When it comes to attaining viral reach on Facebook, brands are better off promoting branded content partnerships versus creating and promoting their own content on their own pages.
This is according to new research from social analytics firm Shareablee, which found that branded content ads—that is, advertiser-promoted posts of branded content—generate twice as many earned impressions as paid impressions. The reason for this, per Shareablee CEO Tania Yuki, is simple: branded content is “more shareworthy” than traditional ads.
The study analyzed more than 800 branded content ads from 10 publisher Pages and 265 standard ads derived from 47 brand Pages that ran between July and October of last year. In this group, branded content ads brought in nearly 620K paid impressions and 1.2 million earned impressions, whereas standard ads received ~375K paid impressions and roughly 34K earned impressions.
Further, when the company compared the two types of ads, viral reach accounted for approximately 47 percent of branded-content ad impressions, compared to only 7.4 percent of standard ad impressions. With respect to shares, branded-content ads garnered more than 7K shares per ad. Standard ads on the other hand, averaged just 253 shares per ads.
These findings validate the theory that branded content is more engaging and more shareworthy than content that looks and feels like a standard ad. Of course, branded content partnerships come at a greater expense to marketers, as they must pay for the original native advertising buy and then the cost of promoting the final content.
Last August, Facebook updated its ad product to allow partners to boost the impact of their branded content partnerships. Brands, when granted permission from publisher and creator partners, can boost content shared via those third-parties and target them to their own audiences.
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