FBX: How to Create Retargeted Facebook Ads with PerfectAudience

FBX Facebook Exchange [This is the first of a series that will cover FBX, Facebook’s ad retargeting product. Also read about how you can get started with a free trial to AdRoll.]

What comes to mind when someone mentions the phrase “Facebook Ads”? If you only think of increasing Likes, running Sponsored Stories or wasting money on the sidebar, you are way, way behind.

You should know about Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Partner Categories, Domain Sponsored Stories and Conversion Tracking by now. And you should be using Power Editor to get it all done.

But you’re probably not using the most powerful tool of them all: FBX, Facebook’s ad retargeting product.

What is FBX?

FBX is Facebook’s version of ad retargeting. You may have already noticed more relevant ads as you surf the Internet. Ad retargeting isn’t new. But Facebook ad retargeting is becoming increasingly common.

The process of retargeting can be summed up like this:

  1. You visit a website or specific page of that website;
  2. That brand can then serve ads to you related to that visit when you are elsewhere.

In the case of Facebook, this means that Facebook can serve you ads relevant to your web surfing behavior.

Here’s an example…

  1. You visit the landing page for my One-on-One services;
  2. That page has a cookie on it, alerting Facebook that you were there;
  3. I can then have Facebook serve you an ad reminding you of that service when you visit Facebook.

How is FBX Accessed?

Unlike the tools mentioned at the top of this post, you can’t access FBX through the self-serve ad tool or even Power Editor. You must use a third party tool approved by Facebook.

There aren’t many of them. And the vast majority are enterprise solutions that require a significant monthly budget.

But there actually are solutions out there for small and medium-sized businesses as well. I am going to cover a couple and my experiences with them in the coming days (here’s how you can get started with a free trial for AdRoll). I am currently experimenting with PerfectAudience, and they offer a $60 free trial (which covers the service and cost of ads) to get started.

Getting Started with PerfectAudience

First, go here to get started with PerfectAudience.

1. Install the PerfectAudience tag.

Perfect Audience Site Tag

This is the cookie that you place between the HEAD tags of your website. You can do this manually or with a WordPress or Joomla plugin.

2. Create a retargeting list.

Perfect Audience Retargeting List

This is how you segment who sees your ad on Facebook. You could target all visitors to your website. Or you could target users who visited specific pages of your website for a more relevant ad experience.

3. Build campaigns.

Perfect Audience Build Campaigns

Select your ads, your segmented audience, budget and CPM bid.

4. Monitor results.

Perfect Audience Monitor Results

I’ve just gotten started with my campaign, but above is an example of what the dashboard looks like to help monitor your results.

FBX: More to Come

As I mentioned above, I’ve started testing out FBX. In the coming days I’ll be providing more details on yet another service (AdRoll) I am trying. Soon after, I’ll begin sharing my results.

Stay tuned!

  • gnir

    I thought there was just a preferred group of businesses who could do FBX. I asked our FB rep about Perfect Audience after reading about them here and they had never heard of them. The “preferred list” of companies went through Beta testing and have the “blessing” of FB and they are guaranteed to know what they are doing. Do you think it is safe to use a company that is not on FB’s vendor list?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      PerfectAudience partners with AppNexus, a white label ad buying platform for ad networks that is on the FBX list. They provide backend support for companies like PerfectAudience.

      • Chris Zaharias

        Which means you have to pay not one, but two middlemen, on top of which P.A. users will share w/other AppNexus users the inability to run fully dynamic ads in FBX and in the FB News Feed. As the FBX partner helping more large multi-product etailers and travel sites than anyone in the world, Triggit can say with 100% certainty that having dynamic ads increases efficiency and scale of Facebook retargeting 8-10X. Data proving this critical point: http://bit.ly/17XBXnV

    • http://twitter.com/bradflora Brad Flora

      Hi, there gnir!

      This is Brad from Perfect Audience. We’re currently working with 3000+ advertisers including some of Facebook’s biggest spenders. Advertisers love us because our tools work, aren’t confusing, and we spend our time on analytics, data management, and offering the best targeting out there. We also have a free trial so there’s no risk to anyone to test us out.

      Let me know if you’d like us to set up a demo. You an reach us at [email protected].

