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Facebook Simplifies Its Ad Formats. What Marketers Should Do Now

Written by: Laurie Cutts, Director of Marketing

It’s going to be OK, don’t panic. Yes, sponsored stories have been a part of our lives as marketers for quite some time now.  As we’ve come to learn, though, social ad units, especially on Facebook have a shelf life. For sponsored stories that time has come.  Facebook’s announcement about sponsored stories going away may seem like a game changer, but rest assured the friend of a friend targeting you loved about sponsored stories still exists and will be available with all of Facebook’s paid ad formats.  And it’s actually going to simplify and enhance your Facebook marketing efforts. Here are some reasons why:

1.  Simplify Your Campaigns

Facebook advertising can be time consuming and complex.  Until now, advertisers had to create separate campaigns for sponsored stories such as Page like, Page post like, Page post comment, check-in, game played, event or app shared.


Advertisers can now leverage all of these social capabilities seamlessly throughout all of Facebook’s paid ad formats from Page post ads in News Feed to domain ads on the right hand side.  The social context that would appear above a sponsored story will now appear on the top of your ad.    Leveraging social context with existing paid ad formats, streamlines the creative process, reduces your time to launch and helps you to focus on the ad units that perform so you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

2.  Employ the Power of Social Context

Facebook is making it easier to bring the power of social context to your ads.  Multiple studies by Nielsen, comScore and Datalogix have demonstrate that social context drives ad awareness and offline sales lift.  Facebook has made it easier to add social context by merging ads with sponsored stories.  Friend of a friend targeting has been proven to enhance the reach, engagement and ROI of your campaigns.




3. Focus on News Feed

It’s no surprise that News Feed is the most engaging part of Facebook—where users spend the bulk of their time. By adding social context to your News Feed ads—such as Page post ads or mobile app install ads– there’s a better chance that people will see them and convert.  By including social context with all of  their News Feed ad formats, marketers will finally be able to focus on what matters in order to scale.

News Feed

 4. Improve Your Performance

By adding social context to your ads, you turn purchasing into a social decision by enabling people to show what they like and have purchased. This type of engagement with your customers is incredibly powerful for driving traffic and sales.  Just like in the real world, building relationships with people on Facebook takes time and requires investment.  Social context should be baked into everything you do, not added at the end of a campaign.  Successful Facebook advertisers are constantly innovating and creating content and offers that people are excited to pass along.

With the number of ways you can add social elements to your campaigns, you can be almost certain that success is waiting for your brand on Facebook.  It’s important to always be testing and learning to stay informed about the nuances and best practices that come along with adding social context to your campaigns.

5.  Scale

Nanigans advertisers that have switched to News Feed are already scaling campaigns and have seen increases in ROI has been as high as 197%.


Another opportunity is to leveraging social context with your mobile campaigns. Mobile now represents roughly 1/3 of Facebook’s revenue and we here at Nanigans are seeing mobile revenues as high as 35% of total revenue specifically off of Facebook.

And if you haven’t noticed, mobile ads are commanding attention these days with an increased ad unit size and centralized visual location across mobile devices.


eMarketer also recently released a study citing that 65% of US advertisers plan to increase mobile spend while 55% plan to increase social spend  So if you aren’t already on mobile, the time is now. If you’re already testing on mobile, the time the time to test at scale is now.

Other ad units that will soon streamlined are “questions” and “online offers.” Instead of buying an ad unit with social context showing when a user’s friend had answered a question posed by a brand, marketers can instead ask the question directly in a Page post ad.   Advertisers are more frequently leveraging Page post link ads to drive offsite conversions so Facebook is setting aside its online offer ads that do the same thing. They are still providing in-store offer ad units.

If you’d like to learn more please contact us at We love to share best practices for marketing at scale on Facebook!


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