Last week’s Facebook Marketing Conference introduced revolutionary changes for business opportunities on the site. The most obvious is the switch to Timeline for business pages, but along with that comes a multitude of new advertising formats.
Since its inception, Facebook’s advertising platform has evolved to allow granular demographic targeting based on audience’s interests. Users reveal their favorite music, foods, department stores, hobbies, and more, and Facebook takes full advantage of this information to allow marketers to segment specific groups to target. New marketing opportunities launching through what Facebook calls premium ads will only serve to increase this reach exponentially.
- Reach Generator guarantees brands that 75% of fans see their content each month.
- Sponsored stories, posts which businesses select to highlight, will now show directly in users’ News Feeds as well as to friends of people who like a page.
- Ads will now display in the mobile version of Facebook, both through the browser and in the app.
- Offers will allow businesses to promote specific coupons for discounts or free items. These will display in the News Feed, and as users claim offers these will be promoted to friends.
- Logout page ads will take up the majority of screen space on the page people see when they log out.
As Facebook moves toward using “sponsored stories” directly in news feeds, the line between a social media content manager and advertising strategist blurs. Each post becomes an opportunity to target a select audience with a marketing message.
Just as Google has shifted to focus on quality content, Facebook is moving toward an ad platform that rewards brands for using well-crafted content that people will read and interact with. News feed ads bring a whole new level of visibility that the sidebar ads did not provide.
As the new premium ads on Facebook are opened up to the masses, time will tell what new ways brands find to increase their reach. But the fact remains that today’s world is constantly using social media. Any modern marketing plan that does not include social media is incomplete, and Facebook’s new advertising options provide the tools to reach a socially engaged audience.