- BuzzFeed has been buying Facebook ads urging audiences to download its own mobile app where it can directly engage with customers, Ad Age reported. The move comes after Facebook announced that it will restrict posts from brands, businesses and media from users’ news feeds in favor of posts from their friends.
- Many marketers believe the news feed changes will make organic posts nearly invisible to Facebook users. With users likely to spend less time on Facebook, there will be fewer advertising opportunities for brands, meaning prices could increase, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
- Facebook’s organic reach has been declining for years, the Journal said, citing a 2014 Social@Ogilvy study showing that for Facebook pages with more than 500,000 likes, organic posts only reached an average of 2% of fans.
The ramifications are starting to emerge from Facebook's announcement last week that it will remove marketers' and publishers' posts from the News Feed, with both publishers and marketers considering big changes to their marketing strategies. However, Facebook is urging marketers to not yet change their strategies, according to the Journal report, which cites people familiar with the issue. The social media platform has also warned advertisers about certain practices, such as encouraging people to comment on posts to get better rankings, and to instead use the platform to drive business. It's probably not a coincidence that David Marcus, head of Facebook's Messenger, also published a blog post today warmly welcoming marketers to the chat app.
Publishers are not taking the changes lightly, especially since many have long relied on Facebook to drive traffic to their websites. BuzzFeed’s campaign to encourage app downloads for full access to its news makes it one of the first publishers to take matters in its own hands to survive Facebook’s news feed changes, but others are likely to similarly step up efforts around marketing content to online users. By being quick to respond, BuzzFeed has the potential to gain new app users before other publishers try something similar, as consumers are not likely to have room on their smartphones for numerous news apps. In addition to ads on Facebook, publishers are likely to investigate boosting their presence on Twitter, Snapchat and other platforms.
While the changes do not directly address advertising on Facebook, marketers believe there will be fewer chances to get their ads in front on users, several sources told the Journal. Facebook has already said the news feed change will reduce the amount of time users spend on the platform. As a result, ad prices are likely to go up and marketers could take a closer look at other advertising opportunities on Facebook outside of the News Feed.
Marketers and publishers are used to tweaking their strategies to adapt to Facebook’s regular changes to its advertising platform, so few are likely to have been caught completely off guard by the news.
To ensure that their content is seen, marketers will have to get creative to drive the “meaningful interactions” that Facebook is now focusing on. The focus on higher-quality content, which companies like P&G have been championing, could ultimately resonate with consumers and drive meaningful, high-level engagement.