How to deliver successful campaigns via Facebook’s FBX ad exchange

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at f8Facebook recently announced it’s going down the permission marketing route with its soon to launch Ad Preferences tool  – another useful product for Facebook’s one billion plus user base.

Not only does it give them more control over what they receive from advertisers, by being able to update their interests, but also provides marketers with better targeting opportunities across its platform. It’s another tool to help Facebook monetise its huge database, attract advertisers and provide a better experience for its users.

It’s vital marketers embrace these products that deliver better targeting across Facebook. However, one tool we’ve noticed many marketers aren’t using to its full potential is Facebook’s real-time bidding ad exchange (FBX).

Realise the potential

FBX ads should not be confused with the more common Facebook Marketplace ads. These are purchased on a cost per click (CPC) basis and the advertiser decides who to target based on user profile data found natively on Facebook. FBX, on the other hand, requires advertisers to bring their own data to the equation.

However, the data commonly being used is simple first party ‘retargeting’ data, based on previous visits a user made to the site.  While this approach can be effective, there is so much more a marketer can do.

Spot the opportunities

Advanced programmatic advertising technology companies have evolved basic site retargeting into a more precise and data-intensive form, known as programmatic site retargeting (PSR).

PSR is unique in that it makes big data actionable. Whereas site retargeting looks at the pages a user visited, PSR incorporates visitor behaviour from a wide range of sources, including customer profiles, shipping addresses, items in cart, and referral data, among others.

PSR works by assigning a cloud based user profile to each visitor. These profiles allow marketers to gather data on an anonymous user in real time and come up with highly granular segments without frustrating time lags. Using these cloud based profiles, you’re then able to determine how likely a user is to convert.

This approach is perfect for retargeting existing visitors or customers, but what about the large pool of members on Facebook who have never visited your site or purchased your product or service? The trick here lies in search retargeting.

Search and social combined

The real opportunity on FBX is being able to listen to what each individual is actually looking for, and respond accordingly with an ad. This became possible when Facebook partnered with Chango, one of its preferred ad partners, to bring search retargeting to the social media platform for the first time.

Serving ads based on search data has increasingly become commonplace with data-smart marketers over the last two years. The unique combination of FBX and search is fuelling further growth. It’s only by accessing incoming searches from Google, Bing or Yahoo!, and associating each search term with an individual’s anonymous cookie ID that FBX can become a powerful prospecting solution for finding new customers.

So if a user types ‘American holidays’ into a search engine and then visits Facebook, a travel agent can deliver a relevant ad without that user even having visited its website.

A further huge plus of this search retargeting is that you can obtain highly sought-after keywords for a fraction of what they cost on Google, and serve them to the very same users as they make their way to Facebook.  

Next steps

It’s time for marketers to target individuals based on more than just the sites they have previously visited. Today it’s possible to gain insight on consumers from many sources and leverage this data on FBX and other platforms, enabling brands to finally talk to individuals with intent. The tools and technology are available. It’s up to marketers to constantly keep up to speed on the developments that can significantly improve their targeting and maximise their return on investment.

Martyn Bentley is regional vice president, UK, at Chango