In essence, sponsored stories is a gift to advertisers, and here’s why: It allows you to increase engagement rates by putting your fan-provided content to work. In other words, their content becomes the subject of your ads. As such, it’s much more likely to be shared by friends of your fans, and that’s the key.
1) SHARING FAN VIDEOS: The remarkable thing here is that the video will play in the ad itself. You can enable this by posting a link to the video on YouTube, along with a short comment. On Facebook, you select ‘page post ad’ as the type of story. Your target audience can now click to watch the video, like it, share it – or even all three. How cool is that?
2) SPONSORED LIKE STORIES: This is a technique that allows you to create ads that are based on individual ‘likes’. In other words, the ad is nothing more than a graphic stating ‘Jenny Driscoll likes _____________, The blank is your brand. This is a classic word-of-mouth digital endorsement. Let’s say you have 5,000 fans right now. Since the average Facebook user has 130 friends, that means you can reach roughly 650,000 people with the ‘Jenny likes your brand’ message.
There is a caveat here however. Friend-of-fan targeting available through sponsored stories provides high click-through rates and low-cost-per-new- fan, but these new fans don’t have to visit your FB page. So you can certainly build numbers, but they aren’t as valuable as strategies that get fans to like your page by landing there.
3) PROMOTE INDIVIDUAL POSTS: There are two basic options for this type of advertising. You can choose a particular post you’ve made on your wall to be featured in the ad. Or you can allow the FB system to choose the most recent one. The latter is better if you’re interested in creating a campaign that essentially maintains itself. These ads can also be liked and shared.
Finally, Facebook is also trying something new this year that’s a huge opportunity for advertisers: They’ve begun showing sponsored stories advertising in the primary news feed. This moves your ad content from the standard column on the right side of the page to the most desirable location – into the news feed. There’s no telling (it’s Facebook, after all) how long this will last. But for the moment, it’s something to jump on.
The primary advantage to sponsored stories advertising on Facebook is that it will stay as timely as your content. It also tends to be a bit ‘friendlier’ than most Facebook ads, since that’s the nature of what you typically put on your wall.
The most important thing with all Facebook advertising is to begin with a strategy in mind, and then to be willing to try different scenarios to get to the best results. Certainly the analytics that FB provides are incredibly useful. We’ve found that advertising on Facebook is an essential component of an integrated social marketing campaign today. If you have questions, or you’d like us to help, just let us know.