How Facebook is Revolutionizing Online Advertising Through News Feed Retargeting

3 July 2013
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FBXThere are 15 million businesses, companies and organizations now on Facebook, according to Dan Levy, Director of Small Business and Advertising of the social behemoth. Every day, organizations are humanizing their business; giving them a social personality to actively engage in 2-way conversations on social platforms. But how can your company be proactive in attracting new customers while engaging with your current fans? Between the multiple types of Facebook Advertising, research has shown that News Feed Retargeting Ads generate up to 49 TIMES more clicks at 54% LESS COST than Right Hand Side (RHS) Facebook Advertising – #OMGOMGOMG WHERE DO I SIGN?! This article will delve deeper into what exactly Facebook Retargeting Ads are and why they are the emerging force in online marketing.

Facebook Ad Exchange – A Cornerstone For The ROI Marketer

With an audience of 1.1 billion users, of whom 665 million are active daily, Mark Zuckerberg and co. have recognized the opportunity to turn his social network into an ultracompetitive marketing tool where the advertiser is given an overwhelming advantage in targeting a relevant and micro niche market. This statement has never been so apparent as retargeting ads were incorporated into its Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX) database. Initially placing these retargeted ads exclusively on the right hand side (RHS), May 2013 saw these ads incorporated into the premium place on the website: The News Feed which has produced staggering results.

What Are Retargeted Ads?

Retargeted ads are re-marketed ads. They are part of an online ad strategy providing specific content to users with which they have previously engaged on an external website. This process is the ultimate form of relevant advertising. FBX is powered by intent data; it doesn’t target its audience with regard to demographics, interests etc., it strictly takes into account the visitor’s interactions outside of Facebook to formulate a precise ad for that user.

In a study conducted by Adroll, 547 advertisers and 1 billion of their ad impressions were examined with regard to the effectiveness of their retargeted RHS ads and compared to their Newsfeed ads – the results were mind-blowing.


 Click Through Rate (CTR)

49 TIMES CTR over RHS ads

21 TIMES CTR over Traditional Web Retargeting


Cost Per Click (CPC)

-54% CPC compared to RHS ads

-79% CPC compared to Standard Web Retargeting


How & Why?

How is this possible and why are news feed ads   more effective than RHS ads? To solve this riddle, we must first answer another vital question that goes amiss amongst a multitude of marketers: Why do we go on Facebook – to be bombarded with ads? Or to interact and engage on our newsfeed with friends and family? Simply put, we join social networks to be social!














The difference between RHS and Newsfeed ads comes in the form of their location, ability to scale and engagement rate – FBX’s latest addition is no longer silod from social engagement – it takes on a protuberant position on the website.

The news feed is where people take notice – it’s where social engagement takes place. Newsfeed ads’ large size and prominent placement allow for more marketing copy which makes them hard to miss. They also include all of Facebook’s regular social elements; they are likeable, shareable and commentable.


“Facebook news feed retargeting drastically outperforms any other retargeting I’ve done both on click-through rate and cost-per-acquisition” 

– Ryan Bruss, Customer Acquisition at Simply Measured

In addition, Facebook sells one ad per user per day programmatically through its Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX).


The Bottom Line

Over the past several years, Facebook has emerged as one of the most powerful vehicles for advertising due to its innovative targeting capabilities. In understanding this, one can realize the potential and mind-blowing aspect of its Facebook Ad Exchange. According to Adroll’s research, as of June 2013, news feed ads make up 0.5% of the total ads served, however clicks from these ad units now account for 15% of all retargeting clicks that occur in Adroll campaigns. This shows to the naked eye that FBX is now an imperative cornerstone for ROI marketers.



About Leon McLean

Leon McLean is a Project Manager and Trainer at SayItSocial, focusing on digital marketing strategy and project development as well as live, virtual and eLearning training initiatives. Please connect with Leon on... Google +

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