When Facebook introduced its right-hand side banner ads in 2012, internet marketers were thrilled about the opportunity this presented for their social media advertising campaigns. Soon afterwards, there was plenty of lamentation that the banner ads were after all, ineffective in generating the desired conversion points.
A year later, Facebook allowed brands to embed native ads into their customers’ News Feeds without disrupting users’ experience. Native ads “match the visual design of the experience they live within”. Facebook News Feed Ads, also known as Page Post Link ads, were born.
Facebook News Feed Ads enjoy more exposure compared to banner ads because the first place Facebook users go to access social news is the News Feed. Most users also spend most of their time on the front page.
These new native ads also have a remarkable impact on marketing campaign budgets. An Adroll study showed that the Cost Per Click (CPC) for News Feed Ads is 50% lower than right hand side ads on Facebook. News Feed Ads also have a 49% higher click through rate (CTR) compared to banner ads and 21% higher than regular web ads.
Brands are utilizing native advertising to increase engagement and avoid interrupting consumers’ experience. Native ads feel as though they are part of the content. They take a similar feel and colour scheme as the site they are placed in. As a result, users tend to engage more with native ads instead of ignoring them as they do banner and pop ads.
Facebook is leveraging the growing native ad trend by allowing marketers to embed ads within the social news flow that is so popular among Facebook users. News Feed Ads have a strong retargeting component as they allow brands to target their ads to users who have visited their website in the past. So for example, if you visited Zappo’s site three months ago, you may start to see their ads on your News Feed. These ads are much larger and more visual than the standard right hand side ads. Users can comment on, share and like the ads, which does a good job of increasing social signals to your site.
Here are some best practices to get the most out of Facebook News Feed Ads:
A major challenge that online marketers face is how to encourage consumers to engage with, instead of ignore ads and calls to action. When done well, native advertising can help to overcome this challenge.
As you develop your Facebook News Feed Ad content, ensure that the message is created for a very specific and location-appropriate audience. Page Post Link ads allow marketers up to 200 additional characters to describe the ad. Make use of this bonus by developing meaningful messages that convey an unmissable offer. Keep your message simple.
Your native ad should include a succinct call to action link. This is an important facet of your inbound campaign, as this link will lead to a conversion page on your site.
Do not ditch right-hand side banner ads yet. These are still important in increasing the overall click through rates and lowering the cost per click of your social marketing campaign. Data from Marin Software shows that right-hand side ads attract a 23% higher CTR than Facebook News Feed Ads. However, News Feed Ads have a 30% higher CTR than the banner ads.
It is tempting to want to solely focus your inbound campaign on the new, shiny and sexier News Feed Ads. But, these new ad formats don’t have a reach as large as Facebook banner ads and Adwords ads do. Page Post Link Ads and right-hand side ads should be used together to attain your conversion goals.
It is also worth noting that both types of Facebook ads have different uses. Right-hand side ads work great for direct response marketing and are suitable for dynamic remarketing ads. Facebook News Feed Ads are effective in promotions and content marketing campaigns.
More than 70% of Facebook users access the social site through mobile devices. This number continues to grow as smartphone usage increases, globally.
Facebook News Feed Ads viewed from mobile devices have a higher click through rate and a lower cost per click compared to desktop ads. Presently, Page Post Link Ads are the only type of ads on Facebook that appear on mobile devices. To make the most of News Feed Ads, create separate mobile ad and desktop ad campaigns instead of lumping them together.
Facebook News Feed Ads offer a great opportunity for online marketers to take advantage of the benefits of native advertising. If done well, native ads embedded in users’ News Feeds can lead to better conversion rates.
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