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How to Optimize for the News Feed: Facebook’s Oceanfront Property

Published: June 7, 2013

Author: Dan Slagen

I know it’s hard. You’re seeing great performance from right-hand side ads on Facebook. The ads are simple and effective, so why is everyone telling you to switch to the News Feed?
In short, because even though change is disruptive, it’s also the way to improve and scale performance. The News Feed is the oceanfront real estate property for marketers on Facebook.
In order to switch to the News Feed, though, you need to focus on three things if you want to be successful.


Here’s an example of my News Feed today:
image in news feed
Yes, I see the RHS (right-hand side) ads, and I’ll probably glance at them because I work in the industry, but it’s exceptionally hard to grab my attention with that ad unit. Directly in my News Feed, however, is that amazingly captivating leg of lamb from a tavern in my neighborhood.
Who do you think has my attention here? It’s Tavern Road, and this particular offer isn’t a sponsored result but rather an update that I’m seeing because I’ve “liked” their page. This is relevant because this is what advertisers are going to be competing with in the News Feed.
An example of a paid ad in my News Feed is below for Nomorerack:
ad news feed
Great product and great image. Tells me everything I need to know and quick. These are the types of compelling images that aren’t available with RHS, and the real question is: who wouldn’t want to click on a beautifully enticing image in their News Feed?


Scroll through your News Feed, and what do you notice? Probably that you scroll fairly quickly and consider the images/updates you see for a mere instance, and then you keep on living your life and scrolling through.
What does this mean for ad copy?
It should: Be bold. Be loud. Be exclusive. Be now. Be expiring.
If a user doesn’t feel like they have to click on your ad NOW, then they won’t. Now this doesn’t mean be disingenuous; last time I checked, Facebook users are still human, and they still expect a great honest value when it comes to product offers.


Earlier in the piece, I asked “who wouldn’t want to click on a beautifully enticing image in their News Feed…” — and the answer is someone who shouldn’t be seeing your ad.
At this point, the targeting capabilities are so robust on Facebook that there’s no reason you can’t be exclusively showing offers only to your target market while still filling your lead volume requirements and ROI goals.
When unqualified users see ads on Facebook, guess what they don’t do? That’s right: they don’t purchase!
Furthermore, they complain – loudly – which hurts us all. So run 100 campaigns if you need to. Hell, run 1,000, 5,000, it’s just not that hard anymore with the automated technologies available for marketers to run performance campaigns at scale.
In short, if you’re not already on the News Feed, get there quick. If you are already on the News Feed but aren’t scaling, the time is now.  Whatever the non-buzz word term is for “low-hanging fruit,” that’s what the News Feed is right now for performance marketers looking to scale spend – and, more importantly, ROI.

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