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Make Page Post Ads Work for You

Published: March 7, 2013

Author: Molly Shotwell

Today’s post is by Emily Gates, media analyst at Ampush.
Page Post Ads are powerful way for advertisers to engage Facebook users with their brand. What makes these ad types so effective is that they blur the line between advertising and content. Page Post Ads promote posts that may or may not appear on an advertiser’s Facebook Page and can be created as a status update, photo, video,  Facebook question, or shared link.
For some advertisers, the ads can prove to be a bit confusing – there are Page Post Ads, Page Post Sponsored Stories, and Dark Page Posts. These ads can also run solely in Facebook’s newsfeed or right-hand side or in both placements. So while they are versatile and can be great at driving desired actions, they can be also be difficult to understand.
Let’s revisit this ad type by breaking down exactly how it works and reviewing the best ways to get the most of it. For starters, let’s take a look at the newsfeed placement for a Page Post Ad posted link:
This ad unit has four distinct clickable areas:
FB page post
1.         The owner of the Facebook Page (“1-800-Flowers.com” above); a click here takes the user to the client’s Facebook Page.
2.         The post itself (“Could there be a sweeter…”); clicking the post directs the user to the full text of the post and accumulated comments.
3.         The image / link off-site (“I Love You Mom Chocolates”); this click drives users to the off-site domain.
4.         The action buttons (Like, Comment, Share); these either keep the user on the ad (Like and Comment) or cause a page overlay that allows the user to share the story on his or her timeline without leaving the newsfeed (Share).
Based on the proportions of each of these components, a user is most likely to click on the image or body text. This will be the desired result for many advertisers, and in recent testing, we’ve seen around 70% of all clicks following this path.
Page Post Advantages:
Increased Newsfeed Visibility: Newsfeed placement loosens the restrictions on image dimensions and character limitations. Ads shown in the right-hand side of Facebook allow for images 100 pixels x 72 pixels and 90 characters of text in the body of the ad. Page Post Ads, though limited to 90 characters in the message (“Ready to move…” above), allow for additional text in the link, the caption, and the description beneath the link. This allows the advertisers a better opportunity to explain their product or promotion and attract interested users to click through.
No Fan Base Needed: Unlike Sponsored Stories, which originate from a user’s actions and are spread to their friends, Page Post Ads do not depend on an existing fan base. The ads can be served to any of the 163 million U.S. Facebook users, on both desktop and mobile devices. Yet they do not lack social context. Once someone clicks the page heading or post, they often show engagement through page likes, post shares, and comments. These actions spread the organic distribution of the post, which is a great collateral benefit to sending users off-site.
Mobile Reach: Currently, Page Post Ads posted as links are the only option for driving users to an off-site domain on mobile devices. With daily mobile usage surpassing daily web usage, these ads can be a great way to attract more users to an advertiser’s site, and the only way to drive users to a mobile-optimized site!
Higher CTR, Lower CPC: The best part? Click-through rates are up to 100x higher for Page Post Ads shown in the mobile or desktop newsfeed than standard right-hand side ads, and CPCs are significantly lower. Recent testing showed average CPC ranged from $0.10-$0.20 for newsfeed Page Post Ads, as opposed to over $0.80 for right-hand side Domain Ads with the same reach.
Too Much Of A Good Thing: All of these advantages have their drawbacks. With larger images and more prominent placement, users will notice when they’ve been served an ad multiple times. A frequency of 4.5 doesn’t seem high for a standard right-hand side Domain Ad, but with a Page Post Ad, it may be enough to incite some backlash.
Negative Comments:  The comment section that doesn’t exist on right-hand side ads and is so good at driving interaction? It works both ways. Instead of grumbling to yourself when you see an annoying  right-hand side ad for what seems like the thousandth time, you now have a platform to voice your aggravation. One thing to look out for while running Page Post Ads: negative comments piling up on the ad. People may complain about seeing the ad too many times or feeling spammed by information they don’t deem as personally relevant.
Best Practices:
Creative: These ads work best when they seem less like an ad. They are ideal for content-based advertising and provide plenty of creative freedom. Is there new web content? A new promotion? Highlight these and use the link to drive directly to the relevant page. Not only do you streamline the user flow, but people are also less likely to feel spammed.
Frequency capping: The most important fix is making sure the same people aren’t being bombarded with your post. Turn off ads that are being shown multiple times or be prepared to watch the masses turn on your message.
With careful consideration for the drawbacks, Page Post Ads posted as links can be a great way to drive users off-site, promote page engagement, and capitalize on social interaction.
emily gates ampush– Emily Gates is a media analyst at Ampush, a San Francisco-based online social technology company that helps premium brands and apps grow by harnessing the viral power of Referred Intent on Facebook. Emily graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Environmental Biology in May 2012 and joined the Ampush team in January 2013.

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