If you haven’t heard about Facebook’s new Instant Articles feature, it’s something you’re going to want to start paying attention to. This is a new feature offered by the social networking platform that used to be only common among top publications and will now be offered to all businesses and bloggers.
The announcement came in mid-February that the Instant Articles feature would be available to anyone that produces online content rather than solely with the 350 major publications that already had it such as Buzzfeed, National Geographic, CNN, and The New York Post. What are Instant Articles and what does this mean for you? Take a look at what this is all about how it will affect your content marketing.
Understanding Instant Articles
What are Instant Articles through Facebook? This feature refers to an HMTL5 document that is optimized for the best possible viewing of content for your users. Users will have faster mobile performance, a customized visual display for their Android or iPhone, better storytelling capability, and branded design. It will be more interactive, visually-appealing, and will almost come to life without even leaving Facebook to see it. You’ll notice this through automatic video play, interactive maps, and audio.
This is appealing to Facebook users because of its heavy impact on viewers. It’s a piece of art from spectacular images and video along with text and audio. It offers a clearer understanding of the message with better quality, a faster experience, and convenience for readers. This does mean that publishers will have to crank out much more articles to keep up with the demand, but it will be simple to customize it to the structure and layout of current articles already created on their websites.
Other pros and cons
Since users are used to clicking on an article and going away from Facebook to the company website to read it, this delay will be avoided and users are more likely to see your content. Articles will be consumed much quicker which means spreading the message will be even simple and more likely. The additional clicks by the shared message will increase company exposure and inevitably, profit.
You’ll be able to use Facebook’s analytic tools or your own to track user engagement. This convenience for your readers will mean more people are more likely to see it and you’ll have less hassle getting it prepared for Facebook. You can even incorporate ads and make a profit that way.
You should know that the downsides to Instant Articles is that you’ll have to have some tech knowledge to be able to use this feature because of the necessary RSS feed and the need for a designer to create the template that imitates the current website. You may run into few website visitors since everyone is seeing you through Facebook, but for those that have used it so far, the claims are that their revenue stream has remained steady due to the ability to incorporate ads.
You will have to publish to your own website since you’ll be transferring your website articles to your Facebook. Make sure the quality is there because Facebook has to approve you before you can use the service, by having you submit 50 articles with ads to give the social media site a good sense of what your quality experience is like.
If you decide to avoid Instant Articles, Facebook ensures that there won’t be favoritism towards Instant Articles compared to those posted traditionally. However, articles will be ranked by the number of interactions and the amount of time people are reading them. Those that are successful with the feature may find they rank higher in News Feeds too.
That’s a look at how Instant Articles will change the way you use content marketing.