Attribution is about pinpointing which marketing activity led to a conversion, and it is relevant both for bidding optimization and reporting. In this article, we discuss the options for Facebook attribution in Smartly reporting. Attribution settings typically matter when analyzing offsite and app conversion metrics.
In Smartly, you can use one of two attribution types for each conversion metric in your reports: flexible attribution or unified attribution. The choice of attribution type can directly impact the number of conversions you see in your report.
Note that reporting in Meta Ads Manager only uses unified attribution, while in Smartly it is possible to switch between flexible and unified attribution. If you see a discrepancy in reporting between Ads Manager and Smartly, try setting the conversion column attribution to unified attribution.
Flexible attribution: customize attribution selection
Flexible attribution offers you more choices on what should be attributed. With flexible attribution, you can set the click and view attribution in reporting independently of what was configured in the optimization and bidding conversion window. With this option you can optimize bidding based on one attribution, and report conversions based on another. The available attributions are:
- 1-day click
- 7-day click
- 28-day click
- 1-day view
The selected attribution will be used for the reported metric across all campaigns, ad sets, and ads visible in your report.
If your reporting view has iOS 14 (SKAdNetwork) campaigns, make sure you are including click-attributed or view-attributed or both conversions under the SKAdNetwork attribution settings.
Unified attribution: simple attribution selection
Unified attribution is more streamlined. Instead of manually configuring the attribution settings, the attribution in the report comes directly from the settings in the campaign's optimization and bidding conversion window. To see the conversion window for each ad set in your report, add the Attribution Setting column to the report. For instructions, see how to define the columns displayed in the Campaigns view.
In this attribution type, each campaign will be reported based on the ad set conversion window settings. When summing conversion data from different campaigns or ad sets, the sum can contain figures calculated based on different conversion window settings.
Unified attribution is useful if you always use the same conversion window settings in your campaigns and ad sets.
If flexible attribution is configured to use the same attribution settings as the optimization window of the ad set or campaign, unified attribution will show the same value as flexible attribution.
Set the attribution type
When you add a new conversion column to a report in the Campaigns view, by default the column uses the default click and view attribution settings defined in the ad account settings.
To change a conversion column's attribution settings:
- In the top navigation bar, click Campaigns.
- Select a report, and on the toolbar on the Campaigns view, click Columns.
- On the sidebar on the right, move your mouse cursor on the conversion column and click the gear icon to edit the column. The column settings open.
- In Attribution type, select either Flexible attribution or Unified attribution. If you select Flexible attribution, also define the attribution settings for conversions:
- Click attribution: Either select which click-attributed conversions to include, or exclude click attributions.
- View attribution: Either select which view-attributed conversions to include, or exclude view attributions.
- SKAdNetwork attribution: Either select to include SKAN conversions attributed to clicks, views, or both, or exclude SKAN attributed conversions. If your reporting view includes iOS 14/SKAN campaigns, we recommend you include this attribution.
- Click Apply changes.
If you use the Unified attribution setting, we recommend that you add the Attribution Setting column to your report to highlight when you are using different attribution settings across your campaigns. This way you can clearly see what each row is optimizing towards, which prevents the risk of comparing two campaigns with different reporting windows.
Mix attribution types in one report view
You can mix the flexible and unified attribution types inside a report simply by creating multiple columns with different attribution settings. For example, to see both types of attributions for a conversion event like purchases, add Purchases under unified attribution in one column, and Purchases again under flexible attribution in another column. This gives you the opportunity to compare the different attribution types.
You can also separate click and view attributions into their own columns. You can do this by including the same conversion metric, like purchases, in two columns. In one column, include Purchases with only click-attribution, and in the other column include Purchases again with only view-attribution.
ℹ️ Note: If you mix different attribution types in a report, and at the same time use a platform metric or platform breakdown, Smartly only shows data for flexible attribution. To see data for the unified attribution type for platform metrics, create a view with only unified attribution settings.