On Wednesday, Facebook hosted the first Facebook Marketing Conference at the Museum of Natural History in New York. The primary purpose of the conference was to introduce influential marketers to the new Premium suite of Facebook advertising products. The new Premium suite of ads will utilize a new pricing structure that is based on impact. Instead of using the traditional CPC or CPM model, the pricing for the Premium ads is based on a combination of impressions and reach. Facebook, who has compared the new ads to television advertising, hired Nielsen to help analyze the value of Facebook advertising and restructure pricing.
During the conference, Facebook announced five new advertising products:
Offers – Provides brands with the opportunity to share discounts and promotions with their fans free of charge
Log-out ads – The log-out page will now be a digital billboard for advertisements
News Feed ads/News Feed ads on mobile devices – Although the News Feed ads have been around since January, they officially launched yesterday
Ads on the right-hand side of users’ homepage – Again, even though they officially launched yesterday, these ads have been being tested since last year
Facebook issued the following statement regarding Premium ads:
“Premium ads and Sponsored Stories on Facebook can now appear in two new places: on the Facebook log-out Page and mobile News Feed. Sponsored Stories for mobile News Feed increase the visibility of stories related to a business or organization to help Pages share their fans’ activities. Offers are a free and easy way for businesses to share special discounts and promotions to their community through Facebook. Offers let a business share a discount or promotion directly from a Facebook Page.”
Although Facebook’s advertising sales grew 104% in 2011, according to comScore, the growth rate is expected to slow to approximately 52% in 2012 and 21% in 2013. The launch of the new Premium ads is most likely motivated by a desire to grow advertising revenues and launch new products in advance of Facebook’s expected IPO.
In addition to launching the new Premium ad products, Facebook also launched new pages for businesses that include the new Timeline features.