Sidebar ads are among the most popular advertisements on Facebook for small businesses. In late June, Facebook began rolling out a new design on these sidebar ads. In this Facebook Training post, we’ll look at the changes of the new Facebook ads and how they will effect small business’s advertising strategies.
Changes to sidebar ads
The standard sidebar advertisements that have been visible in recent months show a small image on the left side of the ad with a small block of text on the right. One of the issues with ads that weren’t created specifically for the sidebar was cropping issues as Facebook cropped pictures to fit on the sidebar.
Moving forward, Facebook will be switching sidebar advertisements to look the same as images and videos do on your newsfeed, with a large image dominating the ad and some text underneath it. Ads will be up to three times larger than they currently are, with only one or two ads displayed on the sidebar as opposed to the current five to seven.
What changes mean for advertisers
The changes are generally good news for small businesses that use sidebar advertising. The larger and more image-driven ads have proven in market research to attract more clicks, which is obviously the main goal of these advertisements. These bigger and better ads will come at a cost, however.
Because there will be less advertisements on the sidebar of the news feed, this real estate will be more expensive to small businesses. Less ad space means more competition for that ad space, which could result in a higher cost per ad. Make sure to factor these potential changes into your marketing budget and strategy moving forward.
When building ads optimized for the new layout, small business owners must remember the 20% rule, which states that no image may possess more than 20% text. While Facebook recently got away from this rule on cover photos, it is re-emerging for side bar advertisements. Text should be used wisely since space on the image will be so limited.
Facebook’s new column ads should bring in more clicks. Keep your eyes open for the roll out over the next month if it hasn’t already hit your news feed.