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Tackling FBX Truth and Myth, Part II – Optimizing

Published: April 25, 2013

Author: Marc Poirier

fbx mythsIn my last post, I discussed some of the truths and myths surrounding FBX. While many have been making some fairly lofty claims about using FBX and the success rates surrounding Facebook retargeting campaigns, our data shows that there are aspects of it that work wonderfully, while others leave a little to be desired.

That is not to say that one should not look at FBX as a viable retargeting option. In fact, quite the opposite. However, to do so, one must approach it with the same due diligence and readiness to optimize based on results that one would with any other online marketing channel. Here’s what we got out of the data in our last article.

The Findings

When examining the data, we can make the following statements about the claims we addressed in the beginning:

FBX has the cheapest CPMs ever seen: TRUE.

The low CPM was largely responsible for bringing down the CPA/CPO of the campaigns. With a higher CPM, the CPA results would have been much different, and it was certainly cheaper than what we generally see on RTB display.

FBX has high CTRs: MYTH.

Results were the same as most Facebook campaigns and lower than on most display exchanges. Very low CTR.

FBX has high conversion rates: MYTH.

The last case notwithstanding, conversion rates were quite low in comparison to conversion rates that we generally receive from display exchange retargeting campaigns.

FBX generates lower CPAs: SAME.

The CPAs we have experienced  thus far, on these and other campaigns are essentially the same as via any other exchange. The low CTR and conversion rates are somewhat compensated by lower CPMs, which in some cases means there is a real opportunity for direct response marketers to generate additional conversions

Conclusions – and Where We Go From Here

CPMs Rule – For Now

The CPMs on this channel are quite low and do have a win rate that is frequently higher than other channels. However, what we’re not clear on at this point is whether or not this may just be attributed to less competition on FBX. All of us will be able to make more informed statements about this within a year or so, one would think.

It’s Not a Magic Bullet

FBX is simply not the ‘magic bullet’ that many are claiming it is to get high conversions at low CPA. The CPAs we found are similar to what we see with display, given correct optimization, as the lower CPMs are compensated by lower CTR and somewhat lower conversion rates.

Optimization Still Counts

Like any other Facebook advertising campaign, segmentation and creative optimization will be key to a successful campaign. Focus on your best audiences and regularly refresh creative in order to avoid ad fatigue and to exercise a greater amount of control over your CTR.

Get More Relevant With Dynamic Creative Optimization

Consider deploying a DCO strategy in order to deliver more relevant ads to your customers, maximizing CTR. This will be especially true when optimizing within verticals such as retail or travel.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Ensure that you’re segmenting your audiences based on the purchase funnel or the product category. Use these to align your creative strategy and then optimize accordingly.

None of this is to say that FBX cannot be a successful marketing channel when campaigns are conducted properly. However, given some of the claims that have been made about the possibility for success, it would be advisable to ensure that one treats this marketing channel as any other, and ensure that optimization, analysis, and constant monitoring are an integral aspect of advertising efforts through FBX.

– Marc Poirier

1 S Wacker Drive
Suite 2250

Chicago, IL 60606(650) 539-4124


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