It’s no secret that paid performance marketing on Facebook and most other social platforms is as challenging as ever (and the stock prices for these companies certainly reflect that).
With that in mind, I wanted to see how the universe of Thesis/Barrington Media Group clients had fared in October on Facebook year-over-year (note: this data set also includes a handful of businesses I advise/have invested in, etc). I pulled data for 138 US accounts that were actively spending in October of 2021. Roughly half of those accounts are eCommerce brands and the remainder span lead gen, mobile apps, and misc categories. They accounted for $19,640,729 in total spend in that period. Based on FB’s reported financials in 2021, I’m assuming that Facebook did ~$10B in advertising revenue in October 2021, and so our sample represents roughly .2% of Facebook’s total advertising revenue.
Of those 138 accounts, 120 are actively spending in October of 2022. The 18 brands that are no longer active accounted for roughly $600k in total spend in October 2021 (~3% of our sample). Most of those businesses are still operational but have abandoned Facebook as an acquisition channel for the time being.
The 120 active accounts spent $18,018,161 in October of 2022, an 8.2% YoY decrease from the $19.6m total. Our eCommerce accounts (roughly ⅔ of the total spend) show a 12.3% YoY decrease in total spend. Somewhat surprisingly, we saw an overall CPC decrease of 8.5% YoY, which I’m assuming is partly a function of increased delivery via Reels.
Most importantly I wanted to look at the change in Cost per Purchase amongst our eCommerce accounts. This is an extremely tricky metric to compare thanks to differences in prospecting vs retargeting allocations, attribution settings, audience exclusions, placement targeting, tracking improvements via CAPI, and more. To make this comparison at least semi-meaningful, I normalized all of the accounts to use a strict, 1-day post-click attribution window. We see a very encouraging 16% decrease in YoY CPAs for our eComm clients. That said, these results are EXTREMELY brand specific. Below is a table of the Oct 2022 spend levels for the top 20 spending eComm accounts alongside their YoY CPA change. There really is not a consistent pattern.
The world of paid UA has been a bit bleak at late (to me at least) but this analysis was actually far more encouraging than I anticipated. Hopefully it cheers you up a bit too!
If you have any questions about the data or would like to compare notes please reach out to email@example.com.
In my experience, a handful of ad creatives will usually swallow the vast majority of spend in FB ad accounts simply due to their outstanding performance. And those winners often survive months (and sometimes even years) of testing/new challenger creatives.
In March 2021 we wrote a blog post that looked at view-through conversions versus click-through conversions for a basket of US-based brands. Much has changed since then.