Facebook Exchange (FBX) continues to drive strong results for advertisers.  The average cost-per-click (CPC) for advertisers buying FBX ad inventory using Adobe Media Optimizer, our cross-channel ad platform, is up to 40% below the average of all real-time bidded (RTB) ad supply sources supported by Adobe.  One aspect driving the high performance of FBX ads is its low cost in relation to other top supply sources.  Facebook’s massive supply of display ad inventory is available at rates 70% below the average of other supply sources making it cost-efficient in driving performance results for advertisers.

The performance of FBX can rival or even improve upon that of search marketing.  As an example, a current customer doing retargeting on FBX with Adobe Media Optimizer is seeing their FBX ads outperform their search campaigns in driving registrations on their site.  The customer is using Adobe Media Optimizer for both FBX display and search advertising.  Here are the main findings:

  • The average cost per site registration for the customer was approximately 50% lower for registrations driven by the Facebook Exchange ads versus registrations driven by their search campaigns overall.
  • Only the advertiser’s brand terms did not compare favorably for FBX ads.  The cost per registration was over 115% higher on FBX versus their brand search terms.
  • The ad spend and overall volume of conversions for the FBX retargeting campaign was about a tenth of the size of the search campaign for the same time period. Constrained by site activity, FBX retargeting is best used in combination with search and other digital marketing efforts to drive optimal performance results for an advertiser.

We were also interested in seeing whether FBX ads influenced or assisted the customer’s search campaign.  We looked at the last five ad events in the attribution click path leading to a registration for the customer.  For instances where an FBX ad click and search ad click were present in the click path, a FBX ad click was the last event 63% of the time, and a search ad click was the last event 19% of the time (for 18% of the time it was neither, and a different ad type).

Early data indicates that the FBX ads are more likely to be assisted by search ads in driving a conversion than the reverse when both are in the attribution click path.  A user more commonly clicked a search ad and later converted (or registered) after clicking a FBX ad (63% of time) than a user that clicked a FBX ad and later searched and registered (19% of the time).  This data indicates that FBX ads may be an ideal way to drive incremental conversions for search.  In the case of our customer, if a user clicks one of their search ads but does not convert, a FBX ad often triggers a conversion at a later time.  When combined with search advertising, early results indicate that retargeting on FBX is effective at driving incremental conversions and an overall lower cost per conversion.

Adobe Media Optimizer’s attribution reporting capabilities allow an advertiser to understand the impact of each marketing channel (search, display, and social) on driving a conversion, and can optimize online campaigns holistically across channels (bid decisions are made after evaluating all of an advertiser’s online campaigns, versus only optimizing specific channels in isolation).  Online advertising channels continue to converge and the distinctions between online channels will become less clear, further driving the need to take a holistic view on online advertising results.  We have already seen the convergence of search and display advertising in areas like search retargeting, and the blurring of the line between social and display advertising with display ads on Facebook.  Expect this convergence of channels to continue.

Adobe is in a unique position to innovate on cross-channel ad products due to its access to customers that are advertising across channels with Media Optimizer.  Cross-channel initiatives that are being tested and evaluated for optimization in Adobe’s ad platform include search retargeting and dynamic creative display ads leveraging search Product Listing Ads (PLA) data feeds.


About Adobe Media Optimizer

Adobe Media Optimizer is the industry’s first fully integrated digital advertising platform that delivers cross-channel ad management and optimization across search, display and social media campaigns for peak return on investment. The solution delivers more than 300 million monthly prospects and customers and is used by more than 400 global customers across industries. Media Optimizer manages more than $2 billion in annualized ad spend.