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1 March 2012 sees the introduction of Facebook’s premium new ad offering, Page Post Ads. Designed to be larger and more eye-catching, these ads show not only brand generated content, but users’ interaction with the post and page.

Article by Emily Shaw

These ads incorporate three important elements into their structure:

  • Social context – you can see which of your friends like it.
  • Interesting new content – it can be copy, a video, a photo, etc.
  • Engagement – you and your friends can give feedback on the ad.

Habari’s Michael Krynauw wrote about the benefits of this new format, outlining how research had proved that they performed better on average, than the old ads.

With the ability to turn ‘anything you can post onto a wall into an ad’, the new ads promise to double ad recall and target friends of fans along with the fans themselves.  This is great news for brands wanting to advertise effectively online.

It’s also great news for us content strategists as this new format demand stronger and better defined content strategies – something few brands have focused on so far.

Content strategy v. content marketing

Do you know the difference? Brands that are keen to use the Page Post ads should know, because getting both right will make a big difference to their online communities.

Content strategy is about planning for the creation, delivery and governance of content. It’s about identifying what you’re going to say, to whom and how. It’s also about figuring out what kind of content your fans like and what they already consume; and what kind of content they’d like to consume, but are not getting from you.

Content marketing is the execution of a content strategy. It’s coming up with the content that you use to communicate, the messages that underpin it and the constant measurement of how valuable your content is to your audience – and what ROI it’s generating for your brand.

Implications for brands on Facebook

So what does that mean for brands in the context of social media and in light of the new Facebook Page Post Ads?

  • Post copy will need to be more objective driven. ‘Empty’ posts like ‘Happy Friday everyone!’ will need to be abolished (we’ve been saying this for a while!). Really interesting and original copy will need to take their place.
  • Copy posts will need to be properly copy written. There won’t be any room for error or uncreative copy if the post is going to become an ad.
  • Brands will need to know in advance what they’ll be saying next. Instead of just posting about whatever is new on their page, brands will need to start planning ahead, so that it’s not just the Page Post Ads that are interesting, but the rest of the page’s content too. This will keep fans returning to a page long after the ad campaign has finished.
  • Posts will need to be created with feedback in mind. Part of the point of these ads is to include social and engagement elements. If you want people to comment, you’ll need to post content that gets them talking.

What’s most exciting about this new addition to Facebook’s offerings is that it encourages the generation of great and valuable content – from both brand and user. In a world where the web is stuffed full of rubbish, to get meaningful and strategically engineered content will be a real treat.

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