Conversions API

Unlocking the Power of Facebook Conversions API: A Guide for Marketers

As discussed in our recent blog, Building a Standout Brand Through Digital Advertising, digital ads are a cost-effective method to reach your target audience compared to traditional advertising avenues. However, with frequent (and sometimes infuriating) algorithm and platform changes, digital advertising requires staying on top of the latest updates and learning new implementation processes. A great example is recent updates to privacy policies and Google’s depreciation of third-party cookies. These changes have pushed platforms (and marketers!) to adopt new tracking methods that prioritize collecting first-party data through server-side tracking. One of the most common server-tracking integrations is Meta’s Facebook Conversions API for advertising on Meta platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In this blog, we’ll review Meta Pixels, demystify Facebook Conversions APIs, break down pros and cons, and leave you with a quick start guide. 

“People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.”  – Brian Halligan

What is a Meta Pixel?

The Meta Pixel is code that utilizes cookies to track user behavior and actions on your website. Setup is quick and relatively intuitive, using an on-screen tool to build events, such as purchase or lead, in Events Manager. The Meta Pixel is ideal for smaller businesses or marketers who are either new to Facebook ads or only require basic user tracking. The Meta Pixel’s main drawbacks include working exclusively at the browser level and providing less detailed user information. Because the Pixel uses cookies, it is also affected by cookie blockers and changing privacy laws. The pixel owner, aka Meta, also owns any user data collected. 

What is Facebook Conversions API?

As we mentioned in the introduction, Facebook Conversions API is Meta’s solution to increased privacy laws and the depreciation of third-party cookies. Instead of relying on browser information, it uses server-side conversion tracking to collect first-party data. Conversions API doesn’t rely on cookies, making it resilient to ongoing privacy issues, and you, as the business, own the first-party data it collects. Conversions API also has more customizable event tracking capabilities, providing more accurate user data and a more comprehensive view of their buying behavior. The most significant drawback of utilizing Conversions API is setup; it is definitely a more technical process, likely requiring the assistance of a developer or web team to install. There may also be additional monthly costs depending on your preferred implementation process.

Do the Meta Pixel and Conversions API Work Together? 

Yes! Conversions API is designed to work hand-in-hand with the Meta Pixel, and you’ll actually need to create a Pixel first before starting a Conversions API integration.

Conversions API Quick Start Guide 

For the initial setup, you will need a Facebook Business Account and the payment method you plan to use for advertising. From there, your team will need to create the following: 

The Basics

  • Create a Facebook Ads Manager account for your business. Ads Manager is a more robust advertising platform with better targeting and A/B testing capabilities. 
  • Create a dataset (Facebook Pixel) and follow the prompts to install the code manually on your website or use a built-in integration. Once complete, add your Ads Manager account as an asset to your new Dataset and use the Events Manager setup tool to create trackable events (i.e., contact, lead, purchase, etc.) 
  • Create a Google Tag Manager (GTM) account. Google Tag Manager is the go-between for multiple platforms such as Facebook, Google Ads, and Google Analytics. Instead of individually copying and updating code directly on your website, Tag Manager allows users to create tags (snippets that track user actions), triggers, and variables that update code quickly and easily across pages. The primary purpose of creating tags is to avoid frequent hard-coded updates while still collecting user data to optimize ads and marketing efforts. 
  • Install GTM and Google Analytics 4 onto your website. 

Google Tag Manager Set-Up

  • In GTM, create two containers: a server container and a browser container.  To do this, click the + sign on the right side of your screen and select “web.” Name the container and repeat the start of this process by selecting “server” for the next container.
  • Create a billing account. Once the server-side container is created, select automatic provision tagging and follow the prompts to create a billing account.  
  • Create a GA4 (Google Analytics) Google Tag in the browser container. This allows user tracking on all website pages. You will also need to create a server-side GA4 configuration tag (to prevent duplicates), remarketing tag, Facebook base pixel tag, and tags for events/conversions you’d like tracked on your website. 
  • In your server container, create your Facebook Conversions API tag. Click Tags and then “New” in the top right corner. Choose your Tag type by clicking on Custom Templates at the top and searching for Facebook Conversions API Tag. You will need your Pixel ID and Access Token (found in Pixel Settings). You will then need to create custom Triggers. 
  • Use Google Tag Assistant to preview your site and ensure your new tags work correctly. 

Depending on your website builder, partner integrations and plugins may be available to assist with Conversions API installation by passing many of the steps above. While you don’t have control over how a particular third-party integration is set up, this is a more straightforward installation process that likely won’t require working with a web developer. Regardless of your chosen setup method, we recommend having GTM and GA4 installed on your website. 

Smart Advertising Strategies With Leverage Marketing

Conversions API is a more technical lift for internal teams. If you need help sorting out your Google Tag Manager or want extra digital advertising advice, contact our team! At Leverage, we offer all prospective clients a free strategy session and custom project proposal. Our Facebook digital ads management includes: 

  • Account and conversion tracking setup
  • Account audits 
  • Campaign creation and optimization
  • Ad copy creation and refreshes
  • A/B testing
  • Audience optimization and creation of lookalike and custom audiences
  • Campaign and bidding management
  • Retargeting & dynamic ads 
  • Geofencing and targeting 
  • Ad and web analytic reports are provided bi-monthly via email
  • Advertising strategy meetings  

We take care of initial account setup (starts at $750) and monthly management (starts at $500). We will then work with you to determine an ad spend that makes sense for your business goals. 

Take your advertising to new heights in 2024! If you have any inquiries, leave us a comment, give us a call, or send us an email. 

We also invite you to take advantage of our complimentary advertising consultation. We’re excited to discuss your digital advertising needs and connect with you soon!