Whilst Facebook and Instagram boast a range of campaign objectives, their brand awareness capabilities have often been neglected due to assumptions surrounding measurement. A common misconception is that reporting is limited to vanity metrics such as ‘reach’ and ‘impressions’, from which little engagement analysis can be done.
Facebook have addressed this concern by developing the estimated ad recall lift metric. This metric enables advertisers to identify the number of users that would be likely to remember seeing an ad within two days of exposure, essentially telling you how memorable your ad is to your target audience. This can then be divided by the total reach to identify the estimated ad recall lift rate – another handy metric, this time expressed as a percentage.
With ad memorability being subjective and varying so heavily between users, it raises the question, how does Facebook know if an ad resonates with a specific audience? When the Brand Awareness objective was first introduced in 2015, Facebook suggested that three factors were considered when calculating ad recall: reach, historic ad recall lift and the attention a user gave an ad in comparison to other ads (relative attention). This enabled Facebook to produce a metric that addressed the differing scrolling-habits and dwell times of various demographics.
More recent articles go on to add that over a thousand other behavioural signals are accounted for when measuring ad recall lift, such as the relationship a user has with a Facebook page. The estimations are then calibrated using polls, which Facebook deploy on a daily basis to ask users if they can recall seeing a specific ad.
The platform is quick to remind advertisers that the metric is still in development, therefore the results obtained should only be compared to campaigns running simultaneously as the rate of Facebook’s machine learning renders historic campaigns incomparable.
That being said, the estimated ad recall lift metric remains a great way to not only identify an ad’s ability to gain attention but also as another means to optimise campaigns; by segmenting reports by factors such as platform, placement and device, you can ensure your ads are being served in the settings that garner the best recall. Additionally, the estimated ad recall lift rate provides a standardised measurement through which you can test the memorability of varying creative and messaging, helping you to further refine your brand.
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