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Get up to speed on Facebook's new ad types

Published: May 17, 2013

Author: Andrew Foxwell


These days, if you take a long weekend, you’ve probably missed a Facebook release by the time you get back to your desk.
Facebook’s been releasing or repositioning ad types pretty constantly over the last few months; they are also updating the look and feel of ads without much notice, which is a good thing for advertisers because they usually look better after they’ve been updated.
In case you missed anything, here’s a refresher to get you up to speed on Facebook ad types. (We’ll skip FBX for now; there’s a ton of info out there devoted specifically  to FBX.)

We’ve got new Sponsored Story Likes

These are still great for acquiring fans, and they’re not a visual afterthought anymore.
Here’s what they used to look like:
old sponsored story like
Here’s what they look like now, first on mobile and then on desktop:

ssl mobile
Sponsored story like for mobile

ssl ad for desktop
Sponsored story like for desktop

Marketplace ads appear to be phasing out

Look at the right rail; you’ve seen (and probably ignored) these ads, which are meant for fan acquisition:
marketplace ads FB
Those marketplace ads are soon to have bigger, shinier counterparts now, right in the coveted newsfeed:
facebook ads in newsfeed
Much harder to ignore and more room for visual appeal, right? It makes me think marketplace ads might be on the way out.

Dark is the new black

…by which I mean that “dark” posts, which Facebook calls “unpublished page posts,” are one of the best new tools in a Facebook advertiser’s box.
Unpublished posts come from your brand page and are visible only on specifically targeted users’ pages; they allow for multiple variations of testing and audience segmentation with a great-looking ad unit.
So, to sum up: good engagement, good placement, and can be optimized for specific actions (hello, direct response) on your website.
They come in varieties, too:
Unpublished photo page posts (desktop and mobile):
desktop unpublished photo page post
mobile unpublished photo page posts
Unpublished link posts (desktop and mobile):

desktop unpublished link post
unpublished link post for desktop

mobile unpublished link post
unpublished link post for mobile

And, like I said, there’s the whole world of FBX to consider. (This is a good reminder on best FBX practices, and here’s a testament to the results a good FBX campaign can drive.)
One last thing: if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of Facebook advertising, join me, Dennis Yu of BlitzMetrics, and Christina Park of Triggit for a free webinar on Next-Gen Facebook advertising, May 23 at 11 a.m. PT. Bring questions!

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