AdRoll report of FBX News Feed ads: 49x greater CTR, 54 percent lower CPC than sidebar retargeting

Facebook has recently started to expand Facebook Exchange (FBX) — its popular retargeting ad platform — from the sidebar into the desktop News Feed, where most of the time is spent on the site.

AdRoll has found these kinds of retargeted ads (where a user visits a website, doesn’t make a conversion, then sees a News Feed ad from that company) are pretty successful in comparison to the FBX sidebar ads. Among 547 advertisers and more than a billion impressions, AdRoll found that FBX ads in the News Feed led to 49 times greater clickthrough rate (CTR) and a 54 percent lower cost per click (CPC) than FBX ads in the lower-profile sidebar.

FBX was originally available for sidebar ads, but in March, Facebook started testing retargeting capabilities in the News Feed, where most people spend their time while browsing the site. Facebook opened FBX News Feed ads more widely in May. Nanigans, one of the early testers, found that retargeted News Feed ads led to a 197 percent increase in return on investment in comparison with the sidebar.

A new report by AdRoll shows just how powerful FBX News Feed ads are. AdRoll tested retargeting in the Facebook News Feed, the sidebar, and elsewhere on the web (such as Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange and Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange). The results showed that News Feed is easily the most efficient retargeting platform.

The 547 advertisers spanned several verticals. Some have a Facebook ad budget of $200, while some spend $20,000 per month on the social network.

AdRoll found that FBX News Feed ads:

  • had a 21 times higher CTR over web retargeting
  • had a 49 times greater CTR over the Facebook sidebar FBX ads
  • had a 79 percent lower CPC than web retargeting
  • had a 54 percent lower CPC than the sidebar
  • had a 77 percent lower cost-per-action than web retargeted ads
  • had a 45 percent lower cost-per-action than Facebook’s sidebar
  • raised total clicks from FBX advertising by 62 percent

Additionally, News Feed grew from 0 percent of overall clicks to 15 percent in one month. AdRoll recommended combining the two in a Facebook marketing campaign, which led to an overall increase in clicks at a combined lower CPC.


AdRoll President Adam Berke discussed the findings in a blog post:

In addition to the News Feed’s prominent placement, social elements (like, comment, and share) make it even more ideal for direct response marketing, providing even greater potential for viral distribution. In essence, retargeting in the News Feed combines four important campaign success metrics; prominence (News Feed), precision (retargeting), direct response (via links), and impactful engagement (social). A killer combo.

Given the opportunity retargeting in the News Feed presents, we wanted to share the early results so marketers can get a better idea for how to leverage this powerful channel, and what to expect. In particular, we were interested to see exactly how FBX News Feed, FBX right-hand side, and standard web retargeting campaigns worked together.

Readers: Have you tried utilizing FBX News Feed ads?

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.