Do Premium Ads Equal Premium Performance?
Published: February 6, 2013
Author: Molly Shotwell
Today’s post is by Mark Luskus, media analyst at Ampush.
Not all ad space is created equal, especially on Facebook. Ad performance varies based on the time of day an ad is shown, its placement on the site, and which users it is being showed to. To allow brands to effectively target users that are likely to engage with their ads, Facebook introduced Premium Ads in 2012.
Premium Ads are page posts and sponsored story page posts that are displayed in desktop and mobile newsfeeds, as well as on the right-hand side of the homepage. There is also an optional log-out screen placement.
According to Facebook, Premium Ads are shown to the right people, at the right time, in the most impactful places. Internal Facebook studies have shown that Premium Ads drive 40% higher engagement, are 80% more likely to be remembered than all previous offerings, and can drive ROIs of 3x or greater. Premium Ads are CPM-priced and are currently only available to brands that work directly with Facebook or API advertisers.
Why should brands care?
As with any advertising medium, there is limited ad space on Facebook. Currently, advertisers are directing greater portions of their budgets to Facebook, and the rate of acquisition of new Facebook users is beginning to slow. Consequently, competition for ad space is increasing. Premium Ads are an assurance to brands that even in this competitive and complex marketplace, you can effectively target your fan base and ensure that they see your ads.
How do premium ads perform?
Premium Ads drive high levels of engagement at a reasonable cost and can deliver a large number of impressions in a small period of time. Our in-house tests generated the following results.
– Premium Ads have 5-10x higher CTRs than page post ads.
– CPCs can be up to 50% lower for Premium Ads in comparison to page post ads
– On average, a single Premium Ad can deliver up to 15,000 impressions in one hour in the United States.
When shouldn’t you use them?
Although a strong tool for engagement, Premium Ads should not be used to generate a fan base or for advertisers who would like to know how their budget is allocated across placements.
– Premium Ads generate a wide range of CPLs, anywhere from 19% lower to 200% higher than page post ads. This suggests that Facebook places Premium Ads in front of users with a high propensity to click ads, rather than users who will engage with that brand in a meaningful way.
– Facebook does not provide information to differentiate performance by placement.
Best use cases
Premium Ads are extremely effective at driving engagement. Consequently, Premium Ads should be considered by any brand that wants to engage users through posts on their Facebook page.
The high volume of impressions that Premium Ads deliver should be a very appealing attribute to brands and could be applied in a number of ways, for example:
– Create a media blitz surrounding any large event.
– Generate awareness for a movie in the week leading up to a premiere.
– Cultivate excitement for an imminent product release and heavy shopping days.
Premium Ads allow brands to dominate Facebook ad space in a powerful and engaging way. If you’re yet to be swayed by the reach and effectiveness of Facebook as a platform and you haven’t tried Premium Ads, you’re not seeing the whole picture.
– Mark Luskus is a media analyst at Ampush, a social technology company in San Francisco. Prior to joining Ampush, he earned his masters in Molecular & Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. Follow Mark and his colleagues on the Ampush blog.