Facebook’s New Mobile Targeting: Initial Results Show Performance Gains

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Facebook’s New Mobile Targeting: Initial Results Show Performance Gains


Posted by Christine Hickey and Justin Sadowski, Performance Innovation

At the beginning of June, Facebook began allowing advertisers to separately purchase News Feed desktop and mobile ads—much like how search engines enable advertisers to separately target desktop and mobile devices.  The functionality is available for advertisers running Sponsored Story and Page Post campaigns; and Performics has been testing the feature for clients.  We’re now creating desktop- and mobile-specific campaigns and ads, as well as reporting separately to foster more targeted Facebook planning.

Initial Results

For one client, we ran separate desktop and mobile Facebook Offers Page Post ads via the News Feed.  The mobile ads clearly outperformed desktop:

  • Engagement:  Users engaged more on their mobile devices than on desktop.  Our News Feed mobile placements had the highest offer claim rate (1.15%) and lowest cost-per-offer ($1.10).  During the same test period, desktop placements had a .21% claim rate and $2.15 cost-per-offer.
  • Click-Through:  News Feed mobile ad click-through rates (CTRs) far surpassed CTRs for News Feed desktop ads (1.77% CTR for mobile vs. .44% for desktop; and .07% for all other ad placements)
  • CPCs: CPCs were low for mobile placements ($0.71 vs. $1.04 for desktop).  Due to the strong performance of mobile ads, we do anticipate that Facebook will  restrict mobile inventory for advertisers to avoid turning off mobile users. Less inventory and increased competition would mean higher CPCs for mobile ad units in the future.

Strategy

Like in paid search, Facebook mobile targeting helps advertisers separately strategize, optimize and report by device.  This is important because desktop and mobile users behave differently.

  • Creative: Customize page posts for desktop vs. mobile
  • Audience Segmentation: Target specific audience segments for desktop vs. mobile campaigns
  • Bid: Discriminate bid strategies for desktop vs. mobile
  • Landing Pages: Create and test device-specific Facebook landing page experiences
  • Reporting: Segment by device

Facebook is rapidly releasing new targeting capabilities that enable advertisers to run more effective ads.  In addition to mobile targeting, Facebook also recently announced the new Facebook Ad Exchange, which allows advertisers to target Facebook users based on their off-Facebook browsing histories (via first- and third-party cookies).  These new capabilities will spur advertisers to invest more direct-response dollars in Facebook, as they’re now better able to correlate Facebook ads to conversions, not just brand lift.

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