A recent study from Shareablee found that branded-content ads on Facebook significantly outperform standard Page post ads in terms of their earned impressions.
We all know that engagement on a Facebook post increases its reach; the same applies to ads. Having more people interact with any particular ad, will increase its viral value and it will generate more earned impressions. That might very well be true, but according to a recent study from Shareablee, not all ads are the same. It found that branded-content ads perform a lot better in terms of generating earned impressions. In fact, the 833 branded-content ads from 10 publisher Pages examined in the study, generated double the amount of earned impressions on average. On the other hand, Page post ads generated only one-tenth the amount of earned impressions vs paid impressions.
Shareablee’s sample data showed that branded-content ads got 617,986 paid impressions and 1,248,448 earned impressions, while the 265 paid ads from 47 brand Pages received 375,489 paid impressions and 34,178 earned impressions on average. This was mainly due to the fact that branded-content ads are also more shareable – generating, on average, 7,103 shares per ad as opposed to 253 shares per ad for Page post ads. I’d have to agree with Tania Yuki, Shareablee’s Founder & CEO, who explains that “branded content is perceived by the average viewer as being much more shareworthy.”
While I would agree with the results of Shareablee’s study on a logical level – the power of branded content and the use of influencers is obvious – it may be slightly simple in its approach. First of all, we don’t know what ads were run in both instances – whether they were equally engaging, to begin with, or whether they were “salesy” or not. While I do believe that branded-content ads are more engaging, we can’t trust blindly that they will perform in the same way. Performance depends on many variables.
If we got these results by running the same ad messages and/or creatives as branded-content ads and regular ads, then I would certainly pay more attention.
But should you prefer to use branded-content ads? The short answers is yes. While you should work on a good branded-content strategy anyway, rather than throwing everything you’ve got at it, you should be constantly testing in order to find which content and which approach brings you the best value – business-wise, and engagement-wise. That’s what you should be investing in.