Although ad exchanges are not new, FBX (Facebook Exchange) brings a different value to marketers by virtue of its access to personal data of all Facebook users. FBX remains the only social media ad exchange thus far and it shouldn’t take too long before Twitter or Pinterest launches something similar. But do you know how FBX works and what exactly is the unique value to marketers? I’ll illustrate with my experience from a user point of view.
This is an illustration of a typical online customer’s buying journey and how a highly targeted ad can be served and potentially convert a non-customer into a customer. This is not a tutorial teaching you how to set up a retargeted ad on FBX. However, if you’re sold and you want to find out how you can set up such an ad, I recommend that you read this tutorial written by Jon Loomer.
It all started on 23 December when I visited Zalora’s online store to shop for a pair of slip on shoes.
Subsequently, I posted a link of the product page to a Facebook Group to arrange for a group purchase.
On Christmas Eve the next day, the above ad appeared on my news feed. And this is the essence of FBX ad retargeting:
- The ad is shown to me because when I visited Zalora’s online store, a cookie was placed on my browser
- The same product that I viewed but did not proceed to “Add to Cart” or “Checkout” is shown to me, serving as a specific reminder or fuel to reignite my purchase interest
And this is just an example of how an FBX ad on the right column looks like.
FBX ad retargeting has already occurred for a year. While these ads were restricted to desktop news feeds and right columns at first, news from Facebook in October signalled that these ads will soon apply to mobile news feed as well.
While I have used my Facebook mobile app today, I have not yet seen Zalora’s ad. But this could be because either Zalora chose not to include mobile news feed in its FBX ad retargeting owing to reported low conversion rates for mobile e-commerce or it just hasn’t shown yet.
In the event that FBX retargeting on mobile news feed is not yet implemented, this is a good time to jump onto the FBX bandwagon and start experimenting. Given that ad performance on FBX thus far has been largely positive, you can expect lots of tough competition when the update arrives and you will be better positioned to take advantage of it then.
For now, Facebook’s FBX is still unrivalled in its targeting prowess (Google has something similar but its used more in Google Search than on Google+). I urge you to try using the FBX ad targeting tool and monitor your results before deciding whether to drop Facebook as a channel to reach your audience.
As for the furore over Facebook’s recent admission to a decline in organic reach of Facebook Pages and influential Seth Godin’s statement that Facebook is not an ideal direct marketing tool, that’s a discussion for another day.
Questions? Comment below!
Recommended further reading:
- How to create retargeted Facebook ads using PerfectAudience
- How to create retargeted Facebook ads using AdRoll
- FBX uses more than just users’ cookies and its private data