By Todd Herrold
Facebook represents around a quarter of internet traffic, so provides a key channel for digital marketers to engage with their audiences and drive conversions. Facebook itself understands this and recently launched Facebook Exchange (FBX), a new way of purchasing Facebook ads through real-time bidding (RTB). Kenshoo Social’s experience since it came out of beta in September shows it is a highly effective channel that drives significant incremental conversions from Facebook users
How does it work? FBX targets ads to Facebook users based on their off-Facebook browsing history. This means that advertisers working through the FBX real-time bidding system can display timely ads to Facebook users, therefore increasing the relevance of their ads and improving the number of clickthroughs and conversions they receive. FBX is only available through the digital marketing software of approved Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) and Ads API partners, including Kenshoo Social.
We’re already seeing more and more advertisers experimenting with FBX as part of their mix. In fact, some have already made it a cornerstone of their media buying. While FBX currently accounts for a small proportion of overall Facebook ad budgets this is starting to change as Facebook opens up more inventory through FBX to meet interest from advertisers.
FBX works well as it enables you to reach customers, wherever they are in the buying journey, essentially expanding upon and augmenting an advertiser’s existing Facebook premium and marketplace ads and sponsored stories activity. This is because FBX campaigns re-market to Facebook users who have already demonstrated intent by visiting the advertiser’s website and product pages. This leads to higher conversion rates and greater return on investment.
Succeeding with FBX is dependent on a number of factors, such as campaign goals and objectives, quality of the ad copy and images, and so forth. So far, the most successful FBX ads tend to be those that are dynamically generated based on the actual products or pages the user has previously viewed. This makes selecting an FBX partner with this capability key for advertisers and agencies.
In our experience, as with everything in social media advertising, complexity is weakness and simplicity is strength. We recommend four steps to succeed on FBX:
1. Choose a Facebook approved FBX provider
2. Set out clear campaign objectives
3. Ensure your ads are eye-catching and relevant to the target audience and use dynamically generated creative whenever you can
4. Have a clear call to action in your ad text to drive customers forward
While it is new, FBX is already delivering real benefits to advertisers. Given the volume of Facebook traffic FBX essentially represents the largest intent-based advertising channel for direct marketers since Google AdWords. This means it provides a tremendous opportunity for digital marketers who dive in early to get a lead on their competition in a young market that will quickly grow. Experiment now to reap the rewards.
About the author
Todd Herrold is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Kenshoo Social.