Understanding Facebook’s Incremental Results Data

Facebook has started to roll out a new metric called Incremental Results. This data point tracks how many of your conversions only occurred because of the user seeing your ad. It removes conversions that would have given credit to the ad campaign through typical attribution, as a more data-driven attribution can show that this conversion would have occurred regardless of the ad being shown. Although Facebook can’t know with complete certainty if the ad they served is what drove the sale, this metric estimates the incremental value using a statistical model trained and validated on historical lift test data.

In Facebook’s standard attribution model, they are looking at any ad that was either clicked on or viewed in a set window, and if the users took the desired action it is considered a conversion. Facebook’s default attribution window gives the ad credit for conversions that occur within 28 days of clicking on the ad, or 1 day within viewing. However, users can change these windows for both click and view to be 1, 7 or 28 days. This system is likely to cause front-running, where an ad is taking credit for a conversion that would’ve taken place without the ad. 

Incremental Results data uses Facebook’s data-driven attribution which they explain to be “Trained and validated by aggregated and anonymous data from Facebook’s Conversion Lift tool, which uses randomised controlled experiments – the gold standard for incrementality measurement.” 

Facebook’s best practice for reporting on this metric is to use it as a ratio calculated by incremental conversions/attributed conversions. This is saying that if you have 1,000 conversions and 100 of them are incremental conversions, you have a 10% ratio of incremental conversions out of total attributed conversions. Additionally, you can look at your CPIC (Cost Per Incremental Conversion) to look at your various targeting and creative to see where you are incrementally seeing the best return on ad spend.

Incremental Conversions / Reported Conversions = Incremental Lift
Incremental Lift

The goal of this tool is to estimate the bottom-line results of your Facebook and Instagram campaigns. It’s an interesting move for Facebook to acknowledge that their ads shouldn’t be taking credit for all the sales that the standard way of reporting shows. They are acknowledging that advertisers are getting more sophisticated with their spends and need to know which ad tactics are driving incremental lift. We are excited to start utilizing this new metric to make more informed decisions on optimizations to help our clients business goals.