From April 9th, Sponsored Stories will no longer be an ad option on Facebook. So what? You may say. Well, this will have a big impact on how brands can extend their paid reach on the platform. It basically means that brands will need to work smarter on their Facebook ads strategy so that their ad cuts through the noise of a busy news feed. No longer will they be able to leverage off a friend of a friend who likes their Page, to help get noticed.
The Sponsored Story has been very popular with advertisers, but not received well by Facebook users who often complained that companies were being deceptive by infiltrating their news feeds with ads that looked like status updates from their friends.
With this upcoming change, we can expect to see a few of the following:
Better results from other ad types: Advertisers will need to test the results of other ad formats, and should see a shift in which type of advert performs best.
More creative ads: Advertisers will need to find ways to attract action (likes, comments) from their followers. This brings to mind, the use of brand advocates to help posts gain organic traction across wider news feeds.
Social context becomes paramount: There’s an expectation that Facebook will be showing only ads that have a social context. Social validation will be tied to every ad – so the more users engage, the better the ad will perform. A couple of examples are stories about social actions that friends have taken, such as liking a brand page, or checking into the brand’s location, are now eligible to appear next to all of that brands’ ads shown to friends on Facebook.
There’s bound to be some teething pains as advertisers adapt to the new ad spend, and the results they receive. However when you weigh up the negative impact that users felt about Sponsored Stories, changing to a more creative and engaging style of ads will only improve the results for brands.
We look forward to seeing how this plays out after April 9th – but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on the end of Sponsored Stories?
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