How Brand Networks Uses Benchmarks to Improve Social Ad Performance

Social advertising is all about improvement. It’s about running a campaign, seeing what worked and then making adjustments. To do this, you can use social benchmarks, which is the process of comparing performance against historical performance, competitors, or industry standards.

Here’s a real-world example: An athletic team wants to set expectations for an upcoming competition. To do this, they need to measure and compare the performance and statistics of their athletes against those of their competition’s. By comparing the numbers, they can get a better idea of where they excel or lag in comparison, which will give them a foundation to build and improve. 

The same principle applies to advertising. If your Facebook campaign delivers a $5.50 CPM, $0.02 CPV, and 24% view rate, what should you think? It might seem like fair or above-average performance, but without benchmarks, it’s hard to conclude. 

So, how do you get the social benchmarks you need to succeed? You have two choices: internally sourced benchmarks or third-party benchmarking reports. 

  • Internal Benchmarks: Maintain internal benchmarks based on the historical performance of your past campaigns. 
  • External Benchmark: They include ubiquitous benchmarks that groups all industries, objectives, and placements into the same bucket to provide common KPI benchmarks. 

How Brand Networks Can Help Solve Social Benchmarking Problems

To solve this problem, Brand Networks developed a benchmarking tool to reveal insights and recommendations to improve performance based on billions of data points from past campaigns. The benchmarking tool powers our Media Solutions team, allowing them to get ahead of seasonal market shifts and establish benchmarks before a campaign’s launch. 

The tool has already paid dividends for our client’s back-to-school planning. To put this into perspective, we saw a 35% increase in CPMs on Facebook and Instagram for the video views objective in September 2018 when compared to August of the same year. According to a Deloitte study, about two-thirds of shoppers (62 percent) plan to begin their back-to-school shopping well before September, spending about $100 more than shoppers who get a started later. This presents an opportunity for advertisers to flight their budgets from mid-July to mid-August when CPMs are lower. 


The primary goal of a social benchmark is to answer two questions: how are your campaigns performing right now, and what can we do to improve? It establishes a point of comparison and helps you understand if your message is resonating with their target audience. However, to get the most from your benchmarking, you have to be willing to combine internal and externals tools. Brand Networks and our proprietary tools can help.

Want to see how social benchmarking can improve your campaigns?
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