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What Changed in Facebook Advertising?

I had the pleasure of watching, tracking, and reading about the first ever Facebook Marketing Conference held on Wednesday the 29th.

Facebook focused the announcements on three core changes:

  1. Timeline for Brand Pages
  2. Revamped Advertising Structure
  3. Direct Messaging and Upgraded Admin Capabilities

At ExactTarget, we understand that the changes in the ever-evolving world of social media can be a little overwhelming. To relieve the pressure, we have put together some crash course blog posts (including this one) on the upcoming changes to the platform.

Let’s get to the changes in the ad platform. Read ‘em and weep… or rejoice. It is completely up to you (we prefer rejoicing).

Sponsored Stories and premium ads will begin to appear in places other than just the desktop News Feed and the Sidebar. There were five changes associated with the displaying and creation of ads.

  1. Page Post
  2. News Feed
  3. Right-Side Ad
  4. Log-Out Page
  5. Mobile News Feed

If you are a Facebook pro you will realize that only a few changes are actually “new.” As Todd Wasserman from Mashable clearly stated, “Unofficially, only the log-out ads and Offers are really new. The web News Feed ads had been around since early January and the right-hand page ads have run since last year.”

The changes to the ad platform (which take place on March 30th) allows premium advertisers to reach fans connected to their page through the News Feed without the fan's friend generating a sponsored story.

The Reach Generator

Reach Generator is available through Facebook’s premium managed accounts, and its uses a fixed fee price structure based on the number of fans a Page has (Techcrunch).

The Reach Generator allows a brand to turn any post into a premium ad. Think of it as adrenaline pumping, premium storytelling.  Remember, any post on your Facebook page is only reaching around 16% of your overall fans. The Reach Generator allows you to reach your fans the other 84% of the time.

Facebook’s Mike Hoefflinger: “The Facebook Reach Generator system let Ben & Jerry’s reach 98% of their fans with a post and get a 3:1 ROI, and other Pages have reached 75% of their fans.”

Once the post has been submitted to the Reach Generator it has the potential to appear in four different places – right-sidebar, mobile / web news feeds, and the log-out page.

Speaking of the log-out page.

The Logout Experience

At this time, when you sign-out of Facebook a generic login page is displayed with information on joining Facebook. Pretty lame. Instead, Facebook has announced it will start displaying premium ad spanning the page (much like the new Timeline).

Why is the log-out experiences so important to Facebook and brands? According to TechCrunch, 37 million people logout of Facebook each day! That is 105 million people per month! It helps reach those people! According to Inside Facebook:

The addition of premium ads to the logout page will help Facebook generate enough impressions to reach the 75 percent of fans that it guarantees through its Reach Generator.

Any premium page post ad is eligible to be shown on the logout screen. This includes videos, photos, offers, events, and questions. A user does not have to be connected to a page in order to see this type of ad.

Mobile News-Feed

In my opinion this is by far the most powerful change from an advertising point of view. Facebook boasts over 425 million mobile users through the mobile applications and m.facebook.com. Let’s think about that for two seconds… 425 million people use Facebook through their mobile phones.

Why Does it Matter?

It all comes back to the importance of creating quality content – storytelling.  The content you create on Facebook is going to be even more important than ever because people will have the ability to interact.  We are talking about truly interacting with your brand in real-time.

We were already seeing an increase in the amount of engagement taking place with marketplace ads and sponsored stories. The introduction to interactive premium ads will only push the consumer to interact more with you, the brand.

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