I’ve been running a Facebook Ad campaign utilizing the Facebook Audience Network. From what I can gather, the audience network for FB is similar to the Display Network for Google – basically it serves ads within apps and on websites that want to serve ads from Facebook, instead of Google or one of the other ad networks. After a month of serving ads to the Facebook Audience Network, I’m concerned the clicks and engagements are not as valuable as those in the Facebook news feed.

I’m finding the Audience Network is the top click channel, but it’s tied for exposure with the news feed on mobile devices. Some ad sets are seeing 3x to as much as 20x as many clicks as the news feed placements. On the surface this tells me that people are more engaged with Facebook ads on 3rd party sites and apps, than with native looking posts on the Facebook news feed. Does that make sense? Are you seeing something similar?

Benchmarking Facebook Audience Network Engagement

So, I wanted to see what I should be expecting, so I took a look at Google’s Display Benchmarks. The average click-through-rate for display ads in the US is only 0.07%.

CTR in US via Google

My highest performing ad set had a click-through rate of 3.01%. Does this mean that the Facebook Audience network is 43x more effective at placing ads in front of our target audience?

Facebook Audience Network click-through-rate

Good Money After Bad?

Not quite. Below is a screenshot of the analytics of the visitors from 3 segments: All traffic, Facebook organic, Facebook Ads. From this data I can discern a pretty solid conclusion regarding Facebook Ads and the Audience Network:

Organic traffic from Facebook is more valuable than ad traffic

As you can see no one from the paid ads made it to the registration page. The ads had the same messaging and topics a the landing pages visitors were linked to, so there are only a few reasons they didn’t make it to the registration page. Either the landing page didn’t have a compelling call-to-action or the ad was not served to the target audience. Organic traffic and all other traffic related to this campaign made it to the landing page, so I can only assume that the Audience network (which makes up a large majority of website visitors from Facebook), is not a valuable audience and should be avoided.

Facebook Traffic Analytics

Do you agree with my conclusion? Are you seeing different results while using the Audience Network?