Facebook News Feed Retargeting: A Game Changer

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Facebook marketing has been a somewhat controversial aspect for marketers. Last year, AdAge reported that blank ads get a higher CTR than actual ads, leading many advertisers to believe that Facebook is an ineffective spend of their budget. To combat this sentiment, Facebook introduced promoted posts, launched timelines for brands, and adjusted the layout of their ads to increase user interaction… Still, only 37% of marketers felt that their Facebook marketing efforts were effective.

Unprecedentedly low click through rates and low ROI’s are common complaints from Facebook advertisers. Many speculate that the cause of these low metrics is not due to an ineffective platform, but due to ineffective targeting. AdRoll combined their Facebook Exchange partnership with their retargeting platform to help offset this targeting issue, allowing advertisers to target users that previously visited their site. While this sharply improved results, these retargeted ads are still located in the sidebar, surrounded by half a dozen non-relevant ads.

But the game is changing.

Aside from the occasional promoted post, users do not expect to see ads in their Facebook news feed. When ads do appear, they pay attention. Previously, you could only advertise promoted posts to people that like your page and their friends. But since many of these users already like your page, paying Facebook to “promote” your post is almost like giving Facebook your money for free. In May 2013, AdRoll launched a DIY platform that allows you to retarget your visitors through the Facebook news feed, even if those users are not following your company on Facebook.

Facebook Retargeting

News Feed Ad vs Standard Sidebar Ad (Courtesy of Adroll.com)

Five Game-Changing Uses for Internet Marketers:

Results Based SEOPromote Facebook only discounts. It’s no secret that Facebook promotions perform exceptionally well for brands that already have a large following on Facebook. However, if you don’t have any fans following your page, it can be very difficult to launch a Facebook campaign. News feed retargeting changes this.

Split Testing

Split test promotions before launching them on your brand page.  Detailed analytics allow you to get explicit analytical data on click through rate, share rate, and conversion rate. Try out multiple images, different text options, and promotion variations to see which combination performs best. Then, use this framework for future promotions.

2_SMMSeed your viral content (infographics, videos, case studies, etc). Viral content is a great way to boost your social presence, but you need a starting set of people. People need to see your content before they can spread it. News feed retargeting is a great way to do this. People seeing your content are familiar with your brand and more likely to share it. Once it’s shared, those clicks are free.

facebook-retargetIncrease your social branding. A user landed on your page once, imagine what they will think if they continue to see your ads throughout Facebook. Your brand presence will skyrocket, thereby increasing the likelihood that they share your content on the social-sphere.

21_SEO_ConsultingInteract with clients to gain feedback and perform market research. The opinion of your potential customers matters. Ask a question, find out what your users want. If you are launching a new product, ask your Facebook audience what product they would like to see. News feed retargeting makes market research incredibly affordable and rapid.

Integrating Retargeting with Your Current Marketing Efforts

News feed retargeting is powerful, but it is only truly effective if your website already has a pool of visitors to retarget. This is where traditional online marketing comes in. It is important that you target qualified visitors. Buying 1000 visitors from a low cost traffic source is not ideal for retargeting, since these users had no reason to see your site in the first place.

Driving TrafficStep 1: Driving initial set of traffic.

Pay Per Click – Depending on your niche, this is the quickest way to drive traffic to your site. It is costly, however, and not typically regarded as a long term solution. The visitors you buy from PPC tend to be fairly qualified and work well for retargeting.

Search Engine Optimization – If your site ranks well, you can see a huge supply of targeted traffic through SEO. This is the ideal source of traffic for retargeting. That being said, it is a significant time investment and involves quite a bit of effort to produce content and build links.

Facebook Ads – Buying traffic from Facebook Ad’s isn’t a bad strategy since these visitors actively use Facebook. Even so, traditional sidebar Facebook ads are not generally regarded as a great traffic source.

Press Releases – For a relatively low up-front cost, you can get a fairly large amount of visitors to your site. Keep in mind that visitors reading your press release may not necessarily be as targeted as users that found you on the search engines.

Display Advertisements – These involve negotiating banner ads on other websites. If your niche is large enough, we suggest messaging bloggers or webmasters in extremely similar audience’s. This way, you know that your traffic source is targeted.

Increase BrandingStep 2: Increase Your Branding (This is where retargeting helps)

Social Media Marketing – It is crucial that you grow your social media presence. Facebook retargeting is excellent for doing so. You can convert your current visitors into followers on Facebook, allowing you to directly market new products and services to them without having to pay for new visitors.

Standard Retargeting – “I see your ads EVERYWHERE” is quite common to hear if you use retargeting. Integrating FBX News Feed retargeting with your existing AdRoll ad’s creates an unprecedented level of branding.

Create Viral Content – Infographics, viral blog posts, videos, and giveaways are a great way to improve branding. While you can seed these in any way you are able to, it makes sense to promote them on Facebook. If your budget allows, news feed retargeting can help boost the presence of your viral content.

Build An E-mail List – Most companies understand the value of having an opt-in E-mail list. If you’re not already pushing users to join your E-mail newsletter… now is a good time to start. More often than not, users do not sign up for newsletters on their first visit, which is why retargeting visitors helps.

Increase BrandingStep 3: Conversion Rate Optimization & Market Research (Retargeting also helps here)

Split Testing Ads – High click through rates and an optimized advertisement can work wonders for your brand. Since AdRoll’s platform provides detailed analytics, you can split test advertisements. If you find one that works, you can extend the ad to other platforms.

Determining New Products – Interact with your followers, ask them questions. People are responsive to news feed posts. Ask your visitors what they want, offer a chance to win a prize for responding. You will be surprised at the response rate.

Improving your Brand – Boosting social media followers, increasing the visibility of your logo, interacting with your brand. Retargeting is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it can definitely help get you closer to becoming a fully branded company.

Implement your Findings on Social Media – When you figure out exactly what slogans and promotions increase click through rate, and you’ve figured out the next product or service that you are going to offer, you should implement your findings on social media. That is, post on your Facebook and Twitter accounts in a much more optimized manner.


Final Thoughts.

Retargeting is powerful and changing the game. In my opinion, it is just as important as social media marketing or search engine optimization. AdRoll’s news feed retargeting is adding an additional dynamic to Internet marketing, and perhaps saving Facebook from becoming an advertising black hole. Since you are reading this article and on our website, you will likely be seeing our ads in your news feed, we are firm believers.