Why FBX Isn't Just Display Advertising Anymore

Once upon a time, many people saw Facebook’s Ad Exchange, FBX, as just another source of display inventory — analogous to the Google ad exchange. But if you're still thinking that way, think again. FBX is becoming so much more.

The big game-changer? The recent integration of Page Post link ads into the News Feed. Still in beta, this exciting new development is allowing marketers to retarget previous site visitors with big and beautiful social ads in a place they’re bound to check early and often: their own News Feeds.

As everyone in social marketing knows, Facebook Sponsored Stories go far beyond display advertising. Users can like, share, and comment on these ads, making them the perfect vehicle for sharing and spreading fantastic and compelling branded content.

The possibilities that this development brings are electrifying. Imagine that you’re an electronics retailer and someone visits your site, puts a $1,000 3DTV into his or her cart, and then leaves the site without buying. Minutes later, you could be showing that customer a Sponsored Story that features a link to a video displaying the awesome power of your 3D TVs. Obviously interested, the potential customer watches the video, and then reads comments from other Facebook users who have been blown away by the 3D TV’s absolute awesomeness. Minutes later, the customer is compelled to return and make the purchase. Never before have marketers been able to deliver the right content to the right people in such a dynamic and social fashion.
And thanks to the power of FBX, this kind of social retargeting isn’t just limited to previous site visitors. Through Search Retargeting on FBX, you can target people who have never visited your site before based on the search terms they've entered into sites like Bing, Yahoo and Google. So, this time, imagine that you’re a company that sells mountain bikes. A user searches for mountain bikes on Google, and then visits Facebook. There, he encounters a sponsored story from your company, featuring a link to a video of riders going on exciting off-road adventures on your bike. He’s compelled. He goes to your site, and he converts. And heck, maybe he even shares the video with his friends, and they decide to join him on his adventure, too.

That’s another beautiful thing about Page Posts through FBX: One impression can yield multiple impressions, first through social shares, and second, on an individual level, since many users check their News Feeds multiple times in short periods of time, encountering the same Sponsored Stories over and over. In addition, these stories can drive "likes" of Facebook fan pages, giving social marketers permission to continue to serve high-value content in a user's news feed — this time, for free.

Of course, they key to doing all o this successfully is having the right data so that you can target these key customers, and, for that, you need the right data partner. Be sure to partner with a company that offers both robust Site and Search Retargeting options; you want as much precision as possible when using such a powerful new marketing tool.

This also requires greater attention to your campaign; ads are no longer static display, but the start of social conversations. So you want to have community managers monitoring your ads and addressing any comments that arise, and data scientists that can take all that new social data (available via API) and break it down. Also note that Facebook retains the ability to change the look and feel of creative. But still, rather than something to fear, this sort of social interaction is a gift marketers can embrace. Get ready to talk to the right people, in the right place, in the right way.



1 comment about "Why FBX Isn't Just Display Advertising Anymore ".
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  1. Prachi Mishra from Triggit, July 15, 2013 at 3:06 p.m.

    Chris, you hit it on the head. News Feed retargeting has changed the game for advertisers on FBX; our clients have been seeing amazing results, like their highest recorded CTRs, 200% more volume, and these ads are 5-10x more cost efficient. You can't beat it the performance of highly-relevant, information-rich ads right in the internet's most popular content stream, especially when any interaction with the ad could potentially be shared across your site visitor's entire social network.

    However, it is important to remember that this type of performance hinges on our clients running dynamic FBX News Feed ads. There are only a handful of PMD-approved FBX partners that have the capabilities to run dynamic FBX retargeted ads on News Feed, so marketers need to make sure they running with the right vendors from Day 1 if they want to stay ahead of the curve!

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