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AdRoll-FBX-Retargeting-Ads-in-News-Feed-Jul2013With Facebook’s recent expansion of Facebook Exchange (FBX) to introduce retargeting into the news feed, AdRoll has examined how these ads perform relative to right-hand side (RHS) ads and standard web retargeting. The study [download page], which analyzed more than 1 billion impressions across 547 advertisers running retargeting in each type of inventory, found that click-through rates for news feed ads were an impressive 21 times higher than for standard web retargeting, and 49 times higher than for RHS ads. And those clicks don’t seem to coming at a significant cost.

In fact, the average cost-per-click (CPC) for a news feed ad was 79% lower than for standard web retargeting, and 54% lower than for RHS ads.

While the researchers note that high-volume low-cost traffic often results in poor conversion rates, that doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to retargeted news feed ads. The click-through conversion rate (CTC) for news feed ads was only 9% lower than for standard web retargeting, and 16% lower than for RHS ads.

Given those results, it’s no surprise that the news feed ads enjoy lower average cost-per-action (CPA). Using a click-only (last-touch) attribution model, CPA for the news feed ads was 77% lower than the web, and 45% lower than RHS ads. And using a blended (multi-touch) attribution model, news feed ads’ CPA was 63% lower than for the web, and 6% lower than RHS ads. (The researchers believe news feed ads should be given “more view-through credit than RHS or web” such that “the actual performance difference may be much greater.”

While that data suggests that FBX advertisers should focus on news feed ads at the expense of RHS ads, AdRoll notes that these two types complement each other and combined result in an increase in clicks at a lower CPC. Because news feed doesn’t have the reach of scale of the other retargeting types, it’s best used in conjunction with them.

Other Findings:

  • Examining data from 258 advertisers as they launched retargeting campaigns in the news feed, Ad Roll found that in the first 7 days post-launch, the news feed ads helped boost total clicks from FBX advertising by 62%, while decreasing average CPC by 30%.
  • In the 6 weeks after AdRoll began offering news feed ads to advertisers, the ads now account for 15% of all retargeting clicks in AdRoll campaigns, despite representing just 0.5% of impressions.

About the Data: Advertisers included in the analysis spanned all verticals and budget sizes. Standard web retargeting refers to traditional display inventory from ad exchanges such as Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange, Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange, and AppNexus, among others.

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