Study: FBX ads in News Feed have nearly 200% better ROI than in sidebar

Facebook Exchange retargeting ads that appear within News Feed deliver an average increase in ROI of 197 percent compared to FBX ads on the right hand side of, according to an early study by Nanigans.

Nanigans was among three “Qualified DSPs” with alpha access to Facebook’s first tests of putting FBX ads — targeted by web browsing cookies rather than Facebook data — into the desktop News Feed. Earlier this week, the social network gave beta access to several more DSPs.

Previously, FBX ads were only delivered in the sidebar. Many advertisers were already pleased with the performance of these ads compared to performance on other exchanges, but News Feed inventory could really give Facebook the edge. Sponsored Stories and Page Post Ads in the feed can have 10 to 20 times higher clickthrough rates than sidebar ads.

Now Nanigans has shared data from its recent alpha tests: an average 17.1 times higher CTRs and 51 percent lower CPCs for FBX in News Feed versus in sidebar. As mentioned, ROI was 197 percent higher as a result. These numbers come from more than 10 million ad impressions between April 18 and May 6 from retailers selling a variety of products, Nanigans says.

Among the benefits of FBX over other exchanges were lower costs per acquisition and ads that appear above the fold and on brand-safe pages. With News Feed inventory, FBX ads are in Page Post Link format, meaning they’re much bigger than before, and they get prime real estate among posts from users’ friends and pages. Additionally, News Feed-based FBX ads include options for Likes, comments and shares, which could lead to other types of engagement or even virality.