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The Daily Stream

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The Pros and Cons of Facebook’s New Ad Structure and How to Take Advantage of Them

June 25, 2014 // By: Michelle McGowan

Excuse the cliché, but they weren’t lying when they (who is “they” anyway?) said technology is constantly evolving. Even as someone fully immersed in the platform for most of my waking hours, I still find myself struggling to keep up with the updates Facebook makes for its advertisers, brand pages, and users in general.

Some things are easily ignored, while others could drastically impact your marketing efforts. Which, to most, means a drastic impact on your budget. And no one, myself included, wants their budget to be messed with. So listen up, because this is one of them:

Starting this week (the week of June 24th), Facebook will be restructuring the placement of right-hand column ads.

So what does that mean for you?

PRO: Ads on the right side will be larger than they previously were 

This is an automatic bonus (think red mushroom from Super Mario Bros.) because now you’re bigger, more visible and, therefore, more impactful. You can showcase the finer details of your images and take advantage of selling your brand visually better than ever before.

CON: Your CPM (cost per thousand impressions) will likely go up

As with any new launch, the structure will roll out over time. With some brands operating on the old, smaller format and others adopting the new, larger format, competition for visibility will be at an all-time high. In addition, the decrease in literal space on the right side will put Facebook’s algorithm to work, forcing brands to compete for attention.

PRO: A little competition can be a good thing

Challenge yourself as an advertiser. If there are fewer spaces on the right sidebar, why do you deserve to be there over someone else? Start experimenting with new targets and capabilities of Facebook (because let’s face it, they’re pretty much endless). Maybe you’re better suited for news feed ads, promoted posts, or even direct response offers. Give them all a shot – a little trial and error could be the key to success.

CON: Be wary of the rules

All ads created after the launch will be subject to the dreaded (but understandable) 20% or less text rule. If you have an old ad running from now through then, make sure you swap out the graphic before this retroactively takes effect.

PRO: Facebook promises increased engagement

At the cost of losing a bit of real estate, those brands whose ads do appear frequently on the right side are likely to see a noticeable rise in engagement. We’d say this is a pretty reasonable trade-off, as we’re generally focused on relevant, valuable interactions rather than mass-scale visibility.

Happy advertising!

Michelle McGowan

Michelle is a Social Media Strategist with Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.

So, there you have it. Another technological change, accompanied by a handful of ups and downs. But with the right perspective, you’re sure to dominate the world of social media advertising and reap all of its benefits for your brand’s community.

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Topics: Digital Marketing, digital advertising, display ads, Facebook, facebook ads, Social Marketing, social marketing strategy, social media, social media content, Social Media Marketing