Facebook has over 1.11 billion users. As of this past May, they had a 23 percent growth from a year earlier. With 665 million active users each day on Facebook and 751 million using from a mobile device each year there is, to say the least, millions of eyes possibly looking at your Facebook advertisements. Whether you’re just diving into Facebook’s products or are currently advertising, it’s time to check out the top five advertising products Facebook has to offer today.
1. Sponsored Stories
Sponsored Stories let you highlight organic user actions. Did a customer thank you for your great customer service? This is a great example of content to use for a sponsored story. Highlighting this comment at the top of the newsfeed of your fans and their friends increases your brand awareness and provides trusted influence. Users are more likely to pay attention to the newsfeed so they are more likely to see it and interact, also increasing your EdgeRank. Have you ever seen a friend of yours like a page or check-in to a restaurant, and it just happens to be at the top of your newsfeed? Yup, that’s Sponsored Stories for you. I like to see what companies my friends support and consider these businesses first when making a buying decision. This is called the support of social proof my friends. Very powerful.
2. Sponsored Results
Sponsored Results are located at the top (above organic) in the search results of Facebook’s search element. This option allows you to target users right when they are looking for something in the search bar – getting more brand visibility when users have search intention. Best part? You can target competitors or other entities that would have the same target market, and you would be standing above them all at the very top! I can’t tell you how great it feels to have someone searching for our competitor, only to be distracted by our CTA, visit the tab we’re promoting, and like us. Tip: Remember to embed a pixel code to track where they came from!
3. Page Post Ads
Page Post Ads are an organic post that is converted into an ad such as people liking, commenting or, most impactful, sharing your post. This is great for updating status content like your newest services or engaging users with a poll on their favorite product. Again, this is located in the newsfeed where more attention is drawn to, leveraging the posts on your page. Because non-fans can be targeted too, this can help boost visibility of the brand and augment content marketing. Perfect for engaging new and current fans.
4. Promoted Posts
Promoted posts are normal posts that you pay to be more noticeable to users using the Edgerank Algorithm. It is limited to fans and their friends, but it’s perfect to promote an “Exclusive Special” or introduce a contest to your fans. With Promoted Posts, it will be seen by a lot more people than if you were to just simply post it.
5. Marketplace Ads
Marketplace Ads are similar to traditional AdWords text ads with an image, title, and body. It also lets you add a social component that shows the number of users liking your page and a “Like” icon so they can join the club. It’s exciting that not only can your ad promote apps and events but, unlike Facebook’s other offerings, it allows you to take the user to an external website such as a landing page for a free white paper where you collect the user’s contact information. This truly makes for unlimited possibilities.
Facebook is currently simplifying their Ad buying process by eliminating half of its 27 ad units. Facebook believes every product is good on its own, but tend to accomplish the same goal. Therefore, they are redesigning their ad products - beginning with working from the business goal. What does this mean for you? In the next four months, they will be eliminating redundancies and streamlining the number of ad units, focusing on the business objectives that marketers these days want. So, it’s July, what does it mean today? They are beginning to cut the Questions product for Pages, take out online Offers, and morph together the best of Sponsored Stories in all ads.
Most recently, Facebook has eliminated Sponsored Results. Facebook reasoned that the majority of marketers were buying Sponsored Results to advertise their apps and games - an area that they already provide mobile app install ads and Page post link ads, and therfore redundant. On the other end, SproutLoud mostly used Sponsored Results to capture its competitors’ target market, but Facebook halted the campaigns July 17th.
Imagine: 12.722% Click-Through Rate, $0.15 Cost Per Click, and a total cost of $6.45 resulting in 3 Actions and 2 Page Likes, of potential customers who were searching for your competitor, all in one week. With such high click through rates at such a low cost per click, who would want to nix this?
UPDATE II 7/26/2013:
Within the time we wrote this article, and provided an update, yet another update has come upon us. Just yesterday, July 25th, Facebook introduced the world to the new Facebook for Business - "an updated site that, over the next few months, will grow into the central destination for the news, information and inspiration that marketers can use to drive business results with Facebook." Facebook for Business will provide resources for marketing solutions (advertising options and strategies), real case studies from marketers like you to learn from, and what we've all been waiting for, reliable Facebook news and updates for businesses in the Facebook for Business Blog.