Facebook has just launched three new types of Sponsored Stories – the ad unit it launched in January that turns user activity into ads shown to their friends. The new types expand the kinds of user activity that can be converted into ads to include Page post Likes, app or game usage, and activity on third-party sites. The new app and game type could create powerful way for apps to grow their user count without disturbing game play with prompts to share or invite friends.
The three new types of Sponsored Stories are:
“Page Post Like Story”: promotes the Likes of a Page’s status updates, photos, and videos.
“App Used and Game Played Stories”: promotes game or app usage to the friends of a user that has used an app or game twice or for ten minutes in the last month.
“Domain Story”: promotes when a user Likes a piece of content, uses a Share button, or copies a link into the Facebook publisher from a third-party website.
These story types join the four types initially launched – Page Like Stories, Page Post Stories, App Shared Stories, and Check-In Stories. Some
Sponsored Stories are much different than traditional Facebook, search, or display ads because the targeting and creative creation occur automatically. They change the role of the media buyer from one who produces and tests creative and targeting combinations to one who works to drive the types of activity that trigger Sponsored Stories.
CEOs of some top Facebook Ads API companies TBG Digital, Blinq Media, and Spruce Media have told us Sponsored Stories have seen significant engagement and performance in their campaigns, and that their social nature will be important to the future of Facebook advertising. All these companies are trying their best to keep up with Facebook’s rapid release schedule and get the latest Sponsored Stories types into their tools and services.
A few more details on each type:
Page Post Like stories are important because opposed to Page Likes, these actions often don’t generate a news feed story. This story type creates a major incentive for Pages to push users to Like the content. The ad units include links back to both the Page and the permalink for the post. If users include a comment with their Like of a photo or video, Facebook will show at least 30 characters of it. Videos promoted by this type of Sponsored Story can be played in-line by users if they were purchased through Facebook’s Premium ad service representatives, but they can’t be played if purchased through the public self-serve Marketplace ad tool.
App Used and Game Played Stories will allow developers to court new users just by increasing engagement with their apps and games, rather than having to push users to share content or invite friends. App Used and Game Played Stories could become a major source growth for games that had their news feed visibility drastically reduced last year. This ad unit includes multiple links to the Canvas App page of the promoted game or app.
Domain Stories are the least important of the new Sponsored Stories because the actions they promote already often trigger a news feed story. They include links to the original news feed story, the webpage where the triggering action occurred, and the home page of the domain where the activity occurred. Users will also see a Share button allowing them repost the story or send it to a friend as a Facebook Message.
By creating more Sponsored Stories types, Facebook can simultaneously draw advertiser spend while encouraging Pages, apps, and websites to increase user engagement.
A walk-through and strategy guide for the Sponsored Stories ad unit can be found in the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s industry leading resource for Facebook marketers and advertisers.