How to Stand Out Using Facebook’s Advertising Platforms

Chris Naff - November 19, 2014

This is part two of our series addressing the advertising tactics that brands are using in Facebook today. Previously, we discussed some of the reason brands are taking advantage of Facebook’s various advertising capabilities. Now we’ll cover some of the popular options that many brands use.

The screenshot below showcases two examples of ads that Facebook users might see in their News Feed. The ad on the left side is a “Sponsored Post” that appears like other updates in the News Feed. These ads feature content in all of its forms:

  • News articles
  • Blog posts
  • Images
  • Videos

These types of content, and more, can be used for Sponsored Posts. One of the reasons these types of ads are popular for brands to use is because they create an experience for the user that is native to the platform. These Suggested Posts appear as the other posts appear in the News Feed, which helps to bolster engagement and increases the chance of campaign success.

Facebook advertisement samples.

The ads placed on the right side of the screen shot appear to the right of the News Feed. While Sponsored Posts can have a multitude of goals and possibilities, these ads require less space, rely on less content, and are more garnered to directly increasing sales. Both of these ads have a wide variety of targeting abilities.

In order for these campaigns to have success, we must first understand who they are targeting by knowing certain demographics along with a user’s web activity. Perhaps this particular user is of the age that would remember the character “Squints” from the movie The Sandlot; and perhaps that same user is a Verizon customer who has visited the UGGs website before (it’s totally not me…of course).

Another version of ads that appear in the News Feed is the Unpublished Page Post. Referred to by some as “Dark Posts,” these ads offer something unique. Like other Sponsored Posts these ads look like other updates in the News Feed, but Unpublished Page Posts allow for strategies such as A/B testing or creating different posts with different content for different audiences. How these ads are different is that they will not appear on the brand’s Company Page timeline, so your organic audience will not be bombarded with the various campaigns you could be running that may not apply to them.

Marketers and brand managers need to find the right fit for them to tell their story. As we mentioned in previous blog posts, brands need to follow certain tactics in order to reach their audience on Facebook in an organic manner. Beyond that, the world’s largest social network provides unique opportunities in paid advertising as well.

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