With Wednesday’s fMC event, Facebook officially kicked off the latest iteration on its quest for advertising revenue. The new “Premium” suite of offerings is a solid strategy to capture ad spend from marketers who would clearly be willing to buy any sort of inventory thrown their way from the social giant. Unfortunately, Zuckerberg was not there himself to tell everyone that THESE are no ordinary ads. These are unique chances to create “compelling experiences” with “engaging content” and (INSERT additional Facebook propaganda HERE). The introduction of Timeline for Brands was the perfect opportunity for Zuck & Co. to reveal its true identity: Storytellers.
Timeline for Brands is the next chapter of Facebook marketing and, for many, it may be the last. Being able to express your brand in a more visual and engaging way certainly has its perks. However, what if you have no story worth telling? Or what if it’s just not worth the extra energy?
At the end of the month, when all pages are automatically converted to Timeline, the glory days of “Like”-gated default landing tabs will have ended. With a wider real-estate to work with (810px), developers will need to step up their game as a new generation of branded Timeline apps will emerge. Tabs can remain gated, but getting noticed will be a serious challenge. Facebook’s solution: buy their ads.
Regardless of if your brand has money to spend, it now has a story to tell. Those who lack the resources and general effort will now blatantly stand out. With the revamp of Facebook Insights, it will be much easier to track effectiveness in real-time. However, taking the time to consistently produce engaging content requires a solid commitment. Additionally, the new private messaging, although great for customer inquiries, is just another channel to maintain.
Brands will have to quickly decide how to craft their stories accordingly. Plenty may determine that story time is just too much work. What do YOU think? What can smaller brands do to maximize their resources and deliver a convincing story on a minimal budget?