A lot of people "Like" Facebook. According to ComScore, the social media behemoth ranked as the top destination on the Internet in December 2012, edging out Google. So, when Facebook announced changes to its News Feed, advertisers took note.
One thing that’s dogged Facebook the last year or so is the stigma that the social site isn’t ideal for performance marketing. While we certainly agree advertising on Facebook leans towards branding and it isn’t quite the performance marketing nirvana like search is on Google or Bing, our data hints at Facebook's potential. In fact, in Q4 of last year, we saw US Facebook advertising take on search-like performance characteristics.
Today, Zuckerberg and company revealed a new News Feed. Pictures and videos will now not only be displayed more prominently, but rather than a single News Feed, users will be able to filter their News Feed by Friends, Music, Photos, Games and other topics.
It’s all in an effort to provide users “more choice and more control.” As a result, targeting and ad visibility on Facebook has taken a step closer to the performance marketing utopia. There are three critical changes that advertisers should be aware of:
- Bigger, more visual oriented ads in the News Feed. Gone will be the bit of text and squished image underneath. Instead, it will be big and prominent. More real-estate equals better performance.
- More targeting according to different News Feeds. Imagine instead of targeting an ad for a new album in the general News Feed, which would compete with every other ad, you’ll now be able to serve your ad for a new album to your target audience on a Feed dedicated to music. Relevancy just went up and people prefer relevant ads.
- More ads! Facebook users will now not only see ads in their News Feed of choice, but upon navigating to a different Feed, they'll be shown additional ads. These ad impressions would be incremental for advertisers. As long as it’s not too disruptive, more ad impressions tend to be a good thing.
How do you see the new changes to Facebook's News Feed improving ad performance?