Facebook Custom Audience CTRs Leave FBX in the Dust - eMarketer

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Facebook Custom Audience CTRs Leave FBX in the Dust

Average CTR for WCA more than 10 times that on FBX

April 17, 2015

There’s been plenty of buzz that Facebook Exchange (FBX) is dying, and recent research by Kinetic Social found that clickthrough rates (CTRs) for Facebook’s Website Custom Audiences (WCA) were dominating those on FBX. In December 2014, the average CTR for US retargeted display ads run on WCA was 1.25%, vs. just 0.12% for FBX.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) for US Retargeted Display Ads Run on Facebook Exchange (FBX) vs. Facebook Website Custom Audiences (WCA), Jan-Dec 2014 (based on impressions served by Kinetic Social)

WCA placements saw average CTR rise nearly 1 percentage point between January and December of last year. In comparison, CTR for FBX increased just 0.09 point.

Kinetic noted that comparing FBX and WCA retargeting display ad CTRs is “apples to oranges” to some degree, as FBX ads are desktop-only, while WCA placements are run on both desktop and mobile. As consumers spend more and more time with the social network via smartphones and tablets—eMarketer expects mobile to account for 61.5% of time spent with Facebook per day by US adults this year, vs. 38.5% for PCs—reaching users on such devices is critical. And the large majority of Facebook ad revenues in the US and worldwide now come from mobile placements. eMarketer estimates that in both the US and globally, paid advertising on mobile will account for more than 70% of Facebook ad revenues in 2015, vs. less than 30% for desktop.

Retargeting on Facebook should only get bigger, based on July 2014 research by Qualtrics for AdRoll. Among US marketers studied, social media ranked as the hottest topic in retargeting, cited by 54%. Mobile and cross-device retargeting followed, at 20%. Similarly, in August 2014 polling by Marin Software, more than two-thirds of US marketers said they expected to increase their social retargeting budget in the next 12 months—the No. 1 response.

Advertisers looking to retarget today’s multidevice consumer via Facebook would be wise to leverage WCA. Otherwise, they miss out on reaching consumers where they spend the most time with the social site.

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