Let’s talk a little bit about advertising and how it helps us decide to purchase a product or service: Every advertisement, no matter where you stumble upon it, will tell you that the product or brand it promotes is the best. So, how can you pick out the diamonds from the coal? Billboards, banners and TV spots all exist in order to tell you about all the features of the product, how it’s unique and why you should buy it, preferably in a memorable and dazzling way. But does it actually work?
The answer is no, and the explanation is: Current day mainstream advertisements lack the silver bullet; word of mouth. For years marketers have tried cracking the code of how to promote and create as much word of mouth advertising as possible. It basically boiled down to two necessities; having good products and providing good service. Then advertisers crossed their fingers and hoped that clients would spread the word about it, in the good old “bring a buddy” approach. Well, now there is a new, better way.
Sponsored stories – Facebook’s most innovative, most engaging, and in many opinions, best advertising tool to leverage the social network’s capabilities. In a sponsored story, all members of your community essentially become ambassadors of your product by simply liking it. Thus making sponsored stories the first ever advertising method in which a friend of the customer recommends the product as opposed to the brand itself; truly a new era in advertising!
What Facebook has cleverly created here is a quantifiable, measurable way to promote word of mouth directly to relevant audiences via their network of friends.
Let’s take a closer look at what sponsored stories actually do: From the customer side, sponsored stories share with you what brands and content are liked by your friends. From the advertiser’s side, you can target your community network and expand your reach to increase brand exposure.
In terms of results, the numbers are phenomenal; the CTR of clicks from sponsored stories (so called Social Clicks) is almost 50% higher than the CTR of regular Facebook ads. On top of that, there are numerous metrics that help you measure their effect to the deepest level, such as Actions – the number of people who connected with your brand after seeing the ads (even if they didn’t click there and then). The variety of story formats helps your brand target its audience in a meaningful way and promotes your message in the most efficient way, and then lets you measure the effect.
Sponsored stories are a powerful advertising tool. Using it wisely will add to your brand’s online presence, as well as create a buzz around it among your community and their friends.