As Facebook’s advertising becomes simpler, more companies are seeing the effectiveness of advertising in the News Feed, opposed to the right-hand sidebar.
Nanigans recently published a study showing the power of News Feed ads, demonstrating that they led to a 26-times higher return on investment compared to the sidebar ads.
So why do advertisers still utilize the sidebar? According to Nanigans senior vice president of marketing Dan Slagen, brands still run sidebar ads because they complement the News Feed ads. It’s also a cheap way to drive a little bit exposure and page likes. However, as more advertisers learn about News Feed advertising (and Facebook’s push for simplification helps), Slagen says that they’re leaning more toward News Feed, instead of sidebar:
There’s a lot of things that the sidebar can do to complement the overall campaign. In theory, we’re going to see a little bit cheaper costs. Coming in with real estate on the News Feed, it’s sort of the “now,” and everyone’s talking about it, everyone’s seemingly flocking to it. With that said, there could be some cheaper impressions and cheaper clicks over on the right-hand side, and that opportunity to be always on with your brand presence, while also saving on costs.
The Nanigans study found that page post link ads delivered a 53 percent greater ROI compared to the sidebar, while photo ads were responsible for a 24 percent lift in ROI. Photo ads also had a 37 percent higher clickthrough rate than link ads, and a 20-times higher CTR than sidebar.
Page post link ads had a 55 percent higher purchasing user rate than photo ads and a 61 percent higher purchasing user rate than sidebar ads.
Facebook’s push to simplify advertising units and break them down into goal-based objectives could drive more advertisers to the News Feed. Slagen said he’s hearing that advertisers have had a positive reaction to this change, as they can now deliver more relevant ads to users. He predicted that over time, more advertisers will start to catch on and prefer News Feed ads to sidebar:
It’s been interesting. Since they released News Feed, we’re definitely seeing a proliferation of the ad units and we’re seeing more and more advertisers flock to it. I think the reason that you’re seeing it grow is advertisers are understanding relevancy quite a bit more.
Slagen noted that the things that advertisers are learning are to have beautiful imagery in their News Feed ads, to have copy that draws users in, to be relevant to the user experience, and to have a positive post-click experience. These things combined can lead to more successful advertising on Facebook, whether that means likes or conversions.
Advertisers need to convince users that what they’re about to engage with is worth their time, Slagen said. He also noted that the types of advertisers who have proven most successful recently with News Feed ads have been e-commerce companies, as well as travel and gaming companies.