Facebook Instant articles have been around a few years now, but many people are still unaware of them. In case you feel out of the loop about them, we are here to help you catch up.
If you have only just discovered instant articles, you can check out our recent blog post to find out exactly what they are. To briefly summarise Instant Articles, it is basically a platform that distributes your recently published content directly on Facebook via the mobile app.
Should you use Facebook Instant Articles on your Facebook business page?
There are currently two different schools of thought on this subject. We will take a look at both of them so that you can make up your own mind, but it definitely has its benefits.
- The benefits of using Facebook Instant Articles are plenty. The fact that instant articles load 10 times faster on mobile devices than standard web pages means that your audience is more likely to spend longer looking at your content. There is also an average of a 20% increase for the click-through rate on Facebook instant articles.
- Slow page load speeds lead to an increase of bounce rates. People have little patience when it comes to page load times. In fact, a delay of just one second can lead to a conversion loss of up to 7%.
- You are able to monetize your content. If you display your own rich media ads, you are able to keep 100% of what you earn. You can also monetize using the Facebook Audience Network display ads which can earn you up to 70% additional revenue.
- You can brand your content. This means that you can control logos, fonts and colours. As online publishers know, creating a familiar brand identity is an important part of building your audience.
- You can offer your readers an immersive full-screen experience. This can include interactive maps, tilt to pan photographs, audio captions and autoplay videos.
The not so positives
- As is true with all internet platforms, algorithms can and do change. This means that you are at the mercy of Facebook, and any future changes that they make may have a direct impact on the effectiveness of your instant articles.
- You are limited with the number of ads that you can show on your instant articles. While it is true that you get to keep 100% of ad revenue for your own ads, that restrictions can limit the amount that you can earn from them.
- The amount of visitor traffic to your website can decrease as your audience spend time looking at content hosted on Facebook instead. Of course, this is not always such a bad thing as your online exposure can increase tenfold.
- Certain types of media and content may not display correctly. You also lose the ability to use forms, newsletter sign-ups and certain types of embedded content.
Why it’s a good idea
Providing engaging content for your audience on your Facebook business page is always going to be advantageous.
Once you have everything set up with Facebook Instant Articles, you can have fresh content published without the need to manually upload articles to your business page.
This not only saves you a huge amount of time and effort but also streamlines the entire process. Of course, a fair amount of work up front is required.
To join the program, you need to have a minimum of 10 articles ready to be published. These are then submitted to Facebook for review. If they follow the community guidelines, then you will be good to go.
Instant articles are far more likely to retain your audience and the rate of abandonment decreases dramatically. When combined with monetization, it is a great way to generate a passive income from your content.
Lastly, having relevant, up-to-date and regular content posted on your business page can create a knowledgeable and professional image. The more content you have, the more likely you are to grow your audience.
A few more reasons
Slow page load times are one of the main reasons why people bounce. While bounce is not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that you have one less conversion.
Facebook Instant Articles are a pre-built platform that does all of the hard work for you. It increases page load speed, thus improves the likelihood of increasing audience retention and growth.
While branding efforts may be limited when compared to using your own website, they are there, nonetheless. For some, this may be a big deal but for the majority of publishers, it is simply a minor annoyance.
The way forward
Once you are ready to Implement Facebook Instant Articles on your business page, you need to prepare at least 10 articles in advance. You can do this by repurposing content on your website or by producing 10 fresh pieces of content.
You will also want a plan of action in place for future content. Try to keep things relevant to your industry but keep it interesting enough to pique people’s interests. There is a fine line between success and spam. Clever writing is key.
Aside from having a minimum of 10 articles ready to go, you also need a Facebook business page and the Instant Articles app. You also need an RSS feed that will sync your content and publish it to Facebook automatically.
There is no denying that Facebook is the most used mobile application in the world. By not using instant articles you are missing out on lots of opportunities and in such a competitive world, can you really afford to do that?
Yes, there are limitations to Facebook Instant Articles. And yes, for some people it may not be the perfect choice. However, the way to look at it is that Facebook is just one of the hundreds of different platforms that you can use as part of your digital marketing efforts.
When people are searching for content on Facebook, they typically want to stay on Facebook. Trying to direct them to your website with external links can be like trying to empty the water out of a sinking boat with a sieve.
And the fact that content loads up to 10 times faster means that your audience is much more likely to not only spend more time engaging with your content, but also increases the click-through rate of your other content.
It is always a good idea to explore all avenues that you have available to you. Facebook Instant Articles are an amazing way to improve your business page visibility while removing the bulk of the hard work normally associated when doing so.