As with all things in this fast changing digital world, a killer tactic today may soon be worth very little when, for example, the network you’re using it on decides to change the rules or it simply becomes diluted due to the fact that everyone is doing it.
Right now, one of the most effective advertising plays on Facebook is something being called ”dark posts.” The term, while sounding a tad evil, actually applies to the tactic of using news feed style ads that do not actually get published to the newsfeed of your page.
What Are Dark Posts?
Dark Posts (or Unpublished Posts) on Facebook are posts that neither appear on your timeline nor on the newsfeed of your fans.
These posts are used as ads or sponsored stories to gain paid reach only and to avoid spamming the fans of a page. Only non-fans that fit into the defined target group for the post will see this post in their news feed. If people click on an Unpublished Post, it will be shown like any other post. If someone clicks on the page link within the post they will be directed to the affiliated page.
Why Use Dark Posts?
Imagine you sell four products and these products appeal to slightly different audiences and you’re not really sure of the most appealing call to action for each.
You want to advertise all of these products on Facebook and you’ve heard that news feed type sponsored posts are the best way to go. (It’s true for me, particularly on mobile devices where the ads look very much like the rest of the stream.)
Traditionally, the only way to advertise those four products in the news stream was to create four status update kinds of ads and then refine your targeting to get the add seen by the right audience.
Where’s the catch?
All four of those ads just ran in your page’s stream and now that audience you’ve worked long and hard to build by sharing useful and engaging stuff is unliking as fast as they can. Your stream seems full of nothing but ads!
Oh, and like any smart marketer you need to A/B test several headline variations on each ad, further overwhelming your stream.
Importance of Scalable FB Ads
Creative optimization is one of the most important aspects of scalable Facebook advertising. Even small variations in image and copy can have dramatic effect on click-through rates, cost per click, and down funnel conversion rates.
One area of creative optimization that’s often ignored, but can lead to significant performance improvements, is post engagement: the comments likes, and shares that a Facebook ad accumulates when shown to a target audience.
Post engagements act as social proof for other prospective customers seeing the ad, and they can play an important role in getting people to click on your ad and convert. They also tell Facebook that your ad is relevant to its audience, which leads to lower costs.