Your guide to new Facebook Ads

If you’ve switched over to Timeline for brands, you may have noticed a rather big hole where Facebook ads used to sit. The timeline now takes up this space, allowing you to click through a brand’s history:

Now it’s not like Facebook to give up valuable ad space to brands so what exactly have they got in store for advertising on the site? I’ve summarised their main announcements for ads from their marketing conference yesterday so you can see what the changes mean for you. In short, there is now more emphasis on ads in the newsfeed, with new placement options via mobile and the logout screen.

Ads go mobile

Perhaps one of the most significant changes to ads is that they will now be shown on mobiles. Facebook needed a way to effectively monetise the 425 million mobile users they have, and a simple ad change is how they’re going to do it.

Specifically, Facebook will be adding sponsored stories into the mobile version of the site, which is a way for brands to promote particular posts rather than straightforward ads for a page or website. Through this new format, Facebook claim that brands can increased their reach to fans by 50-75 per cent, which is encouraging given the increased reliance on the newsfeed to see posts from friends and brands.

This represents a huge opportunity for brands as it means you can now create ads that make the most of the fact people will be viewing them on the go. This will work particularly well for deal based ads for example, or even promoting competitions that lend themselves to a mobile experience, such as taking a photo on the go.

Reach Generator

While Facebook ads are currently operating on a CPC or CPM basis, you can now choose a new payment package, where Facebook promises to generate you an additional 75 per cent awareness of posts for your fans. Payment will be on an ongoing basis, where you choose to promote one post per day.

Reach Generator was rolled out on a test phase with Ben and Jerrys, who saw a 98 per cent increase in reach to fans. This compares to the usual rate of 16 per cent of fans being exposed to a Page’s posts. It seems that reach generator is currently only an option for premium advertisers, who manage their campaigns through an account manager in Facebook.

Homepage Newsfeed Ads

We’ve seen ads slowly creeping into the ‘organic’ activity feeds on Facebook, such as sponsored stories appearing in latest activity on app feeds. Now that’s stepped up a level as Facebook will be introducing sponsored stories within the homepage newsfeed:

This is great news for brands, as it means your sponsored posts or ads will have much higher prominence, being integrated right within the organic user experience. Users will only see the ads from pages they’ve already Liked, so it is a case of paying to communicate with your existing fans, but given the huge amount of content now passing through Facebook, it’s something brands will just have to deal with. But as with the old style of Facebook ads, people will also see updates and offers from pages that their friends have interacted with.

Logout Pages

The days of ad-free pages on Facebook are pretty much behind us now, given that Facebook has just decided to sell huge ads on their logout pages. This is available as a premium option for brands, where the ad will take up the top right half of the logout screen:

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