Back in August, Facebook
began testing its page post ad unit in the newsfeed. The format, which turns any post on a brand page into a Facebook ad, is intended to reach anyone -- not just fans of a page. Previously, a page
could only advertise in the newsfeed if users already “liked” it or had a friend who did, as with Sponsored Stories.
The ads -- like a regular post from a page that someone is a fan of -- will include a “Like Page” button in the top right corner and be labeled as "sponsored" at the bottom.
How are page posts in the newsfeed working? A new study by Facebook ad partner Nanigans suggests the unit is outperforming the social network’s standard displays ads in the right column. The company based its findings on campaigns run on behalf of multiple retailers, delivering a total of 975 million impressions from December through January.
It found that page post ads in the feed had, on average, 14% higher ROI than standard marketplace ads on Facebook and generated a 45 times higher click-through rate, with average CTR across some campaigns of more than 3.3%.
Page post ads also generated, on average, 68% lower cost-per-click (CPCs) and 48% lower cost-per-action, with the action being registering for the retailer’s site. CPCs for page post ad campaigns ranged from 14 cents to 26 cents.
The study also compared page post ads on mobile devices versus the desktop. The mobile ads had 1.9 higher click rates and 46% lower CPCs than those on the PC.
Facebook itself has previously highlighted higher engagement rates for Sponsored Stories in the newsfeed than on the right side of pages, so page post ads would appear to follow the same pattern. That also means page post ads could become more common in users’ feeds.
“The compelling performance results in this study -- most notably the 14% lift in ROI -- suggest that retailers will spend portions of their advertising budgets on News Feed placements in combination with other Facebook ad buys,” said Marc Grabowski, COO at Nanigans, a Facebook strategic preferred marketing developer.
Facebook could shed more light on the performance of page post and other ad formats when it reports fourth-quarter financial results on Wednesday.