      • Chris Zaharias

        I do *absolutely* think self-service solutions like Perfect Audience fill a needed void so that 1000’s of small to midsize advertisers can participate that firms like mine (Triggit) choose not to work with. That said, as someone who’s spent the entirety of the past 18 months evangelizing retargeting on Facebook to thousands of the Google’s top 5000 AdWords advertisers around the world, I have yet to see the following even once:

        1. Anyone with over 1 million monthly unique visitors (1M UV/mo) and who is a transactional, direct response advertiser (DR) in retail or travel, using Perfect Audience;
        2. A 1M UV/mo multi-product DR advertiser who’s able to meet his/her ROI goals/constraints able to do so without a fully-automated means to have >75% of their FBX ads by dynamic = different for each user, based on available site intent data;
        3. A 1M UV/mo multi-product DR advertiser who, using a *self-service FBX platform* is able to achieve the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per day FBX spend that others do who employ a tech and services approach. In the early days of SEM there were similarly wide-spread and misguided views that advertisers were capable of implementing, scaling and optimizing paid search campaigns in such a way as to be able to compete with the eBays, Edmunds, Expedias and LendingTrees of the world, and it wasn’t until those big fish had destroyed Mom & Pop that the SMB community started hiring agencies w/technology to do it right. Same thing will happen here with retargeting on FB’s 25% of the internet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jensmithsocial Jen Smith

      I also chatted with a friend that works at FB about Perfect Audience and while they hadn’t heard of them they also said that they can’t keep up with all of the FB vendors and that it sounds great so try it out! Will be keeping up with you Jon as you document your experience with Perfect Audience!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/stefano.calderano Stefano Calderano

    We just set up our account with Perfect Audience and we’ll experiment soon and keep you posted on the results

    • http://twitter.com/bradflora Brad Flora

      Welcome aboard!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.wilson.902 Brenda Wilson

    Love it Jon! Just got done reading your article, went to Facebook and *poof* there was your face :) Thanks for all the insights your give with Facebook!

  • webnavgal

    Hey Jon (and hey Brad from Perfect Audience), just starting to test Perfect Audience out. Finally, ad retargeting for the masses and more specifically small businesses! Looking forward to following your journey, too!

    • http://twitter.com/bradflora Brad Flora


  • Kenneth

    Very interested to hear about your results in the coming weeks! This looks great, just signed up for their trial.

    • http://twitter.com/bradflora Brad Flora

      Welcome aboard. We look forward to your feedback.

  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Looks quite interesting, although pricing may be an issue for many. However will keep an eye on this series and future updates about this feature.

    Thank you for your post.

    • http://twitter.com/vpsnet VPS.NET

      The Facebook exchange is actually pretty affordable, charging CPM, with no minimum spend. It’s proven to work extremely well for us, with a lower COA than standard retargeting. The downside is that there is no way to prevent your ad from showing up on a malicious page

      • Chris Zaharias

        Because FB is one publisher, there are inherently no malicious pages, and >98% of FBX traffic is in users’ news feeds (either in the News Feed iteself or on the right hand side (RHS).

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexey.kamenschikov Alexey Kamenschikov

    Hi All!It`s working only cpm model?we are interesting cpc and cpa.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alexey.kamenschikov Alexey Kamenschikov

      also for retargeting, we use option ” only people connected to “our app” “.it’s helping too!

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  • Grant Perry

    I’ve had a couple of attempts with AdRoll – both with FBX and general web remarketing. The second time around they had an improved self serve interface but I still didn’t get a great conversion rate or number of conversions. And I’m not a fan of CPM bidding, I’d prefer CPC or CPA.

    To be fair to them they were very helpful and deveoped some alternative creative free of charge to try to help. And I wasn’t prepared at the time to give them access to my FB page to run promoted posts. If I give them another shot I’d try the promoted posts which are working great in general. And I’d probably try remarketing to visitors to our promotional web pages, not just our general website.

    But, I’m really hanging out for Facebook just to allow this remarketing directly via their platform adn cut out the middle man. The FB platform is far superior and I’d rather not have another account to manage.

  • http://about.me/azizul.yusof Azizul Yusof

    Thanks Jon.

    I am testing out both Perfect Audience and AdRoll to see which fits my needs. Still building the Retargeting List, could take a while :)

    Anyway, for anyone whom plan to run your own Retargeting Campaign, AdRoll currently offers $120 Credit. I got mine here > http://bit.ly/adroll-holiday2013 (I think it is time limited offer so you need to hurry up)

  • Kalinda

    Do you know FB has the new feature? In power editor, you can create website custom audience. You need get the code and paste it to your website page, and then FB can collect the statistics of the visitors. I think FB is trying to do the FBX on their own instead of the third-party platform as Adroll.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Yep. Slow rollout in custom audiences. I don’t have it yet.

  • http://www.seowebjunction.com Jun Baranggan

    Hey Jon,

    In you opinion, who has better targeting options? Adroll or PerfectAudience?

  • hamza

    i have my website visit from facebook , i want to only re-target the customers that went to a product page and exclude people who exited my website on the first page they visited

  • MikeMeisner

    Hi Jon – quick question about FB retargeting. If I have multiple websites that I want to set up for retargeting, do I install the same FB tracking pixel on all of them and then create unique audience segments based on the URL rules? It seems like I can only generate one retargeting pixel within FB…a sort of “catch-all”

  • Parul Sethi

    Hi Jon,

    I am new to Retargeting to FB. Could you please guide me a bit. I have to start it for our company. How should we proceed. Can we do thqat from our end or we have to buy some tool for this purpose.