine Learning algorithms to analyze relevant patterns across historical data to assign fractional credit to each touchpoint across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network based on the incremental impact that each touchpoint had on driving the conversion.

2. Credit Attribution Model

This model is a rules-based multi-touch Attribution Model that assigns an equal percentage of the credit for a conversion to each touchpoint a customer interacts with before a conversion happens. This model gives you a holistic view of a customer’s journey from the first touchpoint that introduced a customer to your Ad, the middle touchpoint that built consideration, and the final touchpoint that resulted in the conversion. Contrary to the last-touch or last-click model, even credit gives you a holistic view of how all touchpoints helped lead to a conversion.

For example, if there were two impressions, 2 clicks, and 1 visit on the conversion path, each one would account for 20% of the credit for the conversion.

You can also consider positional and time decay Attribution Models if your main aim is to credit the full conversion path.

3. First-click or First-visit Attribution Model

The First-click or First-visit Attribution Model assigns 100% credit to the first click or visit that initiated the conversion path. It is used when you want to consider only the first click or visit in a conversion path.

The First-click Attribution Model can assist you in appreciating how to value the first-click or visit in a consumer’s conversion journey, particularly when conversions happen over a long attribution window.

It’s not ideal for discovering conversion paths that rely on middle and lower-funnel activity since it gives minimal to no credit to impressions or later touchpoints that could have an incremental impact.

4. First-touch Attribution Model

The First-touch model is best for when you want to consider only the first channel or campaign that exposed a customer to your business. It attributes 100% of the credit for conversion or purchase to the first click or visit with which the customer interacted. In the event that there was no click or visit, then it will credit the first impression.

The First-touch model does not credit other touchpoints that occur later and which could have an incremental impact. If your main aim is to understand and credit the full conversion path, then you should consider using the even credit, positional, and time decay Attribution Models.

5. Last-click or Last-visit Attribution Model 

The Last-click or Last-visit Attribution Model gives all credit for the conversion to the ad that a customer last clicked or engaged with before making a purchase. it is used when you want to credit only the last click or visit in a conversion path.

This model is not ideal for conversion paths that rely on awareness and consideration since it does not credit any impressions or preceding interactions that could have contributed to the conversion.

6. Last-touch Attribution Model

The Last-touch Attribution Model attributes all the conversion credit to the final touchpoint (i.e.,…click or visit) where a customer was converted. In the event that the was no click or visit, then the credit is assigned to the last impression.

This Facebook Attribution Model helps you to understand how to value the last touchpoint in the conversion journey, especially when analyzing a short attribution window. With Last-touch attribution, the last time that a customer interacts with your business is considered to be the most important reason why they converted.

7. Positional Attribution Model

The Positional Attribution Model is a rules-based multi-touch Attribution Model that assigns weighted credit for a conversion to the first & last touchpoints in a conversion path, while the rest of the credit is shared equally across all other touchpoints.

This model enables marketers to understand how to value touchpoints that occurred first and last in a conversion path. The middle touchpoints are generally assigned less credit than the first and last. 80% of the credit is attributed to both the first and last touchpoints, while the remaining 20% is distributed evenly to the middle touchpoints.

In contrast with the last-touch or last-click model, the Positional Attribution Model best reflects how all touch points contribute to conversion with more emphasis on the roles that the first and last touchpoints play in the conversion path.

8. Time Decay Attribution Model

The Time Decay Attribution Model assigns more credit to touchpoints that happened closer in time to the conversion. It allows you to value the multiple touchpoints that contribute to conversion while giving the most recent touchpoints more credit.

It offers a more realistic representation of how customers interact with and consider Ads as they get closer to converting. The Time Decay model comes in two configurations, 1-day, and 7-day half-life. The amount of credit given decreases by half every 1-day or 7-day. In other words, choosing a 1-day half-life means that touchpoints that happened one day before a conversion get 50% of the credit, while those that happened two days prior get 25% of the credit.

You should also consider the even credit and Positional Attribution Models when crediting the full conversion path.

Prerequisites

Before using the Facebook Attribution Model tool, you need to take the following steps:

  • Create a Business Manager account. Business Manager is a Facebook Attribution Model tool that helps you manage your business.
  • Go to the Facebook Attribution Dashboard. and click Get Started.
  • Set up a line of business. If this is your first time using Facebook Attribution Models, you’ll see instructions to help you set this up. Select Get Started.
  • Once you have chosen your business type (i.e., line of business), follow the on-screen instructions to sync data from your Ad accounts and data sources (i.e., … Facebook pixels, apps, and offline event sets).

Note: Once you’ve set up your line of business, it will take about 15 minutes to synchronize data from your Facebook ad campaigns and about one hour for data sources off Facebook.

Facebook Attribution Model Tool : Steps

Below are the steps to set up an Attribution Model using Facebook Attribution Model Tool:

Step 1: Select your Conversion

To select a conversion:

  1. Click on the drop-down menu of conversion events in the top right corner of the Facebook Attribution Model dashboard.
  2. Choose the conversion event you’d like to track. In case you want to measure conversions using custom rules, select Create a Custom Conversion. 
Conversion Tracking
Image Source: Facebook Manager

Step 2: Select your Reporting Period

To select your reporting period:

  1. Click on the drop-down menu of reporting periods in the top right corner of the dashboard.
  2. Choose the date range that you’d like to report on.  
  3. Click on Update.
Customizing the Reporting period
Image Source: Facebook Manager

Step 3: Select your Attribution Model and Attribution Window

To select your Facebook Attribution Model and Attribution Window:

  1. Click on the drop-down menu that displays the default Last-touch model.
  2. Just below the Attribution Model, select the Attribution Model you’d like to use.
Choosing Attribution Model
Image Source: Facebook Manager

3. Below the Attribution window, select the attribution window you’d like to use.

Setting up Attribution
Image Source: Facebook Manager

4. Select Apply.

Attribution Window
Image Source: Facebook Manager

5. View your reports. Here is an example report.

Attribution Reports
Image Source: Facebook Manager

Conclusion

If you’re running an eCommerce business, understanding the different Facebook Attribution Models and how they work will help you closely track your campaigns and enable you to make fact-based decisions, gain efficiencies and realize greater returns on marketing investments. You have seen that different Facebook Attribution Models distribute different amounts of credit for conversions across your ads therefore each model has its pros and cons. The Facebook Attribution Model you choose will depend on what type of business you’re running and what you want to achieve with your Facebook ad campaigns.

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