Reveal What’s Holding Your Ads Back with Facebook’s New Delivery Insights

Forget flashy new ad units and messenger bots. A new set of insights buried in Facebook’s Ads Editor might just be the most important update yet of 2017 for power advertisers. The new tool, aptly named Delivery Insights, shows what happens with your ads after you send them to auction.

Launched a few weeks ago, we’ve found Delivery Insights to reveal answers that marketers have wondered about for years. As a Facebook ad agency, we pulled anonymous data from dozens of clients to understand benchmarks for the new set of measurements. We’re sharing these insights here in the spirit of greater industry knowledge.

We’ll focus on three most critical dimensions that Facebook’s Delivery Insights measures: Auction Overlap Rate, First Time Impression Ratio, and Audience Reached Ratio.


Benchmarks for the 3 Most Important Metrics in Delivery Insights

1.) Auction Overlap Rate
The Auction Overlap Rate is the rate at which your ad set was in the same auction as another ad set in the same account. When two ads in the same ad set compete internally, the audience is removed from the auction. This causes your ads to be less likely to reach your target. As a result, high overlap rates may be the cause of performance issues, namely under-serving, within campaigns.

We found Auction Overlap to be 19.87% on average.

2.) First Time Impression Ratio
First Time Impression Ratio is the percentage of daily impressions that comes from people seeing this ad set for the first time. This is calculated as a percentage of the new impressions that your ad set got in the past day. You usually want this number to be high. If the number is low, it means that much of your audience pool has already seen your message. Some services or products warrant frequent exposure, but others find high frequency is harmful.

We found First Time Impression Rate to be 55.33% on average.

3.) Audience Reached Ratio
Audience Reached Ratio is the percentage of your potential audience that you’ve reached so far. Your potential audience is everyone who fits within the audience criteria of your ad set.

​We found Audience Reached Ratio to be 23.17% on average.

Common Scenarios: What Type of Advertiser are You?
Although these are overall averages, we did find wide variance between different types of clients based on industry, age, and objectives. A few common profiles we noticed:

The New Advertiser

Audience Overlap Rate
Low

New audiences are being tested often

First Time Impression Rate
​High

Testing quickly through different personas ​

Audience Reached Ratio
​Low

​Scale is still low enough to leave plenty of impressions on the table


The High Price Point Advertiser

Audience Overlap Rate 
Medium

Widespread appeal products can stay low, while more niche products will quickly run into high overlap. ​

First Time Impression Rate 
Low

It likely takes a few touch points and sequential messaging to convert someone on a higher price purchase.

Audience Reached Ratio 
Medium

Auctions may be more competitive, so there are still prospects left to reach if you pay the right price.


The Experienced Advertiser

Audience Overlap Rate
High

​Winning audience segments see the bulk of ads, maybe too many.

First Time Impression Rate
Low

​Best audiences have been discovered, but more need to be found to avoid burnout.

Audience Reached Ratio
High

Prospects have heard from you once, so they need to hear different, more specific messages to finally convert.


Changes to Consider Based on Delivery Insights

If you have high Auction Overlap…
You can drive your Auction Overlap Rate down a few ways. ​You can start by seeing if one ad set has a high overlap rate. (You can do that here)

​Then, check the Overlapping Ad Set 1 (Over here)

If the number is relatively high, consider combining your ad sets so they don’t work against each other.

​You can look at your Audience Overlap by using Facebook’s tool.

First, go to your Audiences. Then, check up to five boxes of the audiences you want to compare. Finally, click Actions → Show Audience Overlap.

A Venn diagram like the one to right will detail the overlapping audiences

Facebook also highly recommends using targeting exclusions when you can. Using well defined audiences can help prevent auction overlaps before they occur.

If you have Low First Time Impression Ratio…
Your First Time Impression Ratio can be boosted in a couple ways.. If your First Time Impression Ratio is falling, accompanied by declining performance of the ad set, it may sound an alarm to extend or discover new audiences.

Alternatively, if you had a Custom Audience that was seeing success recently, but is producing a low First Time Impression Ratio, you could run a Lookalike Audience of people with comparable traits to those who responded to your ads prior, but haven’t seen the ads yet.
Last, use your First Time Impression Ratio a signal to renew your creatives and audiences. Keeping these fresh will ensure your targets see new advertisements, and will be much more likely to convert.

If you have Low Audience Reached Ratio…
To increase your Audience Reached Ratio, you should consider ways to increase your relevance score by targeting your audience more specifically. You can do that by narrowing your age range, gender, geographic location, interests, and of course you should learn from your tests. It’s really important to target a highly qualified audience.

Low audience reaches are a sign that there’s significant room ahead to scale without yet having to worry about high saturation or rising costs. This is an admirable position to be in, but it likely won’t last for long in the quickly changing Facebook marketplace.


The Takeaway
At the end of the day, Delivery Insights is indeed just a tool. It can’t be expected to transform your digital marketing agenda in a silo. However, it’s a very sharp tool. Top Facebook advertisers will utilize it multiple times a month and use it as a strong signal for the health of their campaigns.