February 29, 2012 marked an earth shattering change in the marketing world… well in Facebook’s eyes at least. That was the day that Facebook announced big changes to its platform, most notably changes to its Fan pages and its Premium ad offerings. Almost all old ad units are going away, the exception being the standard ads to an external website. New ad placements are also available. Additionally, Facebook lowered the barrier to entry by decreasing the minimum spend from $30k to $25k to get premium ads.
The New Premium Ads Placements
- News Feeds Ads – Appears in user news feed
- Premium Homepage Ads – On Home Page right hand
- Mobile News Feed Ads- In the news feed but on the mobile device
- Log Out Experience Ads- that appear on log out page
- Premium Page Post Ads- appears as a page post
There will be six types of premium ad units: Video, Photo, Event, Question, Status, and Link. They must all come from a page post (posted by yourself or a fan) before being turned into an ad. The changes come from Facebook’s obsession with user experience. They believe it should be less about advertising and more about telling a story that connects your brand with their users.
As mentioned before the standard ad unit is still available is you wish to drive Facebook traffic to an offsite page. Engaging Faceook users offsite is a chore, but there are some tools to help your conversions. If doing lead generation or list building and you are an AWeber customer, try using the AWeber Facebook app to increase optins.
While these ad changes may be great for branding and engagement, the ROI remains to be seen. Coming from a PPC results based focus, I have my doubts in terms of an ecommerce play. Clearly these ads change the game in terms of marketing strategies on Facebook. List builders who use Facebook will likely see value through content based engagement driven ads to build their fans and list.
New Time Line Business Pages
New Branding focused pages versus the fan page are now on Facebook, where the layout feels more like a website rather than a profile. Also, there is no more “Fan Gating” internal Facebook traffic to collect likes. But you can change your external urls, such as the Facebook link from your website, to land on your Fan Gate app url. This feature is a move to further cement Facebook’s shift on the timeline profile style that it has already implemented in profiles.
There are a lot more changes than we can cover in one blog post, but there are several great articles floating around on the web if you need more knowledge. Only time will tell if Facebook’s gamble is right and these ads bring an increase in results and user engagement. Ultimately it’s up to the Facebook users to decide.