By Rebecca Smith

Until recently advertising on Facebook was only possible directly through Facebook's interface as part of a PPC campaign. This has all changed; since February this year Facebook has granted DBM (DoubleClick Bid Manager) access to its inventory.

This is fantastic news for us as it means that we can easily incorporate Facebook targeting into our existing RTB campaigns.

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It does differ from what is available directly through Facebook's own interface (see Richard's blog here for further details). In our case Facebook is effectively another site for us on the open exchange where we can bid on impressions using RTB (Real Time Bidding). We can use the knowledge of our current RTB display campaign and implement this targeting on the Facebook Ad Exchange. There are some limitations but there is a lot that we CAN do.

What we CAN do:

  • 3rd Party Audience Targeting
  • Remarketing using our first party data
  • Run of Site (I wouldn't advise this as there would be no control as to who is exposed to your ad – which is the beauty of RTB!)

What we CAN'T do:

  • Contextual (Keyword) targeting or Category targeting – we can't bid based on the content of the page the user is viewing
  • Facebook Activity – e.g. status content and page likes
  • Mobile and Tablet targeting – it is possible to run on mobile devices but the user would have to be on the desktop site. As you are directed to the mobile site (or use the app) this is something that is quite tricky to override on mobile which means the volume of inventory is low. The user experience is also poor which is why we wouldn't recommend it.

What we need from set up:

From the Client:

  • Static Image – It is possible to use the same image for the RHS (Right Rail) and News Feed as they both now have an aspect ratio of 1:1.91. The image has to be at least 600 pixels wide and Facebook has recently recommended that the image be 1200x627. The image also has to be under 500KB.
  • Text that you want to use in the creatives – these guidelines vary between the RHS and News Feed (see image below)
  • Link to DBM – you will need to grant DBM permission to access your Facebook page so that we can run News Feed ads.

Our Side:

  • Set up tracking in DCM (DoubleClick Campaign Manager – our ad server)
  • Create the ads in DBM
  • Decide on Audience lists to target (1st party and 3rd party)
  • Set up a Facebook IO (Insertion Order) and line items

(Image Source: DoubleClick Bid Manager)

(Image Source: DoubleClick Bid Manager)

Exciting new features:

Until the beginning of this month the Newsfeed Ads did not have Call to Action buttons, but now we have 5 options to choose from:

  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Download

These will automatically change to the local language of the country that you are targeting.

Why Facebook?

We have found that extending our current RTB campaigns to Facebook has enhanced performance. It is also not just on retail clients, but finance and B2B too. This is because Facebook has '829 million daily active users' (on average - June 2014. Source: The formats have also become more sophisticated. Where there used to be seven RHS ads that went slightly unnoticed there are now two to three. The RHS format can also be used to appear on the photo viewer where there is just one image, making it a lot more prominent to the user.


Messages can be easily altered. This means if you want to try out different messaging and test responses with the same image, this turnaround is quick and easy. We can also be a bit clever with our messaging; we could build out different remarketing lists and tailor our messages based on their position in the conversion funnel. This can extend to Christmas too. Many users will be using Facebook to connect with friends and family and organise events during the festive season so why not tailor your messaging around this? The possibilities are endless.

Give us a call to discuss the options with Facebook display advertising for your business, or leave a comment below.

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