How FBX is Finding Its Place
Published: October 19, 2012
Author: Caroline Watts
Since the Facebook Exchange‘s exit from beta, stories have poured in around the web hailing its effectiveness. Across industries and from a variety of providers, Facebook Exchange is working.
On the heels of this initial success, FBX access is rapidly expanding to new technology vendors and quickly establishing itself as a smart option for any digital marketer, not just those who may have previously been successful with Facebook marketplace ads. Because of the nature of retargeting, FBX is likely to expand the pool of advertisers for whom Facebook advertising makes sense.
Decoding the Initial Results
Marking FBX’s exit from beta, initial partners including AdRoll, DataXu, Triggit, and others released shockingly impressive performance data, including numbers like a 16x ROI and 400% increase in returns. These results were very early and are not necessarily indicative of what future results will hold. Nonetheless, this initial data is certainly encouraging and should inspire marketers everywhere to get the ball rolling and see what FBX can do for them.
A few months after FBX’s beta launch, Facebook began initial tests of dynamic ad products on the new platform. Dynamic ads are dynamically generated in real time to feature the product or site feature that’s most likely to interest the viewer. For example, if you head to your favorite retailer and put a winter coat in your shopping cart, but leave without checking out, you could wind up seeing ads for that coat all over the web, while another shopper will see ads for the pair of shoes she abandoned.
For retailers in particular, dynamic ads have often proven to be more effective than traditional retargeted ads. Initial dynamic trials on FBX are telling the same story. As this capability is rolled out to more partners, retailers will have a new technique to test.
The Power of Retargeting
Retargeting (a core function of FBX) has become the darling of the digital marketing space, and for good reason. A versatile tactic that can be effective for virtually any industry or niche, retargeting has proven its worth by consistently yielding better performance than most other forms of online advertising.
Unlike traditional Facebook advertising, which relies upon interest and demographic data, retargeting relies on behavioral data. Actions speak louder than words, as they say, and retargeting is based on actions. For marketers using retargeting, FBX opens up a whole new realm of display inventory, offering a very logical and effective supplement to an existing campaign.
So long as the content isn’t brand-unsafe, it doesn’t matter so much where the ads appear, just who they reach. That’s why now, thanks to FBX, Facebook advertising could make sense for virtually anyone.
Unlikely Success Stories
In addition to unexpected success stories, FBX partners have disclosed some very interesting insights around their campaigns.
For clients of DSP Triggit, retargeted ads on the Facebook Exchange consistently results in conversions at all hours of the day. With traditional retargeted ads on display networks, conversions peak during after work hours and are much lower during the middle of the day.
Another unlikely success story is how well FBX can work for B2B. Though retargeting can be incredibly effective for B2B marketers, Facebook advertising has traditionally failed to make its way into the toolkits of B2B marketers. FBX, along with the new Custom Audiences tool, changes the game.
As a B2B marketer who uses retargeting (incidentally, I use it to sell retargeting, which is admittedly meta), I was initially skeptical about FBX and how well it could perform for a service like ours. When we first got access to the exchange, we tested it with our own ads, and like many of the early partners, we were stunned with the results. Almost immediately our FBX campaign began driving leads, and at a much lower CPL than virtually any other demand gen channel we use. I was instantly sold. It turns out Facebook retargeting can work for B2B.
Looking at the early results, marketers should be realistic, but optimistic, about the potential for Facebook retargeting. As Facebook continues opening up its platforms to new vendors, marketers should look to include FBX as a part of a larger retargeting or display strategy.
– Caroline Watts