How Retargeting Works on Facebook Exchange

Let’s say you’ve been thinking about doing some gardening. You’ve done a little research, looked up supply prices, and ended up on a couple mulch-minded ecommerce stores. Isn’t it convenient, then, when you log on to Facebook and see an ad for discount fertilizer and garden tools smack-dab in the middle of your newsfeed?

While retargeting is pretty commonplace in other areas, it’s just arrived on Facebook via the new program, Exchange. Now you have access to the billions of page daily page views and can retarget users who are most likely to buy from your site. Here’s how it works:

  1. Someone visits your site and receives your cookies.
  2. Real time bidding platforms examine your cookies and return bids within a fraction of a second.
  3. The ad goes to the highest bidder – similar to Marketplace bidding – and is displayed on Facebook.

On the surface, the ad types seem pretty similar. There are, however, substantial differences between Marketplace and Exchange and what it means for ecommerce companies.

  1. You provide your own data: With Exchange, you no longer have access to the wealth of data Facebook has on its users. You are providing your own data based on the sites the user has visited and his or her online behavior. Info like location, age, and gender do not come standard.
  2. Not for the average user: Unlike Marketplace where anyone can choose a few target characteristics and a maximum bid, Exchange requires you to connect to an approved Demand-Side Provider to purchase and run ads. This is more complex, but gives advertisers more control.
  3. Buying intent vs. social intent: Because you are targeting users who have searched out your site instead of “liking” similar companies on Facebook, you are more likely to convert people who have a strong intent to buy. You have already made an impression on these users – the retargeting is just funneling them to the checkout.

And all of this takes place on Facebook, a site visited by millions of people everyday. Online users also return to Facebook faster than any other property on the web. Now that your ads are displayed right in the middle of the newsfeed, with interactions like commenting, sharing, and liking available, the impression and conversion rate for your customers could skyrocket. Although more complex than Marketplace ads, Exchange could be a golden opportunity for advertisers.

Read more about Facebook Exchange from one Demand-Side Provider, Triggit, here.

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