It remains to be seen how users will react to all this additional marketing
Facebook’s announcement on February 29, 2012 that it would allow brand pages to use the timeline format overshadowed the debut of their new ad formats. For large advertisers Facebook “premium offers” now allow ads to be posted to newsfeeds and timelines. This front and center placement of advertisements shows that Facebook is serious about selling ad space. Facebook’s logout page will also now feature ads. In addition, news feed ads will start being seen on mobile devices.
Page owners can take wall posts, including polls or videos, and easily convert them into ads. The idea is that these ads will become less like advertising and more like storytelling. As Facebook’s customer marketing director, Mike Hoefflinger, said at the launch, “We are evolving from advertising to stories. Ads are good, but stories are better.”
These ads also try to add in a social element. If you view a premium ad, Facebook will expand the ad to include a line that shows which of your friends “like(s)” the page.
According to Facebook, premium ads:
• Are 80% more likely to be remembered
• Drive 40% higher engagement
• Significantly increase purchase intent
Show Facebook the money
Facebook requires a minimum spend of $25,000 per month for premium ads, which prices out niche brands and nonprofits. For clients with smaller budgets, the existing “marketplace” ads will continue to be seen on the right-hand column.
Some analysts predict that these new ad units will clutter Facebook. It remains to be seen how users will react to all this additional marketing coming their way.
The good news is that the ability to create an ad out of a wall post is extended to the traditional marketplace pay-per-click ads. “These posts-as-ads are really better ads because they are more timely, more relevant and provide engagement for your existing base of fans,” says Cherie Yates, Siren’s manager of search and analytics. “Assuming that your wall posts provide valuable content, ask questions and encourage conversation, these could be effective—no matter what your budget.” It all comes down to interesting content, so having skilled writers to develop purposeful material is more important than ever.
What do you think?
(Image courtesy of Karen Simpson on Flickr.)