In the world of digital marketing, we’re so concentrated on the, well, digital aspect of it, that sometimes we can leave all the real-world outcomes aside.
It’s not exactly that we forget or don’t care about them, no. But raise a hand if you’ve ever spent even half the energy tracking offline events as you did with online ones. And that’s really a shame, particularly when you’ll find out just how easy it is to track Facebook offline events.
Here’s everything you need to know about the subject.
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What Are Facebook Offline Events?
So, you have any number of Facebook ads running at the moment, all working to help your business reach a specific goal. You may even have the Facebook pixel installed to track if people see or engage with your ads, and what actions they perform on your website. But some of these goals have to do with what we can call “real-life” actions, such as visits and purchase in your brick and mortar store, phone calls, bookings, and other similar things that have a real-life impact.
And as with any marketing campaign, you want to know if your campaign budget is going into something that works. By using ‘Facebook Offline Events,” Facebook can match interactions that take place offline with the metrics you gather from online interactions.
Offline Events can be used to:
- Track offline activity;
- See how well people engage with your Facebook ads;
- Measure Facebook offline conversions;
- Help you optimize your campaign budget;
- Reach people likely to take offline actions.
Offline Events essentially completes the tracking process, and lets you have a better overview of how well your marketing efforts are doing. If you have the kind of business that needs an increase in offline conversions, we’d recommend you start creating some offline event sets.
How to Set Up Offline Events
The first step to take here is going to the Ads Manager and select the business you want to create an offline event sets for (in case you are running multiple businesses.) You’ll find the Offline Events tab in your menu, in the Measure & Report section. There, you’ll have three options:
1. Data Sources – Here you’ll actually set up the offline event set.
2. Custom Conversions – Allows you to customize an event and better describe the customer actions you want to track.
3. Partner Integration – Allows you to connect 3rd party apps you may use like Shopify, WordPress, or Salesforce to easily add data automatically.
Creating the Event Set
If you want to create the Facebook offline event set, go to Data Sources and click on the Add Data Source for offline events. Give the set a name, and an event description if you need to (the description is optional.) Hit Create, and choose which ad account you want to use the event set for, and who will have access to the event set.
Now, your event set is created, and you can move on to uploading your offline event data and start measuring the impact your ads have in real-life conversations. The data must be integrated into a CSV file and it should include as much information about the event as possible to keep reporting accuracy. Click Upload offline events data and then add the file.
What your CSV data file contains will ultimately depend on the event you want to track. Once you finish setting up the offline event sets, Facebook will track your ad performance and show you if they are doing anything to impact offline conversions.
Mapping the Data
If you are in the mapping stage, then all you have to do is to see if Facebook is reading your file correctly. As long as you are following the default field names from their sample file, it shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s best to check.
If something is not right, you can just edit it on the spot until Facebook has an accurate read on the date. Afterward, hit Next to see Facebook’s estimated match rate and any warnings that something’s not okay with your file or data. Again, correct any mistakes on the spot, and upload your file.
Normally, your data will become visible in just a couple of minutes, and you’ll see the chart with the three main metrics:
a. Events Received – How many events you upload on Facebook;
b. Matched Events – How many times Facebook matched an event to a user;
c. Attributed Events – How many times Facebook matched an event to a user within 28 days of the event taking place.
You’ll begin to see results as your campaign keeps running and you add more data to the offline event. You can track the results directly in your Ads Manager or in your Business Manager.
Tips for Optimising Offline Event Tracking
By tracking your offline result, you can understand how well your business is doing, and how much of its success can be attributed to your online Facebook ads. But to have accurate tracking results, you need to ensure that the data you give to Facebook is accurate as well.
Here’s how your CSV data file should look like:
- Have precise timestamps, including minutes and seconds, and ensure that each event is unique, even if made by the same user (like in the case of multiple offline purchases made by the same person in a day.)
- Add transaction values;
- Include order ID and a unique identifier to each event. This will help Facebook remove any duplicates;
- Upload data regularly, in the order the events took place. You should form a habit of uploading this data to avoid any gaps in reporting. Ideally, you should do it once a day for the best results.
Facebook offers an example CSV file you can use to see what kind of data to include and offers additional information about the Customer, Event Time and Event Details data right there before you upload the file. Check it out and organize the CSV file following their instructions to avoid having to correct the data later.
The tracking part of a marketing campaign is a fulltime job, and it’s incredibly important to track all your results, both online and offline.
If you need more help with your Facebook efforts, we’re here to help. Reach out to Australian Internet Advertising now, and we’ll help you craft a personalised Facebook advertising strategy to grow your business and increase conversions.