This op ed piece in MediaPost caught our eye recently because it maps to exactly what we are hearing from customers and agency partners. Clearly, publishers have run up against the limitations of Facebook Instant Articles as an advertising platform and are beginning to take action to drive better results and efficiency from their online advertising campaigns.
The article discusses four major pitfalls that beset publishers who look primarily to Facebook for ad engagment and reach. Instead, publishers can and should focus more on exerting greater control over their own content and take charge of advertising themselves, rather than relying on Facebook, with its inefficiencies, limits and lack of placement control.
MediaPost points out four major reasons why publishers are getting righteously fed up with Facebook:
- Poor placements: The Facebook algorithm ensures that Instant Article Posts are placed below posts from friends and family – even further down the newsfeed if they do not include any video!
- Facebook Instant Articles place strict limitations on ad types and sizes.
- Facebook’s measurement metrics for Instant Articles are weak, which hinders clients’ monetization.
- The Fake News phenomenon has created a ‘dust cloud of nonsense’ which only leads to a more cluttered newsfeed, and background ‘noise’ within Facebook.
So what are the alternatives for smart publishers?
STAY AT HOME! Publishers must find ways to better monetize on their own websites with native ads and syndicated partner content. This approach has the benefit of always aligning sponsored posts with appropriate site content – which drives engagement. In fact, “Studies show that native ads drive higher click-through rates” when compared with Facebook ads. Additionally, some publishers are building paywalls and finding creative ways to get their audiences to pay for content.
Whichever approach a publisher chooses to take, the time is now to take back control of their digital content! Publishers should deploy more focused campaigns that engage more deeply and drive higher levels of monetization.