Previously only available to big publishers like Buzzfeed, BBC News, and National Geographic, last week Facebook opened up instant articles to all publishers.
Meaning, as a content provider you are now able to give your readers easier, faster, and more interactive access to your content on mobile while boosting your content’s traffic on Facebook.
If you are a publisher or are looking to amplify your web content, here are the ways that Facebook’s instant articles can benefit your brand.
NO BOUNCE: KEEP EYEBALLS ON YOUR CONTENT
With Facebook’s instant articles, your website’s content is easier to access than ever before.
What we saw with the early instant article adapters was that the load time for an article was practically instant. That's because readers don't have to click through to your site to read the content, and loading isn’t deterred by bandwidth issues or slow wi-fi. An audience is more inclined to stick around if they're not waiting for content to load. So invest in people’s love for instant gratification.
TRACK WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE READS, AND HOW MUCH
Before, you could only see what content was performing best and your UVPM on your site. Facebook’s instant publishing dives even deeper into your analytics to see how far your audience reads into a post and where they're abandoning content and if they're pressing play or interacting with media within the post.
Based on current analytics, Facebook’s instant publishing garners 20% more average reads than regular web content, and these readers are 70% less likely to abandon the article after opening. In part, the proof is in the numbers. Not only will you know how your audience engages with your content, but you can use these analytics to help you create better content.
Better content=more engagement.
AMPLIFY YOUR BRAND PRESENCE
Your brand is put first. There are header and footer slots for you to add in your brand's logo. That way reader's always know where the content is coming from, and is a way to gain brand loyalty.
Not only are you able to drive more traffic to your content and gather significant analytics from your audience, but this interface allows for your brand to be recognized at first glance rather than being lost in the midst of all the content circulating Facebook feeds. Write great content and remind your audience where it’s coming from and you will definitely see more returning readers.
THERE ARE ALWAYS CONS
While Facebook instant publishing feature is amazing, it definitely comes with a small list of negatives. While you can definitely drive more brand awareness and aggregate readers, advertising is minimized and your ability to monetize your content will be affected. It doesn’t mean that you should stop monetizing your website all together, but be aware that any traffic that is driving to your content from Facebook will decrease your advertisers’ traffic.
If you are using a feature like Shopstyle, you can continue to monetize your content as an alternative for advertisements within your post.
Which brings us to the next con. Before, readers were clicking through from Facebook to your site. Now if they're reading on FB, you might be attracting more eyeballs, but they're Facebook's eyeballs. Meaning, your UVPM is not growing.-- though certainly you can use these new analytics to your brand's benefit. For example, if you can show a brand who is looking to partner that your bounce rate on FB is less than 20% and X number of readers are scrolling to the bottom, that's a great sales point.
If you still want to grow UVPM, your approach should be multi-faceted-- using the publishing tool to both create brand loyalty, show traction on FB, and drive readers to your site. Play around with what you publish, i.e. whether your content on Facebook is image or content driven. Whether you're posting all your content on the feed, or giving readers to leave the Facebook page. A smart strategy would be to hyperlink to a related piece that lives on your site, and see if you're driving traffic. You can also embed links to your Twitter and other social platforms.
Give people a reason to stay and read your content on FB, while also giving them a reason to leave.
One more, though small drawback is that the feature does not support embedded photos. However you can upload your content within Facebook’s backend and tailor how your content looks. Be sure to stay on brand.
The feature itself is a very promising for content creators who want to amplify their brand and gain in-depth analytics about how their audience interacts with their content.
To find out more about Facebook instant publishing or to sign up, click here.