New Facebook Right-Hand-Side Ads Prove Bigger is Better

Written on
Sep 11, 2014 
Sam Barnett  |

At the end of June Facebook started rolling out their new bigger right hand side (RHS) ad size boasting that, in their tests, it increased engagement by up to 3x. Up to 3x increase might be a bit generous but performance on US retail campaigns on RHS has definitely improved with the change in size.

Across all Struq US retail campaigns Click Through Rate (CTR) saw an increase of 32% and Post Click Return On Investment (PC ROI) an increase of 12%. Two major retailers saw a rise of over 70% in CTR and two others an upturn of over 100% for RHS PC ROI.

More clicks from users that matter

Image size has always been an important ad feature. According to ad layout testing using Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO), larger, clearer images can raise the PC CR of an ad by 124%.

This rise in CTR and PC ROI shows that the bigger images are driving customer engagement in the ads. Even with the higher number of clicks the Post Click Conversion Rate (PC CR) only drops off by a few percent showing that the increase in PC ROI is true engagement based growth.

A welcome addition to the Facebook offering

This increase in performance on the RHS is especially positive when looking at the whole Facebook set up. Newsfeed ads, were a welcome addition to the Facebook offering, boasting great engagement levels, of course the company are very keen not to pollute the feed with too much advertising which keeps impression numbers down.

RHS has, on average, a 9x higher volume of impressions than newsfeed and, while click through rates are higher on newsfeed, the post click conversion rates are comparable and this increase in performance for the RHS has made for a vital increase in performance overall. Facebook advertising is now, more than ever, a must have for advertisers and providers alike.

The future looks bright for Q4

The question now is whether Facebook will keep heading in this direction. The character limit for ad headlines is already only 25 characters and ad body text only 90 characters. Will Facebook replace text with even bigger images in the future?

Who knows, with Facebook, change is not always good, but with this update at least they have definitely done something right. The old and new ad sizes were being run in parallel but the hard switch came on the 1st of September – a great boost to FBX performance coming into Q4.

Sam Barnett, the "Pioneer of Personalised Advertising", is the founder of ad technology company Struq. Struq is the online advertising industry’s most advanced technology and optimisation platform for advertisers looking to acquire highly profitable customers. For every £1 an advertiser spends, Struq delivers an average of £19 in revenue to their advertisers. Struq now leads the fastest growing advertising sector globally and has won numerous awards including, Most Innovative Company (Entrepreneur Country), Brand Innovation (Marketing Week), Top 100 Media Technology Companies (Red Herring; Tech Media Invest; Guardian; Smarta) and has been listed in the Top 10 innovators across Europe by the Wall Street Journal.

Sam has been listed as one of the top 25 leading thinkers and innovators in online advertising, awarded the Young Gun 2010 accolade by Growing Business, Shortlisted for Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 Award by Growing Business and featured in The Courvoisier Future 500 Rising Stars.

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