Option 2: Brand Lift Studies
If you are working on Meta platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, you may be able to use Meta’s Brand Lift Survey (BLS) tool. This tool uses post-campaign survey questions to assess potential changes in knowledge, attitude, and behavior among audiences who were exposed to the ads against audiences who were not exposed. Typically, a benchmark for success using Facebook’s lift study tool is to achieve a +2 point lift or better.
If using the self-service version of the BLS, it requires a campaign budget minimum of $30,000 USD as well as previous and consistent monthly ad spending. In addition, to the budget requirements, the BLS requires a minimum audience size of approximately 1 to 2 million, depending on the population size of the country where the ads will run. If the campaign is not meant for an audience of that scale, Meta’s BLS tool may not be the right measurement tool as it is unlikely to return statistically significant results.
While Meta’s brand lift tool was informative, it posed a few measurement challenges, including:
- BLS required a large reach to ensure results were statistically significant. This scale proved challenging for CARE country offices who did not have a large enough population on the Facebook platform. The scale required also proved challenging when there was a desire to personalize messaging or to target specific, even smaller audiences.
- BLS worked well when a campaign was focused on a singular message. Because each survey recipient only sees one question, campaigns often did not show positive BLS results when the campaign incorporated multiple themes. For example, if a campaign had one ad that focused on mask wearing and another ad that focused on social distancing, there was often little to no lift in either one or both questions. This was particularly challenging for campaign designers, as there was often a desire (and need) to talk about multiple themes.
- The campaign objective selected within Facebook’s campaign management tool can change BLS and overall campaign results significantly. For example, during a large-scale, global COVID campaign, CARE observed that campaigns that used an “Engagement” objective were memorable, seeing an average of 12 percentage points more in ad recall, while campaigns with a “Reach” objective saw an average of 6 percentage points in ad recall. On average, campaigns with an “Engagement” objective also saw higher average lifts in attitude and behavior questions. A “Traffic” objective regularly saw click-through rates (CTR) above one percent (1%), but consistently struggled to reach the scale needed for a BLS. These aren’t official insights, merely observations from a limited data set.
Because CARE’s SBCC campaigns did not have a clear, trackable online (or offline) conversion that could be directly attributed to the campaign ads, it is also unclear if BLS results are true indicators of behavior change. For example, while traffic campaigns typically reported poor BLS results, they often had high conversion rates where people clicked out to a site where they could book a vaccine appointment. Do BLS results correlate to offline actions? Due to the nature of the SBCC campaigns, we were unable to definitively answer that question.
Throughout the pandemic, CARE benefited from Meta’s support in crafting customized brand lift study questions. The self-service tool does not have health questions as options. Moving forward, we might recommend using the self-service BLS tool quarterly to check your assumptions, gather insights, and adjust your approach for the next quarter. Click here to see if you can work with a Meta representative on a brand lift study.