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Unpublished Page Post Ads: 10 Reasons Why Advertisers Are Flocking

Written by: Cheryl Morris, VP Marketing

When Nanigans announced support for unpublished page post ads last fall, the product was referred to as “dark page post ads” and delivery was limited to the right-hand side of Facebook. With Facebook recently unlocking delivery to the most engaging part of Facebook, the News Feed, early adopters have been quick to shift their budgets to test the ad unit’s effectiveness in meeting their business goals — be it acquiring lifelong customers or driving incremental sales.

Early results have been no short of promising for the large-scale advertisers leveraging our software across gaming, retail, travel and more. Advertisers are seeing 10-50X higher clickthrough rates on unpublished page post ads as compared to standard domain ads delivered to the right-hand side of Facebook. From an ROI perspective, thanks to Nanigans’ ability to track purchase revenue from the News Feed, early results also indicate the ad unit is more effective in driving return on ad spend.

Here’s 10 reasons why advertisers have been quick to put budgets behind unpublished page posts:

1. Access to the News Feed.  

It’s no secret that the News Feed is the most engaging part of Facebook on both desktop and mobile. It’s where we spend the bulk of our time on the social network, with the never-ending feed constantly updating to surface activity from the friends, family, organizations, events, causes, brands and more that we care about.

While many Facebook ad products are delivered to the right-hand side of Facebook, unpublished page post ads can also be delivered within the News Feed. This provides advertisers an incredible opportunity to insert a relevant message into arguably the highest quality inventory on the web. In a centralized location and with the focus of consumer attention, advertisers can easily attract the eye and increase notoriety of their call to action.

2. Content or advertisement?

Part of the effectiveness of unpublished page post ads lies in the fact that it blurs the line between advertising and content on Facebook, combining the feeling of traditional engagement marketing with the rich targeting and expansive reach of paid advertising. Unpublished page post ads can be delivered as a status update, photo, video, question, or shared link — what people have come to expect from brands already in their News Feeds. Photos with an embedded link driving to external websites are most popular among advertisers leveraging our software, and several are testing their effectiveness against other unpublished page post ad types.

3. Creative bliss.

One of the most compelling and apparent benefits of unpublished page post ads lies in creative. Standard domain ads in the right-hand side of Facebook offer creative 110 x 80 pixels wide, whereas unpublished page post ads can be 400 x 300 pixels or 300 x 400 pixels wide. This large real estate makes the unit almost impossible to ignore, and especially if that creative is high quality with a strong call to action (stay tuned for upcoming posts on creative best practices). The 10-50X higher clickthrough rates advertisers leveraging our software are seeing as compared to domain ads further emphasizes the opportunity.

For creatives in the ad world, unpublished photo page posts fill a much appreciated gap on Facebook. Below are examples from our customer Fab, one of the savviest Facebook advertisers in retail:


4. Social context.

In addition to creative real estate is the social context of Likes, comments and shares included in the ad product. As many studies have shown, this type of endorsement makes ads more effective from both a click and conversion perspective. Unpublished page posts should be part of an advertiser’s overall marketing mix on Facebook, as combining the ad unit with organic engagement best practices will ensure an overall lift on Facebook.

This is no different than what marketers have historically seen by investing in Google search on both paid (AdWords) and organic (SEO) fronts.

5. Viral lift.

In addition to the benefits of social context is the viral lift inherent in unpublished page post ads. As people engage with the ad unit as they would any other piece of content in their News Feeds (be it by Liking, commenting or sharing), their friends also can see this activity. Advertisers benefit from this additional, free wave of visibility. (We look forward to helping advertisers quantify this lift in upcoming case studies.)

6. Cross-channel consistency.

Whereas Facebook ad products like mobile app install ads are restricted to mobile and domain ads are restricted to desktop, unpublished page post ads can be delivered on both Facebook desktop and Facebook mobile. This means marketers can reach users with consistent creative and messaging across channels, ensuring better recognition and recall — and ultimately a higher propensity to click and convert.

7. No connected base required.

While Sponsored Stories can be delivered to the News Feed, targeting is limited to people connected to your Page or App and their friends — not a broader target market. So while News Feed access is available with Sponsored Stories, broad delivery is not — a huge problem for large advertisers with volume goals, as much as it is a problem for companies new to Facebook with small connected base. Unpublished page post ads open the floodgates for demand generation in the News Feed, empowering advertisers to find new potential customers and deliver a highly relevant message to convert them to act — be it to sign up, install or buy.

8. Testing before scaling.

Testing is critical in online advertising to understand what messaging, creative and targeting is performing best to meet your goals. And it’s even more critical on Facebook given the seemingly endless targeting opportunities and combinations. However, prior to unpublished page post ads, standard page post ads had to be published on a company’s Page before being boosted into an ad unit. Testing therefore became a challenge (and point of friction – see below), with concerns including inundating Fans too frequently. Unpublished page post ads solve this challenge, since the post content is not generated nor published from a Page. As a result, advertisers now have more freedom to split test messaging, creative and targeting to understand which combinations resonate best with various audiences before scaling ad spend.

9. Reducing friction.

At the crux of the excitement and success of Facebook marketing has been connecting paid, owned and earned media. However, in many larger companies the team managing online advertising budgets is different from the team managing social media engagement. Since unpublished page post ads never hit a brand’s Page, internal buy-in is no longer a point of friction between these teams around strategies like targeting, testing, frequency and more. Page owners can manage their Page with engagement best practices, and media buyers can manage their budgets with advertising best practices.


10. Incremental sales.

Last but certainly not least is incremental sales and return on the ad spend you invest in unpublished page post ads (ROI). While search advertising allows you to capitalize on people who already know they are in the market for your product or service (i.e., demand fulfillment), Facebook advertising additionally allows you to reach and convert people who may not know they’re in the market for your product or service (i.e., demand generation).

Advertisers leveraging Nanigans can track the true purchase revenue generated from ads in the News Feed, and early results across sectors indicate that unpublished page post ads are incredibly effective at driving not only incremental sales, but an impressive return on investment over the lifetime of a customer.

With more and more advertisers leveraging unpublished page post ads, we look forward to sharing benchmarks, case studies and best practices in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we hope this article helps highlight the draw of the ad product for advertisers.

Interested in reaching your target audience with unpublished page post ads? Contact us today!

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